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Snow in Cajon Pass 12/20/2008

by Chris Guenzler

Southern California got hit by a very cold Arctic air weather system which dumped heavy snow in Cajon Pass and the High Desert earlier in the week. I contacted Chris Parker to see if he wanted to go and he said he would get back to me. Saturday morning I left a message on Chris' cell phone and I got on Surfliner 564 to ride to Irvine. On the way there Chris called back and it looked like we would meet at 12:10 PM. I got off at Irvine and crossed the bridge to wait for Surfliner 565. I boarded that train and Chris called back saying that Larry wanted to go and he would drive. I got to LAUPT but my Conductor I was going to give the DVD set to was on vacation so it was a wasted trip. I returned back to Santa Ana on Surfliner 572 and drove home. I changed into my long johns and took out my snow boots before I fixed my lunch. Chris arrived first then shorty Larry drove up. We loaded up his car and soon we were off to Cajon Pass taking CA 57 north to CA 210 to Interstate 15. Before Devore we got off the freeway which was going no way then got caught by an eastbound BNSF freight. Once he cleared, we drove through Devore and headed north up Cajon Blvd through Blu Cut to Cajon Jct. We jumped on the freeway to the next exit and headed up and over the hill on CA 138. We took Power Line Road and after the first track made a right and drove to the hill between where the tracks split. Just as we got there, here came our first train in the snow.

This short Union Pacific westbound even had a DPU.

A not normal winter time scene around the corner from Summit.

Next a westbound BNSF train came down the old south track.

A while later, that BNSF eastbound from Devore finally showed up.

Chris Parker and Larry.

Myself with Larry.

Another eastbound BNSF train passed by our location at Silverwood. We all decided we had enough here so we decided to drive into Sullivan Curve and finish the afternoon there.

A westbound Union Pacific train rounded Sullivan Curve.

An eastbound BNSF train rounded Sullivan Curve.

We then drove to the far end of Sullivan Curve and parked. I decided to do a little climbing providing you with this view. Larry decided he wanted to eat at the Summit Inn which sounded like a good idea. We heard a horn but it was on the down track but soon heard another and hoped for one last train.

A BNSF helper set returned down through Sullivan Curve. We drove up to the Summit Inn and I had a steak dinner. After a good meal, we drove home after a great afternoon of railroad photography in the snow of Cajon Pass.