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The Coast Starlight Detour down the former SP Valley Line 10/26/2008 Part 3

by Chris Guenzler

The Coast Starlight had reached Caliente and would now take the Horseshoe Curve to reverse direction and start the climb up the 2.2% grade towards Tunnel 1.

The Coast Starlight rounds the Horseshoe Curve at Caliente.

It now starts its climb towards Tunnel 1.

The train crossed Tehachapi Creek and the Bealville-Caliente Road.

Two views looking back to the Horseshoe Curve at Caliente.

Looking down at Caliente.

Looking down the grade as we climb higher.

The view looking at Caliente and that Horseshoe Curve.

The Coast Starlight passed through Tunnel 1 323 feet long.

Looking up to tracks we would be on in a few minutes.

The Coast Starlight about to enter Tunnel 2.

The Coast Starlight is entering Tunnel 2.

The Coast Starlight has exited Tunnel 2 219 feet long.

Once out of Tunnel 2, we had reached Allard, the start of a long siding to Bealville.

The Coast Starlight passed a westbound BNSF freight next as we continued to climb.

There is another Horseshoe Curve just above Allard that our train took.

More curves yields more views of our train.

That BNSF freight train is now between Tunnels 2 and 1 heading for Bakersfield.

Our train had reached Bealville and you could see all the way up to Cliff where we would be in a few minutes.

The Coast Starlight has left Bealville behind and will now climb the grade to Cliff.

The Coast Starlight passed through Tunnel 3 494 feet long on its way to Cliff.

Tunnel 3 was longer before the earthquake hit in 1952.

Cliff Siding is up above us on the hill.

In this view you can see where the Shoo-Fly from where they bypassed a closed Tunnel 5 after the 1952 Tehachapi Earthquake. That earthquake closed Tunnel 3, 4 and 5 and after the line was rebuilt Tunnel 4 was daylighted.

The Coast Starlight entered Tunnel 5 1175 feet long.

Looking back to near where Tunnel 4 once stood.

The Coast Starlight passed through Tunnel 5 and reached Cliff Siding.

A view of where this end of the Shoo-Fly connected with the mainline.

That BNSF Freight we passed at Allard was now rounding the Horseshoe Curve way down the hill at Caliente.

Cliff Siding really sits on the side of a cliff.

The tracks twist and turns as it gains elevation.

It is a long way down from the tracks to Tehachapi Creek.

The Coast Starlight continues to climb the grade high above Tehachapi Creek.

Our train has now left Cliff Siding behind as we now climb towards Rowen.

The view looking down at Tehachapi Creek.

The Coast Starlight enters Tunnel 7 520 feet long.

Two views of Tunnel 7.

Views between Tunnel 7 and 8.

The train went through Tunnel 8 689 feet long.

Four views between Tunnel 8 and Rowen.

Views of the Rowen Siding including a water car used in case of fires along our route.

The Coast Starlight has now left Rowen behind.

Crossing Tehachapi Creek once more as we head for Woodford and a meet with the northbound Coast Starlight which is waiting there for us.

Views between Rowen and Woodford.

At Woodford we passed the northbound Coast Starlight which had the Silver Lariat and Silver Solarium on the markers.

Two views of the work train at Woodford.

The water towers at Woodford.

Our train has left Woodford behind as we continue to climb the steep grade.

The Coast Starlight had just crossed Tehachapi Creek and will be making a giant "S" Curve to reach the Tehachapi Loop that everyone is on this train waiting to go around.

After crossing Tehachapi Creek we will make one more 180 curve to reach the World Famous Tehachapi Loop.

Click here for Part 4 of this story!