On either end of the
passenger cars was a BNSF freight locomotive. As I was taking the
photographs at the western end of the train, the engineer was walking
towards Harry Fischer
and I. He invited us into the cab to take a view of the
controls. He told us that this locomotive, a Generel Electric
ES44C4, was one with an unpowered center axle. Out
of the 6 axles, only 4 have traction motors.
The unpowered axle is part of a variable traction control system.
this arrangement is A-1-A., with the A meaning powered and the 1
non-powered. As far as the cab, if you have been one, you have
been in most of
them. You may note, the control stand is old school style using
the left hand for throttle and braking. For a period of time,
locomotive manufacturers had a "desk style" arrangement of
controls. As I understand, train engineers preferred the old
style control stand arrangement.
Once Metrolink, BNSF and
Amtrak synchronized their watches, er, cell phones, er, smart phones,
we left. The first part of the "Trucker-on-a-Train" was on the
BNSF Railway, from Commerce, CA, to La Mirada, CA. Once the most
important people synchronized their smart phones, the train departed
the City of Commerce Metrolink Station and BNSF facility.
We made one outbound pass
and then reversed direction. The plan called for the train to
visit Los Angeles Union Station. We got there around 1:00 PM with
a 1:30 PM departure to then head out on the Union Pacific Railroad to
the City of Industry.