Facebook Page
Big Boy in Echo Canyon, FrontRunner trip

Adventurers in Utah for Spike 150

 Promontory Summit - 150 years later

A Sesquicentennial

Chapter Seven

Photo shoot of Big Boy in Echo Canyon

and the after chase

Riding the Front Runner

 May 8, 2019



Robin Bowers

Text and Photos by Author

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent

Comments are appreciated


     This morning Chris and I got up at 4:45 AM and left the Radisson Hotel at 5:00 AM and drove east on I-80, stopping at the Park City exit for gas and snacks and continued on I-80 east to Castle Gate where we reversed to the westbound visitor center and rest area where we parked. We used the restrooms then waited for Bob and Elizabeth to arrive. It was cold and rainy outside so I stayed in the car and tried to get 40 winks. Once Bob and Elizabeth arrived, then with Chris, climbed the west knoll by way of a muddy trail. I took the east knoll which had a paved trail most of the way to the top. I don't like muddy shoes on a rainy day.


Looking east toward WY on I-80.


Elizabeth, Bob and Chris plus more on their muddy hill top.


Looking west toward Ogden.


West bound freight 6016.







    My hilltop had a bench and a covered standing area. The narrow, 16-mile gorge of Echo Canyon impressed pioneers with its particular echo. The canyon also includes stone breastworks built in 1857 to guard against an invasion by federal troops to suppress a rumored Mormon rebellion.


Our first look at these grand old steamers and their entourage.







Big Boy 4014 and 844.








At 9:22 AM, the show was over.

    As we all came down from our muddy slopes gathering at the visitor center, the restrooms and hot coffee were in big demand. Chris and Elizabeth were in a hurry to get back to the city and Bob was going to take the rental car back to the airport so I decided to ride back with Bob. After Bob and I got on the interstate, he decided we should chase the Big Boy so we exited and queued up at the end of the entourage joining on a small country road. Bumper to bumper traffic was the order of the day. As we proceeded, we could see crowds dispersing far from their lookouts and then the crowds were not yet dispersed yet, so we knew that we were getting closer to Big Boy.



A local mine or pit.


And then we spotted our prize on the tracks above us.






As we crept along the police were yelling at motorists "No Parking - Keep moving." Our transmission was in Drive (D) not (P) so Bob and I both shouted a few words back.


Big Boy.

    Big Boy was heading to Ogden taking us farther away from the city so we found a road leading away from the crowd and headed to SLC. Once in the land of buildings, we spotted a Burger King for our lunch. We relaxed as we ate lunch in their cool dining room. Then it was off to the airport which had their rental return located on the ground floor of the parking garage. I've been to several airports with similar operations which I think is a good plan. Drop your car off and walk over to terminal or just take an escalator up to the waiting area. LAX should use the same operation thereby eliminate those gas burning shuttle buses of the rental car companies clogging the terminal roads and neighborhood streets.

    After Bob received his release papers we walked outside to the station for TRAX Green Line 704. This line runs from the airport east to downtown, then past Temple Square, past City Center before heading for West Valley Center. A "U" is the lay of the route. The airport station shows good planing by past officials. Airports, public light rail and car rentals make a trio good for travelers and visitors. Many cities now have light rail between downtown and their airport as Denver now has between its new airport and city. And it would be great if LAX such a public transportation system. Unfortunately we have no such system now or any planned in the near future or far distance future. What we will have is a hodgepodge of different modes of transportation that would make Rube Goldberg proud. History tells the story of how we arrived at this current situation.  Planning for the new terminal in Los Angeles was during in 1950s. Autos were kings and we were building freeways everywhere for them. At the same time the city got rid of the Red Line cars that ran over much of Southern California plus the city street cars. Everybody would travel in their cars was the thinking, so the rail system was sold for scrap. Also the taxi owners were looking for a monopoly on public transportation to and from the airport. The dream of a one seat ride from the airport to downtown or to the West Side, two major destinations will continue to be a dream for ages to come. Bob and Elizabeth flew in to town, rented a car at the airport, drop it back at the airport then took the Green Line back to hotel and then on Sunday take the Green Line to the airport. The for the rest of their stay they will use public transportation and convention buses.

    Bob and I paid the fare using our UTA Five Day Pass and boarded heading east to North Temple Bridge station to ride the FrontRunner. As we both were trying accumulate as many rail miles as possible and had the time this afternoon, we decided to ride the FrontRunner to Provo and back. Leaving the Green Line at North Temple, we went downstairs to the FrontRunner platform. This fare would be covered with the Five Day Pass which is a Tap on -Tap off system. The Metro in the Los Angeles area uses a Tap on system also but doesn't require a Tap off action which I think is more user friendly.

    The FrontRunner runs from Ogden to Provo taking about two hours with SLC midpoint so from there is about one hour to either end. Today we are going south to Provo and tomorrow we will be going north to Ogden there by covering the entire route.


North Temple Station looking north.


North Temple platform with the Green Line bride in background.


    We boarded at 2:33 pm for Provo Central and had a nice trip looking at the scenery and talking about the convention and the Golden Spike celebration. Upon arriving at Provo at 3:42 pm we stayed in our car for the five minute turnaround before returning.


    After arriving at North Temple at 5:01 pm, we went up to the Green Line platform and took the next car back to Arena station and then a short walk back to our hotels.
After dinner I was able to catch the last half Rich Luckin's video on the Transcontinental Railroad which was very good. He has had good presentations at past NRHS conventions and that finished the day for me.

Thanks for reading.
<< Return to previous day May 7, 2019

Return to Table of Contents

Return to Home Page

Very Fast Return to Top

Text and Photos by Author, Robin Bowers

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent

Comments are appreciated