Monday, May 9, 2011

Reverse Running & A Covert Train Meet!

A 'unique" one-in-a-million" video:

Reverse running over Donner Pass on the Number 1 track!

I knew that a double stack train was coming uphill from Colfax, and managed to get ahead of the train near Alta. The train appeared to be slowing with the grade, and this gave me time to access a little-known point that takes some serious climbing through brush, over a water district canal and up a loose tumble of ballast.

Recently, due to track work, UP had been moving eastbound (uphill) trains through the crossovers in Gold Run and onto the #1 (downhill) track. I noticed this double stack was running on its proper #2 (eastbound, uphill) track and anticipated my camera placement accordingly.

As the double stack was rumbling by my Flip HD, I got a rather large surprise. It got passed by Amtrak's California Zephyr #6 on the track furthest from me! This was the first time in almost 20 years that I'd ever seen two trains running in the same direction on both tracks!

Clearly, Amtrak #6 had been routed through the crossovers in Gold Run from the #2 to the #1 track, in order to get by the much slower double stack train.

I missed the numbers on the Amtrak units, but the following four locomotives were affixed to the double stack train:

On point was UP 7417, a GE C45ACCTE (controlled tractive effort) unit with 4,400 hp, AC driven, manufactured in 2009, one of 124 such units purchased by UP.

Directly behind was UP 4459, an EMD SD70M, DC driven, 4,000 hp, manufactured in 2001, one of 420 such units purchased by Union Pacific.

There was a mid-train DPU helper, UP 5566 (look for it at 1:53 in the video), which is a GE C44ACCTE, 4,390 hp, AC traction motors, manufactured in 2004, one of 141 such units purchased by UP.

Pushing from the rear was UP 7690, a GE C45ACCTE distributed power unit (DPU) with 4,400 hp, manufactured in 2007, AC driven, one of 200 such units purchased by Union Pacific.

You have to look quickly in order to see the passing Amtrak units. I caught as much of the Amtrak train as I could between various well cars. Check for the locomotives on the far track at 1:43 in the video.

A covert train meet? It certainly was. And once again I somehow managed to capture such a thing on video. Extremely, extremely rare on Union Pacific's Roseville Subdivision over Donner Pass.

Take care and be safe!



Well Seasoned Fool said...

Nice video.

Milepost 154 said...

Thanking you sir; many more to come when I can find the time to upload them to YouTube. Even at my wife's house, her cable isn't that terribly zippy and it takes an average of at least an hour to upload one of my average 6-minute HD videos.