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Railfanning In Barstow, California
Fall Amtrak Vacation Trip 2006
Railfanning In Barstow, California
On The BNSF Transcon
Sunday, October 1st, 2006
   I woke up and today was to be my railfanning outing day. I made the decision to take a 103 mile drive out to Barstow, California to go railfanning on the BNSF Needles Sub on their Transcon Line. Barstow is a stop on the Amtrak Southwest Chief though it stops in both directions during the overnight hours. The Amtrak Station in Barstow is not staffed though located next door to it is the Route 66 Museum and the station grounds feature several pieces of historic railroad equipment. The following photos were taken during my visit to this desert town. Enjoy...


This former Santa Fe Caboose #999728 is on display at the station.

Next to the Santa Fe Caboose is this Union Pacific Caboose #25559.

A BNSF Crane Truck. To add meaningless historical significance to this photo, that blue
Toyota Camry parked behind the truck was my rental car while I was here in California!

This appears to be a Santa Fe Heavyweight baggage car though it
also looks like it attached to a similar car on one end.

A Former Santa Fe FP45 #95 in full warbonnet paint!

A Center Cab unit of unknown heritage.

Former Union Pacific SD40-2 #9950.

The Amtrak Station in Barstow, a Santa Fe-built structure.

Another view of this beautiful station, located in the heart of the Mojave Desert!
This station is a former Harvey House. Harvey Houses were operated by Fred Harvey
along with the Santa Fe Railway as restaurants & hotels. The Harvey House at this
station closed in 1971 and is considered a California Registered Historic Landmark.

Now for some trains, first up is this BNSF van heading West with C44-9W #4023 leading.

Next up is this Eastbound UP freight with SD60M #2275 leading a 4 unit lashup.

C44-9W #1104 leads this BNSF van full of empties West.

C44-9W #4918 leads this Eastbound van.

The C44-9W seems to be BNSF's primary road power. Proudly built by GE
in Erie, PA, #4132 leads this Eastbound van with 2 NS units in the consist.

NS C40-9W #9484 along with a second unit of the same type is in the consist of the train
above. I'm fairly certain that NS doesn't run West of maybe Kansas City so this is unusual!

UP SD70M #4902 leads this Westbound Van.

Another eastbound UP with SD60M #2467 leading.

This BNSF Yard Job kept sneaking out of the yard several times while
I was there. SD40-2 #6218 leads a slug unit on this train.

   I stood on the platform at the Amtrak Station to take the train photos. If I ever visit this place again, I think I should bring along a zoom lens! Since this trip was taken, I have upgraded camera equipment and now have a zoom lens so I'll have to come back here again sometime since this is a busy spot with lots of traffic! I met up with a few railfans from the area, one of which told me that hardly anything was running through Tehachapi due to trackwork, so the better choice was definitely coming to Barstow. I also met a railfan from England who was visiting as well. I eventually left after getting the last photos of the equipment set up outside. I ate at a Del Taco restaurant after getting some cash out of the ATM. The food was OK, their crinkle-cut french fries were very good!
   After leaving the restaurant, I started driving back to Orange County and made it to just past Victorville with no problems. By the time I got to the town of Hesperia (all of this by the way was on I-15) I encountered gridlock on the freeway that lasted some 25 MILES!!! After this trip, I will NEVER complain about traffic in Buffalo again! I didn’t have the camera handy at the time, but as the interstate climbed over the top of Cajon Pass, I could see the huge horseshoe curve the road takes and at the bottom of the hill. At the end of the curve a few miles down the road, you could STILL see gridlock. After the entrance to I-215, the traffic finally cleared up! Traffic was busy but manageable for the rest of the way. I called another cousin of mine who lives just outside Hollywood and was given directions by her to drive over to her apartment. So I drove there from Barstow and she gave me a quick night tour of Hollywood! We stopped by a restaurant called "Fat Burger", and the food was excellent! I then drove back to my Aunt’s house, deliriously tired, and so ends today!