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Seeing Vegas The Way It Was Meant To Be Seen!!!
Fall Amtrak Vacation Trip 2007:
A 300 Mile, Day-Long Road Trip
Railfanning The BNSF Transcon
October 7th, 2007
   I decided that one thing I wanted to do on this trip was go railfanning on the BNSF Transcon line in Arizona/California. I went on Mapquest and got directions to go from Vegas to Needles, CA then Needles to Kingman, AZ, then Kingman back to Vegas. I took U.S. 95 out of Vegas which once you get out of Vegas, literally goes out into the open desert. I took some slides of the now covered over road crossing where the rail line that carried supplies to Hoover Dam once operated. I stopped in Searchlight, NV to use the bathroom at a McDonald's and continued to Needles. U.S. 95 basically ends at I-40 and thus you either take I-40 or better bring an ATV along because the road literally becomes a dirt road at the junction of I-40. Near the Needles Station, there was a Santa Fe caboose and 2 box cars on display though I have no idea who owns them. I kept driving and eventually found the station. The station there is also a BNSF office as Needles is a crew-change point for BNSF Freights. I had some very nice conversations with a few BNSF employees and took some slides before hopping on I-40 and heading for Kingman, AZ. Kingman is a little town on Historic Route 66 and the Amtrak Station there is also located on Rte. 66. Santa Fe steam locomotive #3759 along with a Santa Fe caboose are located on display in Kingman. The station was closed for remodeling when I arrived as passengers in Kingman can use a non-descript little waiting room nearby. I waited at Kingman for a train to come by but ended up having to leave as I was meeting my Parents for dinner in Vegas that night, so no trains in Kingman (outside of the one that was going past the station when I got there!), but that steamer located there was cool. I'll have to head back here again on a future trip since Route 66 is really interesting. I took U.S 93. back from Kingman, for the 100 mile drive back to Vegas. I got to drive over Hoover Dam on the way back. My parents and I then went up in the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino where I took several night photos of the Las Vegas Strip which you'll see after these upcoming photos of this road trip. We then had dinner at the Tuscany Garden restaurant (I never knew how good bread and olive oil tasted until I tried it at this restaurant!) before heading back to the hotel and calling it a day. The photos shown here were taken on this road trip…
Facing away from Vegas, this rail line is actually in service with the exception that it's paved over at the crossing of U.S. 93 & 95.
   Looking towards Vegas, here's the same rail line again. This line headed towards Hoover Dam and is located near Railroad Pass where another hotel just up the road from here is located that is named after that area. The line was originally built to haul materials to the site of Hoover Dam for its construction in the 1930's. West of here near Vegas, the line serves a pellet plant that receives cars from Union Pacific. East of hear, 3 1/2 miles of this line is owned by the Nevada State Railroad Museum and is used for excursion runs. That beige Pontiac parked on the side of the road was my rental car in Vegas this year. Special thanks once again to for the info on this line.
Looking South on U.S. 95, the road seems to go on forever!
A Former Santa Fe Caboose on display in Needles, CA on a piece of panel track.
Two Reefer cars on display near the above pictured caboose in Needles.
A BNSF Freight taking a break in Needles. The Needles Yard Office is on the same piece of property as the Amtrak Station here.
A Few BNSF Dash-9's sitting in the Needles Yard.
BNSF Dash-9 44CW #4774 sits in Needles.
Very important words to live by on the railroad!
The Amtrak Station/BNSF Yard Office in Needles, CA. The only Amtrak train that stops here is the Southwest Chief.
BNSF Train H-TULBAR1-04A with Dash-9 #1083 on the lead for power. The train was stopped waiting for a new crew at Needles.
On Interstate 40, crossing the Colorado River into Arizona.
Wow! Can't drive that fast here in New York!
On Display in Kingman, Arizona is Santa Fe 4-8-4 #3759.
Santa Fe Caboose #999520 also on display with the steamer in Kingman.
The Amtrak Station in Kingman, AZ. Located right on Historic Route 66, it's an original Santa Fe structure that at time of my visit was closed for renovations. Passengers boarding Amtrak's Southwest Chief use a non-descript storefront waiting room at a small plaza located near the station.
An intersection with Historic Route 66.
Check it out, I've never seen gasoline that cheap! OK, fine, it's closed but that sign looked interesting in today's $3/gallon gas prices!
Driving back to Vegas on U.S. 93 after sunset.
After getting back to Vegas, I took my Parents to visit the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and the replica Eiffel Tower.