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Calimus Hill


Calimus Hill

Chiloquin, Oregon

UP Cascade Sub (Former Southern Pacific) MP456.0 to MP472.0


Railroad Photography


A Stockton to Vancouver manifest, led by a rainbow of BNSF schemes pulls up Calimus Hill.


More of my railroad photography is available courtesy of Railswest.


The area of focus on this page is the section of track between Klamath Falls and Chemult, Oregon.  The line was built by Southern Pacific in the 1920s.  From Klamath Falls to Lobert, the tracks are accessible from Highway 97.  There are numerous good views.   From Lobert to Chiloquin, the tracks run along a ridge on the east side of the tracks while the Williamson River is on the west.  All access is on private land. Please don't trespass!  


The tracks are again accessible from Chiloquin to MP 460.0 via Old Korral Road and Forest Service Road #5811. Access to the north (east) switch of Calimus siding can gained by taking Forest Service Road #43 (Kirk Road) to Forest Service Road #4502.  Keep the tracks on your left and turn onto Road #9731.  This road also takes you back to Collier State Park and US Highway 97.   The 9730 grade crossing is currently open.   When you reach this grade crossing, an access road on the west side of the tracks is available all the way to the FS9731 crossing.  There is also access to the south switch area at Calimus along this road.  During the winter, this road is plowed and somewhat accessible.  Between MP 460.0 and 470.3 (Kirk Road), 4WD is VERY HELPFUL if not needed any time of the year.   Mud can be thick, but seldom presents passage except for the BIG hill at MP460.  During the summer months, the pumice can be very soft so you probably need to stay on hard packed roads and surfaces.  Train speeds are generally 40MPH or less between Chiloquin and Calimus as trains climb the 0.8% grade.  From Kirk to Chemult, access is fairly good, especially during the summer months.  Train speeds, however, are usually faster than 50 MPH in this section and views are somewhat hampered due to the flat, forested landscape.


Map of Calimus Hill



The best times to observe are between 4:00am and 10:00am for two reasons.  Almost all of the access to the tracks (without crossing the tracks) is from the east side.  The natural lighting can be used to a photographer's advantage.  In addition, about 1/3 of the days traffic (BNSF H PASBAR1, H VBCBAR9, H BARPAS1, UP  ZLCBR, QPDRV, QWPRV , QEDRV and AMTRAK #14 ) occurs during those hours, especially during the summer months.  During the winter, the morning traffic is usually spread out between 4:00am and 11:00am. Meets at Chiloquin are common during these hours all year round.  Afternoon and evening traffic (BNSF M STOVAW, Baretable, UP MWCPD, MRVPT, QPTRV and the ZSELC), is generally sporadic during all the seasons.  Some summer evenings can provide numerous opportunities on days when there are long MOW openings.  The busiest time of the day is between about 6:00pm and 11:00pm when a fleet of southbound “Q” trains (QPDRVB, MEURV, QCORV, trains combine with AMTRAK against a number of northbound manifests (MRVPD, MRVHK) and the ZLCBR.


Scenery includes numerous cuts and sharp curves.  Backdrops contain the Cascade Mountains and the Williamson River Valley and Canyon.  Groves of Ponderosa Pine and Aspen provide various colors.



Places to Go

         Calimus Hill Photographs by me

  Calimus Hill Photographs by Greg Brown

  Calimus Hill Photographs by Kyle Pohll


  A Budding Photographer (Kyle’s Page)


  I5 Corridor Railroad Discussion Group


 Western Railfan Links


 Email Me