AZ chapter decided to visit Flagstaff on May 20, 2006 for "safe" rail
fanning. Since Amtrak Depot building is purchased by City of Flagstaff (using
"Booze and Bed taxes" according to brass plate on wall) and houses
Visitor's Center, photography was permitted.
fact, we were surprised to see many rail fans that came from distant places
simply to watch trains go by.
is located approximately 250 kms north of Phoenix, AZ and home of
transcontinental RR traffic. The traffic is heavy with 50 – 70 freight trains
a day traveling at 45 miles/h (72
kms/h), most of them intermodal.
restriction is because of two RR Crossings after sharp curves reducing sight of
vision for RR crew.
consist at head contains 4-5 locos with 4000 HP each but occasionally, you will
see empty chemical tanker rake with just 2 locos in the consist.
a double track division and both tracks are bi-directional. Platform for Amtrak
trains is situated between two RR crossings.
has an office of Divisional Engineer located few feet east of Amtrak Depot and
has restored Southwest 2-8-0 on display. City bought this loco when lumber mill
we reached (almost) Amtrak Depot, we were greeted by eastbound freight train and
were held up at RR crossing.
two westbound trains passed in quick succession in 15 minutes. After almost 30
minutes of lull, eastbound train announced her arrival with blasts of horns from
the other side of hill giving us plenty of time to be prepared for photo
after we returned from lunch, two trains traveling in opposite directions at the
same time greeted us. This scenario repeated 7 minutes later, too.
lull of 30 minutes, westbound train showed up. To our surprise, it was on
"wrong" track. No, the tracks are bi-directional.
minutes later, two westbound trains appeared within couple of minutes, each
occupying separate track.
we headed home, we saw new alignment by BNSF being prepared to permit road
over-bridge to be built couple of miles east of Amtrak Depot.
As I-40 passes over RR tracks, we could see BNSF yard with few locos and freight trains.