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Prakash Tendulkar August 12, 2006


I had to work over the weekend making it kind of gloomy. However two bright spots came in for my rescue. 

IRFCA member Shikhar Parjan from Portland, OR, visited me on Friday, August 11 and I had few hours window on Saturday, August 12 for rail fanning. I called Saquib, another IRFCA member from Phoenix, AZ area and he agreed to join me.

Shikhar and I visited Amtrak Depot in Maricopa on Friday afternoon but could not capture action on film. However, on Saturday, Saquib and I were ready with camcorders, tripods and cameras. 

Weather was typical Arizona type in summer, hot and nothing but hot. To add salt, it rained previous nights raising humidity. The end result was 105 F with 50+% humidity.

Amtrak.jpg (33304 bytes)  Fortunately, Amtrak depot is open during daytime (even though only two trains stop at Maricopa, one at 1:30 AM and the other at 10:30 PM), offering air-conditioned waiting room, water fountain and restroom. 

Amtrak1.jpg (58987 bytes)  It also offers outside seating area with canopy. No Paan stains anywhere.

Zephyr1.jpg (77745 bytes)  Amtrak Depot in Maricopa houses California Zephyr's Silver Horizon dome car. The interior is inaccessible (as it has not been restored).

Zephyr2.jpg (71446 bytes)

Zephyr3.jpg (62577 bytes)  Although walkway is built, one cannot see interiors.

Remains.jpg (61091 bytes)  Remains of steam era, huge water tank. The freight train in hole is headed for Los Angeles. I feel pity of Engineers because she was on hole for almost two hours meeting four other train heading towards Tucson. With weather being hot and cab is not air-conditioned, it certainly was not the best time to relax.

Train1.jpg (56892 bytes)  Container trains are common, so are the freights with hoppers, chemicals, autos, etc.

Train2.jpg (68475 bytes)  Saquib and his camcorder.

Train3.jpg (58685 bytes)  20,000 Plus horses are pulling her.

Train4.jpg (60083 bytes)  When train is about miles away from RR crossing, alarm goes on, lights start flashing, giving 45 seconds time before she reaches the crossing.

Train4A.jpg (60596 bytes). She is at RR crossing now.

Train4B.jpg (90894 bytes)  End is nowhere in the view yet.

Train4C.jpg (81850 bytes)  Front end is little over a quarter mile away. Trains longer than a mile running at 60 Miles/hour is norm here. Frequency is lesser than Flagstaff that has double tracks but load is bigger.

Train_Wind.jpg (39253 bytes)  The blast from train kept my lens cap bouncing on and off. Both Saquib and me were standing outside the fence behind platform.

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