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Tehachapi Pass November 2002. Part 2 - The chase is on

The story so far... Your intrepid scribe has been stuck at Caliente at the base of the Tehachapi pass for a good 30 minutes waiting for trains coming down the hill so that he can chase this train up the hill. We now rejoin the adventure with a lull in the downhill trains...
With the downhill trains seemingly at an end my locos roared into life and started away.

Off we go
The Sun stayed out long enough to brighten the train rounding the curve before it started up the grade
rounding the curve in the sunshine
Then we were off. I jumped into the car and sped off up the hill to Bealville. The joy about Tehachapi is that by road Bealville is barely half a mile away the train however, has to travel a couple of more miles than the car to make it up the hill there. As it came into sight I could see it was doing a really good speed and I realised that my plans to catch it at several other places would have to be abandoned and I'd have to head straight for the loop after getting my shots here.
making good speed
I have added the following picture to illustrate the world wide appeal of Tehachapi. The gentlemen in the picture are from Australia. There you have an Englishman and 2 Aussies on Tehachapi who whilst waiting for the train, were talking about Cricket. A bizzare situation when you think about it.
Aussies trainspotting
With that my Antipodean gricers* headed off . But before I left here there was one more picture I knew I had to get. Studying the route of the line in preparation really helps you out and I knew that in a moment the train would appear halfway up the hill out of an unseen tunnel. It duly obliged.
up the hill
With that it was off into the car and chasing up to the loop. I really wanted to get inside the loop at Walong but not knowing how much time I had to get there I decided to settle for an overall viewpoint above the loop. I got there in good time and waited. The train can be heard a long time before it appears out of a cutting getting ready to disappear behind the hill in the middle of the loop.
climbing up the loop
The train disappeared behind the hill and reappeared steadily making its way up the hill.
steady climb up the loopd
Then the locomotives make their way a little further and the view you've been waiting for appears the train stretches all the way around the loop.
at the top of the loop
With that the locomotives disappear behind the trees and you're left with a seemingly endless procession of trailer cars. It was indeed an awesome sight to watch and I hope to go back to Tehachapi one day again and try it again. Perhaps I'll get inside the loop this time.
It's amazing to think that it was back in 2002 when I did this. It was a fantastic experience that I can recall in great detail even now.
So, if you are interested in Trainspotting Tehachapi, and who wouldn't be? I'd like to give you a few pointers.
1. Try to spend the whole day there. You'll be less rushed than I was. Perhaps you could spend the morning in the centre of the loop and the afternoon chasing a train up the hill for example.
2. Be aware of the mid-day break in operations. It pretty much happens every day between noon and 3pm. You can use it to go for lunch.
3. Check other photographers shots and study a map of the route and work out where those shots were taken. That way you can make a plan of action.
4. Above all enjoy yourself!
Now due to popular demand there's an extra page of Tehachapi pictures, click here... >>>
Gricer* - thats another term for trainspotter