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
With the downhill trains seemingly at an end my locos roared into life and started away.
|The Sun stayed out
long enough to brighten the train rounding the curve before it started
|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.
|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.
|With that my
Antipodean gricers* headed off . But before I left here there was one
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.
|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.
|The train disappeared behind the
hill and reappeared steadily making its way up the hill.
|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.
|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|