BN 2341 - The Reunion

Brian Ambrose

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BN 2341 - The Reunion

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      I had heard that the BNSF 2341 was working the Seattle area so I made a goal to photograph it. To some it may be just an ex-SLSF GP38-2 but to me it has a much more special meaning.

      20 years ago in Sep 1987 I was photographing trains on BN's Montana's ex-NP line around Paradise, MT. In months this would be an MRL operation. I had met the crew of the Paradise Local some months back and they arranged a cab ride for me on 9-16-87 to ride their Paradise Local from Paradise to Thompson Falls and return.

      The power the day I rode was BN GP38-2's 2341/2344 and it was a great ride, though somewhat somber trip for the crew. They knew changes were in store and they may not be working here much longer. This is the BN 2341 at Paradise the morning of my ride.

BN #2341 at Paradise, MT on 16 September 1987.
Click on photo to see full size

      By the time of my next trip to Montana it was MRL and my friends on the Paradise Local were gone, opting not to work for the new company. The 2341/2344 were gone too having been displaced by old BN GP9's (not a bad thing looking back on it now) and I never saw or photographed the BN 2341 or 2344 again.

      I recently heard that the BNSF 2341 was working the Rabanko garbage facility in Seattle so I had to check it out. Sure enough, on 5-16-07 I found my 2341 again, a little less than 20 years after last photographing it.

BNSF #2341 at Seattle, WA on 16 May 2007.
Click on photo to see full size

      The old girl looked just fine. A few noticeable changes but still pretty much the same unit I photographed in Paradise. It was also good to know that it kept the same number with the BNSF it had on the BN. And to think that after nearly 20 years the 2341 managed to end up in Washington state closer to where I live.

      After a bit of research I learned that the 2344 is not that far away either. It was last reported working at Pasco, WA. Guess I'd better plan a trip over that way before too long for another reunion.

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