This past Saturday (4-14) Robert Gatchel and I headed over to Eastern Washington to scout out locations to photograph SP&S 700 on its upcoming
trip to Spokane. We arrived at Cunningham about 0930 and first went east to Beatrice as it was on a very stiff grade. Soon we found a major
problem, double track. Off to the west we heard a horn. An eastbound was approaching. So we set up for it and as we watched it coming off in the
distance heard another horn behind us. Wonderful. True enough, the w/b showed up first, BN 8041/3159/IC 6006/BNSF 6374 on a M-SUPPAS
and it blocked the eastbound X-PASDIL which had the
BN 7240/BNSF 7303. The meet occured at 0955.
We tried to beat the empty grainer to Lind but intercepted another westbound near the Providence Hill summit so we headed back to Beatrice to
shoot it at the grade crossing. Nice S-curve there. We arrived minutes before it and was surprised to see a KCS unit leading! Figured it was the
H-MEMPAS (KCS 2041/CN 5350/BNSF 7150/EMD 9038) and the CN SD40-2W was a surprise as well. After shooting it at Beatrice it was west to
Hatton for another shot, of which is attached to this E-mail. The bridge is MP 101.5 (miles west of Spokane, WA) It passed here at 1010. Then
west to Connell for one more shot before letting it go.
Now back to the matter at hand. After the meet at Beatrice had messed up our shot of the eastbound, decided singe track was a safer bet.
Checked out the area west of Hatton and found some nice locations. Eastbound X-PASWEN (grain empty) with BNSF 6809/7154 (2 H1 SD40-2's)
showed up at 1150. Love that symbol. East to Spokane then west to Wenatchee! After that we decided to check an area further west into the
Coulees between Hatton and Connell off the main road. Will continue with this portion tonight. For now, it's off to work!
Between Connell and Hatton is a wicked series of reverse curves and LOTS of NP built concrete bridges. Plus its uphill for eastbounds. An
unmarked public road (pretty well hidden) goes into this area for a short ways crossing under the tracks at MP 105.9 where a side road follows the
tracks west. Anyway, we found some very nice shots in here and decided this is where our first shot of SP&S 700 eastbound on Saturday would be.
Then we could hear a westbound blowing for the crossing at Hatton, 5 miles east. After a bit of a wait, BNSF 4841/1111/8268/LMX 8557 passed
by at 1210 on the Z-CHCPTL. A photo of this train is attached. About 20 min. later an eastbound Z-PTLCHC with BNSF 795/4535/4455/4640 went
Then we headed to Lind to wait for any westbounds that might be coming. We had two and they follow:
1) WB Grain BNSF 4863/4721/1118 Lind @ 1350.
2) WB Grain BNSF 1098/BN 6842/6796/3158/2926 Lind @ 1525.
We followed the BNSF 1098 West up to Providence Hill. It had a long string of about 50 MRL blue grain hoppers and 50 white GXWR cars behind
them. At Providence it met an eastbound H-PASGAL with BNSF 5497/4936/4565/BN 2723 at 1540. After it went by another westbound could be
heard climbing the grade. This looked like the M-SPOPAS and it had:
BNSF 7155/BN 7838/BNSF 6934/BN 2892/BNSF 2179/BN 6917
Funny how the power alternated BN-BNSF like that. It was by at 1556 and we decided it was then time to head back to Seattle. I was pleased with
the number of trains we saw today. Many other trips have seen much fewer. Lets see how things go this coming weekend when we chase SP&S
700. Leaving tomorrow night for Pasco, Saturday night in Cheney and yes, expect yet another trip report next week. Have a great weekend!