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List of website updates. You can see the changes made to the site by date so you can view just what's new since you visited last.
December 26, 2004
The last update for 2004 contains photos of some interesting freight cars seen this year. Have a great rest of the year and a Happy 2005 to you!
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December 19, 2004
On December 10, my wife and I had our first child...a son Cade Mitchell Wilkerson.
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December 12, 2004
This week's update contains photos of surviving SP locomotives and freight cars.
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December 5, 2004
I spent a couple hours today at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. The occasion was a presentation of Richard Steinheimer's work as a kick off to a book release of his photos. He was on hand for signing and he drew quite a crowd. I hadn't been to the museum since they setup the new model train display. Other interesting items on display were WP F7 #913 and Sac Northern 402 both in silver and orange. Thanks to Stein and all those at CSRM for a great day.
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November 28, 2004
This week's update contains photos of fallen flags from pre-SP Union Pacific mergers. This includes Western Pacific, Missouri Pacific, MKT, Chicago Northwestern and some Rock Island thrown in there.
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November 21, 2004
This week's update covers some of Northern California's shortline railroads. Working our way from the south in Woodland, we have the California Northern which runs GP15s and a leased EMD SD40 wearing NWPY reporting marks. Also in Woodland is the former Yolo Short Line now owned by the Sierra Northern Railway. Former Santa Fe 2089 (and ex-BNSF 1311) now wears #134 but still retains the Santa Fe yellow and blue. Finally, we travel to Weed, CA which is the southmost trackage of the Central Oregon and Pacific. Clean red and grey GP38s are the standard for CORP and Mount Shasta provides a great backdrop for the idling units.
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November 14, 2004
On the eve of the Day in North America contest for CTC Board magazine, I shot some night shots at the old Dunsmuir depot. Here are a few of my favorites
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November 7, 2004
I went up to Black Butte near Weed, CA and found this interesting hybrid sitting in the siding. It comes complete with sanders (see detail shot). So what kind of qualifications are needed to drive this thing? Also, I've added some photos of a UP scale test car, John Deere equipment ready to be off-loaded, a tank car converted to a communications building, and some early morning UP action.
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October 31, 2004
This week's update contains even more former Southern Pacific woodchip cars. I've added a special gallery so you can view these unique cars. The close up shot of the reporting marks on SP 355140 shows the repaint over some graffiti and a note from the painter. I wonder if his message will be heard?
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October 24, 2004
After going through some photos from the past few months, I realized that I've shot quite a few leased locomotives. This update has shots of former SP, Trona, TexMex, and fully rebuilt units now owned by GE(GECX), Helm(HLCX), CIT Group(CEFX), and Larry's Truck and Electric(LTEX). It's nice to see this kind of variety in an ocean of UP yellow and grey.
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October 17, 2004
Getting back to my roots, and the reason for the name of this website, I headed up to the Mount Shasta area for some railfanning. I met up with "Photo" Bob Morris and his wife and we headed out for the morning. Beacause of the extended Labor Day weekend, there were many other rainfans in the area. Here are a few of my favorite shots including McCloud steam, spanking new UP 3829, 60 year old SP tank car, and more.
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October 10, 2004
All Woodchip cars, all the time! Just kidding...thought I'd throw together another update with more Southern Pacific woodchip cars (and one Northern Pacific). There's also a couple of the repainted units wearing the UP sheild while maintaining their SP reporting marks.
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October 3, 2004
This week's update contains photos of passenger locomotives in Northern California. The best catch (although in less-than-perfect lighting) was a new CalTrain MP36PH-3C being transported in a UP lumber train. This unit (#928) was seen at Cantara Loop on 8/12/2003. There are also quite a few shots of CalTrain F40PH units around the Roseville area on their way to the UP shops for their scheduled maintenance. Finally there is a shot of Amtrak's California Zephyr as it pulls out of Roseville. Enjoy the photos.
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September 26, 2004
Golden West Service (Part I) - I've always liked the Golden West Service freight cars that started rolling Southern Pacific rails in the late 1980s. These rebuilt cars are now being relettered for SP, SSW, and UPFE so I thought I'd start taking photos of these before they are all relettered. Check out this week's update for over two dozen photos of these cars. Enjoy...
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September 19, 2004
Took a trip to Dunsmuir and hit a few of my favorite spots. Enjoy the photos...
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September 12, 2004
This week's update is from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. These shots were taken last fall and cover the BNSF at their yard in the downtown area. Enjoy the photos.
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September 5, 2004
Since Truckee Railroad Days are next weekend, I'm posting my photos from last year's event. UP brought a pair of E units (#951 and #963B) for display along with a new SD70M fresh from the factory. Lots of people took turns on the horn and bell. There were also plenty of old cabooses and passenger cars from the Portola RR Museum and other sources. This year's event will feature Union Pacific's DD40X Centennial #6936. Hope to see you in Truckee!
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August 29, 2004
This week's photos are from a trip I took up to Donner with a fellow railfan, Bill, who I met on TrainOrders.com. We spent the day near the Lower Cascade bridge at MP186 and got some shots of the signal bridge among other things. Enjoy this week's update.
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August 22, 2004
More fun at the Portola Railroad Days! While visiting the museum, you can check out all the great locomotives and cars stored on the property. These shots are a few of my favorite residents of the museum. Enjoy the photos and I hope to see you there next weekend!
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August 15, 2004
Portola Railroad Days are only two weeks away and I wanted to share the photos I took at last year's event. There is a ton of great equipment in all stages of restoration including quite a few running locomotives. They ran an all-caboose train around most of the day (unlimited rides!) led by a pair of beautiful silver and orange early EMDs (2001 & 707). I encourage everyone to take the trip to this safe haven for some real classics. Enjoy this week's photos of Western Pacific 805A and 708 along with my favorite Southern Pacific kodachrome 2873...
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August 8, 2004
This week's update covers photos of various locomotives seen in Roseville this year. Of note is the return of a former Southern Pacific SD40R #7314 (now GECX) being leased back to UP. Also included is UP 5696, one of 5 new new low emissions demonstrator nicknamed the GEVO series. It runs a 12 cylinder diesel prime mover instead of the traditional 16 while still cranking out a similar 4400 horsepower. Finally there's UP 1346, a former Rio Grande unit that has received some new shoes and a plow...that don't match. Despite all the Union Pacific gray and yellow on this old unit, I'm just glad it's still around. Enjoy this week's update...
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August 1, 2004
Dakota and Iowa pseudo-Rio Grande units were assigned to the Dell Rapids to Sioux Falls, SD rock train and I caught these former Southern Pacific SD39s on their trip south. A few days prior, I found this pair resting outside the engine facility at Dell Rapids.
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July 25, 2004
Golden West Service (Part II) - I've posted some photos of Golden West Service cars carrying various reporting marks including the original GVSR and the recent change to SP and SSW.
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July 18, 2004
Virginia and Truckee
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July 11, 2004
The congestion in Roseville made for a lot of trains sitting on the mainline waiting to get into the yard. I took a few morning trips on the west of the yard and shot a lot of trains just sitting there in the sun.
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July 4, 2004
California Northern
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June 27, 2004
Some Roseville action from this Spring including a nice unpatched Southern Pacific GP40-2 #7674, McCloud Railway lumber cars, and the Reno Fun Train (night shot). Enjoy this week's photos!
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June 20, 2004
I've been going through more of my slides and found more shots of Central Oregon and Pacific locomotives taken in Weed, CA.
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June 13, 2004
The night photo contest on TrainOrders.com got me digging through some slides so I decided to post a few for this week's update.
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June 6, 2004
On July 31, 2003, a Union Pacific freight straight-lined a string of empties at Small. I made it to the scene a few days later and was able to shoot some of the final stages of cleanup. The McCloud Railway hospital cars (converted ex-CN open-air autoracks) were there to provide transportation to the ailing hoppers and tanks.
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May 30, 2004
This week's update contains photos of shortline railroads that operate in Northern California. This includes the McCloud Railway, California Northern, and the Central Oregon and Pacific (CORP). The CORP is represented by one of the leased HLCX units along with their usual red and gray GP38 rebuilds. Enjoy the photos!
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May 23, 2004
This week's update concentrates on the Central Oregon and Pacific railroad.
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May 16, 2004
This week's update contains photos of former Burlington Northern GP40s leased temporarilty by the Central Oregon and Pacific.
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May 9, 2004
This week's update includes a group of Central Oregon and Pacific shots taken during the fall of 1999 in Weed, CA. Most of these units have now had their CORP logos removed and have been reassigned to other shortlines owned by the CORP's parent company, RailAmerica.
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May 2, 2004
This week's update continues with more photos from Tehachapi. A couple shots are views just minutes before sunset looking East and West down the line at the city of Tehachapi. Also included are photos taken when I walked around the loop at Walong. Enjoy the photos.
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April 28, 2004
Finishing up the photos from Council Bluffs, Sioux Falls and parts between.
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April 25, 2004
This week's update concentrates on a BNSF AutoMax train at Tehachapi Loop. These massive cars are built in pairs and share a wheelset at their articulated joint. This particular train had dozens of these cars and stretched over a mile long. The Tehachapi Loop is just under 4000 feet and this train has enough length to double over its self and more. Also included are the previous day's afternoon shots of a BNSF train exiting the portal below the loop.
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April 21, 2004
California Zephyr returns to Emeryville from its weekend excursion to Sparks, Nevada. I caught up with WP 806 at Yuba Gap and chased it from there to Blue Canyon, Alta, Gold Run, Secret Town, Colfax, Applegate and finally Rocklin. Enjoy the photos!
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April 18, 2004
The California Zephyr returns! A special excursion put together by Rail Tours Unlimited combined 5 historic Cal Zephyr passenger cars with a freshly painted Western Pacific FP9 # 806A. I rode this train from Sparks, NV to Colfax, CA and back on Saturday and these are some of the best shots from the trip. We saw all types of weather from fog to snow to sun. Enjoy the photos!
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April 11, 2004
This week's update contains the last set of photos from my trip to South Dakota during March. I drove northeast of Sioux Falls into Minnesota and found a former Conrail SW1200 hiding between the grain elevators at Jasper, MN. A former Santa Fe GP9 was also parked the the SW1200. A few miles down the road back in South Dakota, I stopped by Midwest Railcar Repair where there were dozens of freight cars in various stages of repair (see the new BNSF reefer box). And finally, I traced the Ellis and Eastern line east out of Sioux Falls and found an old signal mast on the old trackage. Enjoy the photos!
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April 4, 2004
This weeks update is all Dakota and Iowa. I visited Dells Rapids, South Dakota and found plenty of chop-nosed geeps at the quarry.
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March 28, 2004
Business took me to the midwest last week and my boss was nice enough to let me take the weekend to do some railfanning. I covered the areas between Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Sioux City, Iowa. Enjoy the photos...
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March 21, 2004
I had an unexpected weekday off so I decided to take advantage of the sun and chase trains. I decided to start in Roseville to check out the reported congestion. There were three trains parked on the west end and two more on the east side. After getting a few shots, I headed up towards Donner. I stopped in Colfax and worked my way up to Blue Canyon. It was a successful day as I caught both California Zephyrs (#5 and #6), the Reno Fun Train, a CalTrain MP36 being towed back to MK for service, and a rare GEVO unit (1 of only 5) leading a westbound at Blue Canyon, Secret Town Flat, and Applegate, CA. Enjoy the photos...
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March 14, 2004
This week's update is from a trip I made through the Feather River Canyon in February. Shots include the double bridges at Pulga, the Honeymoon tunnels and Portola. Enjoy the photos.
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March 7, 2004
This week's update contains photos from a short Saturday trip I took between Roseville and Gold Run, CA. I chased Amtrak with the California Zephyr private car Silver Solarium from the tunnels at Applegate to Gold Run. Also included are a pair of westbound BNSF trains at Rocklin and Penryn, CA.
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February 29, 2004
Happy Leap Year everyone! This week's update has photos taken exclusively on the Tehachapi Loop. There's a few shots of freight cars, a visiting blue Norfolk Southern (ex-Conrail) Dash 8, along with BNSF and UP trains traversing the loop.
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February 22, 2004
This week's update is Part 4 of the trip I made to Tehachapi during the summer of 2003. Some photos include a helper set of former Southern Pacific SD40M-2 in various stages of conversion to UP numbering and paint. Also a couple shots of the plaques that are located at the top and bottom of the loop. Enjoy these and the rest of the photos in this week's update.
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February 15, 2004
Part 3 of my Tehachapi trip in the summer of 2003. Shots taken at Walong, Tunnel #2 (Allard), and Bena. Enjoy the photos...
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February 8, 2004
This week's update is Part 2 of the trip I made to Tehachapi during the summer of 2003. It was a 5 day trip so there are lots of shots. The highlight was a military train that came through Bealville along with a new Canadian National unit performing helper duties. Take a look and check back next Sunday to see part 3.
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February 4, 2004
I got a chance to get out and head north out of Roseville on highway 65 this afternoon. After seeing nothing for over an hour, I found a southbound BNSF coil train sitting at the Mounkes siding (between the cities of Marysville and Sheridan). It was waiting for a very short train with three UP units along with a dozen DRGW coal hoppers. After the UP train crawled by, BNSF 4511 along with a Norfolk Southern GE Dash 9 pulled up to the red signal. The crew stopped and chatted with me for a couple minutes until they received a green aspect to continue south. Enjoy this rare mid-week update.
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February 1, 2004
This week's update is the first in a series of photos taken in Tehachapi taken in June 2003. I made the hike from Caliente to Bealville on the first morning I was in the area. It is a long hike but it's the only way to see that territory. I encountered multiple trains on the way including a military train which will be included in next week's update. For the rest of this update, there are a couple other shots from Woodford where a train had stalled and required that a northbound train coming down off the loop had to tie down the train and use its power to get things going again.
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January 25, 2004
This week's update has photos from a trip I made to Dunsmuir, CA along with a couple from the nearby town of McCloud. I spent some time in the lower Dunsmuir yard where I found a string of 6 General Electic locomotives lashed up on a northbound train wainting to depart. From McCloud, I caught the McCloud Sunset Dinner train as it departed on a three hour excursion. Enjoy...
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January 18, 2004
This week's update has a little variety. There are a few from Cantara Loop (just above Dunsmuir, CA on the Sacramento River), Mount Shasta, and Roseville. My favorite location at Cantara gives a good perspective onto the train below so there are a couple detail shots of 65' mill gondolas. Enjoy the photos...
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January 11, 2004
Part 2 of the Wind Turbine train in the Port of Sacramento. See part 1 for more explanation.
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January 4, 2004
This week's update is Part 1 of my Wind Turbine train photos from June 2003. For those of you who haven't heard of this train, this was a special movement of wind turbines from Denmark by ship to the port of Houston, Texas. In Houston, the containers were loaded on specially equipped flat cars and moved to the Port of Sacramento. Union Pacific handed off the trains to the Yolo Short Line for placement in the yard at the port. From there the 120+ foot long containers were moved by truck to Rio Vista, CA where they were reassembled and are generating electricity for 45,000 homes. From more photos and information, go to: http://southern.railfan.net/flat/cars/loads/wind/wind.html.
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January 1, 2004
Here's a few night shots to start off the new year.
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