burlington northern santa fe railway


Difference By A Nose by Lance
Via Flickr:

With the BN-ATSF merger in 1995, a number of four-axle Santa Fe locos came over to the BN side to work locals. In March of 1996 the ATSF 2703 showed up to work out of Rochelle, Illinois on March 16, 1996 gleaming in fresh yellow and blue paint. It had just been repainted by Mid American Car in Kansas City earlier that month. Built as the ATSF 1203 in April of 1962, it still retrained much of it’s “as built” look. But back there on the left is the BN 2762–also built as a GP30 in August of 1962. That loco was constructed for the Southern Railway as their 2532 and it had the Hi-nose option. But when it went through the rebuilding program it had its nose configured to a more standard appearance. It still has the humped dynamic brake blister, but not quite as classy as the rounded cab roof as sported by the ATSF 2703.

Photo by Lance Wales

This is the Tehachapi Loop at Tehachapi, California.

Amtrak’s Coast Starlight occasionally does a re-route through here if there is track work being done on their normal route.

Typically though this route is freight only. Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway both run their freight trains through this route. The Santa Fe originally owned the trackage, and when BN and SF merged in 1995, that ownership, naturally, continued. Union Pacific has trackage rights through Tehachapi Pass.

The loop is used to help gain elevation in order to climb the steep gradients and hills more easily. Without the smaller loop seen here, it would be much more difficult to try and traverse this pass with a long freight train.