Columbia River Gorge
|There is a tendency to ignore the great places close to home in pursuit of the exotic or famous. The Columbia River Gorge has lots of scenery shots and lots of trains (usually). On the Washington side, you can get up close and personal with the BNSF (the old SP&S) most places. On the Oregon side, Interstate 84 is great transportation and a real pain in terms of railroad access and scenic disruption. The collection below features some new pictures and some that have been on the page almost since its inception. Hopefully, they provide a sense of one of the great places for seeing trains in dramatic terrain.|
Wishram was once a substantial yard and crew change point between Vancouver and Pasco. Today, it is much diminished but still a great place to watch trains. BNSF runs plenty of east-west trains. Recently, the growing traffic on the old Oregon Trunk to Bend, Klamath Falls, the Feather River Canyon and central California has added to the action. Wishram is the point where this BNSF California bound traffic crosses the Columbia. On the south side of the river, the UP can be seen running all their Pacific Northwest traffic.
Wishram in 1972 showing the yard and a train with Western Pacific run through power crossing the Celilo Bridge.
Three in the Gorge! A couple of months ago, I set out for the Gorge to avoid a house guest. Not many trains, but the two on the left were worth shooting. As with the shot of UP 4306, UP 9384 is at Arlington, Oregon These pictures were taken over a 27 years span. All show trains climbing up out of the Columbia River Gorge headed for Bend and points south or trains on the Union Pacific line just below the Oregon Trunk line..
|A little west and down the river, The area around The Dalles, Oregon provides a setting for pictures taken over a span of about 26 years.|
BNSF 965 moving from East to West. Note the changes in vegetation along with the "picture" of the pumpkin like vegetation above the cab windows in the top picture.
|Roosevelt Washington is the destination of the garbage trains the BNSF runs from the West side of Washington state. The top picture is just east of Roosevelt and the other is the trash train returning empty near White Salmon, WA|
|The shots below are from the first roll of film I took with a new Nikon N50. I was shooting some Kodachrome 200 that I had around. The location is The Dalles, Oregon and the OT junction just east of The Dalles. The film is grainier that I like, but you can't argue with pictures. I have tried to re-take these several times without success. I'll keep trying.|
|The John Day River flows into the Columbia east of Biggs Junction, Oregon and just east of the John Day Dam. Early morning yields a fleet of eastbound UP and BNSF traffic in good light. Although dry when these pictures were taken in late August, the gorge can look like Ireland when the rains come and the hills get green.|
|A bit about BNSF 725 (shown below). I'm sure that photographing the same locomotive several times is not uncommon. This one, however, seems to be following me. The picture on the left is at Chemult, Oregon in April 1998. 725 is leading a Pasco bound train off the SP and on to BNSF and up to Bend, Wishram and Pasco. On the right, two days later, 725 has taken a train back to Portland and is again heading for Pasco and points east. The center photo shows 725 at Darling, Arizona in September 1997, not long after it was delivered.|