A Day Trip to Dunsmuir

 On Sunday of Labor Day weekend '01, we decided to take a day trip to Dunsmuir, California with hopes of spotting a few trains, getting some pictures, and eating some good food. It was late, around 3:30 when we arrived. There were 4 helpers lashed up waiting their duty, when the first train arrived.  Luckily it stopped for a crew change and my son Chris was as excited as I was to get up close to the waiting Locos. If you ever have a chance to visit Dunsmuir, DO IT! During October, there is a "Fall Colors Mini Railfest" where railfans can freely roam the facility, have a turntable ride and get some great shots.


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We began the day stopping at Tunnel 13, on the Siskiyou Line, at the one time stop of Siskiyou.
This pan shot shows the small area that once was a change point and stop over for passenger trains. Complete with hotels, shops, a brothel, saloon, train shops, turntable and the like.
We arrive in Dunsmuir and immediately go down to the Yard to see what's up. A set of helpers with four locos is waiting their next assignment. The turntable is visible to the right of the lead helper unit.
This was one of the helpers, a Dash 8-40C. The other three were SD40-2
This old faded SD40-2, along with the Dash 8-40C are new to me, as there were only two helpers last visit to Dunsmuir and many times viewing the "Rail Cam" on Trainorders.com.
Just seconds after arriving, and getting the first helper shot, Chris yells out "Hey Dad, a Train!" Sure enough, and it was just creeping up slowly to the station, I knew we were in for a treat, a Crew change! Where else but in Dunsmuir, can you walk up and shake hands with the crew and walk up and down the train to get a close up view? You gotta get here!
Chris was grinning from ear to ear, as was his Dad! A Dash-9 was in the lead and a "winged" SD-70 was second in the consist.
My first "Wings" sighting. This one is already showing signs of time with grime and dirt.
The crew change- train waiting to depart with the helpers in the background.
After our train left, we quickly went on to Castella to my favorite spot looking up at Castle Crags. (stupid digital camera delay, almost missed the shot) There are many vistas in this area as can be seen on Bob Morris Photography website.
After chasing the train to Castella, we returned to Dunsmuir and had a bite to eat. We ate at the Burger Barn. Best home style burger and fries and milk shake I've had in 20 years. After lunch we descended down (literally) to the yards and waited for another train. While waiting I shot some MOW pictures.
Pan shot of the snow removal equipment, still painted in Southern Pacific MOW Orange.
Evidence of a bygone era, this Southern Pacific safety pledge still hangs above the Amtrak Depot.
More evidence of this towns rich history, ironically a UP Loco sits waiting in front of the old tank with SP heritage.
After a short while another train heading north chugs into the yard. We all jumped in the Jeep and drive to Black Butte and waited for it there.
After a short wait, our train gets to Black Butte. This is where the old Siskiyou Line junctions with the newer Main line. An old water tower is still present and working. Missing is the old water cannon, destroyed by an Amtrak derailment. A newer water spigot is in it's place, a great spot for Steam trains to stop during excursions.
On our way home from the days events, we stop by Grenada to see an old triple dome tank car. I was surprised to discover it was sitting static on it's own tracks in front of the old depot (red building to right) which now appears to be a residence(?)


Related Material:

Bob Morris Photography


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