Old 12-04-2006, 10:03 PM   #1
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Default A ruined day

Thanksgiving Break gave me 8 days to come back home, visit friends, family, and trains. Pardon the long report w/ few pics, it was an odd days as you'll read.

Monday was the day I had allocated to hit up Stevens Pass for the day and railfan my brains out for the 3 months I hadnt seen a train. As I packed up all my stuff, I did not know what was happening just a few miles away from my house.

I gased up and took to the highway. In Monroe, I noticed that, oddly, the Boeing local was stopped for no real reason. My dad called me at that moment to tell me that the Sounders had been cancelled because of a derailment. He didnt know how serious it was and no news reports said how serious it was (at the time, it was still early). I thought nothing of it, and continued up the hill.

Arriving in Goldbar, I noticed an abandon train. Still running, on the siding. Snapped a couple of shots and contiuned up. Baring had the same results. Odd, I thought, as I contiuned east.

I arrived at the Cascade Tunnel, when I hear over NPR that there was a derailment blocking both main lines in Everett and the line wasnt going to open for another 14 hours. After yelling some profane language, I turned around and went back west to the derailment.

In Everett, Im driving towards the site, thinking to myself "wouldnt it be interesting if I went down there and Ross Fotheringham was there too." Thinking hte odds were low, I turned my mind back to trains and the radio.

I go out to a park that has access to the site, but it was high tide, so I was forced to stay on the ped bridge over the tracks. 3 people were there, a man with a camera, and a woman w/ her daughter.

I whip out my camera to take some pics, when the woman asked me if I went to Washington State U (I was wearing a WSU shirt), I replied yes. The man with the camera asked me the same question, then said "Are you Mike Bjork." I reply "Yes, who are you?" The man, to my amusement says "Im Ross Fotheringham." And we converse for a while, the depart. Heres his shot of the scene, as I didnt get a good one.
Image © Ross Fotheringham
PhotoID: 165964
Photograph © Ross Fotheringham

We depart, he goes back to work, and I get closer to the scene. Going down a service road, I get within 200' of the derailment and shoot off many shots. Heres some good ones.
Image © Mike Bjork
PhotoID: 166780
Photograph © Mike Bjork

Image © Mike Bjork
PhotoID: 166781
Photograph © Mike Bjork

Time passed, I watched them clean up, talked ot many people, then moved to the other side of the derailment via a train along the port.
Image © Mike Bjork
PhotoID: 166779
Photograph © Mike Bjork

It begins to rain like crazy, when I remember that they would be holding trains at Everett Station. I drive overe there just as it gets dark and get some great night shots at the station. However, I was tripodding it, but forgot to turn the ISO from 400 to 100, so all my shots came out very grainy. But one was good enough to put on RP.net
Image © Mike Bjork
PhotoID: 166782
Photograph © Mike Bjork

Then I headed home. I know some of you guys would like to see derailments, and this was my first major derailment. But dangit, I want mainline action, not mainline action in the water. Oh well, back in Pullman, and Christmas Break is coming up, maybe my luck will change then...
~Mike Bjork

UP's new slogan for Amtrak:
"We'll help you spread you wings and fly right into a siding!"

TRAINS TRAINS TRAINS!!! May the fun never end!
I'm a traitor! Im on JP.net! But all my plane shots involve trains!

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Old 12-05-2006, 12:24 AM   #2
Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
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Awesome report Mike. Sorry it don't go the way you wanted, but you come to expect that outta this hobby. Just think winter break is almost here. LOL Happy shootin'!
-Andrew Blaszczyk a.k.a. AB(2)
Proud fan of the Sabres, Islanders, Rockies, and Lions.

"My camera is an artistic medium, not a tool of terrorism."

www.ab2photography.com Coming soon!
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:38 AM   #3
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Andrew - sounds like the trip we made to Sandpatch.... one derailment, to mainlines - in October. (The bridge derailment "derailed" onto the tracks below).

How about this one, speaking of Washington railfanning vacations -
SP&S #700 perhaps 10 minutes into the excursion, though I would imagine the owners were a bit more stressed out.... the excursion continued with diesel power and our fare became our donation (which was just fine) as we hitched a ride back to Portland to railfan the Columbia River Gorge.
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:53 AM   #4
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Well that's just railfanning for you....at least you got some shots, even if they were not what you planned for.

Something similar happened to us back in 1996. We had driven over to photograph the Thursday only freight on the Southminster branch in Essex, got the train going outwards and found a good location for the return. As it is a single line, the train runs at a specific time as it has to fit in with the passenger service. Anyway, we waited and waited and nothing turned up - not even one of the passenger trains, by which time we realised that something was going on. It turned out that the passenger train that had "gone missing" had collided with a car on a level crossing, meaning that the line was out of action for the rest of the day. The freight train had been parked up in the siding at the terminus and the crew returned to their depot by taxi. At least there is a railway museum nearby so we spent a pleasant afternoon there instead.
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Old 12-09-2006, 03:04 PM   #5
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Default You missed the Alien, too..it was a r-e-a-l- bad day!

you also missed the SJC Alien...I was up visiting my father in Everett...we were parked at Harborview Park 2 diff times-(rain & no rain), shooting video a day or 2 after, though the friggin' rain never quits. We did see people on the Ped bridge one day with cameras....though I didn't write the date down, but it was either tuesday or wednesday before Turkey day, your pics look like you were there a few days earlier...then we drove to Mukilteo and tried to catch anything different there....

Mukilteo run-by Nov 21st

We have a video were trying to load...of a monster 6-Engine - 2.5 mile long double-stack, waiting at MUK - to ease by the derailment scene-Nov 21st-( lead 7069-7867-7325-7162-6798 & 6900) all lashed to the longest feright I'd ever seen,,,I tried loading this on Google 2 days ago, it's 169MB and for some reason it is lost,,,I'll hafta re upload it. That freight was followed by the Amtrak Cascades at about 830am..I'm sure tuesday...?..even though KOMO-TV said no rail traffic,,they apparently they snuck 2 trains through.........

Too bad on your Stevens pass runn.....I had thought of going up there too, but when I heard the derailment at Everett, I figured that area would be dead! I guessed right...?

You'll get more chances....keep workin' it..

SJC Alien
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