Old 10-20-2010, 03:57 PM   #1
ShortlinesUSA
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Default Eastside Freight Railroad

This relatively new operation in suburban Seattle is a relatively obscure shortline, operating on BNSF's former Renton branch. It is operated by the Ballard Terminal Railroad, and is formally known as the GNP Railway, but is doing business as Eastside Freight Railroad. Power is a single SW1200, which is kept at Woodinville, WA in a "ghetto cage" when not in service. Operations are typically Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the crew goes on duty in Woodinville around 9am from the best I can gather.

While the tracks are still in place to Renton, they are out of service south of Woodinville. Interchange is with BNSF at Snohomish. They shove to the interchange at Snohomish, and run around the train at Maltby to do this. Same holds true coming back, they run around at Maltby and shove to Woodinville. They have a nice wide vision caboose outfitted with lights and a horn due to the length of this move.

Overall, I found this operation to be a bit tricky on a number of counts. First, operations can be sporadic, as there are just a few shippers and a run on a scheduled day may not happen. Second, this line is in heavy suburbia south of Maltby, and traffic around Woodinville is bad in the afternoons. North of Maltby, it is difficult to follow the line directly, so it is possible they can "get by you in the trees" if you are attempting to track down the train, as I was. I was very fortunate to stop in the right place at the right time to consult the Delorme on what to do next, and another fan chasing them showed up.

Radio freq is AAR 85, which is 161.385. Hope this helps anyone who might be interested in a visit.
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