Please convince me to become a fan of a current BNSF mainline service locomotive

SteamDonkey74 Dec 16, 2011

  1. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Guys, lets settle down here, no sense in getting defensive over a simple question. It is all about perspective. One from a former employee and one from said railroad one from a modeler of same said railroader. Lets get back to the original intent of the original post and keep it civil.
     
  2. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    Me too. And I am trying my best to pass that affliction on to the next generation.;)
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  3. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

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    Doug, your "I don't care what they want" attitude is not going to curry you any favor with any railroad. My comments are strictly my observation about the industry I was a part of. Whether you or anyones likes it or dislikes it, I couldn't care less! Just be careful while you are out "foaming" and keep a safe distance from the property. The trains don't care if they run over your "I don't care" arse.
    You may have the last word if you choose, this conversation is quickly going nowhere and it's a waste of time for both of us. I'm done!

    Charlie
     
  4. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Well, railroading may not be what it once was. But there's one thing I know for certain. Trains are still seriously cool things. And I'm glad they're still around.
     
  5. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    Meanwhile, back at the ranch.......

    Adam- you don't live too far from Vancouver, WA or from the Columbia RIver. My suggestion to you is go trackside & catch the action- look for stack trains hauled by 3 or 4 of the ubiquitous six-axle GEs..........check out the four-motor diesels on local and switch jobs...........chase down a new SD70MACe................

    Down here in Oklahoma, I see stackers, general freight, Bakken Shale oil cans, and coalies on the ex-Frisco. I can catch a Genset switcher, several SD40-2s, and SW1500s in service in Tulsa's Cherokee Yard. Here in Muskogee, we have four-axle diesels in various paint schemes (even leasers and the so-called "Smurf" diesels purchased from leasers) handling local switching chores and moving coal to the Georgia-Pacific paper mill. For me, I like the looks of the Gensets as well as the SD70MACes in service system-wide.

    To be honest, if you don't like GE locomotives, you'll hate modern railroading- they're all over the place, like cockroaches in an inner-city apartment. But even in the GEs, there is variety, whether it be paint scheme or model type.

    To paraphrase a line from Animal House, "My advice to you is to start railfanning heavily". Get out there & see what's moving- you'll eventually settle on a favorite model. As for me, I'm still fascinated by SD40-2s in all of their variations.
     
  6. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm not sure why it is important to "curry favor" with any railroad? I have a right to railfan and photograph just about anything as long as I don't break any trespassing/traffic/etc laws. I always railfan safely and haven't trespassed since my junior high days. Besides, railroads aren't as "hard arse" as you make them out to be. I've stood right in the middle of several BNSF yards, including an active Intermodal facility, with permission. Many shortlines and regionals will just about let you do as you please with regards to photography if you just ask permission and aren't an A-hole or disprespectful of property.

    Ha, why is it going nowhere...just because someone has an opposing viewpoint? Your "shock and awe" view of railroading and defeatist attitude about model railroading, railfanning, and the railroad industry in general is just "good ole' days syndrome" in my opinion. Lighten up and enjoy the trains you say you love...
     
  7. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am a bit of an amateur historian of railroading in my area. The point of the topic was to get some of the fans of modern railroading to tell me what they are passionate about so that hopefully I can pick up a bit of that, too, so when I am out somewhere near the tracks (but off the property and out of the way, that goes without saying) and some train comes bombing by I can find things to spot just like I would with a passing steamer or early diesel.
     
  8. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    Adam- don't let comments from other folks on this thread dissuade you from heading trackside. I suggest going out there only because in actually seeing it yourself, you may actually find that certain locomotive that you can be fascinated over. Again, for me it was (and still is) the SD40-2. For modern diesels, I'd have to say it's a tie between the ES44AC (GE) and the SD70MACe (EMD). However, in terms of rugged-looking, I would favor the latter.

    On the general merchandise freights, it's easy to be a historian- just look for the cars from fallen-flag roads. Around here I can see MKT, CNW, Rio Grande and yes, even UP coal hoppers in service on the Georgia-Pacific unit coal trains. I can see MP, SSW, CNW and SP covered hoppers, gons & boxes. And yes, all this history pulled by the latest & greatest from the manufacturers' erecting floors.

    On stack trains, one can see containers from American President Lines, Schneider National, J. B. Hunt, and overseas shippers from Asia in seemingly endless varieties.

    There's still a lot out there- have fun, take pictures, and of course, share 'em here! ;)
     
  9. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Adam, out of all the modern railroads, I would have to say that BNSF is my favorite. As much as I love my B&M and CB&Q, they are long gone. I still head to Galesburg every year and I'm surprised at the wide range of equipment I see,

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    I did not like the black and orange swoosh at first, but it has grown on me and looks great on some of the older Geeps. I have always been respectful around RR property and have had some great interaction with BNSF employees. It's modern railroading and frankly a lot different than railroading was in the 1960's, 70's even the 90's. But it does have its own following otherwise we would not have publications like Railfan & Railroad and Trains.

    The best thing you can do is railfan it, that is what I did and as a result, I even model it from time to time.
     
  10. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    And don't forget all the heritage paint schemes still floating around on the system.
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  11. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Where I am located, it's become almost a surprise to be near their tracks and see other than a C44-9W. More often, it's foreign power on a run through, which is of a slightly different model. We used to have more variety, but with almost all local trains and need for such power gone.....
     
  12. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    I guess I'm pretty lucky, it seems... I only get to see BNSF power when the NS is borrowing one, but it's pretty frequent, actually, and always a pleasant surprise. And as for getting to see the older stuff, all the local railroading is handled by RJ Corman... I've seen everything from a GP9 to a Railpower Genset in revenue service, with quite frequent mixing and matching. They keep them spit-shined, too.

    The big modern power does seem to look pretty uniform, but I think the "jackpot" nature of spotting the odd loco - the leased power, the run-through, the older unit or paint scheme, or heritage loco, keeps the interest up.
     
  13. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Great pics guys....love the weathering on that BN LO and is that 8061 being used as a switcher or is it on a mainline train?
     
  14. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    It was set out dead on a siding in Rosenberg. The local hauled it away still dead the next day. Someone had chalked a little message on the side of the air tank. "Choo choo goes the dash two."
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  15. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    Sadly....for me....the appearance of the BNSF units, i.e their paint scheme, just doesn't impress me...again, makes me sad...
    I was blessed (or not), to get 'into' serious railfanning just before the mid 90's mergers became reality....so, when I railfan the BNSF, I still imagine solid blue and yellow and Red and silver...likewise, railfanning the Former SP, I still 'see' unbelievably dirty and fading SP, Cotton Belt, and Rio Grande units...
    Texas, and New Mexico, and Kansas City, in the mid 90's, were incredible railfan 'Meccas' for me....now...if I had only had known more about serious railfanning when I was a kid in New Orleans in the 60's/early 70's....I can remember seeing lot's of SP F's and E units, but have no real memory of the Southern, Illinois Central, KCS, and L&N units that I KNOW were all around me....
    I LOVE that railroading is booming, back in Texas, and down here in Coastal Alabama, but the 'variety' of paint schemes are becoming mighty 'thin'...I see plenty of CSX, NS, and UP power down here...no Amtrak, since Katrina....
    It's just not 'right' travelling through West Texas and the panhandle....and seeing 'orange'...orange...and more ORANGE!
    Bruce
     
  16. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Adam,

    as I think you know, I'm a fan of modern railroading and did a lot of railfanning in the Portland area.

    Here's my take on this:

    First of all, don't get excited about those GP60Ms and Bs. The Bs are all LUBO right now. And they had problems with the one spartan cab converted unit they did. In addition they bought 2 used GP60 spartans that have been in the shop as well. The GP60Ms are all exclusively operating out of Ca now I think mainly SoCal. This is to help meet CARB requirements. The odds of seeing one in the PacificNW are very slim. BNSF has also let the leases go on nearly all their Dash 8 40Bs and BWs and all their other non Dash 9 or better GEs. Variety is not the Spice of BNSF's life at all. Dash9s and ES units are all you are likely to see.

    Having said that, there are still a few highlights, Trains moving around the gorge seem to regularly get SD75M/Is for power in Warbonnet, as well as the occasional Warbonnet Dash 9. Also, They've started moving coal trains via the gorge which means that finally you can see the 70MACs in BN Executive Scheme and the new 70ACes which are a different looking beast (to my eye).

    In addition, Vancouver Wa Yard is easily one of the best railfanning locations I've ever visited. Easy to get to easy and safe to park at. Trains from multiple directions, UP run through.

    And best of all, all the local Yard power is in either Green and Black BN or Yellow and Blue ATSF Cub Scout. Over the last 2 years there's been a Phase 2/3 GP39-2 in very very sharp Cub Scout Paint working the yard along with GP38-2s and Occasionally a GP39M/V/E.

    UP run through will have SD9043s, SD70Ms, SD70M-T1, SD70ACe, C60/44ACs(AC6000CW). And I know for a fact that Roseville Yard dispatches the remaining C44ACs in SP paint with patch north to Eugene and Portland (and beyond) ALL THE TIME. So there's a good chance you'll see one of them.
    The differences between these units are subtle of course

    Also, Vancouver Yard is where the PNWR 663/664 ends/starts, so you see their power too.

    And of course outside of Vancouver itself, the Gorge both on the BNSF(Wa) and UP(Or) sides is some of the best scenery you could ever hope to photograph a train in. I don't care what the paintscheme or loco is, every single catch there is awesome.


    Having said all that, I still have more fun chasing the PNWR Harbor Turn around Beaverton/Hillsboro. You'll see more paint schemes, mainly ph1 GP39-2s, but also GP40s, SD45Rs and now they combine it with 663/664 and once the connect Oregon II grant is used, the Wye in Banks and track upgrades will move the 663/664 over to those rails and things will get really interesting.
    Also, I highly recommend trying to catch that Toledo Hauler or Toledo Patch down between Corvallis and Toledo Or.


    Oh, and I guess I should mention that a Trip to Eugene and Roseburg will yield CORP who may be a bunch of jerks as far as treating their customers, but their GP20Ds that they just recently acquired are extremely unique. I've only seen them a few times as I was rushing by on I5, but It's worth the time.


    Just remember, you may not be blessed with as much mechanical variety as in the old days, but you CANNOT beat the scenery.

    Also, as far as odd sounds goes, I put the GE air compressor up against any Alco sound for oddness. And of course, Moisture valves still pop on every locomotive.
     
  17. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oy, and I forgot Amtrak, Vancouver Sees the Coast Starlight with it's PAcific Parlour car, the Empire Builder and of course the Cascade trains.


    Also, I really only like BNSF's paint schemes, because they aren't #$%@ UP's paint Scheme. But they look better in the Green of the NW than they do in the Tan of the SW.
     
  18. sp4009

    sp4009 TrainBoard Member

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    Head out to the nearest stretch of mountain grade. Seeing a train crawl by in run 8 at 15-16 MPH will do it for you!
     
  19. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    On Friday night, I took the family to the drive-in in Glendale, AZ. While onthe way there, I drove down Grand next to the BNSF main through Phoenix. On the way to the drive-in, I saw a blue and yellow war bonnet GP38-2 running light. On the way home, we saw 3 wide cab GE's pulling out of the yard. The first unit was a silver and red war bonnett...it was too dark to see more
     
  20. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Barstow, is without a doubt one of my favorite train watching locations. The problem is the trains I want to to watch are long gone. I really can't and don't get to excited about watching the BNSF. To correct an error I made earlier. You don't need NO stinking BNSF running around your layout.

    Another location, also a favorite of mine is the Cajon Pass. However, the SP, UP and AT&SF that used to run through there...those trains are gone and little of the vistage remains to be seen. Still an interesting place as multiple sets of lash-ups and trains wind their way through the canyon. Timoteo Canyon, is another but again the SP all looks yellow these days and the last of the SP motors are all but gone. Too...oooo many look alike trains and locomotives with the wierdest and oddest of I.D.'s. WCC40AC what the hell is that. Where are the GP 30's, 40's, SD 45's...if you get my drift.

    It's all changed.

    Just not fun anymore.
     

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