On a hot summer day in the desert
On July 1st. I went out again for some foto shooting at Highman Tunnel in the Lonesome Valley. Blue Sky and no
wind will make this day to one of the hottests of this year. There is some walking from the street to this one of my
favorite foto locations. In the backpack is the foto gear and two bottles of water. Dressed in the more traditional
outfit with boots, jeans, shirt and stetson I am immedeately starting to sweat after leaving the car.
Soon the magnificent silence of the deserts surrounds me - except a few vultures in the sky no signs of further life
can be seen. All animals are hidden in some shady places. Then Highman Tunnel comes into sight, my dress is
already completely wet, but cactii and the potential to step on a rattlesnake make this dress a good choice.
Ok back to subject - fold out tripods, connect remote shutters and sit down enjoying the silence...
Just after one hour of waiting (and emptying the first bottle of water) my patience shall be rewarded! A distant
grummling increases to an earth shaking schrump-schrump-schrump - two brand new Union Pacific SD70M (AZL,
2006) appear out of the hole piloting a coal unit train.
Both hard working engines have accelerated this train to about 20 mph.
The hopper cars of this unit train belong to the Peabody Coal Company.
The sun is now in the south west, the sides of the engines are in the shadow. Next time I should get up earlier in
40 minutes later (and only half a bottle of water left) the next action starts. A mixed freight is heading westwards,
both engines are leasers. New at the RRR is 238 an ex Amtrack F40PH (Freudenreich,2006) used now in freight
The ex-Amtrak engine is at the lead as the ex-Conrail unit is lacking an AC. Behind the engines is first a BNSF grain
hopper (FR, 2006) and two tankcars (3RWorks, 2006).
The nice thing on class 2 railroads is their dependance on even a bit elder motive power. Where also can you still
see F40PH and SD40-2 as road engines.
The glaring sun reflects at the roof of the engines. Now it becomes time to walk back again - the water is nearly
finished. I am looking forward to a fresh shower and a cold beer at home.