Nineteen published photos from a railfan adventure on Union Pacific's famous Mojave Subdivision, in early May, 2021. I didn't visit the famed Tehachapi Loop, as I concentrated my adventure to Sandcut siding, at the west end, and Milepost 376.8, west of Mojave, for my east end adventures and photography.
These are only nineteen of the several hundred photos I took during this adventure, as the Techapai area of U.P.'s Mojave Subdivision offers everything a railfan could wish for, including 50+ trains each day, diverse photo locations along with breathtaking scenery. I'm only posting a few of the many photos I took during this trip in early May, 2021...
U.P.'s Mojave Subdivision is a busy mainline rairoad - noted as the busiest single-track railroad in North America - as I counted around 50 trains each day, so if you like big-time, mainline railroading, this is THE place to be! In my opinion, as a lifelong railfan and a lifelong resident of California, U.P.'s Mojave Subdivision is my favorite place to photograph big-time railroad action!
Photo: It's 17:55 in the afternoon on Sunday, May 09, 2021 as I catch BNSF #7361, a GE ES44DC leading a westbound manifest freight around the "S" curve at Sandcut, siding, M.P. 325.0.
Photo: UP #7931, a GE AC45CCTE leads a double stack container train, westbound at Sandcut, east of Edison, CA. Sandcut is my favorite place to "railfan" on the west end of UP's Mojave Subdivision because of the "S" curve and the hills, which make for great photography. The late afternoon light helps to enhance the photos, and the heavy traffic makes the Mojave Sub to be a railfan's dream.
Photo: Tail end of an eastbound freight, leaving the siding at Sandcut.
Photo: It's Monday, May 10, 2011 at 11:05 in the morning, and UP #7831, a GE AC45CCTE leads an eastbound manifest freight at Sandcut. That's the small town of Edison in the background, surrounded by groves of orange trees. In the distance, beyond Edison is the bustling city of Bakersfield, which is the county seat of Kern County.
Photo: Two D.P.U.'s in the middle of the train, including an ex-Southern Pacific unit. I did a little research and notice that she's an GE AC44CW, delivered to Southern Pacific in June, 1995 as #264. Now, she's UP #6310 but still sporting most of her original SP paint.
Photo: The whole train, as it heads eastbound toward the famous Tehachapi Loop and beyond...
Photo: At 12:39 in the afternoon, BNSF #9278, a EMD SD70ACe leads a westbound mixed freight train at Sandcut siding. I LOVE the exhaust as she and her sisters work up the slight grade!
Photo: End of the train, with the whole train in the photo, as it heads into the Tehachapi mountains.
Photo: At 17:43 on this Monday afternoon, BNSF #5686, a GE AC44CW is on the point of an eastbound manifest freight train.
Photo: Last photo of the day catches BNSF #7295, a GE ES44DC, leading a westbound freight train at Sandcut siding. It's 19:06 on this Monday evening, and the light is fading, so from now on, it will be just 'train watching" for the rest of the evening rather than taking photos.
Photo: It's 08:05 in the morning on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, as UP #8910, a EMD SD70AH leads an eastbound freight at Sandcut. The exhaust fumes blur the small town of Edison in the background, as the train climbs the slight .01% grade.
Photo: After spending a couple days at Sandcut, it was time to move on to my favorite photo location on the eastern end of UP's Mojave Subdivision: Milepost 376.8. At 11:33 in the morning, I photographed this interesting westbound work train.
Photo: UP #8128, a GE ES44AC-H leads a double stack container up the steep 2% grade at M.P. 376.8. When you're at location, you can actually see the steep grade, which is steep for a mainline railroad.
Photo: At 14:34 in the afternoon, I photo BNSF #7251, a GE ES44DC, leading a stack train eastbound down the steep grade into Mojave. BNSF has trackage rights over UP's Mojave Subdivision and at the east end of Mojave, she and her trail will be on BNSF rails as they head east, toward Barstow.
Photo: BNSF #8171, a EMD SD60M, leads a westbound manifest freight train up the steep 2% grade at M.P. 376.8.
Photo: BNSF #7844, a GE ES44DC is at the end of the train, and is doing her part to push the train up the steep grade. Photo shows almost the whole train...
Photo: Twenty years or so ago, CalTrans re-routed CA-14 to bypass the town of Mojave, and now the main street in Mojave is known as "Sierra Highway." The old route of the highway paralleled the railroad tracks, and for reasons unknown to me, CalTrans left a strip of pavement, about 50 yards long, which makes for a perfect camping spot at M.P. 376.8. From this location, the highway is a mile away, so it's quiet, and there is no noise from the highway.
It's Tuesday evening, May 11, 2021, with the wind blowing, as I've set up camp on the strip of pavement, and am enjoying the early evening, railfanning UP's Mojave Subdivision, outside of Mojave. Note the pavement ends just in front of my truck.
Photo: It's 07:05 in the morning, on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, and BNSF #8592, a EMD SD70ACe leads an eastbound trailer trail down the 2% grade, with the majestic southern Sierra Nevada mountains in the background. This was my favorite photo from this trip, and I posted it for the background "desktop" on my computer.
Photo: End of the trailer train, as it heads east toward Mojave, Barstow and beyond...
If you love big-time railroad action, with lots of trains and breathtaking mountain and desert scenery, Union Pacific's Mojave Subdivision is for you!
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