A Tribute to Amtrak 156 in New Mexico

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Yard Limit


Amtrak has five locomotives that commemorate the 40th anniversary of Amtrak service and these are painted to resemble past phases of Amtrak paint schemes.
Amtrak 156 Phase I P42DC
Amtrak 130 Phase II P42DC
Amtrak 145 Phase III P42DC
Amtrak 184 Phase IV P42DC
Amtrak 822 Phase III P40DC
Amtrak currently has 396 locomotives, so seeing one of these Heritage units is interesting, especially if it’s leading the train. When one of these locomotives gets assigned to a route like the Southwest Chief, it often comes and goes several times before it gets assigned to another route. That gives train photographs several chances to catch it in different locations. Amtrak 156 is one of my favorites because of the Phase I paint scheme. I’d photographed it a few days earlier in Bernalillo, but I also knew that it would be an amazing shot passing in front of Devil’s Throne; a shot best done with a drone.
So on June 28, 2018, I decided to drag Diana and Sydney to Cerrillos to photograph 156. I set up the ground cameras and then flew the drone to the spot where I thought I would capture the perfect image. Finally after hearing the voice of the second engineer on the radio, I knew it was close. (Amtrak has two engineers on long distance trains; one deals with paperwork and radios, and the other drives the train.)
During its tour on the Southwest Chief, I videoed 156 at Los Cerrillos, Rosario, Bernal, Albuquerque, and Rio Puerco, New Mexico.
Very good video. I especially like the footage taken at the semaphores, which offers a unique juxtaposition of the old and new.
Thank you. I'm working on documenting as many of these semaphores as possible before they are either replaced or the Southwest Chief is discontinued.

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