DOTX 221, a Power Move, and a Geometry Train! is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.

Yard Limit


Amtrak 4 leads Rail Car DOTX 221 which is part of Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Automated Track Inspection Program (ATIP). This car, built in 1954 has a long history. Ex HLC 1847, Belle McKee was a sleeper buffet lounge car. Before that it was VIA 1083 Cape Brule.
After taking MOW cars up to Las Vegas, NM, these two SD40-2’s 1714 and 1616, return to Albuquerque.
After a quick heads up by CameraManRailFan, we scoot to the Bernalillo 550 station to catch BNSF 5389 leading a Geometry Train. A track geometry car (also known as a track recording car) is an automated track inspection vehicle on a rail transport system used to test several geometric parameters of the track without obstructing normal railroad operations. Some of the parameters generally measured include position, curvature, alignment of the track, smoothness, and the cross level of the two rails. The cars use a variety of sensors, measuring systems, and data management systems to create a profile of the track being inspected.
I periodically see track inspection/geometry trains pass through Edmonds. They usually consist of a geometry car + track inspection car. I've never seen one with a hopper behind the engine. Any ideas why it was there?

Love the classy looking Pennsylvania style paint scheme of DOTX221. I have seen it or one similar pass through Edmonds.

Is BNSF still trying to get Amtrak to purchase the Raton Pass line?
The hopper car is full of sand so it weighs the track down before the geometry car goes over it and measures things. The DOTX221 is really a nice looking car, isn't it?
I don't know if BNSF is trying to get Amtrak to purchase the Raton line, but that will never happen. NMDOT used to own it but welched on the deal and BNSF had to take it back. They are maintaining it nicely, however. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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