Hi from down under

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Lach

New Member
G'day you guys. I'm a newbie from Australia and I've just got back from 5 weeks in the states. Not my first trip and hopefully, not my last.

On this trip, we rode the Coast Starlight northbound in early December and loved it. So much, that I'm thinking about coming back and doing all four West Coast-Chicago runs in the near future. Maybe all in the one visit, maybe spread them out.

While we have some big trains here, most of them are specialised coal, or ore trains. I am really impressed with the freight trains I have seen in the US and having done the trip from LA to Vegas and also out to Needles a few times, I've seen some large ones. One that stuck in my mind, was one I saw in the Cascades on the way to Seattle. I didn't count the cars, but it was four units in front, two in the middle and two at the end. Serious train folks!

Not too sure if the intro is a good place for a question, but here goes. Driving through Denning NM, I saw a four unit consist that was three UP and one BNSF. Is that common, given they are rivals?

Anyway, cheers all and have a nice one.

Lach
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the forum. To answer your last question, there are many reasons why the diesel engines of a railroad in the US, Canada, or even Mexico may show up on another railroad; including a competitor.

* One railroad may be experiencing a shortage of engines and will lease some from another railroad. BNSF has been leasing some Canadian Pacific (CP) diesels for over a year.

* Run-through agreements on cross country trains allow the same engines to remain on the train as it traverses the country. This saves time at terminals that would be lost swapping engines each time the train is transferred from one railroad to another. Sometimes the run-through miles are not equal and the engines of one railroad will spend extensive time on another railroad to balance out the mileage.

* A railroad may sell its older diesels to a company which leases them out to railroads experiencing a temporary motive power shortage. These second hand diesels are often not repainted but merely have the leasing company's reporting marks (which end in an "x" ) stenciled on the side of the engine under the cab window.

* There are some sections of track in the US that are joint use. Through contracts, leases, and other arrangements, one (or more) railroad(s) has the right to run its trains over another railroad's line.

* A railroad whose tracks have been shut down due to maintenance, a derailment, weather related conditions, etc. may detour its trains over another railroad's line to avoid a complete stoppage of service. This is usually limited to the highest priority trains, as the "visitor" must pay the "host" for use of the tracks.

You mentioned that you may ride the Empire Builder on your next trip to the US. My home town of Edmonds, WA, is the first Amtrak station north of Seattle and sees many passenger trains each day including the Builder. Check out my photo threads in the Western US section:

http://www.railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?29284-Pity-Mile-Post-17

http://www.railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?29675-Mile-Post-18-news

I have discovered via the International Forum that there are some very interesting diesels roaming around Down Under. Some of them appear to be Oz-ified versions of diesels of North American design from manufacturers like ALCO and EMD. I hope that you will post photos of your railroads for us to enjoy while you are awaiting your next trip to North America.

On a final note: I believe your national day is this weekend, when most Aussies enjoy beer and BBQ even more so than usual. Happy Australia Day! :cool:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Lach

New Member
Thanks for the info Bill. What you said makes sense, but it was the sight of the BNSF unit coupled to the three UP ones that really stood out.
All our large trains are either up north, or out in Western Australia, so it's unlikely I'll ever get to see one, so any pics I had would be off the net. I'm down in the South East, so all we get are little commuter trains and a few freight ones.
Yes, it is Australia Day and I for one will be having a couple of "cold ones".
Cheers

Lach
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
All our large trains are either up north, or out in Western Australia, so it's unlikely I'll ever get to see one, so any pics I had would be off the net. I'm down in the South East, so all we get are little commuter trains and a few freight ones.
Lach
It sounds like some treks to your north (Queensland?) and wild west (Perth?) are in order between your trips to the US.

Amtrak's Cascades runs from Seattle to Vancouver, BC. You might consider incorporating Canada, our friendly neighbor to the north, into your next rail tour of the US.
 

Lach

New Member
Since my last post, I discovered that we in Oz, have the record for the longest train at around 7.8 km ( just under 5 miles). I never would have thought that.
 




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