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updated: February 18, 2020: DW-154 to 156 / February 23. 2020: 2067 to 2087

Cajon Pass Photo Collection 15/15

I am very pleased to show some exclusive photos of these photographers:
Don E. Toles (DET), Gary G. Gray (GGG), Marc Fournier (MF).
Don Winslow (DW)

Guest Photographers: to be announced
A big thank you for sharing these excellent pictures with us.
Note: The copyright belongs to these gentlemen. Do not use any photos without written permission.

Photos are sorted by date (not by location): oldest are on top and newest at the bottom - just scroll down!
Some photos were taken at one of these locations below (we usually mention the place of the photo):
Dagget, Barstow, Victorville/Narrows, Frost/Crossover, Hesperia, Lugo/Martinez, Summit, West Summit Island, Silverwood, Hill 582 Area, Alray/Tunnel Area, CP Walker/Davis Ranch Road, Mormon Rocks/Stein's Hill/Pine Lodge/HWY 138, Sullivan's Curve, Cajon Station/Junction, Graffiti Bridge, Swarthout Canyon Road Crossing, Blue Cut, Lower Canyon, San Bernardino, Colton Yard

Bonus Photos - non Cajon Pass - are at the bottom of this page (just scroll down)

Abbreviations found on this page: EB = East Bound, NB = North Bound, SB = South Bound, WB = West Bound, MT-1 = BNSF Main Track 1, MT-2 = BNSF Main Track 2, MT-3 = BNSF Main Track 3, UPT = UP Colton-Palmdale Cutoff Track, MP = Mile Post, DRR = Davis Ranch Road, DPU = Distributed Power Unit (Helpers), SC = Sullivan's Curve,  SWC = Swarthout Canyon Road Crossing, WSI = West Summit Island, KCR = Kemper Campbell Ranch, JAC-BAR = San Jacinto to Barstow Train
New 7/19: Accurate Map of Cajon Pass as of 2018 by Steve Jessup & Todd Gillette (RR Illustrated) - click here

For bigger size photos - please click on the 4-digit number below each photo (the first letters specify the photographer).

updated: January 6, 2020

Our 2020 Cajon Pass Photo Collection is starting with a new BNSF Mojave River Bridge
Replacement Project. (Here is our new site for this project: click here).

Saw the following on TO.COM and decided to try and find out exactly what is going on in E. Victorville @ BNSF Cajon Sub MP 34.1.  -  East Victorville bridges on BNSF

On 1/04/20, Marc & I drove down to the BNSF Mojave Bridges to checkout the action. We talked to a 'seemingly knowledgeable' construction type who told us that both bridges are 100 yrs old and must be replaced.
We were also informed:

# 2001: A temporary construction / heavy equipment bridge will be built to the left of the existing Bridges. Two new RR bridges (with abutments for a future third bridge) will be built to the right of the existing BNSF Mojave River bridges. The existing RR Bridges and abutments will then be removed.

# 2002: Looking RR West toward Victorville. A temporary heavy equipment road is being built along the South side side of the BNSF Main. It will connect to the temporary construction Bridge being built to the left of the existing BNSF bridges.
24 hour site security now protects equipment--especially the solar panels and their batteries, which can be seen mounted on the MT-2 Bridge in photo #01. The project is expected to be completed in 20-24 months at a cost of $23,000,000+.
# 2003: We were then informed that after completion of the bridge project, BNSF will remove the Flyover / Natural Crossovers and "straighten out" the tacks near Frost @ MP 39.1.
GGG 1/04/20 BNSF Mojave River Bridges at MP 34.1 in East Victorville - 2001 GGG 1/04/20 New temporary road along BNSF Main. - 2002 GGG 1/04/20 Flyover at MP 39.1 (Frost) w/BNSF EB (natural crossover) - 2003

updated: January 14, 2020

why replace them'?
-- The existing bridge abutments are of stone and masonry construction and have had numerous epoxy resin repairs over the years. These bridges are not earthquake "proof" from below (earth movement) or above (the heavy weight and vibrations of 40+ daily trains). By building new bridges beside the existing bridges, the 35 MPH speed restriction will the eliminated and the existing main line will remain open during construction.

# 2004: An edited Google map indicating the APPROXIMATE positions of the new bridges and the future mainline alignment....

# 2005: At one time, we could drive down to the bridges, however the new construction road eliminated that possibility. We then chose the area under the tower (upper left) as we could drive to it---the pictured "K" rail nixed that opportunity. NEVER TO BE DEFEATED, Mad Marc jumped the rail & climbed to the tower to photograph the following:

# 2006-2007: Two views of where the Construction Road Bridge will be built. 2007 also shows the 20+ foot drop off to the river bed. That drop off and the always present threat of flash flooding necessitate the extra expense of the temporary bridge.

# 2008: Looking RR West, toward VictimVille, the two construction roads are shown. We were told that the new ROW will be built close to the ORANGE property-line fence across the present ROW.

# 2009-2012: With all that's going on, we have adopted a 'SHOOT 'EM WHILE YOU CAN' policy.   MF & GGG
GGG 1/11/20 Google map proposed position of the new bridges - 2004 MF 1/11/20 (see text above) - 2005 MF 1/11/20 (see text above) - 2006
MF 1/11/20 BNSF EB intermodal - 2007 MF 1/11/20 Looking West toward VV - 2008 MF 1/11/20 BNSF 7968 WB - 2009
MF 1/11/20 BNSF 9511 EB - 2010 MF 1/11/20 BNSF 5886 DPU EB - 2011 MF 1/11/20 BNSF 7968 WB MP 34.1 - 2012

updated: January 21, 2020

Yesterday (1/20/20), Marc & I drove down to the BNSF Mojave River Bridges Replacement Project --only to find that ALL of our favorite photographic spots have been declared 'OFF LIMITS' - with security in place.

# 2013: The only remaining view of the bridges - from the favorite position of most railfan photographers.

# 2014: Never to be deterred, Mad Marc drove us a bit compass West (toward Oro Grande) to find this view of the bridges. The white gravel is from an evidently abandoned project to build a second BNSF RR yard on the Southern CA Logistics Airport (old George AFB). The ARROW points to some Bureau of Land Management roads, on the other side of the bridges, that we WILL explore.

# 2015 & 2016:  # 2016 is a closeup image of both bridges while both images (arrows) show the CABLE SUPPORTED, HAND PROPELLED underside inspection basket. Many years ago I was offered, by a NOW RETIRED ATSF Official, a ride in said bucket with the guarantee that "you'll never forget having been in that bucket, in the middle of the bridge, with a speeding train just above you". I declined the offer!!!!

# 2017 & 2018: BNSF 6505 East crosses the Mojave and heads into Oro Grande and on to Barstow.

Now, to find those BLM roads on the RR East side of the Mojave River.   GGG / MF
MF 1/20/20 BNSF 7770 WB - 2013 GGG 1/20/20 side view of bridges - 2014 GGG 1/20/20 check arrow right side - 2015
GGG 1/20/20 closeup w/arrow - 2016 GGG 1/20/20 BNSF 6505 EB on bridge - 2017 GGG 1/20/20 same toward Oro Grande - 2018

updated: January 29, 2020

Marc & I decided to go find a way into the other (North) side of the BNSF Mojave River Bridges. Turns out, it was an easy drive & find.  The roads all belong  to either the BLM, the electrical transmission Corp, or the Calportland Cement Company in Oro Grande, and are reasonably maintained.

However, and as always one must have respect for the Desert --- a well maintained high clearance vehicle and adequate water are mandated.  In season, total respect for rattle snakes, the heat & all of the creepy crawling desert critters is mandatory.   GGG / MF
GGG 1/24/20 edited Google map - 2019 GGG 1/24/20 just enlarge to see the details and description - 2020 GGG 1/24/20 BNSF 6846 is EB past our old photographic area (arrow) - 2021
# 2019 & 2020: Leaving Victimville we traveled North via I-15. After crossing the Mojave River, we turned onto Stoddard-Wells road & drove north to Quarry Rd. West on Quarry road until intercepting the power line roads and followed one of them South.
Since we were looking and shooting South, most images will be back-lit.
MF 1/24/20 BNSF 6846 EB crosses . . - 2022 MF 1/24/20 . . the Mojave River and . . - 2023 MF 1/24/20 proceeds on to Oro Grande - 2024
MF 1/24/20 BNSF 6854 is EB @ MP 34 - 2025 MF 1/24/20 UP 9008? is WB at MP 35 - 2026 MF 1/24/20 see text above - 2027
# 2027: We were told that the markers & fence (arrows) are the northern property boundary of BNSF land.  If the new bridges and mainlines are to be built here, it is a very, very narrow corridor from which numerous HUGE boulders must be removed.
MF 1/24/20 Preparatory work . . - 2028 MF 1/24/20 . . near the existing . . - 2029 GGG-MF 1/24/20 . . bridge abutments. - 2030
GGG 1/24/20 BNSF 8146 EB @ MP 34.4 - 2031 GGG 1/24/20 BNSF 8276 EB @ MP 34 - 2032 GGG 1/24/20 same train on bridge - 2033
GGG 1/24/20 BNSF 4575 WB at MP 33 - 2034 GGG 1/24/20 same BNSF WB - 2035 GGG 1/24/20 same on bridge MP 34.5 - 2036

updated: February 18, 2020

our 12 Feb 2020 documentation of the BNSF RR replacement of its Mojave River Bridges at BNSF Cajon Sub at MP 34.1
Here are 2 interesting links:
Ames Construction | Ames Construction | General Contractor
GGG 2/12/20 edited Google Map - 2037 GGG 2/12/20 - 2038 GGG 2/12/20 - 2039
# 2037: An edited Google map showing our Northern & Southern Photo spots.
These are COMPASS directions and do not refer to the directions of RR travel.
# 2038: The classic view of the bridges.  We talked to four employees of the General contractor --- Ames construction.  These gents confirmed that they will build TWO replacement MAIN LINE BRIDGES to the RIGHT - and a temporary construction bridge to the LEFT of the EXISTING BRIDGES.
# 2039: A LONG shot of our NORTHERN PHOTO AREA--in an around the two tall vertical poles in the middle of the picture. 
GGG 2/12/20 - 2040 GGG 2/12/20 - 2041 GGG 2/12/20 - 2042
# 2040: The MIGHTY MOJAVE RIVER in all its GLORY.  The RIVER is one of the few that flow North and when the CoE must, on rare occasion, open the Silverwood Dam, flooding is the rule.
# 2041-2042: Two views of the footings for the Temporary Construction Bridge.
GGG 2/12/20 - 2043 GGG 2/12/20 - 2044 GGG 2/12/20 - 2045
# 2043-2045: UP 8084 & DPU's cross the Mojave River Bridge and continue to Barstow.
GGG 2/12/20 - 2046 GGG 2/12/20 - 2047 GGG 2/12/20 - 2048
# 2046-2047: Preparations for the Southern approach to the new Bridges.
# 2048-2049: From just COMPASS North of the existing Bridges, the new ROW will be on this side of the existing tracks.
GGG 2/12/20 - 2049 GGG 2/12/20 - 2050 GGG 2/12/20 - 2051
# 2050-2051: BNSF 6892 is (RAILROAD EB) @ MP 34.1 -- toward Oro Grande & Barstow.
GGG 2/12/20 - 2052 GGG 2/12/20 - 2053 GGG 2/12/20 - 2054
# 2052-2053: BNSF 6892 has crossed the Mojave River and heads to Oro Grande & Barstow.
# 2054: Some drilling in the rocky area which will become the new RoW.  Interesting was the 'EVIDENT' number of workers vs the number of supervisors??
GGG 2/12/20 - 2055 GGG 2/12/20 - 2056 GGG 2/12/20 - 2057
# 2055-2056: The CAJON ROVER II and the local scenery at the NORTHERN PHOTO area.
# 2057-2058: The homeless / Squatter encampment on the North side of the Mojave River.
GGG 2/12/20 - 2058 GGG 2/12/20 - 2059 GGG 2/12/20 - 2060
# 2059-2060: BNSF 7359 rail train & the Herzog RUM (Rail Unloading Machine) working in the Oro Grande, CA siding - Near the CalPortland Cement plant. (See direct link above)

updated: February 23, 2020

On Friday 2/21, Marc & I drove to the Compass North side of the BNSF Mojave River Bridges in an attempt to answer our one BURNING question: What is AMES Construction going to do with ALL the HUGE BOULDERS which litter the project area? Actually, it turned into the RAILFAN's perfect day with VERY HEAVY rail traffic --- AND our Boulders question was answered.   MF & GGG
Despite my sincere advice that Ames should use the ROADRUNNER CARTOON method and call the ACME BOULDER BUSTER Corporation for help --- they decided to use their own equipment.
MF 2/21/20 BNSF 7312 is EB through . . - 2067 MF 2/21/20 . . . the construction area - 2068 MF 2/21/20 BNSF 7849 is WB @ MP34.2 - 2069
MF 2/21/20 So, Ames sent in their own "Caterpillar HAMMER". . . . - 2070 MF 2/21/20 . . . Obviously, the Boulders didn't stand a chance. - 2071 MF 2/21/20 The newly cleared (or being cleared) Right Of Way (ROW). - 2072
MF 2/21/20 The newly cleared (or being cleared) Right Of Way (ROW). - 2073 MF 2/21/20 Two of the HAMMER doing its thing---making small rocks outta Boulders. - 2074 MF 2/21/20 Two of the HAMMER doing its thing---making small rocks outta Boulders. - 2075
MF 2/21/20 BNSF 3753 is WB through the area.
- 2076
MF 2/21/20 BNSF 3753 is WB through the area.
- 2077
MF 2/21/20 Concrete pour - footings for temporary construction bridge - 2078
MF 2/21/20 Concrete pour - footings for temporary construction bridge - 2079 MF 2/21/20 Work on new ROW - 2080 MF 2/21/20 We have absolutely no idea what function this contraption serves - 2081
MF 2/21/20 BNSF 7312 EB MP 34 - 2082 MF 2/21/20 BNSF 7312 EB on bridge - 2083 MF 2/21/20 BNSF 6738 is WB MP 34 - 2084
MF 2/21/20 BNSF 6598 WB & 7046 EB meet MP 34.5 - 2085 MF 2/21/20 BNSF 7046 East passes the BNSF WB intermodal - 2086 MF 2/21/20 BNSF 7046 East crosses the Mojave River - 2087

updated: February 18, 2020

Don Winslow Photography of Cajon and BNSF Needles Sub (Mojave Desert)
Don Winslow of Glendora, CA is sharing his great photos with us. These do not only include Cajon Pass, but also the BNSF Needles Sub and are not sorted by date or location.  Thank you for sharing - GGG
We are listing his photos the way Don is sending these to GGG (usually 3 in a row per week)
DW-127 5/12/18 BNSF 7697 at Cajon DW-128 6/02/18 BNSF 7713 at Cajon DW-129 5/12/18 BNSF 7730 at Cajon
DW-130 5/12/18 BNSF 7322 at Cajon DW-131 6/02/18 BNSF 7342 at Cozy Dell DW-132 11/17/15 BNS 7389 at Klondike
DW-133 11/14/17 BNSF 4196 at Piscah DW-134 8/18/18 BNSF 8349 at Cozy Dell DW-135 4/27/19 BNSF 8799 at Cozy Dell
DW-136 6/02/18 BNSF 4176 at Cajon DW-137 5/05/18 BNSF 4268 at Cozy Dell DW-138 1/27/12 BNSF 6629 at Ludlow
DW-139 8/05/10 BNSF 7687 at Siberia DW-140 3/20/10 BNSF 7701 at Hill 582 DW-141 11/13/17 BNSF 8151 at West Ash Hill
DW-142 11/21/09 BNSF 4193 Ludlow Curve DW-143 6/09/13 BNSF 7532 WB at SWC DW-144 10/21/10 BNSF 7575 at Amboy
DW-145 8/18/18 BNSF 5234 at Cozy Dell DW-146 11/03/18 BNSF 5258 at Cajon DW-147 5/26/18 BNSF 7593 at Cajon
DW-148 11/12/10 BNSF 7531 at Bagdad DW-149 10/21/10 BNSF 7547 at Ash Hill DW-150 8/03/10 BNSF 7576 at Hill 582
DW-151 11/09/12 BNSF 5037 at Bagdad DW-152 5/05/18 BNSF 5056 at Cozy Dell DW-153 3/27/10 BNSF 5101 at Lavie
DW-154 5/26/18 BNSF 7795 at Cajon DW-155 3/02/16 BNSF 7810 at Bagdad DW-156 6/09/13 BNSF 7846 at SWC

 Bonus Photos - non Cajon Pass
updated: 2/02/20

New: 2/02/20 - Photography by Ryan Slaton
Ryan Slaton is famous for his outstanding photos.  Thank you for sharing with us - GGG & WM
It has been sometime since I sent out my last photo email and much has changed since then but not much new on the photo front.
And finally my first photos of 2020... (RS-2004 and 2005).
RS-2001: Starting by going way back in time to July 19th, 2009. In a scene that can no longer be repeated Santa Fe 656 leads a westbound double stack out of Mojave at the now gone MP377 signal bridge. I didn't have a good handle on taking pictures at the time but a little photoshop help and B&W conversion helped to make it passable RS-2002: Searchlights, code-line, and a Wyoming sunset...only wish I had a train! Even so it was a beautiful way to end the day at Hermosa, WY on July 20th, 2016.
RS-2003: SRRR 4155 (ex-Rio Grande 5395) and 4200 (an ex-KCS SD40) switch Holly/Cheyenne Rail tanks at the lower yard's loop trackage near the UP interchange on Feb. 12th, 2019.
RS-2004: Running in a 2x4x3 power configuration BNSF's northbound E SLPBKM 012D is on this day a 241 car 'doubled' empty coal bucket which has just received a fresh crew and again on the pull north towards the Powder River Basin. BNSF 5611-8431-9633 make up the rear dupes while BNSF 8413-9122-5745-8905 have 'swing' duty and can be seen in the distance. (01.25.2020) RS-2005: And finally with clouds lingering in the background UP 7520 leads an 'extra' Hinkle, OR to North Platte, NE manifest up Sherman Hill and through the searchlight installation at the top (east) end of Hermosa, WY. There are still four searchlight installations between Laramie and Granite on the Laramie Sub and as of today all four show no outward signs of pending replacement. Long live the searchlights. (also 01.25.2020)


History of Hill 582 photos - click here Ranchero Road Project - click here Colton Flyover Project - click here
Page 1 with 2006 photos - click here Page 2 with 2007 photos - click here Page 3 with 2008 photos - click here
Page 4 with 2009 photos - click here Page 5 with 2010 photos - click here Page 6 with 2011 photos - click here
Page 7 with 2012 photos - click here Page 8 with 2013 photos - click here Page 9 with 2014 photos - click here
Page 10 with 2015 photos - click here Page 11 with 2016 photos - click here Page 12 with 2017 photos - click here
Page 13 with 2018 photos - click here Page 14 with 2019 photos - click here Highway 138 Project - click here


New 7/19: Accurate Map of Cajon Pass as of 2018 by Steve Jessup & Todd Gillette (RR Illustrated) - click here
8 different and detailed Maps of Cajon Pass with captions (Mile Posts and Location) by Gary G. Gray - click here
New 8/11: Maps "How to find" Hill 582, Sullivan's Curve, Noisy Point by Gary G. Gray - click here
Accurate Map of Cajon Pass with 3rd Main Track by Michael Amrine - click here

Go back to Cajon Pass Main Page - click here

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