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A Railfan Report 6/15/09

June 17, 2009

On Sunday 6/14/09 RailfanHunter took the Amtrak Capitol to Davis to do some railfanning. The Davis Wye is a well-known railfan location, it is a Junction between UP’s Martinez Subdivision, and California Northern’s West Valley Subdivision. For those of you who don’t know what California Northern is I’ll give you some information on the railroad. California Northern is a shortline railroad that was formed in 1993. It was formed in response to the Southern Pacific’s “spinning off” of some of their branchlines during the 1980’s. The Southern Pacific had the CFNR serving the industrial spurs along the West Valley Line and Napa branch, including the famous napa pipe company. California Northern’s eaarly roster consisted of former C&NW GP15-1 locomotives, but later they purchased SD9’s, which were later sold to the Fillmore & Western Railroad. They now have purchased several locomotives from leasing companies, including a GP20 still in the failed SP-Santa Fe Kodachrome paint. Now, onto the trains, and my day at Davis.

The first consist I saw were a two California Northern GP15-1s coming in as a light engine move, they went down to pick up a waiting cut of cars on a siding just east of the station platform and the wye. After coupling onto the cut of car the train had to wait for a Union Pacific intermodal to pass. The intermodal was a mix of autoracks and doublestacks, and was headed by an SD70M. After that, several Amtrak Capitols were moving in and out of the station, with their destinations being Emeryville, Sacramento, and San Jose. The next UP train to come through was a stack train headed up by a General-Electric Evolution Series locomotive, this train had a single midtrain helper. After leaving the station for about an hour to have lunch at the In-N-Out Burger, I headed back and was happy to see a green signal, it was for an eastbound Amtrak Capitol Corridor coming into Davis for a station stop. The next and final freight train of the day was an eastbound UP stack train with an Evolution Series locomotive leading, it was a suprisingly short train. After several other Capitol Corridor arrivals and departures, the westbound California Zephyr Train 5 came into view. It was ver confusing, because it went through the station, when it usually stops. It had 2 private cars from the original California Zephyr, which ran from 1949 – 1970.

All and all it was a great day for railfanning at the wye.

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