A Southern Pacific freight train on Tehachapi Pass.

Railfanning Southern California
MPRR Clinic Night Archive

Southern California Photo Gallery

An ATSF freight train on Tehachapi Pass.

Above: An ATSF piggyback train drifts downgrade on Tehachapi Pass. Photo Credit: John Roy

An Union Pacific freight train on Cajon Pass.

Above: A Union Pacific train works Cajon Pass in the early 1990s. Photo Credit: John Roy

Clinic By: John Roy
Clinic Night Date: February 10, 2013

On February 10, 2013 Mohegan Pequot Model Railroad club member John H. Roy, Jr. gave a presentation to a group of 25 enthusiastic model railroaders at Bill Memorial Library in Ledyard. Mr. Roy shared highlights of his railfanning experiences in Southern California, from 1990 to 1992 when he regularly traveled to Burbank, CA on business. While in California he managed to “get around” and often explored California’s famous locations including: Tehachapi Loop and Cajon Pass.

Mr. Roy’s presentation took members on an historic journey back to the early 1990s where the Southern Pacific and the Atkinson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroads shared the SPs tracks to cross the 4030’ Tehachapi Summit from Bakersfield to Mojave. The exciting western approach of the summit originally included 17 tunnels, numerous horse shoe curves and the famous Tehachapi Loop, where long trains can be seen crossing themselves as they grind their way up the hill in rung eight. This exciting single-track line featured Santa Fe war bonnets in their red and silver paint scheme as well as SP and its predecessors in their black and red with white speed lettering. Mr. Roy also covered the lines south and east of Mojave where the SP traveled through Soledad Canyon to reach Los Angeles and the ATSF traveled east to Barstow.

If one exciting location wasn’t enough, Mr. Roy also covered the Santa Fe’s route from Barstow to San Bernadino, via the 3775’ summit at Cajon Pass, and the parallel SP’s line through Cajon Pass. The coverage of this route added a splash of Union Pacific Armour Yellow and Amtrak silver, red white and blue. The UP had trackage rights over the ATSF from Daggett (east of Barstow) to San Bernadino. The scenery in the high desert mountains combined with a steady flow of trains to provide an interesting show with a great variety of locations and trains.

Share |