BNSF train seen from I-40 in northern Arizona

Finally in the role of passenger (and not driver!), I could take these shots of the double stack train seen from the moving rental car.  A point of history here: the double track mainline of the old Santa Fe (ATSF) was here before the interstate highway (I-40) was laid down decades later.  The old coaling and water stations along the steam-driven railroad became highway towns.  (The old Route 66 shares some sections with the newer I-40, I believe.)  This was the Santa Fe piece of the merger with Burlington Northern.  Santa Fe was making good money on intermodal transport, and the BN was the heavy hauler of clean coal from the Powder River Basin in eastern Wyoming,  This “end to end” rail merger made good business sense.

I-40 and the BNSF mainline.  This is big time interstate truck hauling on the highway, and big time railroading on the tracks.  The heavy trucks go the posted speed limit of 75 mph.  And, there are plenty of these found in each direction on the highway: westbound to Los Angeles, and eastbound to Albuquerque and points further east.

This train, seen at dusk, was moving westbound as we drove east on the highway.




Another view showing the blurred train and landscape from the moving car.



Seconds later.



A final look.  In the spring of 1993, on another trip to northern Arizona, we were able to pull off the road and take pics of Santa Fe locomotives that were stopped on the tracks west of Flagstaff.  These were painted in the famous Warbonnet scheme and were quite colorful.



Bonus images for this post.  The next day, we are stopped for a BNSF train that is passing through the town of Holbrook a mere 20 miles from the southern entrance to Petrified Forest National Park.  The railroad actually crosses through a section of the park.



Panning to the left, we see that this eastbound train is also a “double stack” train.



A better view to our right.



My wife now takes a picture through the passenger side window to avoid the glare from the morning sun.



copyright 2017 –

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