New views

In an ideal world, we would update this site every few days with all of the rail photos we take. However, this isn't an ideal world and we don't take as many photos as we would like to, nor do we often find the time to make regular updates, as you have probably realized if you are a regular visitor.

For these reasons, we have created this page to provide a sampling of our recent photo shoots. The photos cover a variety of dates and locations and are offered in no particular order, although we will endeavor to provide explanations with the thumbnails where appropriate.

As new photos are added to this page, we will relocate older ones into their appropriate theme pages. Meanwhile, please enjoy the latest from our collection.

It's Saturday, Jan. 1, 2000, and what diehard railfan can resist the temptation of shooting a train on 1-1-00? Obviously I couldn't, and to satisfy the urge I camped out at Marsh Creek in Oakley (MP1145.0) for my first shot of the new year. An Amtrak San Joaquin obliged me and I snapped away as F59PHI 2001 led the consist over the viaduct. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

On March 26, 2000, we celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary with a visit to Napa Valley. Of course, we couldn't resist another opportunity to shoot the Alco PAs leading the Napa Valley Wine Train on its daily excursion run. Here, No. 71 blows for a grade crossing about a mile out from the station on its return to Napa. Photo by Roni Gehlke.

This shot is just so California. An idle California Northern GP15-1, No. 109, waits for its next assignment at Napa Junction, where the palm tree and balmy skies add the atmosphere. If you look under the grain hopper you will see a flock of pigeons feasting on the spillage. Photo by Roni Gehlke.

In April 2000, BNSF maintenance of way crews spent several days dropping new ballast along the Stockton Subdivision. Over the weekend, one of the 25-car ballast trains tied up at Du Pont yard and its pair of Burlington Northern locomotives made a tempting photo subject. I trekked out to the head end on Sunday, April 30, to shoot BN 7803, an SD40-2, and BN 9281, an SD60M, as they sat silently in the morning sun. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

Using a 200mm zoom, we are able to see the length of the train, looking east toward Big Break Road. The growing heat caused the metal in the empty hoppers and on the locomotives to expand, and occasionally the train would creak and groan eerily. Not a soul was around, except for some guy walking his dog in the nearby grape vineyard. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

Returning to my car, I blow my final frame on BNSF 789 as it rolls west through the Big Break Road grade crossing. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

One of my longstanding railfan dreams has been to see a Chicago & North Western unit on the Stockton Sub. Because of Union Pacific's trackage rights on the BNSF, the possibility had always existed but had never before occurred -- at least not that I was aware of. On April 24, 2000, my dream came true when CNW 7009, and SD50, was pressed into service for an ailing Amtrak locomotive. The consist left Oakland the previous day and was on its return trip from Bakersfield with Train 713 when I heard its approach over the scanner. I was on my way in to work, but had just enough time to race to the Vintage Parkway overpass (MP1146.4) and grab this photo. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

A closeup of CNW 7009. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

With no time left to drop off the camera at home, I headed for work with the bag in the front seat of my car. I was later glad I had it when I spotted the Union Pacific local working the spur in Pittsburg as I exited the freeway. Here UP 2033 prepares to deliver a load of lumber to Piedmont Lumber on the opposite side of Highway 4. That's the USS-POSCO steel mill in the background. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

It is 6:45 a.m. on  Sunday, April 23, 2000, and while most sane people are either in bed or preparing to enjoy Easter Sunday activities, I am out shivering in the early dawn Delta chill at Du Pont yard awaiting the arrival of a pair of F7s on their way to the Golden Gate Railroad Museum in the Bay Area. At long last, BNSF's M-BARRIC pulls into view. The Fs are at the end of the locomotive consist. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

The low light and the slow shutter speed emphasize the motion as the train speeds west at about 60 mph. That's a Norfolk Southern unit tucked in between the BN and the F duo. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

They sure ain't pretty. The good folks at the GGRM will have their work cut out for them as they try to restore these decrepit Louisiana & North West Fs to their original Southern Pacific "black widow" livery. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

Here's a closeup of the Fs seen in #12. You can almost make out the individual dirt specks. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

What the heck is this thing? As best as I can tell, it's a ballast cleaner. The front end scoops up the rocks and dumps them onto a conveyor belt, which then deposits the sifted ballast back onto the roadbed. There's a work caboose in the rear and a little diesel engine in the front. This puppy is parked on the Du Pont yard lead on March 19, 2000. When it starts up it has a siren that sounds like something from a sci-fi movie. Very impressive. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

F40PHs are an increasingly rare sight on the San Joaquins, but they do still make occasional appearances over our back fence. On April 17, 2000, AMTK 231, the Operation Lifesaver unit, leads Train 713 west at Milepost 1147.1. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

OK, so you say it looks like just another in the endless parade of 9-44CWs that BNSF has unleashed upon its rails? You are right, of course, but I didn't upload this one because of the motive power. Behind the train and to the right you will notice the green field that shows up frequently in shots we take over our back fence. What makes this one different is that the field is in the process of being graded for development. Work began in January 2000, and sadly, soon the northerly view of Milepost 1147.2 from Main Street will be obstructed by a mini storage business. By the way, this is a brand new BNSF 4647 taken on March 20, 2000. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

On May 9, 2000, we took a drive to Pittsburg and looked for trains. Here we have BNSF 8232, and SD75I, leading a westbound vehicle train over a bridge at Milepost 1157.5. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

The venerable GP30 soldiers on! The Santa Fe rebuilt most of its old Geep 30s and BNSF renumbered them, but there's no mistaking this one-of-a-kind design. Our son, Benjamin, watches BNSF 2446 and the Pittsburg road switcher crew prepare to depart Hillyard after breaking down a train. Photo by Glenn Gehlke.

We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please send e-mail to Glenn or Roni Gehlke.

Proceed to Milepost 1147.2 on main track. Hold main track at last named point. Over.

This page was last updated Sunday, May 28, 2000 at 01:00 hrs.