While waiting for a BNSF coal train I saw being held up by a red signal I worked my way back to a spot where I could look down on the train for a better angle. Behind Sunset Junction hobby shop in downtown Spokane BNSF installed these relatively new signal towers. While I was waiting a Union Pacific empty Canopex unit train passed eastbound.
This is Canadian Potash that is sold to China for fertilizer and comes in on the UP/SI line from Canada thru Spokane.
Further delay on the famous coal train was maintenance equipment passing me eastbound, then 10 minutes later passing me westbound.
Specialized equipment like this tamper keeps the ties and rails at the proper alignment vertically so they wont sag when a train passes over.
After about an hour the coal train passes this spot with the new school and business buildings in the background where once was industrial warehouses.
Now the normal on many trains is a pusher locomotive that is controlled by the head engineer. No need to signal the pusher in the old days by whistle or telephone. An engineer and a brakeman in the lead unit moving over 100 cars of 100 tons each. My how efficient. My coal dust meter did not detect any dust from these cars!