Aug 25, 2014

The Funnel has a drain!

All BNSF traffic from Sandpoint west to Spokane comes in on one rail line ( ex-NP ) and it ends right here. The Latah Bridge is to the left where it has a Wye at the other end that send traffic to Seattle (North leg) or Portland (South leg). The rails dropping down on the right is the old NP line that drops down the South Hill to Marshal where the 2 lines come back together that go south.  I saw a UP train with red CP power that I thought would be a good shot on the Latah Bridge as I knew that they would come over the Latah Bridge as that is one way traffic on the south bound traffic. They never made it in the 45 minutes I was there.
I was the red signal that gave me confidence that it would shortly come out of downtown Spokane but maybe something else was coming to hold him in downtown.
With so much traffic noise I almost did not catch this eastbound from Seattle drifting down to the north leg of the wye pulling a bunch of ballast hoppers with sun panels for electricity to open the gates.
As the train crossed the Latah bridge I noticed the biker on the old Union Pacific right of way that came into town across the UP High Bridge that is now a bike path crossing I-90.
Standing under the wye I also looked at the old SP&S right of way that came out of Hillyard on the GN line. The Feds/and/or/Washington State built a nice new road crossing over I-90 as well.
Latah bridge is a box girder system that is simple yet strong enough to hold many tons of freight trains going on 40 years. A buddy of mine Bruce Nelson was able to walk through this bridge with a friend that would inspect it for cracks. They found one that was letting in sunlight and they closed the bridge for 2 days to patch the crack. Hey, I didn't say it was perfect!

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