Ospreys, Eagles and Amtrak

A bit belatedly back to the blog after exertions over the summer but I thought a few photos from my trip stateside might be worthwhile.  The main railway angle of the holiday was a journey on the Amtrak’s Cascades, starting at Seattle – which is a bit grander than my usual commute!

IMG_1819

The Cascades service runs from Portland, through Seattle and concludes its journey in Vancouver.  Another grand station reflecting its importance as the terminal of a continental trunk route.

pacificcentralstationvancbc

The route hugs Puget Sound and the Pacific coast for the entirity of the journey, for the greater part actually forming the sea wall.

Amtrack with Wikicommans

So not unsurprisingly, the views really are fabulous (so if you do it, make sure you are sat on the seaward side!).

img_1833-compress img_1839-compress

The route crosses a number of creeks and rivers, often on timber trestle bridges; where the train typically going at dead slow.  This is helpful as for an added treat, thrown in for free – thank you Amtrak, was a bird-spotting trip.  Calmly sitting on a post as the train rattled past was an Osprey.  Apparently this particular bird is a bit of a mascot for the line and seems to have become used to the rumble of a few tens of thousands of tons of machinary as itis regularly on view.

1368117652_aa14ea5001_z

It is possible to see Ospreys in the UK, but you need to be either pretty lucky, persistant or go to one of the recognised locations such as Loch Garten.  But you can’t get to see bald headed eagles which was the next voyeur of the train going past that we got to see!

img_1838compress

So all in all, this is a fabulous trip to do and it is fair to say both Seattle and Vancouver are great places to visit – both with a strong railway history!  If you are also able to make it further south, down to Sacramento, then the Californian State Railroad Museum is also worth a visit.  Sacramento was the birthplace of the Central Pacific, one of the partners in the first trans-continental railroad and therefore it feels it has something to say about the topic!  It is also close (in American terms) to the site of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad which held onto its very aged stock for a startlingly long time, meaning that a significant proportion has survived – some of which is in the museum.  If you think this feels just like those western movies that you watched as a child, you would be right.  The Virginia and Truckee’s stock was used extensively by the movie industry and it is very likely you have seen this very loco!

california-state-railroad-museum

In addition to these early locos are a selection of F Units that I do rather like and a giant Southern Pacific Cab Forward.  These were built with the cab at the front to stop the staff suffocating from the exhaust smoke as it climbs up through the rockies which has numerous tunnels.  They are rather odd to behold though!

cab-forward

All things Amercian are really big, something quite alien and thrilling to a Brit!  Imagine that blasting up Shap or Drumochter…………………

img_1635

Advertisements

About highlandmiscellany

Just playing trains; my weekday life is a bit more serious though!

Posted on October 9, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. “It is possible to see Ospreys in the UK, but you need to be either pretty lucky, persistant or go to one of the recognised locations such as Loch Garten.”

    Or Rutland. For the rest, though, I would have to go go rather further afield than a couple of miles from my front door.

    Cool trains!

  2. Proto:87 F-Units? Now there is a thought!

  3. Glad you were able to get to the California State Railroad Museum as it really is quite superb. The museum also has the ‘Governor Stanford’ – a classic American 4-4-0 used in the construction of the first transcon railroad – and the V & T 4-4-0 ‘Genoa’ as well as a Mogul of similar vintage. In fact this is probably the best collection of early locomotives in the USA and a visit is highly recommended. The little 4-4-0 in your photo is the narrow gauge ‘Sanoma’ and ran on a line from Sausalito in Marin County. The museum is easily reached from the Bay Area either by freeway or by rail on what was the SP route of the San Fransisco Zephyr – these days more prosiacally known as the Amtrack California Corridor.

  4. Seattle is looking considerably grander than when I was there in April 1993. Back then, Union Station wasn’t open and we stopped a little way away, and the connection to Vancouver was by bus. Plus the Empire Builder came in across the Rockies in the dark. Looks like a grand day out now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

SOUTH PELAW JUNCTION

Documenting and Modelling the History of the Tyne Dock to Consett Line

Liverpool Range

Modelling a small section of the New South Wales Railways between Kankool and Pangela

highland miscellany

My modelling musings on Portchullin, Glenmutchkins and anything else that takes my fancy.

Llangunllo

Modelling the WR in the 1950s

Keynsham and Somerdale Models

Model railway rolling stock in 4 and 7mm scales

Matt's Railroad Blog

Minnesota themed model railroading

GrahamMuz: Fisherton Sarum & Canute Road Quay

The model railway world and mainly Southern meanderings of Graham 'Muz' Muspratt

Gene's P48 Blog

Quarter-inch Scale Modeling

Dales Peak

Set in the Derbyshire Peak District, this is a shed based, OO Gauge, modern image, DCC, model railway

P4NewStreet

Building a Model of Birmingham New Street, set in 1987

DEFine

Modern railway modelling in the Midlands

petesworkshop

My modelling musings on Portchullin, Glenmutchkins and anything else that takes my fancy.

Llangunllo.

My modelling musings on Portchullin, Glenmutchkins and anything else that takes my fancy.

Loco Yard

Heritage & Model Railway Blog

The Erratic and Wandering Journey

Railway Modelling in S Scale (1:64)

Ouse Valley Modeller

Ouse Valley Modeller is a blog about my 4mm OO gauge modelling, my observations mostly about Sussex railways in the 1950's and my layout Herstmonceux

cardigan bay coastal railroad

A fictious railroad in 0n30

Morpeth In O-Scale

Why Settle For Half When You Can Have The Whole O?

Portwilliam and Newton Stewart

Stuart Porteous - Southwest Scotland in 00 Finescale

westhighlandmodelling

Modelling the West Highland Railway & Beyond

Oswestry Works

Locomotive works diorama in 4mm

Port Rowan in 1:64

An S scale study of a Canadian National Railways branch in Ontario - in its twilight years

clecklewyke

from little acorns...

P4 Walsall

Building Walsall in P4 1:76 Scale

National Railway Museum blog

Behind the scenes at the biggest railway museum in the world

Nicks workshop mutterings

Various railway orientated modelling projects in my new workshop/railway room.

%d bloggers like this: