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Cigar Bands I by The-Stealth-Ninja Cigar Bands I by The-Stealth-Ninja
Well, here is a nice treat for those railfans who watch me for my trains.

I was on my way home from a jobsite yesterday, and as I was crossing the BNSF Hemet branchline in Highgrove, I happened to spot some headlights down the track a bit. After spending a few minutes exploring some streets I had never driven before and finding a place to pull over and park, I pulled out the cameras (I happened to have 3 with me, all in the front seat of my car). I found three locomotives idling on the track, just outside a small interchange track for some nearby industries. The lead unit (found with some help from an online locomotive roster :D) is a GP35U, an April 1964 Electro-Motive product, while the two trailing units are GP30Us, both March 1963 Electro-Motive products. I've always had a liking for the blue and yellow paint on the old geeps, and was somewhat surprised to see that it was rather new looking on these locomotives.

An interesting side note for the railfans... the BNSF branchline from Highgrove to Hemet, CA is part of what used to be the California Southern Railroad, a predecessor to the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe. The line was completed in 1882 extending from Colton, CA to National City, CA via East Riverside (Highgrove), Perris, Pinacate (Now the site of the Orange Empire Railway Museum), Elsinore, Temecula, and Fallbrook. A large storm in 1891 washed out a large portion of track along the line between Pinacate and Temecula which was not rebuilt due to the completion of the line through the Santa Ana Canyon to Los Angeles and points south. Today, the line extends through to Perris along most of the original route where in Perris the track splits to Hemet one way, and the other way follows along the original route a bit more to the home of the Orange Empire Railway Museum. Another interesting thing about this route, are the signals used on them. Spotted along the route are small semaphore type signals which I have never seen along any other line. I am sure they are quite old, although I could not tell you when they date from. If possible I will get a photo to see if anyone can tell me anything about them.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy. I just thought it was interesting finding a few older units on an old branchline in the area.

Please also see:
Cigar Bands II
Cigar Bands III
Cigar Bands IV
Cigar Bands V


For those interested:
A bit of history on the California Southern RR
ATSF/BNSF renumber, reletter & repaint roster
Add a Comment:
 
:iconsamreevesphoto:
samreevesphoto Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2010  Professional Photographer
Very cool! It's hard to think that the GP35's are elderly now. ;)
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:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Shoot, I used to see F45s, when I was a kid. I thought they would be around forever, imagine how I felt when these started disappearing. It made me feel old.
Reply
:iconsamreevesphoto:
samreevesphoto Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2010  Professional Photographer
Indeed my friend. I thought the SP GP9's, and grey gallery cars would last forever on the Peninsula. But it all went way of the CalTrain sardine cans.
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:iconherrdrayer:
HerrDrayer Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
It does appear the paint has been pretty well maintained throughout its life. Look at the area around the door handle though, and you can see the rust creeping through.
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:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
When I found these a little over four years ago, they seemed to be in very good shape, with what hardly seemed to be a scratch on them. Sadly though, their days were numbered. I know for sure at least one of these 3 units was recently on the dead lines in Kansas, as =factorone33 shot one of them while here was there shooting.
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:iconherrdrayer:
HerrDrayer Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah, BNSF is dumping nearly all of its old 4-axle power. One bright side is that they're rebuilding lots of SD40's into yard engines.
Reply
:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
They aren't getting rid of all the 4 axle units though, there is a group of GP60Ms and some GP35s that operate the San Jacinto sub near my house. Some of the curves are too tight for 6 axle units, so for now the GPs will work it. I think it will only be a couple more years though, because they are redoing the line for commuter train service, which meaning straightening out some of the curves for higher speed operation.
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:iconherrdrayer:
HerrDrayer Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I look forward to visiting when the commuter line is up and running. :)
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:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
You don't have to wait for that to go fan Metrolink, they have many other Socal routes to visit.
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:iconherrdrayer:
HerrDrayer Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I see. I haven't ridden any Metrolinks or Coasters yet, unless you count the Metrolink light rail line in St. Louis. :) I have, however, ridden the Southwest Chief from Chicago to Fullerton, and ridden surfliners from LAUPT to San Diego.
Reply
:iconfactorone33:
factorone33 Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2005  Professional Photographer
After reading all the banter between yourself and Sullivan, I can safely say that I get to see at least one SP unit per week, and I've captured numerous ones, mostly AC4400CWs or Dash 9s, rarely anything else.

I LOVE this Cigar Band series. This is the old school ATSF scheme I grew up with as a kid, in which my hometown of Garden City, KS was host to. It lies on the ATSF (now BNSF) mainline, and actually is also serviced by the Southwest Chief line of AmTrak (which I plan on shooting as soon as I get the chance).

If you haven't noticed, I now live next to a UP main line near Hays, KS, and I get quite a bit of heavy-duty traction to look at (mostly big GE's and EMDs).
Reply
:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much, I truly am glad you enjoy it.

I also see a small handfull of SP units every week (but nothing close to the number of UP units), as I paralell probably 10 miles of ex-SP mainline trackage twice a week on my way to one of my jobs. Included in that 10 miles is the Colton interchange yard, not to mention the few hundred industries the railroad serves along there, so ther really is no shortage of interesting things to see. Too bad I can't stop to photograph most of it.

The Southwest Chief comes through here too, but it comes through at night or early in the morning, not the most ideal times for me to shoot it.
Reply
:iconrileyone:
RileyOne Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2005
This is probably my favorite of your trains.
Reply
:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you.
Reply
:iconacela:
acela Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2005
Great capture! Kudos to pursuing a source and discovering something rare!
Reply
:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks, glad you like it! :)
Reply
:iconeurai:
eurai Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
This has locomotively excellent majesty.
Reply
:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you sir, I am sorry I could not campure any ninjas running around on it though, my camera does not have a fast enough shutter speed.
Reply
:iconthenorthern:
TheNorthern Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2005
If it wasn't for the ditch lights, the large "BNSF" reporting marks, and the knowledge that these were rebuilt units, this picture could have been taken twenty+ years ago. Classic! Great comp. & angle.

(By the way, I don't just watch for your train pics. I enjoy your other stuff, you know.)
Reply
:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Haha, well if it would have been 20 years, I would have to say, for a 1 year old, I'm a pretty good photographer.
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:iconthenorthern:
TheNorthern Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2005
I would be seven or so. There are a lot of good memories of trains at that age. (I like to think back to CSX's rainbow ere after the merger, when you could see six or more paint schemes in one train.) I wish, too, that I had taken pictures. I do have some old 110 mm pics somewhere from my first camera in middle school.
Reply
:iconsullivan1985:
sullivan1985 Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Hmm would have figured they would have retired that paint job by now. It does look very new.

Very nice color and composition too!
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:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
I was under the impression that this paint was being phased out as well, but maybe it has something to do with the fact they are on branchline service and not mainline service, I dunno. Thanks for the comment. :)
Reply
:iconsullivan1985:
sullivan1985 Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Well today at work, the Norfolk Southern Lehigh Line runs righ behind the building, and at lunch, an NS unit, a former BN unit (still wearing it's BN colors), and a BNSF in the old red ATSF Warbonnet scheme rolled by and it looked shiney as hell, as if it's paint job was being maintained.

I've noticed that the BNSF likes variety in its colors.
Reply
:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Maybe they are trying to keep a bit of history in the units, unlike Union Pacific, which is slowly phasing out all the old SP units from the merger. It's hard to find a unit still painted up in SP colors.
Reply
:iconsullivan1985:
sullivan1985 Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
True... same with NS and CSX with it's old Conrail units. It's amazing how many schemes of paint one unit can wear in it's life time.

For example:

There are a few SD40's and SD45 out in my area that where built for the Erie Lackawanna (grey body with maroon stripe with EL logo on nose) or the Penn Central (Jet Black with PC logo on side and nose) When the Erie and the Penn Central merged into Conrail the PC and EL logos on the units noses where replaced with a basic CR in italics, but the paint would remain the same. Then Conrail repainted all of its units one-by-one to the blue paint scheme we all know. Then after the NS/CSX split up, some got complete repaints to CSX or NS, or some have a hybrid paint job with the blue body but the letters are filled in with Black for NS locos with PRR reporting marks, and the CSX ones have yellow filled letters with NYC reporting marks.

Wow, I'm rambling. So to summarize my point, I like how the BNSF utilizes a variety of paint jobs to show what came from where.
Reply
:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
You call that rtambling? Did you even see the description I put in this photo? :P

I just remembered something, I shouldn't completely chastize UP even though they have a history for quickly repainting units. They did recently start a program where they painted some new units purchased in conceptualized paint schemes of all the major railroads they have inporated over the years. It is a pretty neat idea I think, although I still think I'd like to see a bit more variety.
Reply
:iconflukee:
FLuKee Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2005
I love trains like that :D
You really did it justice! Good composition!
Reply
:iconthe-stealth-ninja:
The-Stealth-Ninja Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks a bunch! :) Glad you like it!
Reply
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October 20, 2005
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