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Submitted on
October 20, 2005
Image Size
497 KB


23 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon EOS 20D
Shutter Speed
1/640 second
Focal Length
18 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Oct 19, 2005, 5:36:03 PM
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
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Hidden by Owner
samreevesphoto Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2010  Professional Photographer
Very cool! It's hard to think that the GP35's are elderly now. ;)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
HerrDrayer Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I look forward to visiting when the commuter line is up and running. :)
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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