Trainpics: USA - Ogden-Echo Canyon

The railway line between Cheyenne WY and Ogden UT is UP's most improtant connection through the eastern Rocky Mountains. Although the most famous part of this line must be Sherman Hill, situated in the eastern part of the line, this gallery is about the western end of the line, which is no less photogenic.
Let's start our photographic journey in the very west: On September 27th, 2000, UP 8548 and UP 8546, both brand-new SD90MAC-Hs made by EMD, leave the narrow Weber Canyon. As the railway runs side by side with the interstate inside the canyon, it is hard to get proper photos there. At Uintah, the landscape is more open again. Soon, the train will arrive at Ogden.
After crossing through Weber Canyon, the line runs through a wide valley. UP 6017, SP 8662 and UP 3047 are seen west of von Morgan on the 25th September 2000 (left); UP 8548 and UP 8546 have to pull another manifest train just two days later east of Morgan (right).
Only a few miles further - and the line runs right through the mountains again. Whilst the interstate curves around the rock, the railway goes right through it! CNW 8694, SP 9310 and UP 3794 have crossed through the tunnel and over the bridge and are now heading for even more scenic highlights. The picture is taken near Taggart on the 29th of September 2000.
With a train formed of covered hoppers, UP 6026, UP 3338 and UP 3956, a SD 60 and two SD 40-2s, are going west near Croydon. The place still has an active siding, which is served several times a week by the local train from Green River, Wyoming. Most important (only?) freight: Potash.
Near Henefer another high-lying valley is reached. The mountain in the background may not be famous - it sure makes a nice backdrop for railway-photos, as does the small Weber River in the foreground. UP 7529 and UP 8506 provide some 12.000 hp for the "k-line" double-stack container-train (left, 29th September 2000). Slightly less power have UP 9723 and UP 9171 - still it's enough for their intermodal train on September 29th, 2000 (right).
The bridge at the Henefer/Echo exit of interstate 84 proved to be a convenient, but nevertheless scenic drive-in photo-location. Depending on the time of the day, trains can be pictured in bright sunlight (left, UP 3495, UP 3924 and UP 9136 on September 26th, 2000) or with dramatic shadows (right, UP 9519, UP 6146, UP 9036 and UP 3824, on the same day).
In the late afternoon the light at Henefer/Echo is just right for westbounds! UP 8539 and UP 8534 roll by with a manifest train on the 26th of September 2000 (left).
Worthwhile was the long waiting time on September 27th, 2000, too, when UP 9513, UP 3385 and UP 9577 throw long shadows already (right).
On the 29th September 2000, the local train has left some covered hoppers in Echo, which are now loaded with potash. Since there's a lot of eastbound freights, most trains have to stop for a little while, before the road is clear and they can proceed. UP 9204 and SP 8644 (left) and UP 7534, CSX 7575 and CNW 8715 (right) have just opened the throttle to gain speed for the tedious ascent through Echo Canyon.
Behind Echo, the line turns East into Echo Canyon. From the recreation area of the interstate, there's a fantastic view over landscape and railway line - an the sound of a train with four heavy diesel locomotives shouldn't be underestimated! UP 4062, UP 6252, UP 8656 and UP 5947 have just left Echo.
Eastbound trains use the left of the two tracks here, since it has a more steady gradient.
A geologist could probably hold a long speach about the formation of the red rocks of Echo Canyon - for the normal guy, they're just fascinating. UP 2424, UP 6139 and UP 8607 tear their train uphill on the 26th September 2000 (left), UP 3472, UP 3590 and UP 5538 do the same on the following day (right).
From up close, those rocks are looking not less impressive! Under the red rocks, UP 6996, UP 9035 and two of their sisters roar by (left, 26th September 2000). A much easier job have UP 2424, UP 6139 and UP 8607 on September 25th, 2000 - downhill it's only the dynamic breaks have to be used (right).
Rather unspectacular - if you don't count the appearance as a photo-model for a couple of german railfans - was the way through Echo Canyon for UP 6026, UP 3338 and UP 3956 on the 25th of September 2000 (left). UP 8548 and UP 8546 will just as savely complete their trip to Ogden on the 27th of September 2000 - we positively know that, as we followed the train after that shot!
For about 10 minutes CNW 8707, UP 3092, UP 3821 and UP 6125 could be heared before they came crawling around the curve - even with the interstate next to our location! Not quite that loud were UP 6153, UP 5986 and DRGW 5371 a bit later - but their train was a long one, having an axle count of 630 in total! Both pictures were taken on September 17th, 1997.
Locomotives in the black and orange livery of the Denver, Rio Grande & Western Railroad were quite hard to be found in 2000, with many of them repainted to "armor yellow" and "harbour mist grey" already. Lucky we were on September 25th, when DRGW 5572 had sneaked herself in between UP 2440 and UP 4798. Despite of the heavy train, the locos make reasonable progress.
In the upper part of the Echo Canyon, the height differences get smaller - nevertheless railways and landscape provide for beautiful photo-locations. After UP 6259, UP 3344, UP 6104 and UP 9135 have stopped for some minutes for unknown reasons, they gain speed again. (September 26th, 2000).
Some hundred yards apart lie the tracks near Castle Rock. While (left, Septmebr 26th, 2000) a westbound manifest rolls downhill, UP 3495, UP 3924 and UP 9136 struggle uphill in the background. From the same location, but with differnet focal length, UP 6190, UP 2089, SP 8653 and UP 3586 are pictured on the 25th Septmeber 2000.
CNW 8587 and SP 8275 have just started the descent, as their piggypack train is illuminated by the first sunbeams of September 17th, 1997, near Castle Rock. The large number of double-stack container and intermodal trains proves, that combined traffic is an issue in the US, too.
Just a few hundred yards more, and UP 3389, UP 3145 and UP 3694 have reached the top of the hill. Only a few miles east of Wahsatch the train will leave Utah, too - with some 400 miles of Wyoming in front of it.
At this point, our photographic journey ends ... it may be continued, if Saint Peter provides us with proper weather on our next trip.

Last update: 08th June 2002