Friday, May 18, 2012

Returning Empties to the Powder River Basin

I really did not go looking for this video of a coal train. I was doing a bit of research on the railroad tunnel in Everett for a work project and came across a web page with a set of train videos. This clip is of a coal train on the return to the Powder River Basin heading over Stevens Pass in the Cascade Range. This route utilizes the longest rail tunnel in the United Sates, a remarkable seven mile long spiral straight tunnel that replaced a previous steeper poorly vented tunnel and prior to that a track that required switch backs and was susceptible to avalanches. The Stevens Pass route is apparently too steep of a grade to handle the fully loaded coal trains, but at least some of the empty coal trains head back to the Powder River Basin via this route. I did not count all the cars. I'll save that for when I am waiting at a crossing.  


Carl said...

The tunnel under Stevens Pass is straight as an arrow for 7.79 miles. You might be thinking of the spiral tunnels of the Canadian Pacific near Field, B.C. and Kicking Horse Pass.

Dan McShane said...

Thanks for catching that slip.