Trip 1. 23-25 April 2007

The flight from Long Island to Vegas was late arriving thanks to an unscheduled stop in Nebraska due to a medical emergency. I check into the hotel and hit the web: forecast for tomorrow is thunderstorms, and a BNSF bridge further up the line in Belen has caught fire. Excellent!

Next morning I drive down in no real hurry because of the weather and check out Kingman Canyon, one of the well known railfan hotspots. For some reason it doesn't do much for me and I press northeastwards to explore Crozier Cayon. The weather is not great, but the scenery is! 
When it starts raining, I figure a canyon would not be the best place to hang out in the event of a flash flood, so I head to the west end and wait
Sun comes to those who wait. I obviously didn't wait long enough though to get full sun on the nose
The best outhouse in the world?
Next morning, I get up earlyish and head north from Kingman again. This shot was taken near Antares/Hackberry againist the light before I was approached by a BNSF maintainer and decided to clear out
Further round near Hackberry
A grab shot of the same train exiting the east end of Crozier as I look for a spot
Ooo, that's not a bad spot for a morning train. Lots of hummingbirds as well. It eventually occurred to me that I should try to get a pic of one but then this damn train arrived  
So that's the easy Crozier spots done, and it's time to press on and see what else this great state can offer in the way of easy pickings. On the way, I catch this warbonneted grain empty on its way up to Seligman. Nasty sun and heat haze, but we can't pass up that consist
For the afternoon's excitement, I explore the Crookton cutoff. Despite its remote location, I manage to pop off a few shots between what I assume was Perrin through to DoubleA
This is cheating a little - pushers on the back. Quite a lot of manifests and stackers have DPUs on the back
A more proper, yet somehow less tasty shot from the same spot
And I thought Arizona was a big flat desert...
A last shot after a long wait as the shadows come in 
And to finish up, a few shots at Crookton from the old Rt 66 overbridge and back to Seligman
Next morning produces this empty baretable train heading west across one of a number of bridges that are still neatly labeled for the former Santa Fe
Time to explore Crozier properly methinks
This and the above shot were taken close to the access track, but now its time to put on the hiking boots and go a little deeper 
Oooo, a train.
And another!
Pop a shot, find a new spot
Pop a shot, find a new spot
Talk about fish in a barrel
How many months would it take to get a string of good shots in the sun north of Dunedin?
This is all getting tedious. Can't wait to hit Invercargill again. Time for lunch.
That afternoon, I head back to Crookton to work the cutoff from west to east 
The big fill near Eagle Nest. Not too many trains point the right way for me this afternoon, nor are there as many shots that suit the sun. Still not a bad haul.

Trip 2. May 24-27 2007

Awwwlroity then. DB is hooked on the Seligman Sub and manages to tack a few days onto a work trip to Dallas. This time heading west of Williams to try out a big honkin' new lens
Shame about the peachbonnet leader for this nice meet
Mmmm, yummy
A couple more east of Williams Jct
Holy Crap, this thing is sharp. Click here for a 100% crop
A couple of easy shots from Maine as the sun gets nasty
And then its time for lunch. I find a small shop at a one horse town which provides the following fine luncheon fare: packaged turkey and cheese sandwich, bag of chips, bottle of champagne with styrofoam cup. Nothing like sitting under a tree beside the tracks at the end of a maintenance road drinking a couple of cups of awful champagne to while away the high sun hours. This Is Living.
Back on planet earth, a westbound west of Flagstaff
And another back at Maine. Are we sick of this big lens yet?
Williams nightlife sampler
Next morning. Lets work Crookton from the Williams end. A train quickly obliges
And another
And another... then I find a good S curve spot at the other end of this cutting for another eastbound. Alas 7 westbounds go by and high sun brings that shambles to an end
So I head back to this spot and wait and wait and wait while 4 trains head the wrong way. Dammit, my timing is awful today. I had the tail end of an uphill in the far curve, another stacked up behind it at the signal and could hear another one coming up behind them. If only a downhill would show up, I could get three trains in a pic!!! Of course it didn't.
Cheating with a pusher on one of the uphills
Finally a grain train arrives
Grain train helpers. There were a couple on the end also
Decent shot before my next round of screwups, which include backing over my tripod (don't ask) and, ahem, almost spending the night on the Crookton Cutoff in my rental truck...
Funky ballast hoppers in the shadows
Why do they run all the interesting stuff when the shadows are coming out? 
A toothless local in a battered pickup with some riders in the back points me towards I-40 and I hit the hyperdrive to catch this ballast cleaner back on Rt 66 east of Seligman
After the previous day's disasters, I play things safe with a few shots north of Seligman - should have been up earlier for better light
There's still a few decent looking dash 9s wearing warpaint in fair condition
That afternoon, I try the other side of Crozier for a bit of variety and some exciting rock climbing up and down the canyon
Pop, move on
Pop, move
Pop, move
Don't move, pop
Some neat cactuses on the south side
The Canyon Spectacle
A final shot after another nervous wait for shadows to ruin the shot. A train shows up just before I get the heebie jeebies about getting down and back to the car before dark
Canyon meet. I wasn't really paying attention, but managed to unpack and get the pushers
Trike bike meet at the Snow Cap in Seligman
One of a number of amusing road sign sets along Rt 66 (Hey, I even got a train in!)
In the early morning light another train heads out of Seligman for the Arizona Divide 
I've never seen so many Harleys or beards. I imagine all the hotshots leave their Ninjas and Hayabusas at home and rent Harleys out here to avoid having people turning their noses up at them
Snorting towards Seligman
One last snort before heading off
Great trainspotting perch this fellow has

Trip 3. August 4/5 2007

This is a Pair of DXs on the Midland line coal route in NZ in Nov 2006. I'm not sure why they are on this web page, but there you have it
"...don't forget Winona..." as they say while singing the Route 66 song. A nice mix of power on a local heads under overcast skies at Darling/Winona
Slightly west of that spot, a pig train heads uphill toward the Crookton Cutoff
Back at Seligman, another stacker heads west
Followed by another, with an eastbound heading off in the distance
A little sun at the end of Crozier canyon
And then a lack of same. Note the CN full cowl dash 8 in spot #3
A matched set under hazy skies
Finally some sun and a motley mix of power
The Santa Fe lives! A shame these are old-batch snotbonnets just west of Crozier...
And a nice set of BNSF orange just as the sun sets
With a following powerbar near Peach Springs
This spot near Peach Springs is the place to be if you want to see 4 or 5 trains going the wrong way. Just as I'm giving up on the sun the next morning, I hear a rumble in the distance. I don't know if the GE was working and the high-hood NS geep was also having some problems with the noise of the  train slogging along uphill reverberating for about 10 minutes before it actually got here. Definitely the winner of Eclectic Power of the Day.
Then its off to the Williamsish area and time to bring out the big gun
...and then the rain came down... I just about couldn't get the crappy 2wd  truck out of the mud here afterwards, which is always exciting, isn't it
Empty racks move east after the downpour
And now something completely different. 






Similar to the above shot, but taken at 2.8 just to see what would happen to the foreground. 
And a few more hummers to kill time. far more interesting than trains anyway




One more train before the rain started again
Not a lot of lads pulling off to explore Dry Beaver creek
I think I'll imaginatively call this one "Sunset "