After a morning at Tehachapi Loop,watching the trains from afar, we decided to spend the afternoon getting a closer look and moved to a spot to get a closer look at the train engines as they rolled by.
I'm always amazed how train engines can pull so much weight behind them.
For loud, clumsy and strong behemoths, trains can also be very photogenic!
About 5 years ago, my husband and I took a road trip to Tehachapi, CA to visit the Tehachapi Loop. My husband is a big fan of trains, and this was on his "Train Watching" wish list. I am by no means a railfan, but am always up for an adventure. I have to say I am glad I went because I found out, although I may not be a railfan, I am a big fan of photographing trains!!
From the Above Sign found in front of the scene in my first picture
" National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark
Teachapi Pass Railroad Line
Commemorated October 1998
In front of you is the world famous Tehachapi Loop which is about halfway upgrade to the Tehachapi Pass. This Steep line averages 2.2% in gradient in its 28 miles of length. This feat of civil engineering genius was the crowning achievement of civil engineer William Hood of the Southern Pacific Railway Company. It is one of the seven wonders of the railroad world.
The Tehachapi Pass Railroad Line was cut through solid and decomposed granite by up to 3000 Chinese Laborers from Canton China. They used picks, shovels, horse drawn carts and blasting powder/ This line. which climbs out of the San Joaquin Valley and through the Tehachapi Mountains had 18 tunnels, 10 bridges and numerous water towers for the ols steam locomotives. It was completed in less than 2 years time under the leadership of civil engineer J.B. Harris, Chief of Construction, a remarkable feat.
This line was part of the last and final links of the first railroad line connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles. It was the primary factor in the early growth of the city of Los Angeles and the State of California.
This single track line, essentially unchanged is still in constant use today, 122 years after its completion. It passes an average of 36 freight trains each day. This attests to the superior job of both engineering and construction done by the two civil engineers and the Chinese laborers. This plaque is dedicated to them.
History and Heritage Committee
Los Angeles Section and Southern San Joaquin Branch
American Society of Civil Engineers"
(photo credit to Charasmatic Planet) Hopefully, we can get our own drone pic one day, but here is an aerial view of what the loop looks like....
Here are some of the shots I took of the Loop from a few different angles(from ground level).
Train getting ready to enter the loop...
It's almost ouroboros-like, the way the same train passes itself
Entering the tunnel...
This shot gives things a bit more perspective.
As I mentioned, I'm not a railfan and don't know many details about Tehachapi Loop, other than it is a beautiful work of engineering. I do know if you search the interwebs for the "Tehachapi Loop", you will find a plethora of information to peruse at your leisure.
Stay tuned the rest of the week for other sights around Tehachapi!