It was dark by the time we reached Barstow, an oasis in the Mojave desert on I-15, I-40, Route 66 and the old AT&SF and UP. With a modest (by California standards) population of just over 22,000, it is easy to find the BNSF yard.
1. This display of vintage locomotives and rolling stock is part of the Western America Railroad Museum at the station. This FP45 could stand a fresh coat of paint. Barstow CA.
2. The former AT&SF station and Harvey House Restaurant now houses the local chamber of commerce. Amtrak’s Southwest Limited stops here also. This view is looking west. The big hump yard is around the curve. Barstow CA.
3. AT&SF depot. View 2. Barstow CA.
4. Barstow Harvey House plaque. Barstow CA.
5. BNSF 6329-7257-8031-3925-3969 are pulling to a stop with a w/b intermodal train. Barstow CA.
6. BNSF Geeps 129-102-2516-183 are parked on a lead that appears to have gone to the old roundhouse. Facilities east of the bridge appear to be part of the original yard. Barstow CA.
7. BNSF GP60M 102. Barstow CA.
8. BNSF “GP39-3” 2516 is a former GP30. Barstow CA.
9. BNSF GP60 183 Barstow CA.
10. BNSF 6983-4330-6911 await a crew to go toward L.A. or San Francisco. Barstow CA.
11. The older portion of the yard looking east including those four Geeps. BNSF yard looking east. Barstow CA.
12. BNSF yard entrance. Barstow CA.
13. BNSF SD40-2 1859 and GP60B 345 are the hump engines. Barstow CA.
14. Looking east. BNSF 1859-345 hump engines. Barstow CA.
15. The BNSF classification yard looking east. We didn’t linger too long for obvious reasons. Barstow CA.
16. Union Pacific’s crew change point is Yermo, a few miles east of Barstow. Yermo isn’t much more than a wide spot in the road that the I-15 bypassed. Left to right: UP 8493 on e/b frt, DPU 7768 ready to depart on a w/b coal train, CSX DPU 467 on a w/b coal train. Yes, the score at Yermo is coal trains 2, non-coal 1! Yes, this is environmentally crazy California! Yermo CA.
17. Came all this way to shoot a CSX AC! 467-UP 6817 will operate in DPU mode. Yermo CA.
18. East end of yard looking west. UP 8493 7768 CSX 467. Yermo CA.
19. UP SD70ACe 8493. Yermo CA.
20. 5616-4720 are on the fuel pad (perhaps the other end of the 8493’s train). On the far track is 6511 which will soon depart with a w/b coal train. UP 6511 5616-4720. Yermo CA.
21. UP 6511-8713-6318 are fueled and pull forward with their coal train. This train is composed of DGHX (Searles Valley Minerals) rapid-discharge hoppers plus a few C&NW fill-ins. This train is likely headed for Mojave and then north on the Lone Pine Br. to Searles. From there it would head over the 30-mile Trona Ry. (owned by Searles Valley Minerals) to the Trona area. Former owner Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp. built the Argus power plant there in 1978. It was the first large industrial power plant in California powered by coal. It serves the company’s three area plants. Yermo CA.
22. UP 6511-8713-6318. Yermo CA.
23. The coal train is not leaving town but pulling forward so the DPU helpers can be fueled. Those armored vehicles hint that the U. S. Marine Corps logistics base is just over there. There are several Marine, Army, USAF, and USN training bases nearby. UP 6511-8713-6318. Yermo CA.
24. DPU helpers UP 8562-7768 are spotted for fueling. Yermo CA.
I’m not sure where the other coal train was going. Kaiser Steel’s plant in Fontana is no more. Perhaps the port of Long Beach for export.