Standing the cold
We spent the night at a shabby motel in Helper, Utah – it’s good location was the selling argument. On the morning of june 2nd, we only needed a short ride up Price River Canyon to Colton to witness the sunrise. We underestimated the temperature at this altitude though: shorts are not the recommended clothing when it’s -literally- freezing outside!
We knew a passenger train was supposed to pass, so we climbed to our spot. Even if we didn’t know if a train would be coming, we wouldn’t have returned to get decent clothing: it all looked way too beautiful. And lucky we were: after seeing the passenger train and freezing for only 60 minutes or so, a Utah Railways freight train is arriving at the summit.
The empty train is hauled by 6 engines, representing 17500 horses. 2 of these carry the colors of genesee & Wyoming, who purchased Utah Railways in 2002. Locomoives 1, 4 and 5 are MK50-3 types built by MK Rail in 1994, and repowered in 2003. Utah Railways owns all units built (8) of this type. Locomotives 2 and 3 are SD50S types, built under license by EMD in Australia. Utah Railways acquired them in 2001.
Like a snake
Trains and curves are a good combination. From a visual point of view, not from a technical point of view that is. Kyune is a location on Price River Canyon offering lots of curves. We were about to find out if there would be trains as well.
It took a while before one came, but oh did we enjoy the sight of it snaking through the landscape. Meanwhile, temperature had risen so it was actually a very enjoyable wait.
The road to the top is curvy and steep
Train traffic in Price River Canyon is impressive. I’m speaking quality wise. This loaded coal train is hauled by 5 engines, and has 6 helpers in the middle of the train. The curvy rails and steep grade assured the audiovisual spectacle. It has a been a very long time since I experienced such a power showdown.
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