Welcome to Photo Line! Southern California’s distinctive landscapes and busy railroad operations come together to host a wide variety of spectacular railfanning opportunities in close proximity. The steep grades and sharp curves on Tehachapi Pass keep speeds below 25 MPH, affording easy chases. On Cajon Pass, multiple mainlines provide lots of action. In the city, frequent Amtrak California and Metrolink passenger trains serve the greater Los Angeles area. Join Sacramento photographer Mike Roqué on a three-day adventure to capture it.
A southbound hotshot van train eases past the searchlight signal bridge as it finishes its descent into Mojave after conquering Tehachapi Pass on May 13, 2010. Soon, they’ll be racing across the desert towards Barstow at 70 MPH.
A northbound work train negotiates the tight curves of Tehachapi Loop on May 13, 2010. They’re headed for Oregon with a large number of rubber-tired work vehicles, track machinery, and a ballast undercutter.
A southbound BNSF manifest train climbs through the horseshoe curve at Caliente on May 13, 2010. They will soon meet a northbound Union Pacific train at Bealville before continuing to Mojave.
A northbound Union Pacific hopper train coasts into the siding at Bealville to meet the southbound BNSF manifest on May 13, 2010. If the timing is just right, they won’t even have to stop on their way to Bakersfield.
A BNSF stack train continues its climb to the summit of Cajon Pass at Martinez on May 14, 2010. With great lighting, wide open views, and the many hills, lots of great photo angles are possible in this area.
A BNSF coil steel train rounds Sullivan’s Curve near Cajon, California on May 15, 2010. This classic location now offers views of four main tracks.
An Amtrak California Surfliner train arrives at Fullerton on May 15, 2010. Four high-speed mainline tracks, an east-west orientation, and wide variety of both freight and passenger trains makes for exhilarating railfanning all day long.