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Wyoming

I have traveled to Wyoming on numerous camping trips and now I am afforded the opportunity to further explore the area to a depth never possible before. Around the end of 2004 I worked in Cheyenne for a couple of weeks and saw countless numbers of trains pass my office window (actually there were 35 in a 9.5 hour period). I look forward to returning there in the near future. Because of what I saw in Cheyenne I made a weekend out of going to Rawlins, another place I oftened visited in the past. Gone is the old steel water tower and the GP-30 switching the yard. Station is still there but fenced in as most are nowadays to keep people from crossing the tracks.

The center of my attention and the closest there is to trains in there area where I am staying is in the Wind River Canyon. The BNSF runs several trains a day through the canyon and if I'm lucky I can catch one after work. The canyon is approximately 15 miles long with one high bridge on the south end and several tunnels on the same end. Terrain goes from shear rock faces to gently slopes of rock and sagebrush. Cedars cover some of the slopes. The Wind River separates the highway and people from the tracks. Several turnouts are provided off this 65 mph highway that sports lots of vehicle traffic.


I shot this same westbound image, at this same location 25 years ago of DDA40X's and believe me, nothing has changed except for that signal bridge in this image and the types of engines. Wind was blowing about a steady 30 mph in Rawlins, Wyoming this day, but as they say in Wyoming the wind is not blowing, its Nebraska sucking.
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This was a surprise to catch one of the Olympic engines in the lead on an eastbound out of Rawlins, Wyoming. Too bad the NS engine was in the shot.
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This bluff is on the west end of Rawlins, right in town and at the entrance to the yard. A westbound freight just took on fuel and is headed towards the Red Desert and Utah.
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An eastbound leaving Thermopolis, Wyoming. The rock formation in the background is from the Jurassic period.
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A little snow is coming down as another eastbound freight pulls out of Thermopolis.
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An eastbound goes through Wind River Canyon, located on the Wind River Indian Reservation. You can see the highway to the right that parallels the tracks with the Wind River separating the two.
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Same train entering one of the several short tunnels in the Wind River Canyon.
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Notice how the snow as slacked off. The north end of the canyon on the Thermopolis end normally receives more snow than the south end. This is the high bridge over the Wind River and near the base of the Boysen Reservoir Dam.
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A westbound grain train approaches the Wind River Canyon and is passing on the edge of Boysen State Park. This is one of my favorites.
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The same westbound grain train exiting one of the several tunnels in the canyon. That is some shear rock walls. The tunnel portal is constructed of steel instead of wood.
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This view was taken of an eastbound freight crossing the high bridge over the Wind River. I am standing on the dam looking north.
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Since this shot was taken the gently rolling Wind River has picked up in flow from some recent rains and snow melt-off and is showing a little white-waterish tendencies. This is a westbound in the middle of the canyon.
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I took this shot digitally and seconds later I shot a 35mm of the same image, but the difference was in the 35mm there was a heard of Pronghorn Antelope running in the opposite direction of this westbound train. The mountains in the background are near Dubois, Wyoming and the water is the Boysen Reservoir.
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A pair of GP-30's is assigned to the "Local" out of Graybull, Wyoming and are ready to head south (east in the RR's mind) towards Worland, Wyoming. Graybull is a crew change point and has a small yard. Montana is not too far north from this location and Graybull also has a great aerial fire fighting museum with a large collection of aircraft. Check it out if you are in the area.
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