Date: 01/31/05
Nostalgic PLA Equipment Move Part 8 - Widows Through The Canyon
Author: espeeboy

Only a mile or so from the Niles Canyon Railway Museum in Sunol, the urban sprawl of the East Bay and Fremont comes to an end at "The Canyon" as railfans and RR crews call it. Niles Canyon used to host two railroad rights of way with WP's Oakland Sub on the south side and SP's tracks on the northern end. Both mainlines lead to the central valley via Pleasanton, Livermore, Altamont and Tracy. After SP dumped its ROW in the early 80's, all trains on both the SP and UP (WP's new "merger daddy") moved on to the UP Oakland Sub.

On Saturday January 8, 2005, these were the tracks where the PLA relocation museum train movement cut its way east on tis finaly leg to the Hearst siding museum interchange track.

Here we are in the Canyon just west of Brightside where the UP tracks cut under Niles Canyon road. This is after coming out of the long Tunnel #1 and approaching the small Tunnel #2. Sprinted pretty fast against traffic without a sidewalk or even real curb for this shot. I think Engineer Lou is looking up at us.

A few minutes earlier a few of us are camped out at Niles Junction.

Train is approaching the Niles Junction Diamonds. This is where the UP Niles Sub lined straight south becomes the Warm Springs Sub (tracks right to left). Our train is coming off the Centerville Line heading east (off the Niles Sub running west) and is taking the post 1996 merger interchange track to zig-zag on to the Oakland Sub

Lou is smiling perhaps posing in the cab (well he has no where to go) and Harry Wong ("tracktime") and Mikey J. are down on the ground wondering if this photo will end up on (yup)

Three locomotives that just belong around Niles. Starting to make their way up the Canyon..

Here we have the Niles Junction railfans taking a photo of the rear end PLA SSW Hack crew taking a photo of the Niles Junction railfans!

Gotcha groundhog!

Curving across the creek bridge at Sunol.

Keith Ode looks back as the 5472 banks on curve past the Sunol bridge...

Chugging around the bend (from due east to due north) at Downtown Sunol.

The train has finally reached its destination at Heart Siding.

The Niles Canyon Railway's little "Tonner 298" comes out across the protected road to assist in the transfer of PLA owned museum cars while Ed and co-crewmember hop off the Cotton Belt hack at the rear of the train...

"Okay you take the fat railfan, you take the short one, you take the family out and I'll take that espeenut with the poison oak rash, Break on two - one, two HUT!"

Really, the nice and organized Niles Canyon Railway volunteer crew is seen getting their action plan to move all of the PLA cars off UP territory (for good) and on to Museum owned right of way.

That's all for part 8, thanks for hanging with me this far. In part 9 we'll see some of the museum moves plucking PLA member owned cars one or two at a time. We'll also see the Black Widow + one WP Geep light power move return west through the canyon to go get some PLA stored Fremont Steam Engines!!! Stay tuned...

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