random thoughts on railroad photography, railfanning, technology, and such

Entries in Mountains (1)

Thursday
Sep092010

Tehachapi Pass in HDR: Caliente

A long-time favorite spot to watch and photograph trains of mine is the Tehachapi Mountains, located between Mojave and Bakersfield, California. I have made countless trips to the golden hills of Tehachapi over the decades and the area is on my list of places where I would like to live.  The area features hard-core mountain railroading, a storied past, and four seasons complete with all the changes that brings.

While I have been working on perfecting my use of HDR software, I have pulled some of my older RAW images out and reprocessed them as pseudo-HDR images. The following images are from a very special corner of the Tehachapi Pass region known as Caliente, California and were taken on a cloudy day in late May of 2006. 


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UP 4234 North 1 - UP 4234 (EMD SD70M), UP 5250 (GE ES44AC), UP 5763 (GE AC4400CTE), UP 5368 (GE ES44AC), and UP 5761 (GE AC4400CTE) in full dynamics to ease a heavy manifest train downgrade towards the horseshoe curve at Caliente, CA. Their battle with the Tehachapi Mountains will be over shortly as the grade will ease into the central valley of California.
[5/27/2006 - Mojave Subdivision] © Copyright 2006, Joe Perry

UP 4234 North 2 - UP 4234 (EMD SD70M), UP 5250 (GE ES44AC), UP 5763 (GE AC4400CTE), UP 5368 (GE ES44AC), and UP 5761 (GE AC4400CTE) in full dynamics to ease a heavy manifest train downgrade towards the horseshoe curve at Caliente, CA. Their battle with the Tehachapi Mountains will be over shortly as the grade will ease into the central valley of California.
[5/27/2006 - Mojave Subdivision] © Copyright 2006, Joe Perry

Horseshoe at Caliente - UP 4234 (EMD SD70M), UP 5250 (GE ES44AC), UP 5763 (GE AC4400CTE), UP 5368 (GE ES44AC), and UP 5761 (GE AC4400CTE) in full dynamics to ease a heavy manifest train downgrade and around the horseshoe curve at Caliente, CA.

From this view it is easy to understand why when the rails first reached Caliente, CA, in 1875, that the land prices soared. Folks thought the rails would end here and that there was no way to get a railroad through the Tehachapi Mountains. Well the Southern Pacific Railroad brought in a brilliant engineer whose first order of business was to lay out the horseshoe curve seen here to reposition the tracks and right-of-way to climb up the side of the mountains that surround Caliente, CA. As a result, Caliente never became a major railhead as was hoped.
[5/27/2006 - Mojave Subdivision] © Copyright 2006, Joe Perry

Horseshoe at Caliente 2 - UP 4234 (EMD SD70M), UP 5250 (GE ES44AC), UP 5763 (GE AC4400CTE), UP 5368 (GE ES44AC), and UP 5761 (GE AC4400CTE) in full dynamics to ease a heavy manifest train downgrade and around the horseshoe curve at Caliente, CA.
[5/27/2006 - Mojave Subdivision] © Copyright 2006, Joe Perry

BNSF Z-Train and the Golden Hills of Tehachapi - A BNSF hot intermodal train is dwarfed by the golden grass-covered Tehachapi Mountains.
[5/27/2006 - Mojave Subdivision] © Copyright 2006, Joe Perry

BNSF 7740 West Descends Into Caliente - BNSF 7740 (GE ES44DC), BNSF 4674 (GE DASH 9-44CW), and BNSF 4792 (GE DASH 9-44CW) are holding back the tonnage of this westbound intermodal train as they descend the grade in the Tehachapi Pass into Caliente, CA.
[5/27/2006 - Mojave Subdivision] © Copyright 2006, Joe Perry

BNSF 7740 West Descends Into Caliente 2 - BNSF 7740 (GE ES44DC), BNSF 4674 (GE DASH 9-44CW), and BNSF 4792 (GE DASH 9-44CW) are holding back the tonnage of this westbound intermodal train as they descend the grade in the Tehachapi Pass into Caliente, CA.
[5/27/2006 - Mojave Subdivision] © Copyright 2006, Joe Perry

BNSF 4866 East Climbs Out - BNSF 4866 (GE DASH 9-44CW), BNSF 4828 (GE DASH 9-44CW), BNSF 4768 (GE DASH 9-44CW), and BNSF 8739 (EMD GP60) climb the mountain shelf out of Caliente, CA heading towards Bealville with an eastbound intermodal train in tow.
[5/27/2006 - Mojave Subdivision] © Copyright 2006, Joe Perry

BNSF 4866 East Climbs Out 2 - BNSF 4866 (GE DASH 9-44CW), BNSF 4828 (GE DASH 9-44CW), BNSF 4768 (GE DASH 9-44CW), and BNSF 8739 (EMD GP60) climb the mountain shelf out of Caliente, CA heading towards Bealville with an eastbound intermodal train in tow.
[5/27/2006 - Mojave Subdivision] © Copyright 2006, Joe Perry