Heavy Metal


The North West Pacific Railroad was started in the late 1800s as an enterprise between the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroads
it was in 1995 when the Southern Pacific officially sold the last of the line and the trains stopped running north of Willits where my journey began…

Actually, my journey began in San Francisco, on one heck of a windy and very very wet day, I wasnt impressed especially coming over from a windy and wet England and expecting some sunshine!
Having upgraded my hire car to a 4×4 (just incase I would get blown off the Golden Gate bridge) I set the footwell heaters to MAX in an attempt to dry off my soaking feet and legs. I made my way out of the city and headed North, up to Willits.

Golden Gate Bridge

The rain had been pretty consistant on the drive up the interstate road although there were no torrents of water for the 4×4 to contend with and my feet were at least starting to dry out (canvas trainers were not the right footwear for this occasion and would find themselves being discarded before my flight back home)

The trains which I had traveled to see stood looking lonely on an overgrown patch of track and surrounded by… yes… a metal heras fence *damn*

Freight Trains

I made the most of this distraction but it was very disappointing, it was too close to the trains as well so it was difficult to get any images without it in view.

rust

Freight Train

There was a maintenance engine around to the rear which wasn’t part of the big ring fencing and I got some shots of this, but it was the engines that i was truly after.

close ups

I was at this point thinking that the day was going to be one for failures.

The journey back (having soaked my feet again in the wet overgrowth and boggy ground around the trains) took me to my final destination for the day.
It was on this route that I came across road closures (upon road closures) due to flooding, so much for escaping the water, and yes even closed to 4x4s! *refund?*

By the time that I had gotten to the trains, walked down the tracks and ignoring the warning signposts and a very excitable dog, the weather had cleared and the blue sky was giving way to a softer tint as the sun made its way towards the horizon.
It was here that the day would get better

The orange light fell on the earthy tones of the rusty hulk and made the engines almost glow!

Freight_Train-sunset

The trains are stationary with only fields and the rolling hills surrounding it, a solemn air as i walked around the train taking in the views and taking the photos as the sun set further into the horizon
Freight_Train-sunset3

The rain had created pools of reflections around the engine and my final image from the day and one that made it all worth it was this one.
Freight_Train-sunset2

So the moral of this day was that, even if the day starts out with torrential rains… sometimes it pays to stick with it.

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