Tehachapi Loop, California

April 30, 2011

We visited the famous Tehachapi Loop in California.
Southern Pacific Railroad constructed the loop in 1876.
Union Pacific now owns the track, and BNSF has trackage
rights through Tehachapi Pass. The loop is a
National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.


A westbound BNSF train approaches the loop.


About to round the loop.


Passing over the tunnel.


Rounding the conical hill that provides the grade change for
the loop. Westbounds go downhill. Eastbounds go uphill.


About to loop under itself.


Westbound train looping under itself.


Westbound locomotives on the other side of the loop look like
they are chasing their own tail. You can see an eastbound train
waiting in the distance.


Westbound leaving the loop.


Eastbound Union Pacific freight approaching the loop. This is
probably a load of empty new containers. Only 2 locomotives
needed to make it uphill.


Eastbound still on west side of loop.


Eastbound coming through the tunnel.


Eastbound starting to round the loop.


Eastbound rounding the conical hill.


Eastbound crossing over itself.


Eastbound completing the loop.


The loop east of the tunnel also has a 4000' siding. We did not
see any trains use this siding. Most are too long.


End of eastbound leaves the tunnel.


Continuing eastbound and uphill.


Maintenance vehicle above the tunnel.


Maintenance vehicle near a signal.


The landmark.


Loop and landmark.


Tehachapi Depot in Tehachapi, California. The depot is a very
nice railroad museum.


A collection of railroad lanterns.


Topographic model of the loop.


The main depot museum room.


A smaller display room.


They have a nice collection of old railroad signals.


The depot.


Depot sign showing the extent of the old Southern Pacific.


Depot clock and water tower.


Water tower at the railroad park.


Westbound UP freight passing behind the depot. 30 to 40 trains
a day run through Tehachapi Pass.


West of the loop, six BNSF locomotives lead a westbound train.


The lead BNSF locomotive.


Continuing west.


BNSF freight heads east across the Colorado River from California
into Arizona.


The double track bridge is part of BNSF's main line.