Friday, November 02, 2007

Modesto & Empire Traction

Modesto & Empire Traction

50 years old and still going strong!

I spent much of Monday 10/22 on the Modesto & Empire Traction between Modesto and Empire, CA. Modesto & Empire switches a large industrial park east of downtown Modesto. They interchange with UP at Modesto and with BNSF at Empire. Boxcar traffic comprises a large percentage of their traffic base -- most of them arrive in Modesto empty and are loaded with wine, canned goods, and produce. It's an interesting operation, made even more so by the line's motive power roster, which consists primarily of General Electric 70-ton switchers. (In fact, M&ET has the nation's largest fleet of operating 70-tonners). A pair of SW1500s have recently arrived on the property, but the 70-tonners were doing all the work on the day I was there.

Proudly serving the Beard Industrial District...

lettering on a 70-tonner

SW1500 # 1500 at the M&ET's shops

Former Santa Maria Valley 70-tonners mingle with M&ET switchers

heading west along Yosemite Blvd.

Still working hard after lunch

passing a pallet yard

cab close-up
Coming next... more from Modesto.

nr: John Steinbeck - East of Eden
np: the Gourds - "Hooky Junk"

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