Modesto & Empire Traction
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.
lettering on a 70-tonner