Portland's finest, Southern Pacific Daylight 4449, hit the rails again in October 2004, contracted by Montana Rail Tours to pull a passenger special from Sandpoint, Idaho to Billings, Montana, over three days, remain in Billings for a few, then return to Sandpoint in three days. Doyle McCormack and his crew had just painted the locomotive in her original colors, SP Daylight, and she gleamed in the sunlight racing across Washington State on October 7th and 8th. Sharon and I chased her from Pasco to Missoula. The first five photos are outside of Lind, WA.
This one between Lind and Ritzville, WA.
A meet soon after with a BNSF freight.
Following a crew change in Ritzville, where Bill Stettler took over as engineer, three shots departing Ritzville from a dead stop. Nice stack talk. Different cameras produce different results.
4449 Arrived in Sandpoint on the 8th and remained on the siding at Kootenai all day the 9th. Here she is ready to go on the morning of the 10th, with the excursion train about to be coupled on.
We got in the car and headed to the first photo site, above the berm crossing Lake Pend Oreille at MP 41. After a slight delay due to switching and freight traffic, the train emerged, looking great.
Anyone who has chased the 4449 knows that it is almost impossible to catch Doyle once he gets ahead of you. There was a photo runby for the passengers near Cabinet Forge dam, which allowed us to get ahead of the train again. We stopped for lunch at Thompson Falls, at "Minnie's", highly recommended, and caught the "fall colored train" in the fall colors.
Once into Montana, the highway speed limit was higher than that of the railroad, so we could stay up with the racing 4449. She stopped at Paradise for servicing. We did, too, for a couple of photos, then off to try to find the semaphores.
Quite by chance, we found this location. MP 210.3. We wanted dual semaphores, but this was a great shot and there were rumors of way too many fans at Donlan. There were only about 10 at this location.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Time to return home.