Burlington Northern 1920 East holds clear of Bridge 4 in Ballard, WA with a quartet of EMD GP9's in various trim levels. Aside from the rainy cloudy day, what I noticed right away about this photo is the industrial nature that was Ballard during this era. In the background is the Time Oil facility which used to have rail service to ship and receive petroleum products, although by this day it appears the tracks are no longer in service. Up well into the Eighties, Ballard had quite a bit of industrial property served by rail on both sides of the Lake Washington Ship Canal linking Shilshole Bay and Lake Union. The train in this photo is on former Great Northern trackage but Ballard was served by two Northern Pacific branch lines. One line split from the Great Northern Mainline just north of Bridge 4 in Ballard and ran down the north side of the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The other line started behind where the present day BNSF Interbay diesel shop is and ran along Westlake Avenue to what was known as the Terry Avenue Line to serve customers in the South Lake Union area. In my youth I remember the trackage that today consists of The Ballard Terminal Railway had multiple spurs splitting off the former NP line on the north side of the ship canal serving numerous customers. Photos along this line are fairly rare owing to its nocturnal operation. Once the California Invasion began in the mid-Eighties and Seattle real estate prices started to skyrocket, the steady gentrification of Ballard was underway. Slowly, these rail served businesses had to close up shop or relocate further way from Seattle to more affordable land. There is a little bit of trackage in Ballard that still exists and what's left is operated by the Ballard Terminal Railway but very few customers remain. Another item on note is rail cars with little to no graffiti. The train in question is likely operating between Auburn and Everett picking up and setting out traffic at the major yards in between. Photo taken January 1982 in Ballard, WA.