As smoke from the raging Thomas Fire fills the sky, UP 9906 leads a rail train south out of Carpinteria for Seacliff where it will meet Amtrak 769 before continuing on to Oxnard. The sun, trying its hardest to shine through the thick smoke that is the result of more than 50,000 acres burning between Ventura and Ojai, casts a red glow of a reflection over the Pacific Ocean as it slowly dips toward the horizon. A few hours after I took this photo, under the cover of darkness, the fire would jump US 101 and shut down the railroad south of Seacliff for a short time as first crews quickly worked to extinguish the flames.
The EMD SD (special duty) series are a strong and reliable kind of locomotive which still serve America's rails today. They have proved themselves by clocking in several million miles of freight service.