Rush Hour at Fassler. At 7:00 am on May 1st, 2018, the crew of the Sierra Northern Fassler Flyer (freight train) met at the yard office in Oakdale, California. With a couple loads and several empties to be switched out at Sonora, the day's itinerary appeared routine. After an hour of building the train, the Fassler Flyer was headed up the historic Oakdale rail line. Originally built in the 1890s, the historic "Oakdale Branch" has played an important role connecting California's Motherlode Country to the San Joaquin Valley. The train made excellent time up to Sonora under the watchful eyes of an experienced train crew. Unfortunately, no day on the railroad is routine. As the train approached Sonora, the crew got word that a wooden trestle was going to require repairs. A maintenance of way (MOW) crew was at the scene, but until they were finished, the train was going to have to wait. Several hours later and the train was still stopped. Just after three in the afternoon, the bridge was ready to go and SERA 52 was given permission to head east. Now at this point, the train crew only had several more hours to legally work. They were instructed to finish their switching at Sonora and then head west as far as they could. In this shot, the Sierra Northern Fassler Flyer arrives at the "Standard Mill" in East Sonora. The train crew will diligently pull the loaded lumber cars from the mill and spot the empties. By consistently serving this lumber mill in a timely manner, the Sierra Northern Railway gives Sierra Pacific Industries a competitive way to ship their forestry products.
SERA 132 was also added to the consist and less than an hour after arriving, the Fassler Flyer was ready to head west. During this time, an intense thunderstorm was building over the area. Multiple lightning strikes and heavy rain could be seen just a couple of miles to the east. It was smooth sailing down the hill, but the time was ticking away quickly. Shortly after passing Jamestown, it was decided to tie the train down in Chinese Camp for the night. The following day, a fresh crew would take the train the remaining distance to Oakdale.
From a hint of "Bee" (NKP 765), colorful "Bees" (KCS), "Bees" w/ attitude, to "Bees" that "sting" your eyes, in their own way they have "Bee" on display! Equipment that "Buzzes" with Yellow & Black colors! ("Bees" can still "Bee" entering this "hive"!)