Part I Sand Train. A BNSF sand train climbs up and around the horseshoe curve in Coal Creek Canyon. The 2% grade is evident here as the the head-end of the train passed over the 2 DPU AC units pushing on the rear. Moving these 11,000 ton trains up this mountain is perhaps one of the most strenuous work-outs BNSF locomotives ever encounter. The BNSF pushes the limits of traction and durability, with tonnage generally maxed out for what these locomotives can handle. This train passed me at 13mph which is actually quite good for these trains. In part 2 you will be able to see the effect the tunnel district had on this train.