Tag Archives: union pacific 844

Picture of the Moment—Zoey the Cool Cat talks….

Picture of the Moment

I left at 4:18 on the morning on Wednesday, May 8, to go to northern Utah for the sesquicentennial celebration of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.

I lived in northern Utah—Hyrum, Wellsville, Logan, and Brigham City—from mid-1961 (unsure of the actual date) to December 18, 1965.

Union Pacific #844 and #4014 meet in Ogden, UtahI visited the historic railroad depot in downtown Ogden, Utah, to see two historic steam locomotives re-enact the meeting 150 years ago at….

Promontory Summit, Utah, the place where the eastern railroad, Union Pacific, met with the western railroad, Central Pacific;

Buffalo on Antelope Island, Great Salt LakeAntelope Island, a huge island in the Great Salt Lake, where there is a very large herd of buffalo;

Red Butte Gardens on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City;

Lagoon Amusement Park, one of the few places that I have positive memories of my years ages 6-10 in northern Utah;

visited my oldest aunt and uncle in Provo, Utah. Mom was the oldest child, and this uncle was the second oldest. Aunt & uncle were the two who drove me from Brigham City, Utah, to Kingsville, Texas, in December 1965 when I was to be adopted by my wise old (paternal) grandmother.

and I chased the two steam locomotives from Ogden to Morgan to Echo to Evanston, Wyoming, on May 12.

I will have lots of pictures and videos to share in the coming days, weeks, and months.

I got home at 7:50 on the morning of Monday, May 13.

I’m not sure whether I got a “Welcome home!” or a different message from the little queen, Zoey the Cool Cat.

What do y’all think?

Southern California, a train lover’s paradise

Railroads & Trains logo

Southern California is a train lover’s paradise, especially if one loves riding trains and not just watching them pass by.

For riding pleasure, we have the San Diego Trolley with its ubiquitous red cars. The Trolley system has 53 stations, 54 miles of tracks, and three routes (Orange Line, Red Line, Blue Line). It will take one down to the Mexican border, out east to Santee, to downtown San Diego, and all around downtown. Its average of 122,400 riders on week days makes it the nation’s fourth most-ridden light rail system.

San Diego Trolley at the historic Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego

Santa Fe Depot in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There also is a historic streetcar that runs circular routes downtown on the Silver Line. Looks like this:

San Diego Trolley vintage streetcar

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There is the Coaster, which travels between downtown San Diego’s historic Santa Fe Depot and Oceanside, 38 miles north.

Coaster at the San Diego County Fair

Once you get to Oceanside, you can hitch a ride on Metrolink all the way to the historic Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.


Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Or you can choose to ride Amtrak from downtown San Diego all the way to downtown Los Angeles, one of the most beautiful routes on the entire Amtrak system.

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner in Del Mar, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Once in Oceanside, you can take the Sprinter east to Escondido, about twenty miles and just a few miles from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.


Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If your preference is for freight trains, BNSF serves the San Diego area.

BNSF locomotive in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

BNSF doesn’t make it easy to watch their trains, though. Their tracks are in heavy industrial areas and usually behind high walls and fences.

To watch freight trains, I highly suggest taking a day trip to Los Angeles or Palm Springs and watching the Union Pacific trains build America.

Union Pacific Railroad, Building America

Union Pacific Railroad

Union Pacific 6190, a former Southern Pacific engine

Lonely boxcar in the desert faa framed

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

You can often catch the historic ATSF 3751 steam engine making its way around California since it’s based in Los Angeles.

ATSF 3751 at Los Angeles at National Train Day in May 2012

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Every few years, the Union Pacific’s own historic steam engine, #844, cruises through Southern California pulling historic passenger cars.

Union Pacific 844 steam engine in Southern California, November 2011

Union Pacific 844 steam engine in Southern California, November 2011

Union Pacific 844 steam engine in Southern California, November 2011

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you’re in Los Angeles, where traffic is a horrible mess at all hours of the day, park the car somewhere and take Metrolink or Metro Rail. The trains are fast and clean, and the stations, especially those of the newer Metro Rail, are public works of art in and of themselves.

Metro Rail of Los Angeles

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Red Line on the Metro subway in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Do you have Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

photograhic art taking pictures making art

Union Pacific 844

Interested in selling your photographs or other art work?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos



A few years ago I sold $225 worth of flamingo pictures to a woman in Christchurch, New Zealand. She had found my pictures on a blog that I did about flamingos. That was before I was even trying to sell anything. I was just having fun.

Then I realized that with seven billion people on Earth with the potential to be connected via the Internet, there might be more out there. That’s when I discovered photography web sites via ifp3.com. I have one of their web sites at Russel Ray Photos.

I have not used my ifp3.com web site like I could because it just takes too much time to do it right. I also have accounts at Zazzle and SmugMug. I’ve let Zazzle and SmugMug languish because they, too, take too much time to do right. If all I did was spend 18 hours a day at the computer, I might be able to make them work.

Today I joined Fine Art America. I initially liked it, but I’m finding that it takes a lot of time, too. Why does everything take a lot of time? My main problem with Fine Art America is that, according to them, their servers only update everything once every 24 hours. That means that you could upload a picture, forget to put it in a gallery, or want to add one more keyword, but you can’t for 24 hours because the picture is nowhere to be found.

Ya just gotta wait.

How so totally yesterday.

I uploaded these two pictures today:

Hanging out

Hanging out


Union Pacific 844

Union Pacific 844


At first glance Fine Art America seems intuitive but either it’s not or it has a steeper learning curve than Photoshop CS6. 🙂 I spent almost six hours today trying to make sense of it. Even then, I do think it’s the best of the three so I’m going to continue to work with it and see if I can maybe upload five pictures each day. I just hope the 24-hour lag doesn’t really turn me off because the site does look very promising.

As my wise old grandmother said, “Practice makes perfect.”


SNIPPETS are short posts about anything and everything.
Each SNIPPETS will have at leasst one picture.
After all, this is Russel Ray Photos.


I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County? I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor with Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re just looking for a home inspector,
I can highly recommend Russel Ray; that’s me!

Gone…. no more…. dreams removed….

Out & About San Diego


I’ve always been fascinated by bridges, perhaps since I grew up in the flatlands of Texas where bridges were few and far between. Spaghetti bowls on the interstate freeways don’t count. I’m talking real bridges that take you from here to there.

Two years ago when I went to the Sand Castle World Championships in Imperial Beach, California, I found an old railroad trestle through the marshland. I stopped to take pictures while the rest of the crowd I was walking with hustled on towards the beach.

Train trestle through the marsh


Train trestle through the marsh


Train trestle through the marsh


While I was taking pictures I was also visualizing…. dreaming…. about the trains that used to traverse the tracks. I was dreaming of something like this:

Union Pacific 844


I suspect my dream was bigger than what the railroad trestle could actually handle. Maybe something along the lines of this is more in line with reality:

Timber engine


The first train is the famous Union Pacific 844 which I chased through Southern California on November 17, 2011.

The second train is the #3 Mojave Northern 0-6-0T steam switch engine that worked in the northern Mojave desert in the early 20th Century.

Steam switch engines very well could have worked the south San Diego area where, at the time, there were various factories relating to salt production, fishing, and generating electricity.

When I went to the Sand Castle World Championships last year, the remainders of the old railroad trestle were gone…. no more…. dreams removed….

Sadly, after 37 years of hosting the Sand Castle World Championships, the Great Recession ended them. They also are gone…. no more…. dreams removed…

Imperial Beach sand castle world championships


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