Saturday, August 22, 2015


Temco LLC in Kalama
As I was driving north from Portland to Olympia (more on that in another post), I noticed a green signal on the BNSF mainline that runs next to I-5. I pulled off the freeway at Robb Road in Kalama, and without realizing it, stopped at the place that was the starting point of the Northern Pacific railroad into Washington State: The Port of Kalama on the Columbia River, which is still quite busy today.

Amtrak Cascades going-away shot
The reason for the Green signal was a Portland - Seattle Amtrak Cascades train.

Temco yard tracks
All the tracks into the Temco facility are littered with Men at work signs. And by the way, who says you can't put track number signs on your tracks?

Tank car at Emerald Kalama Chemical
The port of Kalama is a maze of railroad tracks and very large industries.
A fun drive along North Hendrickson Rd, with regular stops, and taking photos for inspiration.

The RSG sawmill has huge storage areas with lumber

On the way back from Olympia I took some more photos when I pulled off the freeway again because I saw a green signal going south.

The Steelscape buildings at Kalama River Rd are surrounded by large steel coils.

Hey look, there's the reason for the green signal, a UP train trundling by. 

There are large signs on the north end of N. Henrickson Rd stating that it's "not a through road, because the railroad crossings might be blocked". That served as an invitation for me to take a look whether the crossings were blocked. Indeed they were.
And while I was still amused by the blocked railroad crossing, the Amtrak Coast Starlight to Seattle comes by.

Northbound Coast Starlight

UP and CP locomotives tied down for the weekend at Kalama Export

Fun Gondola load
 Due to the forest fires in Washington state, the air is thick with smoke.

Locomotives at the balloon track at Kalama Export
I turned around, got back on the freeway, and took the next exit south back into the industrial area.

Grain cars on the balloon track at Kalama Export
The blocked railroad crossings are at Kalama Export, which has a huge multi-track balloon track arrangement. Grain cars go into the facility and there is a long track along N. Hendrickson Rd with lined up grain cars. I suspect they arrived loaded during the week, and are now empty, ready for pickup. I was surprised about the size of the facility and the sheer number of cars here. Very impressive.

Grain cars along N. Hendickson Rd

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Too bad most of my work is at night, as I drive for PTI taking crews to and from most of these spots..
Tom P. - KA0TP