Thursday, January 29, 2009

Vancouver, WA - Railroad Facilities

Below is a low horizon oblique photo of the Burlington Northern rail facility in Vancouver, Washington, taken on July 17, 1982 (click on the picture for a higher resolution image).

The Vancouver, Washington Amtrak station (SP&S heritage) is located inside “a wye," which makes it one of the leading rail-fan locations in the Pacific Northwest. It served trains of the Northern Pacific, Great Northern, Union Pacific and Spokane, Portland & Seattle.

Vancouver is the hub of BNSF operations in the Portland metropolitan area, since the abandonment of Hoyt Street yards in Portland. In 1908, the Northern Pacific bridged the Columbia to allow its trains and those of the new Spokane, Portland & Seattle to reach Portland.

Since 1910, the Northern Pacific main line through Vancouver to Tacoma has also carried the trains of Union Pacific. Over the years, both the Great Northern and Milwaukee Road freights also used the trackage along this route.

The east-west Fallbridge Sub forms the south leg of the wye, with the north-south Seattle main on the west leg. The north leg, the "Middle Lead", passes by the north side of the BNSF Vancouver Yard office.

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