Black Mesa & Lake Powell electric Railroad in Arizona — 09-18-1983

Another railroad operation that I visited on a whirlwind vacation I took back in 1983. I was young, but this vacation was sort of a “bucket list” for me — or at least for some of the railroads I visited. This one, I am happy to say, is still in operation though. It’s a very unique operation and features General Electric E60 electric locomotives and overhead wires. There are pros and cons to electric railroads, and other railroads, like the Katy, have contemplated going electric. Outside of the Northeast corridor, some experimenting in Mexico on the NdeM, a long gone operation on the Milwaukee Road and self-contained power plant railroads like this one and one in Texas, electric railroads never really caught on or had staying power in North America.

I won’t go into a lot of detail here, as there are websites like:

http://www.trainweb.org/southwestshorts/bmlp.html

. . . that cover this and other operations very well. One of the memorable occasions of my life was riding the head end of an Amtrak train into New York City aboard a similar electric locomotive. That was quite an experience and very odd for a diesel-electric locomotive Engineer like myself with the absence of engine noise and just the clacking of contactors and whine of the motors to indicate the pulling power of the locomotive.

My other connection to this railroad occurred when I was a switchman for the Santa Fe in Winslow, Arizona back in the summer of 1976: I saw the brand new cars coming through the yard at Winslow as they were delivered to the BM&LP. I’m not sure where they took them for hauling in by truck (the railroad has no outside connections).

Camping, Fishing, Boating and Rock Climbing @ Lake Powell, Utah.
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