Freerails Home 
Freerails > Model Railroad Forums > Photography > 'San Diego & Arizona Railway' - Carrizo Gorge

Freerails IS ACCEPTING new Members ... To join Freerails ... See how to Register as a Member in the 'Joining Freerails' Forum

 Moderated by: .  
AuthorPost
Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1243
Status: 
Offline
 
Wednesday night I went out to the desert east of San Diego,
camped out over night near the tracks of the former San Diego & Arizona Railroad.

Got a few night photos:














I got up right around sunrise and hiked along the tracks, which pass through an incredible canyon known as Carrizo Gorge.
I was hoping to make it to the famous Goat Canyon Trestle (roughly 700 feet long and 200 feet high), however I didn't get that far.

In fact, I didn't even get into the actual gorge,
the tracks first pass along the edge of a much smaller (yet still very large) canyon that is just a tributary of the gorge.
As you can see, this whole area was the inspiration for my In-ko-pah Railroad.

Here I am standing in a culvert made from large blocks of local granite:






 

Here's Tunnel #21, the last tunnel on the line but the first one you'll come to when entering the gorge from the north:





The tracks still have the original rails from when the line was first built.
This rail is dated 1913:





I flew my drone a few times and got some interesting shots:








Some aerial views of Tunnel #20:











Looking south from above Tunnel #20:





Looking east from above Tunnel #20.
This area contains traces of the old railroad construction camp:





On the ground, looking south towards Tunnel #20:





The other end of the tunnel:





This was as far as I got.

Unfortunately I crashed my drone pretty badly when I tried to fly it through the tunnel. When it lost the GPS signal, it started to drift.
I tried to back it out but it drifted into the side of the tunnel.
Good thing I paid for the first year insurance on it.

I still have to edit the video, so I'll post that later.


Michael M
Registered


Joined: Thu Jan 26th, 2017
Location: San Bernardino, California USA
Posts: 1386
Status: 
Offline
Great scenery!

Thanks for the photos!

Alwin
Registered


Joined: Sat Jun 29th, 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 620
Status: 
Offline
Great shots, beautiful scenery.

Alwin

slateworks
Registered


Joined: Wed Oct 6th, 2010
Location: Twickenham, United Kingdom
Posts: 1146
Status: 
Offline
You have some fabulous scenery to get lost in Ray and a night sky to dream with. Wonderful pics.

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1243
Status: 
Offline
 
On February 7-8th I made another trip to Carrizo Gorge,
and managed to hike all the way to the “big trestle”…

There is an old water tower next to the tracks at Dos Cabezas siding,
that was used to supply the steam locomotives in the days before diesels.
I stopped there and got some pics of the tower silhouetted against the stars:





In the morning I got some scenic shots at sunrise:











Then I parked as close to the tracks as possible, and started hiking:





Here's Tunnel #19:





Cactus and rocks along the track:





After passing through Tunnel #19, I entered the Gorge itself.
Here the track clings to the side of the mountains, supported by a series of trestles where the slope was too steep to carve out a ledge.
The huge Goat Canyon Trestle is visible in the distance:








The catwalk on one trestle was smashed in by fallen boulders:





The steep mountainsides are covered with ocotillos, cholla and barrel cactus, and other desert plants:











Straight sections of track are rare, as the line snakes around the mountainside:








A pair of boxcars that derailed and went over the side back in the early '70s:








Tunnel #18:





More rocks and cacti:





Tunnel #17, with the remains of a construction road above it:





Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1243
Status: 
Offline
 
The north end of Tunnel #16 is blocked by a rock fall.
I had to hike around the mountain on the old construction road:





The view from the railroad construction road, looking to the north:





As I came around the end of the mountain, I got a great view of the famous Goat Canyon Trestle.
This trestle was built after a massive landslide destroyed the original tunnel.
I've added some red lines along the top of the mountain that show how far the slide came down:











The ends of the trestle are blocked off with a chain and metal stakes:





A short tunnel was created when the big trestle was built:





Here are a couple aerial views of the trestle:








The other side of the trestle:








Here is the end of the caved-in tunnel.
At the time of the landslide, it was undergoing repairs including reinforcing the portal with concrete.
The landslide crushed the tunnel interior and moved the portal at least twenty feet downhill:








That's it for now. Enjoy!


Michael M
Registered


Joined: Thu Jan 26th, 2017
Location: San Bernardino, California USA
Posts: 1386
Status: 
Offline
Ray,

Great photos!

In a few of your photos of Goat Canyon Trestle there looks like there is a hopper car on the left hand side.  Was it just abandoned?  Also, in the center there looks like there is some kind of tank?

Steven B
Registered


Joined: Thu Aug 13th, 2015
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 426
Status: 
Offline
I just love that area Ray, thanks for sharing, and... I've never seen that tunnel disaster before, thanks!

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1243
Status: 
Offline
Michael M wrote: Ray,

Great photos!

In a few of your photos of Goat Canyon Trestle there looks like there is a hopper car on the left hand side.  Was it just abandoned?  Also, in the center there looks like there is some kind of tank?


Thanks!

The hopper is a ballast car that was left there by the last failed operator of the line,
the short-lived Carrizo Gorge Railroad.

Here are a couple detail shots of the ballast car:








On the hillside above the hopper is an old tank from a tank car, which used to hold water from a spring somewhere up the canyon.
It was connected by pipes to outlets on the trestle, for use in case of fire.

The first time I hiked into the Gorge was in early 1977,
just a few months after the line had been severely damaged by the remnants of Hurricane Kathleen.
The Southern Pacific owned it and had filed for abandonment due to the extent of the damage.
At that time, there were two tank cars equipped for firefighting.
These were parked where the hopper is now, and remained there for many years later. 

At that time there was also a small building on the flat area near the trestle, next to a semaphore signal.
Vandals totally destroyed that building within a couple years.
The semaphore still stands, however all the glass has been shot out, the wiring ripped out, and the whole thing covered with graffiti.  :(

Here are a couple photos of the semaphore.
The tunnel in the background is blocked at the far end:








Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1243
Status: 
Offline
 
Here are a few photos from my early trips into the Gorge, back in the late '70s...

This photo was from my very first visit in 1977.
It shows the Goat Canyon Trestle, the two firefighting tank cars, and an orange crane.
This was the only time I ever saw the crane there:





Here's a shot of the water tank on the hillside:





These shots of the tank cars were taken sometime around 1979 or possibly 1980:








This track speeder was later dumped off the cliff by vandals:





This photo was taken sometime around 1978 or '79, at the site of one of the construction camps.
It shows the ruins of a small cabin that was made from empty blasting powder cans:





ebtnut
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jan 25th, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 104
Status: 
Offline
The photos did not come through for me. Any help?

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1243
Status: 
Offline
ebtnut wrote: The photos did not come through for me. Any help?
They are also on my website. Here is the link to the recent photos:
http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/Carrizo_Gorge_Trips_2018.html


And here is a link to the older photos:
http://www.raydunakin.com/Site/Carrizo_Gorge.html

Alwin
Registered


Joined: Sat Jun 29th, 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 620
Status: 
Offline
Another set of great photo's.

The tunnel entrance of tunnel 19 looks so cool. The wood construction with some stone staple walls surrounded by the rocks. Love that. Almost looks like a model.

The pair of tankcars are nice too.

Alwin

Si.
Moderator


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012
Location: London
Posts: 5434
Status: 
Offline
Hi Ray :wave:



Hey ! great photos !!

Looks like a nice trip to 'Rugged & Rocky' country.

I can see the inspiration for your railroad.



You CRAZY KID there Ray !

Tryin' to fly that drone through the tunnel.

Can it be fixed ?



Maybe you should have tried a ROCKET ! ;)


:)


Si.

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1243
Status: 
Offline
Yeah, it's pretty easy to see the Carrizo Gorge influence on my In-ko-pah Railroad!

I had insurance on the drone, so I received a replacement within a few days.
I brought the new one with me on this last trip.
And now it looks like I'm going back there again in early March,
this time my brother-in-law will be joining me.

BTW, I did fly a camera rocket near the big trestle once, in the early '90s.
It had a Super 8 film movie camera.
Someday I want to get a lot of those old rocket films transferred to video.


Michael M
Registered


Joined: Thu Jan 26th, 2017
Location: San Bernardino, California USA
Posts: 1386
Status: 
Offline
Thanks for the extra photos!

A cabin built from blasting powder cans...that would make an unusual building.

2foot6
Registered


Joined: Sun Oct 20th, 2013
Location: Near Melbourne Victoria, Australia
Posts: 467
Status: 
Online
Yeah,I would get a blast from building a model of that house....excuse the pun(.I just could not resist it)...........................................Peter

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1243
Status: 
Offline
 
Last week I took another trip out to the Carrizo Gorge.

This time my brother-in-law Matt was with me, which was great.
We've wanted to do a trip together for years, but he lives in CO so it's never worked out until now.
Anyway, we spent the night at the end of the trail,
got up just before sunrise, and started hiking at 6:45 a.m.





Here's a shot of Matt hiking the tracks:





I had more camera gear I wanted to bring this time, so I bought a luggage cart and hauled some of it on that:





This worked ok, but the tiny wheels were far from ideal and made for slow going.
The round trip to the big trestle and back took eleven hours,
two hours longer than on my previous trip.

The weather was perfect, both for hiking and for flying/photography.
It was warm but not overly hot, with winds variable from zero to five mph.
During much of the day there was a thin, hazy overcast that not only kept the heat down,
but also provided a fantastic diffused light for shooting photos and video.





Here are just a few stills from the many videos I shot:











I have so much video that it's going to take me a while to get it edited into something I can upload.

Once I do, you can be sure I'll post it here.


Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1243
Status: 
Offline
 
Here’s my newest video! I really put a lot of work into this one…

https://youtu.be/H3HnK2Z32hQ

This is the first in a short series of documentary videos on the historic, scenic Carrizo Gorge,
and the San Diego & Arizona Railway line that runs through it.
This video explores the northern end of the gorge route.


Coming soon:
"Carrizo Gorge Part 2: The Seven Sisters Trestles"
"Carrizo Gorge Part 3: The Goat Canyon Trestle"


Music for this video provided by:


"Sunrise" by Eric Matyas, courtesy of SoundImage.org

http://soundimage.org/


"Inspiring & Uplifting Acoustic" by Den Bass  Licensed through AudioJungle

https://audiojungle.net/item/inspiring-uplifting-acoustic/19383890


Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1243
Status: 
Offline
I just finished part two!

https://youtu.be/ArmWEp68Fss

This is the second in a short series of documentary videos on the historic, scenic Carrizo Gorge,
and the San Diego & Arizona Railway line that runs through it.

This video explores the area between tunnels #17 and #19,
including the group of hillside trestles known as the Seven Sisters.


Music for this video provided by:


"Sunrise" by Eric Matyas, courtesy of SoundImage.org

http://soundimage.org/


"Forever" by Gentle Jammers  Licensed through AudioJungle

https://audiojungle.net/item/forever/21236639


Coming soon:  "Carrizo Gorge Part 3: The Goat Canyon Trestle"


slateworks
Registered


Joined: Wed Oct 6th, 2010
Location: Twickenham, United Kingdom
Posts: 1146
Status: 
Offline
Fascinating stuff Ray and a great source of scenic modelling inspiration.

It got me interested in the area and, as a Brit who is most unlikely to ever see it in the flesh, I thought this video was a marvellous adjunct to your "today" views.

Done in 2008, the ride through the gorge is spectacular and the creaking and cracking as the short train crosses the Goat Canyon Trestle is a real reminder of the potentially unstable nature of railroad structures built in these kind of locations.

https://youtu.be/L66pfI5fuqY

An hour's viewing well worth the time for anyone interested and unfamiliar with the site and a return journey to give another perspective available to follow.

Last edited on Sun Apr 15th, 2018 10:22 pm by slateworks

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1243
Status: 
Offline
 
Carrizo Gorge Part 3: The Goat Canyon Trestle


https://youtu.be/HWA-VKzt8wg


This is the third in a short series of documentary videos on the historic, scenic Carrizo Gorge,
and the San Diego & Arizona Railway line that runs through it.

This video explores the area between tunnels #15 and #17,
including the famous Goat Canyon Trestle.


Music for this video provided by:


"Sunrise" by Eric Matyas, courtesy of SoundImage.org

http://soundimage.org/

"Inspirational Uplifting Americana" by codemusic  Licensed through AudioJungle

https://audiojungle.net/item/inspirational-uplifting-americana/19950398


If you missed it, be sure to watch parts one and two of this series:

https://youtu.be/H3HnK2Z32hQ

https://youtu.be/ArmWEp68Fss


Steven B
Registered


Joined: Thu Aug 13th, 2015
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 426
Status: 
Offline
Thanks Ray.  Nicely done.  I enjoyed all three as I am very familiar with the SD&E and have been to the Museum at El Campo a couple of times, but time and company never allowed for the jaunt out there.  At this point in time I will never get to Goat Canyon, so this is a little slice of heaven for me.  Thank you.

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1243
Status: 
Offline
You're welcome, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Monte
Registered


Joined: Sun Apr 7th, 2013
Location: Brandon, Mississippi USA
Posts: 50
Status: 
Offline
Ray, have seen photos of the area before, but yours are the crowning set.

Well done, thanks


Monte

Ray Dunakin
Registered
 

Joined: Wed Jul 25th, 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1243
Status: 
Offline
Thanks!


UltraBB 1.172 Copyright © 2007-2016 Data 1 Systems