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Train Watching In the Rugged Cajon Pass of California

Updated on January 10, 2015
GarnetBird profile image

Gloria taught for many years, and also worked as a mental health group facilitator.

The Cajon Pass Summitt, California

BNSF engine..the tracks were sizzling as it made its way down the Cajon Pass.
BNSF engine..the tracks were sizzling as it made its way down the Cajon Pass.
Some of the roads here require a sports utility vehicle.
Some of the roads here require a sports utility vehicle.
Rugged terrain and amazing views await you.
Rugged terrain and amazing views await you.
This is a memorial to an Engineer who lost his life in a derailment.
This is a memorial to an Engineer who lost his life in a derailment.
This is the last photo like this I will ever take, as the Cajon Summit is now forbidden to everyone but Railroad Personnel. Taken March/2010
This is the last photo like this I will ever take, as the Cajon Summit is now forbidden to everyone but Railroad Personnel. Taken March/2010
The Zoom lens blurred slightly in this photo.
The Zoom lens blurred slightly in this photo.

Confessions of a RAIL FAN..

Do you love Train watching? As a little girl one of my favorite toys was my electric train set. I have always been drawn to trains and have many adventuresome memories watching them. This area in my photos is called the CAJON PASS SUMMIT, near Lake Silverwood California. The train traffic here can be just amazing. The day I took these photos there was a train roaring up or down about every twenty minutes. The area has three active lines, and criss-cross train traffic.One of the personnel from BNSF informed me that I could hike on the South Side of the tracks but not the North for safety reasons.

The geology of the area is worth investigating. It sits on a slope of the San Andreas Fault and features deep ravines, steep hills and fissues. I have been hiking and train watching with friends in this area since the 1990s. The wildlife is interesting also. Black Southern Pacific Rattlers, hawks, deer, coyotes and even Horned Toads and Tarantulas on occasion. If you want a free adventure in hiking and train watching, this area is a gem.

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    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 

      3 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      I'll be showing my railroad-buff husband this hub. Nice!

    • GarnetBird profile imageAUTHOR

      Gloria Siess 

      6 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Thank you..I've taken more..I got some great shots last week by Mormon Rocks..perhaps I'll post them. Thank you for your kind visit.

    • Hound Cat profile image

      Hound Cat 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles area of Southern California USA

      Seeing your great photographs of trains traveling down the track brings back some great memories. With my deceased brother, we used to be able to spot long trains making their way east on the road to Las Vegas. :)

    • GarnetBird profile imageAUTHOR

      Gloria Siess 

      6 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Thank you. I have more train photos on a site called panoramio, under Gloloftus.

    • profile image

      JEFFRO 

      7 years ago

      NICE STUFF

    • GarnetBird profile imageAUTHOR

      Gloria Siess 

      7 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      THANK you-I have to go back-I miss it!

    • profile image

      bob3052 

      7 years ago

      There are places along state highway 138 near summit where you can stop and watch the trains. Just be careful and stay away from the edge of the cut.

    • GarnetBird profile imageAUTHOR

      Gloria Siess 

      8 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      THANK you--yes, these trains look like serpents winding through the canyon walls...I loved this area, but sadly, it's been closed to the public.

    • profile image

      Train Track 

      8 years ago

      These appear to be some long old trains! I love the first picture where there are four engines pulling the load, I can only imagine how long that whole train was or what kind of weight was being pulled. I used to be live near a freight train track and the trains that went up and down it would shake the foundations of my house. I am glad the trains were nowhere as big as the ones in your pictures as I think my house would have been reduced to rubble if these had been trundling past!

    • GarnetBird profile imageAUTHOR

      Gloria Siess 

      8 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Thank you for your comments--this Hub has been rather ignored. I have loved trains since I was a little girl.The Cajon Pass has now closed (most all of it) for hikers and train fans--sad!

    • CYBERSUPE profile image

      CYBERSUPE 

      8 years ago from MALVERN, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

      Awesome Hub, I am a train buff also, especially of the Steam Engines, lived so near to train track as a kid growing up in Western Pennsylvania. I would fall asleep by the sound of the freight train at night. Thank for the fantastic pictures.

    • GarnetBird profile imageAUTHOR

      Gloria Siess 

      8 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Please be very careful; the train police chased us away and said the only safe place to watch trains now is from the highway off Cleghorn Rd (near Devore) or by Joe's Country Corners in Devore. I miss the Summit, but there has been a lot of pressure lately to keep rail fans out. Take care!

    • profile image

      narvolicious 

      8 years ago

      Thanks so much for the info. My son (who's 3 1/2) just got into trains recently and we've been looking for a nice spot to catch them. A train collector from whom I bought some HO scale stuff told me "the summit is a good place to watch trains." Not knowing *anything* about train watching, much less about a place called "the summit," I took to Google and was able to navigate to your post! Think it's about time for a road trip...thanks to you =)

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