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Santa Fe Railway freight train symbol 359 near Monolith, CA

Santa Fe Railway freight train symbol 359 near Monolith, CA

Ruth was only able to catch engine numbers 2939, 2952, 2864, and 2962 on the point of train 359. The date is December 6, 1985. The steam rising in the background is from the cement plant at Monolith. Access to Summit and Monolith is from the old US 466 highway. This portion of the road from Tehachapi to Mojave was finally paved in 1940. The Monolith cement plant was built in 1908 to provide cement for the Los Angeles Aqueduct. That project was completed in 1913.

Sometimes the timing is perfect. Just as the caboose on Extra 2939 West goes by Train 971 (Extra 5635 East) comes into view. The engineer has the throttle wide open to build up speed. Tehachapi Pass is unique. Unlike other railroad passes, the speed limit through Summit is 65 miles per hour. Disk 47