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Train 981 passes the station at Mountainair, NM on July 27, 1988. The engineer is throttling back engines 5995, 8051, 5967, and 8044 after cresting the top of the hill. Speed will quickly climb to 70mph as the train drops down the east side of the pass. Train 981 handled refrigerated TOFC traffic bound for Chicago and the East Coast. It was scheduled out of Richmond at 11:00PM and out of Belen at 8:15AM the second morning. This train became train 971 on June 9, 1989. Disk 61
Fourteen years earlier from nearly the same spot, train 901 (Extra 5625 East) highballs by the depot at Mountainair on February 21, 1974. Mountainair is at milepost 855 at an elevation of 6,450 feet and is the top of the long 1.25% grade out of Belen.
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