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Amtrak passenger train at UP Junction in Tacoma, WA

Amtrak passenger train at UP Junction in Tacoma, WA

The Seattle area is wonderful when the sun finally breaks out. On May 31, 1973 train 198 with CB&Q engine 9937 pulls by UP Junction on its way into Tacoma Union Station. The track in the background (climbing the hill above the engine) is the original NP Prairie Line to Fort Lewis. The current mainline through the Nelson Bennett Tunnel was completed in 1913. The line through the 3,690 foot tunnel was about five miles longer than the original Prairie Line, but reduced the grade from 2.2 percent to around 0.3 percent.

The signal at the odd angle in front of the engine is for UP trains coming out of the UP yard. Southbound UP trains ran on their own rails for eight miles from Argo Yard in South Seattle to Black River Junction. There the UP joined the Milwaukee Road tracks for the run down the valley to Fife. The Milwaukee Road turned north to Tide Flats Yard, the UP continued west to Reservation and could either join the former NP trackage there or go through their own yard and join the former NP trackage here at UP Junction. My wheels for these early adventures was an orange Datsun 510 wagon. In the distance you can see Puget Sound. Disk 9