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Milwaukee Road train 261 the XL Special at Black River Junction

Milwaukee Road train 261 the XL Special at Black River Junction

Milwaukee Road engines 2057, 3006, and 3005 lead train 261 through Black River at 11:50AM on February 3, 1973. The XL Special (train 261) was started in 1963 to provide shippers an expedited schedule from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest. This hot schedule cut almost a day off the previous schedule. Behind the auto racks you can just barely see the radio controlled helper engines. After the auto racks are set out at West Siding, the headend power will be right next to the helpers. The reason that there are so few cars between the headend power and the helpers is that the lead units have just set out about 40 cars for Seattle at the small yard along the Black River to the right of the picture. A UP lead by engine 3610 would follow train 261 down the valley.

UP freight train at Black River Junction Amtrak Starlight passenger train at the new Black River interlocking plant

Amtrak engine 360 leads the southbound Starlight through the new interlocking plant on September 1, 1987. As you compare these two pictures, you can see that the crossing was replaced with four switches. Initially this was called Black River and was changed to Tukwila around 1990. Off to the right you can see the spur into the Continental Container plant.

BN train 97 at Tukwila, WA

Just after the Amtrak train went by, engine 8147 leads train 97 by the same location. Disk 8

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