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After Columbia Siding, the grade kicks up and begins the steady climb to the Columbia Plateau. After a little more than 2 miles and an increase of 50 feet in elevation or so the railroad crosses the Moses Coulee on a descent steel trestle. Although small as trestles go it is very photogenic, although hard to get to. The bridge is reachable only through private property or by walking along the tracks.

This view of the bridge is from the other side of the river. The train is the Spud Local returning to Wenatchee.

An interesting historical note: In the grassy hills above the west end of the bridge one can find (But DO NOT Remove,) many artifacts from a railroad work camp that was located here at the begining of the 1900s.


In the photo above one can make out two features from older trackage alignmnents. First is that the original grade had a huge timber trestle crossing the coulee about twice as high as the current grade. the grade can be faintly made out in the grassy hillside above the two locomotives. The east end of the trestle ended just above the 2nd green boxcar in the photo's right edge. The second tackage was a branch that went UP Moses Coulee to serve the agro region near Palisades Washington and further north. This line left the original main in a junction on the hillside and made the sharp eastward turn through a huge cut still visable above the first grade. That branch was maintained well into the first decade of Burlington Northern's operations in the region.
In glorious, November morning sun the eastbound Tacoma to Bedford park (Ill.) stacks is seen as it roared upgrade over the bridge. At milepost 1633 the train still had speed from the run for the grade it just made. By the time the last cars got past the train was down to about 15 miles per hour.
A little further upgrade the tracks follow the canyon as it turns east for a couple miles.
Here we see the Chicago to South Seattle stacks as they descend the grade towards the trestle at about mile 1632. The shot is from the high cliffs near the bend in the river called "Spanish Castle". It is Washington state forest land.In the distance the high basalt cliffs can be seen below the Columbia Plateau. The tracks will turn again, northwards into Lynch Coulee before they reach those cliffs.
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