The grade's namesake curve is one of the most photogenic and spectacular horse shoe curves anywhere. The curve is so tight that there is a permanent speed restriction for trains navigating the loop. At any point in the day sun can be found at the "right" angle for photography. In addition to full views of the curve itself from the surrounding hills, one can see the trains approaching the loop and leaving up the coulee.
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Above: On a fall afternoon a westbound intermodal rounds down the curve only seconds after 2 huge bombers from the airforce base made a run down the coulee above the loop. I almost got them in the same shot with the train, but the train was still about 100 yards from rolling into the curve. That would have been so cool.
Above: From the same vantage point as the top photo one can see trains climb high up the coulee away from the loop as this late afternoon eastbound stacker is doing. Notice how the tracks on the upper side of the coulee wall are built with massive fills and cuts.The original alignment snaked along the contours of the same wall. At the point where the 13th stacked pair is you can make out the cut in the hill where the first loop's tracks bridged accross the valley. At a perpendicular angle to today's main the tracks swept downhill on a curve out of that cut across a giant trestle. The "steps" of dirt in the hillside below, from the footings of the old wooden pilings, can be vaguely made out between the containers in the foreground.It is easy to imagine how big the trestle must have been.
Right: On a sunny spring morning two GE's and a GP50 pull 5000 feet of containers up the hill around the loop. As you can see in this photo the bulk of the curve is carried on a large fill across the coulee.
Above: From the berm on the uphill edge of the loop all you have to do is turn around and walk for about 10 seconds to get interesting wrap around shots of trains as they pass thier own tails. This long, eastbound Evergreen train is making slow progress up the grade with only two GEs up front. In the distance the cavity that is the Columbia Gorge can be seen beyond the nearer orange grassy hills.

Right: Only two SD40-2s struggle to pull a trainload of containers up towards tunnel 11.1 from the loop. At the point where the signals are is a dragging defect detector, but it is also the point where the original trestle on the first loop met the hillside. The tracks would have come in from the left where the yellow bushes are.


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