As the grade tops out of the gorge and turns northwards into Lynch Coulee the tracks pass through the tiny village of Trinidad itself. Here a passing siding begins that runs up into the coulee. An eastbound stacker tops out of the gorge and continues up the main past milepost 1627, (from StPaul) and the west end of the siding. Stack trains and intermodals make up the bulk of traffic over the ex-GN mainline. A few mixed and autorack trains, the "Spud Local", plus the east and westbound Amtrak Empire Builders round out the daily activity.
At first light on an October morning we see an eastbound stacker roaring out of the gorge and into the Lynch Coulee. This line should not be confused with the more commonly refered to Columbia River Gorge route. That line is the parallel BNSF route to Spokane, the follows the same river to Pasco from Portland, a few hundred miles to the south.

This shot is taken from the hilltop over Tunnel 11.1. This same train will be seen on a later page as it is about to enter the bore on the upper side of the coulee. The green orchards are peaches. The silver silos are a small agro-elevator at Trinidad.

Copyright 2001
Iron Horse America