MWR - railfanning the Rocky Mountain West!
The Trash Train - May 6, 2000
The first train we followed on Saturday was the six-days-a-week Trash Train which originates in Helper, UT.  After a bit of switching, it heads eastbound through Price to Mounds where it turns onto the Sunnyside Branch and its eventual destination of Columbia Junction.

It's best to not follow the train on the dirt roads between Wellington and Mounds because you won't be able to keep up.  Take the paved road around and back track towards Mounds on the dirt road located a couple miles south of the junction of Highway 6 with State Route 123.


East of Mounds, UT  |  Banning Loadout  | View in the mirror  |  Columbia Jct.

Eastbound Trash Train near Mounds, UT.
East of Mounds, Utah

The trash train, led by three DRGW SD40T-2s, has just entered the Sunnyside Branch at Mounds.  The containers are full of trash from the metropolitan areas around Salt Lake City.

The trash train is delivered to Helper in the evenings  via the Roper Turn which also removes the previous days flatcars with empty containers.

Currently, this loadout at Banning on the Sunnyside Branch is not being used, thus the siding is used to store an unneeded set of coal cars.
Climbing towards Columbia Jct.

Pacing... Once the tracks cross under Highway 6, they begin to parallel State Route 123 towards Columbia Jct. which makes a shot like this easy.  It's also nice to just roll along with the train as the Tunnel Motors climb towards their destination.

Columbia Jct., UT

After dropping off the loads for ECDC Environmental, the crew moves to the other end of the small yard to couple onto the empties for the return trip to Helper.  Near the end of the train is the crane that is used to transload the containers from the flatcars to trucks for transportation to the dump site a few miles away.
ECDC Environmental at Columbia Jct. UT
Climbing towards Soldier Summit...
There's nothing quite like the silhouette of a Tunnel Motor.

With the empty containers in tow, the Trash Train heads back past Banning and towards the mainline at Mounds.  Once the train arrives in Helper, the empty train will be left in the yard for the Roper turn to pick up when they drop off their loaded containers in the evening.  The SD40T-2s are returned to the engine terminal until needed again.
Utah Railway coal train at West Kyune, UT

Later in the day, we found a loaded Utah Railway coal train.
All of these images captured with a Sony FD91 digital camera.

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