John L Mathis

Railroad Photography

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Black Mesa & Lake Powell EA039 at MP66 on March 30, 2014.

Black Mesa and Lake Powell GE E60C2 EA039 along with EA022 and EA036 are eastbound at MP66, about 12 miles from the Peabody Coal Co. loading facility at Black Mesa. All three of these units were purchased new, but never used by National De Mexico as the electrification project never materialized. Several were sold to 3 western coal mining roads, while some were scrapped in Canada when they were not purchased for commuter service there. The lead unit has been repainted into the new BM & LP paint scheme, but the others soldier on in their NdeM livery. The Black Mesa & Lake Powell is owned by the Peabody Coal company and transfers coal from the Black Mesa mine near Kayenta to the power generating plant at Lake Powell, AZ, a distance of about 78 miles. All of the railroad is within the Navajo nation. This last stretch toward Kayenta parallels US highway 160 and there are several public crossings where pictures can safely be obtained outside of the fence. The electrics operate at 50,000 volts and had to be converted from NdeM's 25,000 volt setup.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 - 1/6400 sec. - f/5.6 (-0.7 ev) - ISO 640 - m.Zuiko 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 lens (28-300mm equiv) at 39mm (eff 78mm). Processed with Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Photoshop CS6. The settings are a bit goofy as the camera had been set up at ISO 640 for low light shots and I had to take this group in a hurry. I've been this way many times since the 1980's but this is the first time I caught a train here as we were heading home.


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This work is copyright 2014 by John L. Mathis , but licensed under a Creative Commons License.