McCloud River Railroad
BNSF Working on Lookout Line

Skyrocketing demand for railcar storage in the face of present economic conditions caused BNSF to send a tie gang to the remnant of what used to be their Hambone Branch. BNSF kept about the first five and a half miles of the line running west from Lookout Junction but classified as industrial trackage when they abandoned the rest of the branch in the early 2000s, and it has sat idle since. The track crews commenced work in June 2020 and are replacing ties, clearing brush, repairing broken rail joints, and doing other work to prepare the line for car storage. All photos on this page by James Hughes.

Track machinery and supplies at Lookout Junction.

An excavator near the mouth of the balloon track.

There's no longer need to turn trains arriving from the west, so BNSF has removed the balloon track switch.

The switch looking east.

A broken rail joint marked for repair.

A tie crane distributing new ties.

New ties waiting to be inserted.

Spur 526. This area used to be a dense forest until it burned a couple years ago.