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At Arden, mp323, (exit I-15 at Blue Diamond Road by the Silverton Hotel) is a yard and wye. The locals work out of here and some trains make set-outs and pick-ups here. The yard is on the west side of the main and is difficult to get to due to industrial growth and a maze of dead end streets. The at grade highway crossing has been replaced by an overpass, eliminating any decent photos.  You can access the east side of the main (as in the picture below) by turning off on S. Jones Blvd.  Everything around Arden is posted 'No Trespassing', so take heed!. You can easily see trains approaching on the main from either direction.         

WB Desert Wind passing Arden on the main at 79mph Eng 390 & 370 March 02, 1996.  Note how small the Stratosphere Tower looks under the V of the wooden pole. The train was discontinued in May 1997 and Amtrak no longer serves this city that attracts over 40 million tourists each year! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 Amtrak brought an "inspection" train from L.A. to Vegas (pictured above and below).  The train did not go downtown to the old Amtrak depot but was spotted on the wye at Arden yard overnight.  Purpose of the visit is unknown but Amtrak has run "inspection" trains here before.  Only about twelve VIP's were aboard the special.  Four cars and two units for twelve passengers?  Guess they were really VIP's!

BNSF theatre car Glacier View

Sloan, mp315, is reached via the Sloan exit from I-15.  There is a sweeping curve to the left which, since the sun is to the south,  favors shots of westbounds. To the east you will see where the line originally went through a short tunnel.  map 

Amtrak's Danish Flexliner on publicity tour, westbound (trust me!) at Sloan in 1996.  It was a modern (?) day version of the Budd RDC cars. The Flexliner toured around the west and then vanished from the scene.


 Eastbound manifest train at Sloan.

  The next siding is Erie, mp310, where Interstate 15 passes over the tracks. However, there is no access from I-15.  Instead, you must exit I-15 at the Sloan exit (as above), turn east (right) and south (right again) on what is called the "old L.A." highway. In about five miles Erie will pop into view as you round a little crest. It's a short off-road drive to the tracks.  It's a photo spot I like. Westbounds are always well lit; afternoon shots of eastbounds are good except the nose of the first unit will not be sunlit.  map 

  Westbound NPYR at Erie, January 1996.

#36, the eastbound Desert Wind with Eng. 817 & 815 at Erie, 
April 1997, a month before it's discontinuance.


 Continuing south on the old L.A. highway you will come to Jean, mp301. There is a grade crossing for easy access, a siding and some light industry. You might catch a local switching here but I don't consider it a great photo location.  There is a casino/hotel here if you need a rest stop.

From Jean  Interstate 15 veers away from the railroad, although it's always within sight. The next easy access point - some 40 miles away - is Nipton (you are now in California, some 60 miles from Las Vegas).  This little desert oasis sits on a 80 acre section of land in the middle of "nowhere," but adjacent to the UP mainline.  There is a quaint little hotel (,  general store, grade crossing, siding with team track and a  old freight house. Definitely worth a visit if you're not from these "parts!" Exit at the Nipton/Searchlight exit of I-15, about twenty miles after passing the casino/hotels in Primm.

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