Stevens Pass stands at an elevation of 4,061 feet above sea-level in the heart of the Pacific Northwest's Cascade Mountains. Large granite outcroppings tower above the densely forested landscape creating a cool, wet rainforest on the west and semi-arid country on the east. Weaving through this seemingly impassible barrier is a transcontinental railroad connecting the heartland of America with the Pacific Northwest and the Orient.
BNSF Railway utilizes a historic route carved by John F. Stevens over 100 years ago. A continuous parade of long and heavy trains roll back and fourth over the beautiful terrain on what is fittingly named the "Scenic Subdivision." 7idea Productions traveled to the State of Washington in May of 2010 to document current operations over this former route of the Great Northern between Everett and Wenatchee. Witness long stack trains crossing beautiful mountain streams, heavy grain trains thundering up 2.2% grades with mid and rear-end DPU's plus Amtrak's Empire Builder on its daily run between Chicago and Seattle. The highlight of the line is the famous 7.8 mile Cascade Tunnel. the longest tunnel in the United States. See how smoke and fumes are flushed out of the tunnel in between trains. Plus recount the 1910 Wellington avalanche which swept two trains off the mountain.
No one ever said mountain railroading was easy and you'll see why in STEVENS PASS...BNSF Railway's Scenic Sub!
1 hour 48 minutes
NTSC No Region Code
May be viewed with or without narration.
An eastbound Everett to Spokane manifest crosses the Skykomish River at Gold Bar on a rainy afternoon.
The lights of Amtrak #8 appear through the east bore of the 7.8 mile long Cascade Tunnel.
A Tacoma to Chicago K train follows White Pine Creek between Berne and Merritt on the east side of Stevens Pass.
The old GN snow sheds are still visible on Windy Mountain, site of the 1910 Wellington Avalanche that swept two trains off the mountain.
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