Tehachapi Loop

December 11, 2012

Tehachapi Loop~Tehachapi CA~093012sm (2)

Photographer: Carl Crumley
Summary Author: Carl Crumley

The photo above shows the Tehachapi Loop of the Union Pacific Railroad near Tehachapi, California. This loop is a 3/4 mi (1.17 km) long bend where trains gain or drop 77 ft (23.5 m) going through the Tehachapi Pass, maintaining a constant two percent grade. Such a grade wouldn't be possible for this narrow pass if the tracks took a more straight line course. The loop was built between 1874 and 1876 by Chinese laborers cutting and blasting through both solid and decomposed granite. Trains that have about 85 cars or more actually cross over themselves while negotiating the loop. This particular section of track is one of the busiest single freight lines in the world, with an average of 36 trains per day passing through. Note the second train to the right (and below) the engine at the far right side of the photo. The Tehachapi Loop is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and a California Historical Landmark. Photo taken on September 30, 2012.

Photo Details: Canon 5D camera; f/18; 1/15 sec. exposure; ISO 400.