BNSF’s Needles Subdivision travels 170 miles through one of the hottest and driest places in North America: The Mojave Desert.
Between Barstow and Needles, California, the double track main line follows the rough contours of a land that is anything but flat. Modern locomotives fight an age old battle with gravity through several miles of 1.4% grades. The wide open vistas of the desert produce great views of long trains twisting through its many curves. The lonely mile posts pass old ghost towns slowly succumbing to the desert and mysterious station names like Klondike, Siberia and Bagdad.
Highlights include the junction with Union Pacific’s Salt Lake City route at Daggett, Ash Hill, the junction with the Arizona & California Railroad at Cadiz, and Goff’s Hill.
The high density Southern Transcon sees 80 trains per day, yielding both a wide variety and many perfectly timed meets. From hot and fast Z trains to long, heavy stacks, grain, coal, ethanol and manifest trains, the Needles Subdivision delivers!