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ANOTHER WORLD AFTER SUNSET


Northwest BY NIGHT


BY SCOTT LOTHES/PHOTOS BY THE AUTHOR


OUT ON THE HORIZON, 8934-foot Mt. Scott glows deep purple against an orange summer sunset in southern Oregon. The polished steel rails directly below my perch return to the sky a hint of that fading light, singing with the approach of Amtrak’s southbound Coast Starlight. After a quiet day, Union Pacific’s Cascade Subdivision is coming to life with the onset of night. A southbound lumber drag follows closely behind the passenger train, and awaiting their passage is a northbound BNSF rail train in Chiloquin siding. Once the southbounds have passed, the rail train’s two big General Electric locomotives storm up Chiloquin Hill’s 0.8 per cent ruling grade and disappear into the last crimson embers of daylight. The pine boughs soon swallow its receding rumble, but the dispatcher’s voice crackling through my radio speaks of more trains to come—northbounds called out of Klamath Falls and southbounds already on the move out of Eugene...


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