A pair of weather worn BNSF ES44DCs ferry the last of four LAJ CF7s eastbound past the modern cantilevers at Silverwood just below BNSF's Cajon Summit. The CF7 is essentially participating in a funeral procession as it is headed to Barstow, CA for fates unknown. LAJ 2568, started out life as a Santa Fe F7A #226L built in December 1949. It was rebuilt by the Santa Fe and reconfigured to a CF7 in June 1973. The Santa Fe retired the motor in February 1986, finally transferring ownership to the LAJ a month later. It has been a dead motor though since the late 1990s, plagued with problems, and had become the parts donor for the three remaining CF7s on the LAJ roster.
The Los Angeles Junction Railway "LAJ" south of Downtown Los Angeles has finally retired their small collection of ex Santa Fe CF7s. In June 2011 they shipped the three operable units off to Barstow, CA mixed in to separate M-LACBAR manifest trains for storage and eventual sale or scrap. The fourth CF7 pictured above was is such poor condition at the time, it wasn't considered road worthy and was left behind to continue to rust away in Vernon. Well by some change of circumstances, Thursday morning it was rolled off it's death rail at the LAJ engine tracks and tacked onto the rear of a special D-LACBAR "light power move" with the pair of BNSF ES44DCs for power.
The radio chatter between the D-train's crew and other crews on the hill was comical. The conductor for the D train even jokingly quipped to the Cajon Sub DS that he was "good for main 3" meaning he had enough horse power to make it up the old (steeper) main. Heck, the hoghead could have probably cut out the second unit and a couple traction motors on the leader and still made track speed.