This Space for Rent

No Amtrak tonight, but lots of railroad police.

After arriving at the railroad yard early enough to find a good photo position down by the Lafayette Toonerville bridge, the yellow menace managed to spoil the view by moving a couple of trains into the west track of the mainline. First came what I guess was just another transfer run, which ran up out of the railroad yard, then ground to a stop completely blocking the mainline.

Here we come to spoil your view!

So, up I went onto the Toonerville bridge so I could get, well, some sort of a picture in case the always-late #507 should decide to show up. It didn't, of course, but a second yellow menace train pulled up on the northbound main, bottled in behind the transfer run.

The third engine here is an ex-SP SD-45, which has not yet been repainted into the dullest paint scheme in North America.

Yellow might be boring, but the SP paint scheme does not weather well.

I stuck around until around 6:15, but no passenger trains were to be seen. But to make up for it the railroad police were buzzing around like agitated honeybees, and taking a particular interest in anyone who was using the Toonerville bridge. Why? Well, a couple of days ago I saw a few City of Portland vehicles clustered around the west side of the bridge, and today when I was down there myself I noticed that the bridge had been slightly singed since the last time I'd gone down there.

Those black sections weren't there last week.

Railroad police have been extra paranoid (even for railroad police, who started out paranoid) ever since Osama's boys did their spectacularly successful act of self-immolation in 2001, and most of the cases where I've heard of them rounding up the usual suspects it seems like they're being just a little bit too paranoid. But, given that the Toonerville bridge is flimsy at the best of times, the newly charred Toonerville bridge is worthy of that little bit of extra attention to make sure that the local arsonists don't want to come back for another round of "make the bridge fall down and everybody laughs" (except the railroad. And the police. And the people who walk across the bridge. And the people who use the bridge for taking pictures from. And the people who don't like having arsonists in town.) The railroad police will probably never catch the bozos who tried to set this bridge on fire, but if they can discourage said bozos from coming back it's almost as good.