Auburn to Pasco

The former Northern Pacifc Stampede Pass line begins at a wye on the east side of the Tacoma to Seattle line, with south apex at Rainier (MP 102.9), giving access to Auburn Yard to the south, and north apex at North Auburn, maximum speed 20 mph on the wye, which is controlled by CTC, with the two legs of the wye (the south leg passes beneath a road bridge carrying SR 18 overhead, and over Bridge 102.2, a 73 ft. deck girder span over A Street SE, coming together at Stampede Wye (MP 102.6), where the single-track line becomes Track Warrant Control, dark territory (unsignaled), heading due east, over Bridge 102.1, a 158 ft. deck girder span over Auburn Way, with SR 18 alongside to the south, and then over Bridge 102.1B, and a 120 ft. deck girder span over F Street SE, as far as East Auburn (MP 101.8), where the maximum speed has risen to 25 mph, there is an extra track to the south, the site of the erstwhile East Auburn depot on the north side, a grade crossing with M Street SE within the extra track, an east-facing spur on the south side, within the extra track, and an angled grade crossing with Auburn-Black Diamond Road, within the extra track.

The line turns just south of due east, with the latter street alongside to the south, past Bridge 101.1B, a 150 ft. deck girder span, and then a detector at MP 100.6, where the maximum speed has risen to 30 mph, turning just east of due north, past a bridge carrying SR 18 overhead, Bridge 100.1, a 61 ft. reinforced concrete trestle, and Bridge 100, a 238 ft. through truss bridge over the Green River, just south of due east, through the trees, past a bridge over a stream and Wynaco, east-northeast, north, north-northwest, and northeast, past a wooden road bridge carrying Kent-Black Diamond Road overhead, 164th Avenue SE alongside to the southeast, extra track to the northwest, and a grade crossing with Covington-Sawyer Road, before reaching Covington (MP 95.1), where the maximum speed has risen to 40 mph.

There is a turn just north of due east, at the end of the extra track, followed by turns south-southeast, and east-southeast, past a detector at MP 91.6 and a grade crossing with 216th Street SE, east-northeast, and southeast, through the trees, past a former bridge carrying an erstwhile Pacific Coast Railroad line overhead, and a grade crossing with SR 169, with an erstwhile southeast quadrant connector trailing in on the south side at Henrys, east-northeast past the 6,281 ft. south side siding at Ravensdale (MP 88.2), where there is a former rail-served lumber yard to the south and an angled grade crossing with Black Diamond-Ravensdale Road, within the siding.

The line turns southeast, past a dirt track grade crossing, south-southeast, south, making a counter-clockwise horseshoe to the north-northeast, among the trees, where the original routing once headed east and  the upcoming siding starts,  and then southeast, past the 9,300 ft. CTC west/north side siding at Kanaskat (MP 82.3), where the maximum speed has dropped to 35 mph, there is a road bridge carrying Cumberland Kanaskat Road overhead, there is additional track to the north, there was once a wye on the north side with an erstwhile Northern Pacific branch to Kerriston, and a grade crossing with Hudson Road, and just west of due south, past a former bridge over an erstwhile Milwaukee Road line to Enumclaw, where the original NP routing once passed in the orthogonal direction.

There is a 570 ft. through truss bridge over the Green River (Bridge 81), a grade crossing with Headworks Road, and a 6.9-mile spur heading south-southwest at a wye on the west side at Palmer Junction (MP 81.3), where the main line turns east, southeast, east, and then curvily east-southeast, through the Eagle Gorge, on an embankment in the woods, south, curvily south-southeast again, with a dam and then a lake (Howard Hanson Reservoir) to the north (which has inundated the original NP routing along the valley here), past 437 ft. deck girder Bridge 74 over an arm of the lake, Eagle Gorge (MP 73.8), 334 ft. through truss Bridge 71 over the Green River, and Humphrey, where the original routing rejoined the present one, curvily east past Maywood (MP 67.1), where there is a 30 mph speed restriction, a dirt road grade crossing, 53 ft. through girder Bridge 65, over a side stream, and Nagrom.

The 134 ft. through truss Bridge 64 over the Green River lead to a turn south and then curvily east again, past a detector at MP 62.9, a 75 ft. wooden trestle (Bridge 62)and 53 ft. through girder Bridge 61, over a side river, Hot Springs, 124 ft. through truss Bridge 60 over the Green River, and the 7,000 ft. CTC south side siding at Lester (MP 59.7), on a 1% eastbound upgrade, where the original line headed east-northeast, across the river, until a 1913 line relocation, witha wye on the north side for turning snow removal equipment, within the siding, a detector at MP 59.0, Bridge 58.9 over the Green River, and Bridge 58.4, turning sharply north to bridge immediately on 1,121 ft. deck girder viaduct Bridge 56,  over one arm of the river and the original line location, which rejoins from the east near Weston, on the east side of the line.

The line turns curvily northeast, with a slide area on the south side, along the south side of the other arm of the river, past Kennedy and a detector at MP 52.0, where the maximum speed has dropped to 20 mph on the 2.2% eastbound upgrade, making a counter-clockwise horseshoe (Barup Loop) right after the detector, with a cutting on the turn, and bridging over the river to head west-southwest, with a rock face on the north side and the river below on the south side, then making a clockwise horseshoe, with power lines overhead on the curve, to New Stampede and heading east-northeast through 830 ft. Tunnel 4 (MP 49.5), where the eastbound grade reduces sharply, past extra track on the north side (the original line) at Sam Spur (MP 49.3), a detector at MP 49.0, the 1,285 ft. south side siding at Stampede (MP 49.0), and 9,434 ft. Stampede Tunnel 3 (MP 46.6, elevation 2,670 ft.), which from 1887 to 1888 was avoided by reversals and sharp curving track over a summit at 3,725 ft., ending with a snow/avalanche shed at the 2,307 ft. north sidesiding at Martin (MP 46.3), where the line turns northeast and then very curvily south-southeast.

There is a detector at MP 46.0, where the eastbound 2.2% downgrade begins, 91 ft. wood trestle Bridge 45, a bypass of erstwhile Dingles Tunnel 2, an embankment, a bridge over a stream, a turn very curvily east-southeast, with the route of the erstwhile Milwaukee Road main line alongside to the north (between the line and the Yakima River), a detector at MP 43.5, the start of Two Main Tracks, CTC, at Upham (MP 42.1), where the eastbound downgrade reduces below 1%, a grade crossing with a former Milwaukee Road bridge (now carrying the John Wayne Trail) alongside to the north and a pond to the south, West Easton/Cabin Creek (MP 41.1), 123 ft. deck girder Bridge 40 over Cabin Creek with a former Milwuakee Road bridge alongside to the north.

The Yakima River comes alongside to the north as the line turns northeast, east-southeast, east-northeast, north-northeast where a former bridge has been replaced by the current pedestrian bridge over line and Yakima River, where the erstwhile Milwaukee Road line once bridged overhead (and over the river), and east-southeast, with a lake alongside to the north, past Intermediate Signals, and a house track on the south side, through the former railroad town of Easton, with Railroad Street alongside to the north, a bridge over Cabin Creek Road, and  a wye on the south side for turning snow fighting equipment. 

The reversion to single track, TWC, is at Easton (MP 39.1, el. ~2,150 ft.), where the maximum speed has risen to 40 mph and I-90 is alongside to the north, and the line turns east-southeast, past a detector at MP 36.9, where the maximum speed has risen to 49 mph, and a grade crossing at West Nelson Siding Road, southeast, past 52 ft. deck girder Bridge 34, and Nelson, where there is a grade crossing with Golf Course Road and the line turns just east of due south, past 204 ft. through truss Bridge 30 over the Yakima River, and a turn just north of due east, past a grade crossing, extra tracks on the south side at Bullfrog (MP 29.0), and 153 ft. through truss Bridge 28 over the Cle Elum River, a trun east-northeast, with the siding starting on the north side, a bridge carrying I-90 overhead, a grade crossing with South Cle Elum Way, a turn just south of due east, where a spur from an erstwhile NP branch trails in on the north side, and a grade crossing with Oakes Avenue, to the 14,620 ft. north side siding at Cle Elum (MP 24.9).

The line turns curvily east-southeast, along the north side of the Yakima River, with SR 970 alongside to the north, past a bridge carrying Exit 85 off I-90 (which lies to the south), Teanaway (MP 20.9), a detector at MP 20.5, where SR 10 replaces SR 970, and 100 ft. through girder Bridge 19, a turn just east of due south, following the river into the Yakima River Canyon, past the 8,200 ft. CTC south side siding at Bristol (MP 17.1), where the maximum speed has dropped to 45 mph, a turn east, following the river, past a jog to the south and then east again at Kountze (MP 14.2), where the maximum speed is 35 mph, a turn very curvily south-southeast, past 68 ft. through girder Bridge 13 over Swauk Creek and 200 ft. through truss Bridge 10 over the Yakima River.

There is a detector at MP 9.2, a grade crossing with Thorp Highway, the end of the canyon, extra track on the south side at Thorp (MP 7.6), where the maximum speed is 45 mph, with 57 ft. wooden trestle Bridge 7 within the extra track, 319 ft. through truss Bridge 6.4 over the Yakima River, 118 ft. wooden trestle Bridge 6.1, SR 10 alongside to the north again, a dirt road grade crossing, a former bridge (now carrying a trail?) carrying the erstwhile Milwaukee Road overhead at an angle, 120 ft. reinforced concrete trestle Bridge 4.1, 118 ft. reinforced concrete trestle Bridge 4.0, a dirt road grade crossing, an angled road bridge carrying US 97 overhead, 80 ft. wooden trestle Bridge 2, 95 ft. deck girder Bridge 1, the beginning of the siding on the south side, a road bridge overhead (Exit 106 from I-90), extra track on the south/west side, and a grade crossing,  to the 9,900 ft. CTC south side siding at Ellensburg (MP 0.0/127.0), where the maximum speed is 35 mph, and the depot is on the east side of the line.

The line turns just east of due south, past a detector at MP 124.2, where the maximum speed is 49 mph and Thrall (MP 121.8), where the maximum speed has dropped to 35 mph, crossing the river and becoming very curvy following the south/west side of the river.

There is a detector at MP 116.4, Umtanum (MP 114.5), Wymer (MP 110.4), a detector at MP 110.2, a detector at MP 106.5, and Roza (MP 105.5), where the maximum speed is 30 mph, before the line crosses back to the east/north side of the river approaching Hillside (MP 101.3), where the maximum speed is back to 35 mph, the extreme curviness ends, and the line turns south-southwest, still following the river, past the 7,650 ft. CTC siding at Pomoa (MP 97.2), where the maximum speed is 45 mph, crossing to the west/south side of the river, past a detector at MP 94.8, where the maximum speed has risen to 49 mph, and Selah (MP 93.8), and turning just east of due south, past the yard at Yakima (MP 90.0), junction with the Naches Industrial Spur, trailing in on the west side, a spur to Boise Cascade and a wye with another industrial spur on the east side, and a spur to Union Gap on the west side, paralleling the line.

The line turns south-southeast, past Parker (MP 82.7), where there was once a flat crossing with the UP (the continuation of the spur for Union Gap), a detector at MP 79.8, and Wapato (MP 78.3) southeast past the junction with the Toppenish, Simcoe & Western, trailing in from the west at Wesley Junction (MP 73.5), the 7,200 ft. CTC siding at Toppenish (MP 70.9), Sunnyside Junction, where an erstwhile NP branch to Granger once headed east, Alfalfa (MP 66.0), and Satus (MP 60.4), east-southeast, past Maston (MP 52.0), a detector at MP 49.6), and the 7,650 ft. CTC siding at Byron (MP 45.5), and curvily east-northeast, past Prosser (MP 40.0), where the maximum speed has fallen to 45 mph, and the junction with the Granger sub (the rest of that erstwhile NP branch) trailing in from the west at Gibbon (MP 34.4).

Following the south bank of the Yakima River quite curvily, the line turns southeast, still following the river, past the 8,740 ft. CTC siding at Kiona (MP 23.6), where the river turns away north, a detector at MP 19.5, where the maximum speed has risen to 49 mph, and Badger (MP 16.8), turning south-southeast, east, north-northeast, just north of due east, past Vista (MP 7.3), and just south of due east, bridging over a US Government line coming along the Columbia River from the Hanford Site, to the junction with the UP Kalan Industrial Lead (which connects with that line) at Kennewick (MP 2.8), where the maximum speed has dropped to 35 mph,  and curving north-northeast to the junction with the former Spokane, Portland & Seattle line from Portland at SP&S Junction (MP 1.9/229.7), with Automatic Block Signals, where it crosses the river on the through truss Columbia River bridge (MP 229.9), where the speed limit is 35 mph, past a road bridge overhead at the north end of the river bridge, into Pasco.

The former SP&S line turns away east-southeast immediately on the north side of the bridge, and the former NP continues north-northeast, with a further connection to that line at West Wye Junction (MP 146.3 on the ex-NP line), a grade crossing, a spur from trackage along the left bank of the Columbia River trails in, and the north leg of the wye with the ex-SP&S line to the east is at Pasco (MP 0.0/145.6/231.4), where there is a bridge over a street and the depot is on the west side of the line north of the wye, as the ex-NP line it is on turns north-northwest, and the major yard at Pasco is on the east side of that line extending north from the area of the depot.