Trains Across the Mojave

Trains Across the Mojave
By Jack Freer  |  Posted Sept. 28, 2014  |  Kelso, California

CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Jack Freer has been interested in this railroad in a remote part of the eastern Mojave Desert for years and has many photos to prove it. He enjoys the view and likes to watch trains approach from miles away and then disappear into the distance. – hhanks, CNN iReport producer

The Union Pacific Railroad crosses some very remote parts of the Mojave Desert along its route between Las Vegas, Nevada and Barstow, California. Several old depots with names like Nipton, Ivanpah, Cima, and Kelso were built in the early 1900s to serve as maintenance, freight and passenger stations. Passenger services at those old depots have stopped and Kelso is only used as a remote maintenance station.

The eastbound 4624 freight train slowly rumbles by the old siding at Ivanpah.

The Kelso passenger depot built in 1923 now serves as a museum in the Mojave National Preserve.

The Kelso depot was built using a Spanish “California Mission” building style.

The old train schedule board at the Kelso depot.

Freight cars wait for an assignment at the Kelso siding.

The eastbound 6487 freight train as seen from one of the abandoned buildings at the old Cima siding.