Many different kinds of trains go through Fresno each day, this is a brief summary of some of the trains and equipment you may see. They are divided by railroad.
AMTRAK- Amtrak's San Joaquin service usually uses the same equipment on each train. Most trains have an EMD F59PHI locomotive on the point, these engines are also used on the Cascade Talgo trains, the San Diegans, and the Capitol Corridor trains. Sometimes you will see a GE Dash 8 40 BW on the point
of the amtrak's. Both the F59PHI and the Dash 8 are painted in the dark blue and silver Amtrak California livery. A rare sight is an aging F 40PHI in regular amtrak colors, but you do see them every once in a while. The Amtrak cars are the new "California Cars" which are similar to the superliner cars but are painted differently.
SJVR- SJVR has a small fleet of aging emd 4 axel power. These units include low nose GP 9's,GP 20's,and GP 28's. There are few different paint jobs these engines have including a red white and blue with "San Joaquin Valley Railroad" on the long hood. A blue and white with a large "SJVR" on the side, and locomotives lettered for SJVR's parent company, Kyle railways. SJVR has lots of it's own industrial tracks in the Fresno area, and some ex-SP and ATSF branches to citie's like colinga and reedley. SJVR also handles some switching of the local industries on the UP and BNSF lines. Almost all of their trains use one locomotive and are no longer than 30 cars. These trains include industrial swithchers and UP-BNSF interchange trains in the downtown Fresno yards.
UNION PACIFIC- UP runs an assortment of trains through Fresno, most of the northbound mainline freights are heading to either the Bay Area,Stockton,Roseville-Sacramento, or the Shasta Route to Oregon. These through trains are usually the same trains that treverse Tehachapi pass. The Southbound trains are bound for Bakersfield, City of Industry, LATC(shops yard), or West Colton. Some go all the way to places like Houston and Memphis. Here are some trains that are regulars through the valley:
Los Angeles to Portland Intermodal, lately this train has been running matched set of SP C44-9W's. Mix of COFC and TOFC.
Train consisting of half auto rack cars and half intermodal cars.
Various intermodal trains in both directions, trains consist of double stacks, COFC, and TOFC.
Unit grain trains to certain feed plants along the line.
Full trains of grain cars, many of these trains originate/terminate at the Fresno Yard.
Heavy manifest trains loaded with box cars and many lumber loads.
The Swift Road Railer train, this train usually has only 1 or 2 locomotives. Runs between City of Industry and Brooklyn yard. (Portland)
Various other trains, including a solid auto train which runs as needed.
BNSF- About 2/3 of all the trains that BNSF runs are high priority intermodal trains that run between points east including, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas City, and Chicago. BNSF originates a few intermodal trains at Calwa they are loaded with trailers full of Central Valley produce. Most of the through trains through Fresno are heading to or from the San Francisco bay area. The hottest train on the BNSF, the Z-WSPNBY, and Z-NBYWSP run through Fresno at least once each day carrying UPS loads between North Bay (Richmond) and Willow Springs (Chicago). Most of the intermodal trains have 3 or 4 C44-9W's in the red and silver, heritage 1,and heritage 2 paint jobs. Simetimes you will see a heritage 1,BN, or Blue and Yellow SD 40-2 mixed in among the big GE's. Manifest trains use all kinds of power BNSF has including, SD 60's,75's and 40's, many GE's show up on manifest trains also use some 4 axel power including GP 60M's in Red and Silver, Blue and Yellow geeps,and some GE 4 axel units in standard blue and yellow, red and silver, and LMX. BNSF has a few 4 axel engines to switch the Calwa freight yard and intermodal ramp. These engines consist of Blue and Yellow rebuilt GP 30's and 35's. Here are some BNSF regulars through Fresno.
Numerous intermodals between Bay Area and pints east. Consist of both double stacks and TOFC.
Manifest trains from the bay area, Stockton, and trains from Pasco, Washington to Barstow that come via the inside gateway and Feather River.
Unit Steel Coil trains between Joliet Illinois and Port Chicago(bay area)
Grain trains during season.
Occasional rock trains to and from bay area.
Other types of trains appear but are not regulars through Fresno.