Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Sightings

As has become a semi-regular tradition in the L4T household, Sunday evening found the wife and I out on the prowl looking for trains. Today being Mother's Day, a special treat seemed in order so the first class Dairy Queen in Staples was the source of our evening out meal.

The gorgeous weather and sunshine drew me trackside and we decided to get our meals to go. This turned out to be a lucky decision as not long after we had found a good spot to observe the tracks I heard a locomotive blowing for the crossing in Staples. I sprinted (at least in my mind) to a spot where I thought I could shoot the COLX empty train as it passed the Staples depot. The result was less than captivating, though.

I'm not sure if you can see it in this shot but there is a newly constructed chain link fence between the depot and the tracks, and it extends well past the depot on the west.

I tried another shot of the ACe as it passed by but it was nothing to brag about. After we finished our delicious double cheeseburger meals, I proposed a trip to Philbrook as the wife had never been there. She was her usual agreeable self, and with news of an impending meet in that location off we went. The wait was less than 10 minutes before the headlight of the westbound showed just to the southeast. A quick grab shot and we were off to see if we could catch him before Wadena.

It was a race, but by taking a bypass around Staples I was able to head him off by the time we passed Verndale. The shots I tried as he crossed the Wing River were not too good, but I noticed an eastbound quickly bearing down on us and fired off a shot of the meet. This loaded coal train was almost all WPSX cars, which are fairly new to the Staples Sub. I have been seeing them on a somewhat regular basis for a few months now. They caught my attention as Wisconsin Public Service is the original utility in the holding company that I used to work for.

One more eastbound was crossing over from main 2 to main 1 as we returned to Wadena, but despite a consist that included an H2 GE, cascade SD40-2, and single CSX and NS untis, no photos were attempted. It was more fun just to watch.

One thing I did shoot was some coal car pictures. I have been accumulating them for a few weeks now as I study the differences and peculiarities of the unit train consists when they pass by. I hope to post some pictures, along with observations, soon.

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