Monday, May 19, 2008

Smoky Sunday

On Sunday afternoon I floated the idea of heading over Detroit Lakes way for a drive and to grab a bite for supper. I didn't have to twist Mrs L4T's arm very hard to get her to agree.

The sun was fairly cooperative and I had high hopes for getting a few shots in the scenic DL area, maybe even some CP action. However, the scanner and tracks were both quiet the entire drive over, and the only action in town when we arrived was a long string of MOW equipment on a siding across from and just west of the depot.

We grabbed a bite to eat at the new KFC in DL and just as we finished eating and left the restaurant, a loaded DAPX train rolled by. As the sun was out, I decided to see if I was able to get a shot at the Frazee S curve. The sun was just a little too far around for nose light so I shot a video. Who knows how long solid sets of matched cars will last? I'll try to get the vid posted if I ever get time.

After that train passed we headed back to DL and I shot the MOW equipment I had seen earlier.

While I was out of the car, I thought I heard a horn, and sure enough, here came a Z train with plans to get to Dilworth in the next 30 minutes if that is even possible. Anyway, he was rolling, and I was out of position. I decided to try and catch him and finally succeeded just before Audubon. Interestingly, this is the same train that Ian had shot earlier that afternoon near Elk River. His story on it is here.

As this train accelerated, it became clear the trailing C44 had some kind of significant mechanical issue. The smoke output was overwhelming-if the mosquitos were out they would have tipped over dead. Don't know how far he made it, but that does not look healthy to me.

A stop at Wal-Mart caused us to miss the baretable train that Ian talked about-I saw it pass by westbound through the door of the Detroit Lakes Wal-Mart while my wife waited for the slowest cashier on the planet. After that bit of bad luck, I decided we should head for home. I stopped at the bridge just east of Perham for a bit, but no traffic and building clouds put an end to that as well.

It was a nice evening and I got to see and photograph something a bit unusual, so I wasn't disappointed. The company was good as well. Thanks for reading.


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