Friday, June 20, 2008

Some Summertime Action

It's been a while since I posted, and much of the interim has been dominated by clouds and rain. I have had the chance at a few shots, though, and the backlog is starting build to the point I need to get some of these posted.

June 12th was one of the days I have my shortest commute to work-Wadena to New York Mills. Of course, I still had the camera with and just after I got on Highway 10 the 174.1 detector sounded off for a train on Main Two. Hmmm, I should try a shot at one of my favorite locations-the curve just west of Wadena where the tracks climb up out of the mighty Leaf River plain. I didn't wait too long before a fast train rounded the curve behind an ES44DC, leading a few stack cars and a long string of vehicle cars. It was a nice way to start the day.


Friday evening, July 13th, Mrs. L4T and I headed over to Staples to try and avoid the bad luck demons. There was a nice assortment of power in the yard, including eastbounds behind CSX and KCS power. The KCS unit was an SD70-2 in the "Southern Belle" scheme. This was the first time I have seen one leading a train on the Staples Sub but obviously the Friday the 13th demons followed me to Staples and prevented any decent photos due to lighting difficulties. After waiting a few minutes and offering a Dairy Queeen treat to the demons, the scanner announced the impending arrival of a couple of westbounds. I headed south to intercept, with mixed results. I shot the first train southeast of Staples, then chased him back to Staples and got him again as he approached the depot.



I decided to head back to Wadena, and while we were on the way I heard a second westbound cross the detector at Staples. I headed back out to my old reliable location at the Bluffton curve, and this time shot a westbound as he approaches the tangent track at the bottom of the hill.


Interestingly, this train was all NSPX bottom dump hoppers. I can't recall seeing this before on the Staples Sub, but I think someone mentioned seeing a train like this loaded eastbound a couple of days earlier. Anyone know if these are serving the Becker plant nowdays?

Saturday morning I headed to Staples with the intention of catching the KCS unit in the yard in morning light. Of course it was gone, and the other trains that were there the night before were still there. I fooled around with a couple of puddles in the area with ho-hum results. I think the best effort was this one:


There was just enough cloud cover to spoil some nice shots.

I did get one treat that day, though. Rather than a "late eight", Amtrak surprised me with a late #7. Of course the light was wrong for a head on shot but I tried a couple of different things during the very brief stop at the depot. Here is one of my more unique angles.


A quick run to the detector gave me one more chance to shoot him but my camera missed the focus. After that, I gave chase but quickly realized that Amtrak has a distinct speed advantage to Highway 10 traffic as I was unable to gain any ground at all. Anyway, it was a nice surprise for me, if not for the passengers who were waiting for the train.

A trip to Fargo later that day yielded a couple of shots, but those will be the basis for another post. Til then, remember to keep looking 4 trains!

Jim

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