Saturday, June 28, 2008

Southwest Minnesota Sightings (Cont.)

We pick up the story on Thursday morning, which found me deep in the corn country of southwest Minnesota. After finishing up at my first stop on Thursday, I had one more visit for the week, in Marshall. A glance at the map told me that I would be able to follow the DM&E for a few miles until I reached Highway 59, which would lead me right into town. The few miles of DM&E were trainless, though, and I continued on north.

Leaving Marshall, I decided to take MN 23 northeast as it parallels the BNSF line to Willmar. I turned the scanner on and in a matter of minutes I heard chatter between a train and the dispatcher. I also heard Fort Worth Mechanical talking to a different train about a radio problem. My first sighting was a southbound merchandise train just entering Cottonwood. He was moving at a good speed and I didn't have time to get to the sunny side, so shot him backlit.

I passed through Granite Falls with no further action, but when I reached Clara City I spotted a headlight. This proved to be BNSF 1061, the train I had heard the Fort Worth Mechanical Desk talking to earlier about a bad radio. I think they were having problems with the DPU unit on this train. I shot him from the ground, and from the overpass as he backed past the elevator.

That proved to be the extent of BNSF action for the day. My next target was the CP line into Glenwood and north. I was determined to catch something-anything-on that line to complete my trip. Ny first opportunity was an old SOO caboose that was part of an MOW consist sitting in a siding near Sedan.

Trains were moving both ways as I entered Glenwood. This was my first time in town, and I snooped around a bit trying to find a shot, but the yard was packed and all I could come up with was this.

And that was the end of trains for the day.

It's great to have a job where you get to travel the entire state, and to have a chance to pull over and take a picture once in a while. It was a good trip, got a lot of work done, and had the chance to see some railroad action.


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