Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Independence Day

I present you the completion of my backwards-blogged weekend with a short post describing my Independence Day observations. Since I had been warned earlier that BNSF was operating a reduced schedule for the holiday I was expecting less traffic than normal, but my experiences from one year earlier still had me holding out hope for some traffic on this beautiful summer dawn.

After leaving home, the wait was short before some traffic showed. I found an eastbound almost as soon as I arrived at the crossing in Wadena, and decided that since this is the only time of the year when the sun gets around far enough to shoot an eastbound through the legs of the Verndale station sign I might as well take advantage of it. Here is the result.

I continued on to Staples, and since the theme for the day started out as station signs, I decided to work in the Dower Lake sign in a shot as well. I'm not as happy with this one but I was in a hurry-this train didn't cut me any slack.

Trains were certainly scarce, and the Staples yard was vacant with the exception of a string of grain cars and what seem to the permanent residents of this yard, a Sno-dozer and a couple of "vintage" natural gas fuel tenders, which I think are reminders of a past energy crisis. I have been meaning to take these photos for over a year, and now I can finally sleep nights knowing I have recorded these images to disc before this equipment disappears.

Since I was on a mission to record vintage equipment, I decided to take a look at the caboose on the east side of town. It seems to be sporting a fresh coat of paint.

And with that, I returned home.

A trip out in the evening with Mrs. L4T led to one more intermodal train, this time a westbound I captured near Perham.

Happy 4th to the crews that had to work on the 4th, and I hope you made it home in time to shoot off some celebratory fireworks!


1 comment:

Mitch said...

Those fuel tenders are remnants of an ambitious, but unsuccessful, program that BN started in the early 90s to try to power locomotives by natural gas. Why or how the tenders' final resting place ended up being Staples is anyone's guess.

Some more information about the program is available at and