Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday/Sunday Evening Special

Well, the better half and myself ventured out on both Saturday and Sunday evening for a quick investigation of area rail traffic. Results were slim both nights, with light traffic and clouds to battle on Saturday.

Saturday we made the run to Staples and caught a mixed freight train as he rolled into Staples. Mrs. L4T was quite upset with the BNSF that they are letting engines that look like this out on the rails. She had nothing good to say about the paint job on this "peachy" Dash 9. I tend to agree with her.

Their was another merchandise train right behind this one, with better looking power. We ran all the way back to Wadena to catch this one as he rounded the curve heading towards Bluffton. I continue to gravitate back to this location-it's one of my favorite spots and gives good angles morning and evening. This time, though, a cloud stuck its nose in at just the wrong time.

As we headed back into town, a glimpse to the west revealed a headlight charging up the hill. I came to a quick stop at the Otter Tail County Road 75 crossing, jumped out of the vehicle, and grabbed a quick photo of a pair of EMD's working hard to lift coal loads out of the Leaf River Plain. This train was mostly BNSF cars with a few leasers thrown in, and it did have another EMD pushing on the rear.

That was it for Saturday, but it would be a traffic jam compared to Sunday evening. I missed a COLX empty between New York Mills and Wadena, and he was making good time so I didn't try to chase him. The leader was and ACe, and just 6 months ago that would have set off my fanning instincts, but I guess that just shows how common this power is getting.

I staked out the Bluffton curve for about 20 minutes before I spotted a headlight westbound, and caught this lash up of wide-noses charging down the hill with a mixed freight train. He was really moving.

And that's all I have for now. My schedule this week calls for me to spend a few days on the range, so with any luck I will have some CN action to share by the weekend.

Jim, still looking.

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