Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Last of July

I've not much to offer for the week that was-my ratio of trains to miles travelled approached my low for the year, I suspect. Given that I paralleled or crossed portions of the Staples Sub, Brainerd Sub, Casco Sub, and Hinckley Sub of the BNSF, as well as samples of former DMIR and DWP trackage and a portion of the CP mainline between the Twin Cities and Buffalo over the past week, my photo inventory for the trip is scant. I guess thats what being busy and working long days will do to a railfan.

I'll share what I have. On leaving home Monday morning about 0600, I was hoping there would be a train in the Staples yard, as the sunrise would light it nicely. Before I even got to Verndale I was pacing a Z train eastbound and managed to get a couple of minutes ahead of him by the time I reached Staples. Sure enough, a waiting eastbound in the yard was mine to photograph. I shot this merchandise train behind a unique power set-the cream of EMD's 60 series power.

A classic "triclops" SD60M still in its original BN paint is trailed by a sibling of this series-a GP60M fresh from an assignment on the BNSF employee passenger special that travelled Minnesota and North Dakota about a week earlier. I thought the combination of four axle and six axle 60 series power was interesting. I wonder if the SD feels like a Clydsdale when paired with the speedy GP unit?

I only had to wait a moment to shoot the Z as it passed this parked train in Staples. The UPS train was headed up by a pair of GEVO's sandwiching a Dash 9.

And with that, I was to go trainless for the next two days, with my next sighting on Wednesday evening south of Virginia. I ran in to Shelton Junction in time to find the last (thanks for the tip Dave S.) maroon DMIR SD40-3 on the point of another Minorca train headed for Two Harbors. I might have pushed the speed limit as I made the move to beat him to the CR 7 crossing where I grabbed this picture.

I know it is almost identical as the shot I got last week (see this post) but it's a rare unit and I get few chances at it. I decided to try a backlit shot at Ramshaw and here is the result.

And that's the end of this week's photos. I did spend the night in Buffalo on Thursday, and the volume of trains was impressive. When I drove into the Cities the next morning for a meeting I was impressed with the scenery in the area. I will have to make it a point to try and free up a couple of hours sometime when I am in that area for some fanning.

The trip home on Friday offered a couple of BNSF trains heading into the sun, but I had been gone all week, and my #1 goal was to get home and see Mrs. L4T. I made it and am glad to be back. Next week I will be in Iowa and hope to get the chance for some trackside time along the UP main.

Jim, out.

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