Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Slim Pickings in Southern MN

Duty called-and again, I answered. The week started out with some work at home on Monday, but I had to be deep in southwest Minnesota at 0830 on Tuesday AM so I left home after supper with the intent to go as far as possible that night and "tie up" for the evening.

My journey southward was train free until I reached Benson just after 8 PM. As I crossed the tracks a glance to the east revealed the smoke column of an accelerating train but no headlight-must be an eastbound. Since I have zero shots from this area a quick chase allowed me to overtake the local and grab what was supposed to be a glint shot in failing light. This train was led by a pair of EMD lease GP's with consecutive numbers.

I overnighted at Montevideo and when I left in the morning, just before 0700, road construction routed me along Hwy 212 for a short way. No trains, but I did notice that there is a small intermodal facility there-must be on the TCW. I didn't know about this before. No pictures, but I would dearly love to chase a train along the river someday. Another item for my bucket list.

My assigned tasks for the day completed, I headed for Windom, where I planned to spend the night. I travelled along Hwy 14, roughly paralleling the DME. I had seen a train pass by earlier in the day eastbound while I was working but figured it had a couple hour head start and was long gone. Imagine my surprise at finding it tied down on my arrival in Tracy. I initially hoped it was waiting for a meet but no luck as it was unoccupied. I grabbed a head on shot at the crossing east of town.

Just a few miles down the road, near the sight of the still under-construction Highwater Ethanol plant, I spotted a BNSF shuttle train being loaded at the Lamberton elevator. A pair of trackmobiles were handling the cars, one shuttling loads out to the edge of town while the other spotted empties under the loading chute. Here is the "shuttle" unit:

It was handling about 15 what I assume were loads as they were travelling away from the elevator, and working very hard doing it. Speed was not impressive to say the least.

The power for the shuttle was resting on the east edge of town, and I grabbed a couple of photos of the three unit set.

Obviously I was getting desperate for something to shoot, as this photo demonstrates.

On arrival at Windom I spent a little time trackside in hopes Uncle Pete would run something into the sun for me, but no dice. So I have exhausted my complete ration of Monday and Tuesday shots for your entertainment. Wish I had more to offer, but this is it.

Jim, out.

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