Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chilly, Snowy Sunday

With a cloudy day forecast for Sunday January 11, I had little hope of getting out to exercise the new camera. However, after we got home from church, a check of the satellite photo and the map in motion showed a giant sucker hole settling over western Minnesota. I decided it was worth taking a chance that the sun would hold out by heading west for a few picture taking opportunities.

Mrs. L4T is never one to argue about a road trip and she was soon ready to leave. We made our way west, with little traffic between Wadena and Detroit Lakes. There was a broken rail just east of Frazee that was being repaired, and the westbound stack train was running wrong-main to get around that problem, which meant nothing was moving eastbound. Chatter on the radio seemed to indicate that the rail would soon be fixed. Here is the crew working at that location:

I knew that the stack train was right behind us, and that there was at least one eastbound waiting for him at Richards Spur. I heard him at the MP 225 detector, and predicted that we would soon see a stopped train. Sure enough, he was paused at the crossing just to the west of Richards Spur. I decided to get a shot as the stacker passed by, and here it is.

Just as soon as BNSF 809 west cleared his warrant from Wadena to Richards Spur, the dispatcher got busy handing them out to the waiting eastbound and three more behind him. I scooted for Lake Park, in the hope I could beat 809 to some photo location in that area. I made it to the overpass just west of Hwy 32 where I shot him as he approached. The engineer gave a friendly toot as the train passed.

At this point I wasn't sure what other westbound traffic was out there, but decided to run into Hawley as I always wanted to get a shot of a train entering town in nice light. The wait for my first chance wasn't long, but even before that the next eastbound train passed by. Coal loads with two units up front told me there was the chance of a DPU unit, and there was, but it was facing the wrong way. In just a few minutes an empty coal train showed up, with four EMD's up front. I got him just as he leaned into the curve.

I didn't even make it back to the car before the next eastbound showed-a stack train with ES44DC's. Here is the backlit B&W shot:

The next train was a coal empty behind three MAC's. At the urging of Mrs. L4T I shot him as a crossed the highway overpass in Hawley. I'm not real happy with how this turned out. Need to work on this spot some more to get it right.

With one last westbound before the light went away, I headed back to the curve on the east edge of town. This time I made my way down the bank in some deep snow, and the resulting shots are from a lower angle. Lots of power on this train:

Then once more as he rounds the corner:

We enjoyed our supper at Jimmy's Pizza in Hawley, after being joined by the heir to the L4T throne from Fargo. It was getting mighty cold at this point, and the full moon was doing all it could to light up the night. I tried one artsy shot of the moon on the way home but cold fingers got the best of me.

I am happier with these than the previous batch of photos. I seem to be getting more comfortable with the new camera and hope that my skills continue to improve. I've got a couple of shots from this week that I hope to post soon. I was in the Hibbing and Virginia areas and spent a little time in the Iron Junction area, so they won't be Staples Sub shots.

Still looking for trains,


1 comment:

trainspotterusa said...

Nice shots Jim;
I can tell just by looking at the pictures you've got a new camera