Sunday, March 29, 2009

C4's on the Move

Having read numerous railfan reports of BNSF's new A1A-A1A configured ES44C4 locomotives criss-crossing the area over the last few days, I've been anxiously awaiting my first sighting. Tonight, that dream was fulfilled when Mrs. L4T and myself headed for the Staples Dairy Queen for supper.

Just east of Verndale I spotted the rear end of what appeared to be a stopped intermodal train, and as the power came into view, I immediately noticed the consecutively-numbered units. I let out a yelp that no doubt made Mrs L4T suspect that I had, finally, made it all the way around the bend, and made a u-turn at the next opportunity. When I reached the crossing where they were waiting, I jumped out and started snapping photos.

The conductor was on the ground, perhaps checking fuel levels, as I shot this my first photos. I decided to head around to the dark side to get a detail shot of the truck, including the unit designation for posterity:

I headed east for a DQ treat, but didn't make it to Staples before meeting a westbound, so once again it was off to the races. I caught this train at the same crossing, while the new locos were still paused.

While waiting for this train to clear the crossing, the eastbound started pulling, and so I decided to try and catch him in a spot where I could get all three units. Since he was heading away from the sun, it is a going away shot.

I don't know why they were stopped, but I suspect there was a train in front of them that was slowing them down. I heard the dispatcher talking to an eastbound CSX about going into emergency, and the C4's crossed from Main 2 to Main 1 in Staples, I suspect to run around that train.

So, my first C4's are in the bag. They don't LOOK a lot different from all the other GEVO's running around, but we all know that they ARE different. I posted to the OMR list from the DQ in Staples that they were through Staples at 1800, one of the few times I have ever posted from my BlackBerry.

Thanks to all the fans who have been keeping the railfan community aware of the movements of this new power. Your efforts are appreciated.

Jim, out

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