Saturday, June 27, 2009

First Impressions of the River Sub

Monday June 22 found me bound for southeast Minnesota. In the past I have spent the evenings in Zumbrota, but this trip I decided to establish my base in Red Wing. It's a bigger town with more hotel and restaurant options. It's also right on the CP River Sub so there were some railfan opportunties involved as well.

After I checked into my hotel, I decided to do a bit of exploring. This is a completely different kind of terrain than I am used to and it calls for a different approach. I caught a DP westbound through town just a few minutes after setting out, but the shot I got at a grade crossing in town was very crowded. I decided to head south and see what opportunities were available.

Just south of town I found a curve that seemed to have promise. Once again, I didn't have to wait too long for a train-and he was even heading into the sun! This is probably the best shot I got although the shadow from the crossing gate really irks me.

Next I headed further south to scout the area. Imagine my surprise when I met Amtrak's Empire Builder westbound at track speed! I made a quick u-turn and gave chase, which allowed me to catch but not pass the train by the time I got back to the curve in the photo above. I grabbed a going away shot but won't post it. Knowing Red Wing was a stop, I rushed into town, past the depot, and set up on an overpass to wait for him to come by. Sadly, the light disappeared before #7 appeared. I packed it in and headed back to my motel, which was just across the street from the tracks, and listened to CP freights pass by well into the evening.

I had a location in mind, and decided to try and be prepared for the Builder the next evening. With a plan and a long drive behind me, it was off to bed with visions of red GE's dancing in my head. So ended my first day along the River Sub.

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