Friday, August 7, 2009

Catch and Release

Made the trek home from the Cities this afternoon under cloudy skies. Having been away from home (and Mrs. L4T) for four days, combined with the poor photo conditions, meant I wasn't about to stop and photograph any old Dash 9 that rolled down the pike.

I raced a stack train from the Lincoln Highway 10 overpass to Staples. The race turned out to be a draw, with both of us arriving in Staples at the same time. I caught up to the power just as he passed the Dower Lake station sign and noticed this train had a 6600 series ES44C4 leading. Well, no reason to not pull over and shoot one since it would hardly slow me down.

This first shot is of the lead unit as he traversed a bit of elevated trackage just east of Aldrich.

I like the C4's and was sure I had shot this one before. When I got home I looked, and sure enough, I got him on another weather-challenged day just this March, as he passed through Perham.

The weather was challenging in its own way today. This next shot gives an idea of the conditions as I neared Wadena. The tree behind the train is the signature "big tree" east of Verndale. It sticks out like a sore thumb, and I've always wished I could climb it and spend some time shooting trains as they pass by from an unusual angle.

I decided I was done with him for the day, and headed for home. The appearance of a headlight from the west caused one last quick stop as I shot an eastbound Dash 9 just before he met the A1A GE at the Wing River. I know it's no good, but I have started a new mission to collect images of as many of the Dash 9's leading as I can. Wish my hard drive luck as I gather them. I guess I was wrong, I will stop and shoot any old Dash 9 that crosses my path.

And that was that. The C4 fascination continues. Given the uniformity out on the rails these days (most of the time, anyway), out of the ordinary units really raise my interest and these locos are just the ticket. This one was paired up with a Dash 9, leading me to believe that BNSF has released them into the free-running loco pool. If true, they can show up anywhere and anytime. Another great reason to keep looking for trains.


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