Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Range Report-Missing the Maroon

After work Monday evening, I managed to sneak in an hour or so of railfanning in the Virginia area. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I head out to Iron Junction as that seems to be the most likely place to intercept a train without any inside info to direct you.

I hadn't even finished changing clthes when the strong west wind carried the sound of a locomotive horn across Silver Lake to my hotel. It was off to the races. I found the junction of CR 7 and CR 101 blocked by a southbound manifest. After it cleared, I raced to the Highway 37 overpass to shoot this train as he headed south. While there was a great sucker hole as I heard him approach, the sun snuggled in behind a cloud as soon as the train came into sight.

I haven't shot this location before, but I like it. It's a bit sidelit, but should get better later in the year. The old code line poles add to the shot.

This train was moving fairly slowly, and the sun was darting in and out, so the chase south began. This next shot is from Townline Road, south of Keenan Yard. The sun had peeked out again. Sidelit, but nice anyway. And, the second unit is a Draper! I like them, they remind me of the years I spent in Ranier watching the DWP and CN.

I left him off here, and headed back north. Wanting to catch something in good light, I investigated the line to Fayal, but found nothing. The RTC (Dispatcher in CN lingo, I guess) soon was talking to someone and 909 crept into the conversation. Knowing this was probably the BLE 909, I swung back to Iron Junction just in time to catch a northbound T-bird led by an ex-IC SD40-2. The 909 was trailing, so I don't know why I heard him mentioned on the radio.

By now the clouds were really starting to build in from the west, and I wanted something to eat. There was also work to do, so it was off to the hotel. It ended up being an entertaining little outing, but I think this is the first time I have been to Iron Junction and not seen a maroon unit. That seemed a little sad, and reminded me of the changes on other railroads. Another good reminder to shoot them while we can.


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