Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Southern Minnesota Miscellanea

Given the luck I had had on the first day of this Southern Minnesota journey, I had high hopes for finding some action on the UP while I spent some time in the far southwest corner of the state. After work on Wednesday, I went for a little drive to the east along the UP main to see if I could find a train to chase.

Action was slow, and I made it to Butterfield without seeing any action. As I crossed the overpass there, I caught sight of set of UP power sitting on the spur that heads south out of town. I swung around to get a shot of this three unit set of AC motors.

These units were all dead, and I guessed they must be waiting for a crew to head somewhere to move a shuttle train. The landscape is dotted with huge grain elevators in this part of the state.

Continuing on east, I took the exit for St. James to see if I could catch a switcher at the elevator. I managed to see one a few years ago, and it would have been nice to get a better shot of it. Man, it's been almost 5 years since I shot that, seems like it was only a few months. Time flies.

Anyway, I wasn't able to locate the engine, but there was a set of UP GP's sitting near the depot, so I grabbed a shot of them.

That was all I was able to locate on Wednesday. Not a moving train to be seen. I did take a detour to the Odin cemetary on the way back to Windom, and visited my grandparent's graves.

The next morning I was off to Westbrook bright and early. Westbrook is in Murray County, one of the very few Minnesota counties that has no railroad service. That didn't stop me from pulling over for a photo on my way up there, though. The sun was starting to burn off the fog already.

Yes, I know. I do have a great job.

I headed for home right after lunch. My chosen route took me through Willmar. After a visit there a couple of weeks ago, I figured it was worth an extra half hour to swing by the yard. I found a string of GP units, with a lone SD40-2 mixed in, waiting in the yard. There were a couple of other trains near the depot but no real shots to be had.

Just as I was pulling out, the crossing gates announced the arrival of another train, this one from the west. The light didn't allow much of a shot, but the presence of a KCS unit and what I suspect is one of the final units ever painted in the warbonnet scheme motivated me to take this photo.

And that's the story of my most recent trip south. I managed to see a few trains, and some nice scenery as well. Hope you enjoy the story.


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