Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Train a Day...

That's what I have from the last part of the week. No big railfan trips or ventures to exotic locales, just run of the mill pounding the pavement on Highway 10 and the resulting photos.

On Thursday, the short run to New York Mills and home a few hours later gave me the opportunity to grab a photo of coal loads as they headed east through Bluffton. A real tough sun angle didn't give me the chance for anything conventional, so I conjured up this broadside of a pair of Grinstein MACs as they approach their crossing of the Leaf River.

Momma always told me that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. So, at least these motors are in matching paint...

The former GN line between Sauk Center and Wadena would have been fertile ground for my travels on Friday, when I headed to Eagle Bend. But with that line long gone, the chance of any rail action was non-existent. Or so I thought, as I headed uptown for a quick stop before going south. Another eastbound, this one a stacker, blew through town as I approached the crossing. A reconfigured plan had me chase him east to the Todd County Hwy 9 crossing, where I shot the photo below. Immediately after releasing the shutter on this mixed up pair of GE's, I was off for Eagle Bend, taking the "scenic route".

The sun has moved south to the point that shots in the Staples area are almost directly nose-lit in the morning, as the shot of the intermodal (above) shows.

And finally, on Saturday, Mrs. L4T and I were in Park Rapids for a family function. Again, the abandonement of the GN line through the area made the chance of seeing a train nil. But once again, as we arrived in Wadena, the BNSF delivered. As I sat at a red light at the junction of Highways 10 and 71, the crossing gates began to sing their sweet song. Quick thinking and optimism motivated me to make a quick right turn in hopes the train was headed west and into the sun. Luck was with me, and I passed the power on this coal empty as it went through Bluffton. A quick set up at Otter Tail CR 143 yielded this shot.

As many times as I have staked out a train here, I still like this spot. The sun just works here, and the curve adds some interest as you get a glimpse of the dark side of the train. There is not much traffic and a safe place to pull over and get the shot.

Thus ends this train a day post. Let not clouds, or work, or prior commitments, keep you from your appointed rounds of trainwatching. Remember the old saying: a train a day keeps keeps the railfan happy! Or, a train in the viewfinder is worth two on the ATCS display.


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