Wednesday, October 21, 2009

ICE on the Pink Granite

Over the last couple of weeks I've shared some photos from my recent venture to southwest Minnesota. This will be the last I have from that trip, all focused on a single train I caught on my last evening in the area.

After work I was headed back to Marshall for the night when I decided to make a stop at the DM&E crossing of the Marshall Sub. There was another car pulled over at the overpass, and my railfan detector was starting to go off. Sure enough, just as I got out of the car he waved for me to hurry over the bridge. I got this shot, which I really like, and the mystery railfan was gone in an instant, before we had even had a chance to talk.

The train was heading west into the descending sun and I had scouted the immediate area a bit that morning, so off I went as well. He stopped to throw a switch here at what was called Florence, so I managed to get ahead of him relatively soon. Next up, ICE power curves around a slight rise covered in corn.

If anyone ever tries to sell you on the idea that these trains just meander across the prairie, don't buy. This guy was moving right along, and I had to slow down passing west through Tracy. As a result of this, and my unfamiliarity with the country ahead, I blundered about looking for a shot and finally settled on this one as he left Verdi, MN.(Side note: I really blew any shots as the train made his way from Lake Benton to Verdi. Seeing the country on the return trip, I was greatly disappointed that I didn't make the right guess leaving Lake Benton so I could have shot the train twisting through the bluffs and climbing out of the river bottom. I need to get back there sometime!)

Anyway, here he is, leaving Verdi behind. Nice sky.

Finally, I caught a glimpse of the mystery railfan I seen earlier. It was Craig Williams. We didn't get a chance to talk much, but he did clue me in the cause of this last photo-apparently, the switch wouldn't throw as it had been run through earlier, and the meet was delayed while repairs were made. As the overcast was moving in I tried a little B&W action. My first South Dakota shot, with Elkton in the background.

And that's it for this trip to the southwest part of the state. I'm still working on getting some PRB stuff ready to go, and have two or three overcast shots from a trip to Hallock early this week, including something that is a first for me. You'll have to check back to see what that is.

See you along the tracks,


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