Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's Been a While

Yes, I haven't been posting for a couple of weeks. There are a few shots that I could probably weave into something, but I haven't had the ambition lately, for whatever reason. Crappy weather plays into it somehow, I'm sure. Takes a lot of the fun out of railroad photography.

Today, though I was lucky enough to stumble across something that warranted unlimbering the camera even though the weather continues to live up to the definition of crappy. A business trip to Hawley gave me the chance to check out the Staples Sub. I didn't stop for any shots on the trip over, but on the way back I met a train just as I approached Walmart in Detroit Lakes. When I spotted the lead engine, I made an immediate U-turn.

After a short chase I got ahead of this mix of grain cars behind an SD40-2 (or at least that's what it says on the frame) and an H3 GP unit. I predicted early this year that I might never see another one of these classic units lead a mainline train on the Staples Sub. Happily, it looks like I was wrong.

And strangely enough, I was in New York Mills yesterday and spotted what I though was three SD40-2's leading an eastbound through town. I had no chance to get a photo due to work obligations but was kind of watching to see if any other fans might have spotted the same thing, or I was just imagining such a sight. The above photo makes me think my eyes might not have been playing tricks on me.

As I passed through DL, I looked south from the Soo Line overpass on Highway 10 and saw that a meet was happening. I decided to swing around to see if I could ID the southbound, but it was gone from the Willow Street crossing when I arrived. The northbound had crept under the Highway 59 overpass by this time so I ran up by the diamond to shoot a local as he approached.

I spotted a couple of more trains on the way back to Wadena, including what looked like a very short Z train led by a warbonnet Dash 9. But with heavy overcast and the light fading, I decided to let him go, so I have no other photos to share from today.

But to see an SD40-2 once again gracing the rails of the Staples Sub made the day worthwhile. It's discoveries like this that keep me looking for trains.


dorcheat said...

Hello Jim,

That BNSF SD40-2 would look even better in all cascade green and the lovely cascade green and white stripes on its snoot!

I loved the pic of the vintage $oo Line GP38-2 (4441) on the point of the CP northbound. Long live the Soo!

As a boy raised a block away from the Holmes Street crossing and from the old burned Soo Line depot (burned in 2001 by arsonists) in Detroit Lakes, the pic of the Soo diesel made my heart pitter patt.

Keep looking for BNSF and also "4" $oo Line trains, Jim!

Finally, I also alerted the folks at the Soo Line Historical and Technical Society ( to the great picture of Soo power. I am sure they will highly approve!

Marvin said...


A few times per year we come down from Winnipeg Manitoba Canada to visit Fargo. This year I paid special attention to the Dilworth yard area. In the train pictures and videos that I took, there are some SD40-2's(two of them leading a train..and yes one of them is in cascade green and white stripes on the snoot!!)

I had a good time at the Dilworth yard and the weather was clear and nice.

It's a real treat to still see some of the older equipment!

I enjoy reading this blog...since we visit so frequently to Fargo and the surrounding areas (made it to Detroit Lakes this past June)