Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year's Morning

It was COLD this morning. Heck, it's still -8 as I write this, just after lunch. But the weather didn't stop me from getting trackside this morning.

With a couple of eastbounds on the move between Dilworth and Detroit Lakes, I headed west from Wadena with the rising sun just beginning to illuminate the landscape. My plan, such as it was, involved continuing west until I encountered a train, and then deciding what to do next at that time. The radio issued occasional hints of action but little of concrete value. As I passed by Perham, my first hard bit of evidence came in the form of the MP 203 detector warning me of a train on Main 2. Knowing that this almost had to be the first eastbound, I made a reverse move (u-turn) and staked out a location just to the east of Perham. After a very short wait I got my first train on 2010, at about 10 minutes after 9 AM on January 1. This H1 Dash 9 was leading a Z train. Somehow, the road number seemed to fit the date:

A glance at ATCS showed me that a westbound was due shortly, and I headed to New York Mills to contemplate whether there was a shot of the next eastbound to be had there as well. I heard the westbound pass the detector at MP 174, and shot a GEVO leading a manifest at the west crossing in Mills.

This manifest had a DPU, which it seems is becoming more common in the area. I got a shot of the Dash 9 pusher for history.

Right after this, the dispatcher (someone who I hadn't heard before) called the Z train asking for a roll-up. I figured this must mean the second eastbound (which I knew was behind BNSF 5488, as I heard them get a warrant earlier) was close. Turns out they were still at MP 201 so back to Perham it was. I set up again for video and still photos of what turned out to be a short grain train meandering through middle Minnesota.

Since he wasn't making much speed, and I was thinking about heading home, I decided to jump ahead of him for a couple of shots as he approached the CR 75 crossing just west of Wadena. Here's a series of three shots as this train climbs up the grade from the Leaf River crossing.

I kind of like the middle one.

And with that, I decided to return home, to warm up a cold foot caused by an influx of snow over my boot top. Mrs. L4T has asked whether she should plan anything for supper and I told here we would have to play it by ear tonight and tomorrow, as the weather looks conducive to heading west. Tonight's forecast low in Wadena is -27 so I think it's more likely I will have breakfast at home tomorrow.


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