Friday, January 29, 2010

Just Like Old Times

An afternoon trip to Perham resulted in my most exciting photo opportunity so far this year. A headlight approaching from the west as I topped the overpass between New York Mills and Perham provided enough motivation to quickly pull over and slip on my winter boots. After a short trek through the snow I was in position to shoot an eastbound manifest train behind BNSF 8018, one of the former SD40-2's that is now plying the Staples Sub. But what made it really special was the collection of classics behind the lead unit-three more SD39-2's, and GP38-2 2284. The consist was set up BNSF 8018-BNSF 8012-BNSF 2284-BNSF 6821-BNSF 1777. I never, ever thought I would see a train powered by a consist like this again on the Staples Sub.

Just the sight of all those curved fuel tanks in a row sends chills down your spine. Or, maybe that was the weather?

These kinds of power sets were uncommon when I moved to the Wadena area more than 5 years ago, and at least to me, unheard of now. Of course I'm sure that some of the units were being moved, as the train certainly didn't seem long enough to require that amount of power, but it was exciting to see an all-EMD lashup once again plying the rails!

And if that wasn't enough of the EMD's, when I arrived in Perham the Wadena local was working with a pair of GP's. I got a shot out the window of the Escape as I crossed the tracks.

Westbounds were out in force on the way home, with an intermodal flying through Perham, a manifest with DPU near New York Mills, and the returning Wadena local just west of Bluffton. But I was chasing coal loads, and managed to get in front of them at Bluffton, for a backlit B&W shot.

So, all in all, a very cool afternoon, with two all-EMD powered trains totaling 7 units sighted, and in the sun, no less! Kind of gets the juices flowing for some more adventures out along the tracks.


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