Thursday, February 11, 2010

Almost a Shutout

Monday found me bound for Hallock, which entails parlleling a good stretch of the Staples, Grand Forks, and Noyes Subdivisions of BNSF, along with around 60 miles of CP's Detroit Lakes Sub. It's a trip that should be a railfan extravaganza.

Unfortunately for me, this time, it wasn't. I managed to make it all the way to Kennedy, just a few miles shy of Hallock, before anything "railroady" caught my eye. Rumor had it that at tractor was being delivered to Kennedy by rail, and this time rumor turned into fact. Many of you have likely already seen that photo of a shiny new John Deere sitting on a flat car in the snow.

All evening Monday, all day Tuesday, and Wednesday morning I was never more than a block or two from the Noyes sub. Even though I could see the tracks from my window, "stealth" trains somehow slipped by in the dark of night Monday and Tuesday, I think, judging from the look of the grade crossings in town.

Headed south around lunchtime on Wednesday, I noticed that the shiny John Deere in Kennedy was now sitting on the loading ramp and the dual wheels that had been on the flatcar were also gone. But I pressed on. After stopping to show the flag in Stephen and Argyle, I pointed the Escape for home.

Again, the tracks were vacant, at least until Mahnomen, where I came upon a southbound CP freight sitting in the siding waiting for a meet. Since trains were rare as hen's teeth, I grabbed a shot.

I noticed some kind of logo on the side of the nose of the lead unit, and investigated to find that it was honoring the musical Mounties:

I thought my luck might change, but the train he was waiting for snuck by me near Waubun, where the track and the highway separate for a bit, and I just saw the end of it disappear. I had no enthusiasm to chase it.

The Staples Sub was even more vacant than the DL Sub, with nothing spotted between DL and Wadena. I made it home about 6:30, feeling like I had been nearly skunked. Wish me better luck next time.


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