Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Tending" to Business

On Saturday, as the Escape needed an oil change and Mills Ford had a service special going on, Mrs. L4T and myself decided to head over Brainerd way late morning. As is the norm, the camera came along for the ride.

I met a westbound train just east of Verndale, but the sun was behind it and I didn't attempt a shot. That turned out to be a good thing, as I was them able to shoot the eastbound I stumbled across just the other side of Bluffton. He was stopped when I first saw him but started pulling as I passed. I didn't have to wait long at CR 9.

Finally, a Dash 9 leader with a matching nose door.

Since I was on the south side of the tracks for this shot, I had to wait for the entire train to pass before proceeding. That gave me the chance to notice that one of the cars in the train was a BN fuel tender. I don't know if these things are still used in their tender role, but the car was definitely in a moving train.

After I got home, I did some research on the BN/BNSF fuel tenders. Turns out there is quite a lot of information about this project online.

I don't recall having seen one of these before myself. It seems this was a pretty well developed and long term program on various parts of the system. The tenders served with both SD40-2's and SD60M's out west. The highest number I have seen referred to was BNFT 47 so there were a fair number of these units developed. They seem to be conversions from old tank cars.

I thought it was interesting to catch one passing through Staples. Whether it is being used as a regular tank car now, transporting fuel for company use, or still serves as a fuel tender, it's something that makes looking for trains interesting.


1 comment:

dorcheat said...

I well remember the fuel tenders from the mid 1980's through the early 1990's traveling on the Hi-Line. Most of the locos used were the SD-40's with some 50's, 60's, and a sprinkling of GE Dash 7's and 8's.

I am still stuck in the era of the single eye searchlight signals of the 1970's and 1980's. I remember driving with my dad during the late 70's during clear winter nights from Perham to DL just matching BN's speed of 55 to 60. I also learned how ABS functioned as one can see two blocks ahead especially on the Perham prairie through Luce and towards Frazee.