Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cloudy Staples Sub

Last Tuesday found me Owatonna bound. Travel from Wadena to Owatonna allows one to fan a good section of the Staples Sub, although the cloud cover on that day did tend to take a bit of the fun out of the adventure. Still, a train under cloudy skies is still a train. So, I remained intrepid as I patrolled the tracks.

While a number of trains were out plying the rails, my first photo was of an eastbound manifest stopped near Clear Lake. Once again, I caught a C44 with an unmatched nose door. Seems like they are common as hen's teeth once you notice.

I hadn't made it 5 miles when the next train popped up-this time a coal empty headed west for more black diamonds. It was led by an ACe, and I grabbed a shot from the side of the highway to document its passing.

I soon overtook another stopped eastbound. Although the photo makes this look like a worm train behind a pair of SD75's, there were a bunch of other manifest cars tacked onto the end of the train out of sight around the corner. It was kind of pleasant to see a decent looking pair of warbonnets on a train. The paint on these has surely held up better than the Santa Fe scheme on the GE's.


After that, it was "petal to the metal" all the way to Owatonna, to make my scheduled session. Oddly, the UP blasted a northbound through town as I was getting out of my vehicle less than a block from the tracks, but I didn't get a chance to shoot the train. For as much time as I spend in Owatonna, I still don't have a decent shot from there. I hear trains frequently but never seem to get the chance to break away and shoot them.

I made my way home by Thursday, strangely enough, by way of Two Harbors. Again, I saw no trains until reaching Staples, where a loaded coal train was heading onto the Brainerd Sub. I got the DPU, again under heavy clouds, just as he left the Staples Sub. The dip in the Brainerd Sub is very apparent in this shot.

And that was it for the week. Hopefully I will get a little time to fan on Sunday afternoon, as the weather sounds good and there would be no better way to usher in spring than a railfanning adventure. Til next time,

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