Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Place Called Alborn

On my way home from Virginia, I decided to celebrate April Fools Day by following St. Louis CR 7 south, paralleling Missabe trackage much of the way. But this time my chosen route turned west at Alborn.

Alborn is where the BNSF and ex-DMIR mains cross as they head south from the range. Being in a hurry, I didn't have any time to investigate the layout of the area. But I do know that wherever two main line railroads converge, your chances of seeing a train improve. My April Fools joke turned out to be this BNSF train sitting in a siding on former DMIR trackage:

So, I saw a train. But while I was scoping out that situation, what to my wondering ears should appear but the sound of a diesel horn to my south and west. A short jaunt over the BNSF main, and sure enough, here comes an empty pellet train screaming north. I barely had time for a backlit shot of the power on the train as it passed under someone's old overpass.

It would be nice to say I suspected there would be a DPU facing the correct way, but I was across the tracks from my vehicle and had to wait for the train to pass before I could think about leaving, so the DPU was more or less forced on me.

So, in a grand total of 5 minutes, I managed to shoot two trains. It was purely by chance, and a nice April Fools surprise for a weary traveller in northern Minnesota. Alborn is definitely a location worth checking out again.


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