Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Check, Please."

That's what I said to the waitress at the Spot Cafe in Staples as a pair of warbonnet SD75's drifted west through town this evening. But let's back up just a bit and set the stage.

Mrs. L4T had managed to pry me away from a frenzy of benchwork building, as I strove to complete a mainline run around the half of my basement that has been taken over by model railroading. So it was that we headed to Staples around 4 PM to take nourishment and see if there were any sights to behold. A paucity of westbound trains motivated us to eat as soon as we arrived. We were entertained while we ate by a pair of eastbounds-the first one a manifest train headed up by a pair of SD75's and a third unit in a GP30 body, and the second one a stacker behind a couple of Dash 9's. We were finishing up supper as the stack train passed, and while it was rolling through Staples, the westbound showed up. As I said earlier, this 364 axle manifest train had a pair of warbonnets for power. We quickly got our check, paid, and made chase.

Building clouds were playing havoc with the sun from time to time, so with the chance to shoot the train during a sunny interval I quickly pulled over at the location of the detector at MP 151. Here's the shot:


I had been able to overtake the train due to his slow speed through Staples. By the time he passed the detector this had all changed, and it was a race to get ahead of him again. I finally passed the head end just outside Verndale, but once again fell behind passing through Wadena. The train didn't have to stop for a pair of red lights.

I had hoped to shoot him near Bluffton, but no joy on that. I didn't catch the power again until New York Mills, and decided to chase him to Perham and try a photo on the west bank of the Ottertail River.


I was again lucky with the sun, and we decided to call it a night. Back home it was, to spend a little more time thinking about the best way to build that tricky piece of corner benchwork. All for this time.

Jim

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