Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Philbrook Surprise

This morning, with a trip to Randall in the cards, I gassed up and turned on the scanner. Within a few minutes the dispatcher was busier than the proverbial one-armed paperhanger, issuing track and time to no fewer than three MOW crews on the east side of Staples. One of the crews involved an even 10 GPS ID's, whatever that is for. Another one sounded like a couple of pile drivers bound for the Philbrook area. Apparently the bridge over the Long Prairie River, just northwest of Philbrook, is being worked on.

From listening to the dispatcher I knew that there was only one train left, a westbound (travelling away from the sun) that had to be somewhere between Randall and me. As I poked my way along back roads, following the Staples Sub as much as possible, I finally reached Philbrook. A glance to the east revealed a headlight. I decided to stay and watch the train roll by, as the lighting was awful for the leaders.

When he showed up (at a reduced speed, he was going to Main 2 at Philbrook to make way for the pile drivers) it turned out to be a crude oil empty. Since every one of these trains I have seen to this time have had DPU's, I moved to take advantage if the rear engine was oriented properly. Here's the result:

Only one train, travelling the wrong way, but still, I thought, it's an interesting shot.

When I reached Randall, the MOW folks were setting up to do some heavy work on the switch east of downtown. They were still there when I left. I swung through Philbrook again, and could hear the banging of the pile drivers at work. Now, as I sit at home, I can hear multiple trains pass through Wadena after the backup caused by the work window. Since I have to head that way again tomorrow, I'm hoping for a little sunshine and some trains.


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