Friday, July 30, 2010

Sneak a Peek

One of the great things about living in Wadena is the proximity to the Staples Sub. That is especially true anytime you approach the tracks at a road crossing. There is always a good chance that peeking down the right-of-way will reveal some evidence of a nearby train-whether that evidence is a lit signal, a FRED blinking in the distance at night, the single headlight of a DPU pushing, or best of all, the triangular glow of an approaching train.

Since my Friday started out with a trip to Perham for work, I was anticipating a glance down the tracks as I approached the Jefferson Street crossing in Wadena. The sunshine that was dancing around looked to be short-lived with a cloud bank building in the west, so I figured a perfectly timed eastbound might be my only chance for a nicely lit shot today. Sure enough, fortune smiled on me as the crossing revealed the headlight of a train approaching from the west. Reminded me of the CP "one unit wonders" I read about so often from the railfans just to the south. This train was passing through the part of Wadena hardest hit by the June tornado. As you can see there is still a lot of work to do before Wadena returns to anything near normal.

In Perham, I came across an interesting sight. Seems that one of the BNSF's Aeroflo coal cars got tired and decided to give up the ghost. The first picture below shows how repair crews transferred the load to another similar car (notice what the load in the right car looks like). They then pulled in the side that was bowed out and secured it with a chain, as you can barely see in the second photo.

Finally, on the trip home, I again sneaked a peek down the tracks, this time as I crossed over the tracks on Highway 10. Since another train was approaching I decided to make a quick detour to the Hagerman Road crossing, where the gates were dropping as I arrived and this appeared outside the driver's window:

So that's the story of another day in the life of a Staples Sub railfan. It's a great place to live and to look for trains.


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