Sunday, August 29, 2010

Still More Staples Saturday Morning Action

Anyone who's wasted any amount of time following my railfanning antics knows that one of the regular helpings here are stories of Saturday morning trips to Staples. Here's another one.

After crawling out of bed bright and early with the sun just peeking over the horizon and informing Mrs. L4T of a pending trip to Staples, I was off. A gas stop at Holiday turned out to be a positive, as it allowed time for coal loads behind ACe BNSF 9148 time to catch me in Wadena. The shot passing the depot actually lacked a bit of light, but it was easy to get the same train again at the CR 9 crossing between Aldrich and Staples.


During the wait for this train, looking the other way down the track revealed another train, this one headed west. I couldn't resist shooting down the throat to catch the west end of the yard including the signal bridge.


That's a sight that will keep a railfan's heart pumping.

Entering town, yard traffic neccesitated a stop at the east ladders. A few trains were resting in the yard, with a loaded coal train making the preparations to head east. In fact, the dispatcher had the yarded coal train ahead of the eastbound just shown, which caused the 9148 to stop on main two. Soon a third coal load chimed in, and learned that along with the other two he would have to wait for an empty due off the Brainerd Sub about 0830. The dispatcher tucked him away between Aldrich and Verndale on Main 2.


Secure in the knowledge traffic was coming down the Brainerd, I ran to Motley to shoot him coming into town. All I have to show for it is this backlit shot, since the gamble that a DPU would be present didn't pay off.


So back to Staples it was, to watch the empty pass through town and the parade of eastbounds get started. Here's a shot that shows the first load pulling down the yard lead while the second waits on Main 2, and the tail end of the empty skedaddles out of town on Main 1.


And with that your reporter also decided to skedaddle. Duty called, and all.

But just as I was about to abandon the tracks, a glance west at the Wadena crossing revealed a headlight. This time it was a manifest train, with an AC GEVO on the point. I wasn't able to resist a couple of shots as he passed through town. Made for a great end to an entertaining morning.



So that's the latest installment of the tale of Saturday morning railfanning in Staples, MN.

Jim

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