Friday, September 3, 2010

The Road Home

After telling the story of the first half of a recent trip to the Hallock area, I uploaded a few photos taken on the return journey. They've been sitting waiting for me to find the time to do a little write up describing the what, where, and when all weekend. Mrs. L4T and myself spent most of the weekend entertaining our son. Now that he is on the way home I thought now would be a good time to finish this post.

The first train of Wedensday was an NPR eastbound in Warren, and since I was working there is no photo of the set of red SD40's that were leading. No other rail action was spotted on the Noyes Sub. I did meet an empty DEEX train near the Erskine shuttle loader but cloudy skies and a desire to get home helped me pass on that one. I did stop in Erskine and shoot a non-moving target-what's left of the depot.

Next stop was in Mahnomen, where it seemed like a car still in MILW paint and reporting marks in 2010 was worth a shot.

As a matter of fact, there was a whole string of these cars sitting there. Not something I expected to see anywhere in this day and age, much less in Northwest Minnesota.

Looks like the Mahnomen elevator is expanding, given the support beams erected on either side of the track and the foundation for a huge grain bin that's been poured on the east (highway) side of the DL Sub. The rest of the elevator complex is on the west side of the tracks. You can see these supports in this wide view of the power from the ballast train.

Here's another shot of that same power, this time with some more zoom added to the equation.

Must be substantial trackwork on the DL Sub, as I noticed a good sized m-o-w crew was tied up for the evening in Ogema, and there were ties distributed all along the tracks.

That was it for the DL Sub. The Staples Sub was pretty quiet as well, until a single headlight was spotted east of the Highway 10 overpass near NYM. Perhaps a DPU? Sure enough, I was able to overtake a loaded coal train, and shoot just east of CR 143. This area was heavily damaged by a tornado on June 17, the same day as the tornado that impacted Wadena. The NWS suspects this tornado was even more powerful than the Wadena tornado. In this view you can see some of the trees along the ROW that were bent over or broken.

Expecting that to be the end of the action for the day, I was racing for home when the brand new crossing gates at the Black's Grove Road caused me to look east, and spot a westbound on Main 1. After quickly pulling over and grabbing a shot, here's what I came home with.

That's the story of a drive from Hallock to Wadena. Total score: 5 trains (3 photographed), 220 miles, 4+ hours. All I can say is that it sure beats spending that time sitting in an office.