Sunday, October 31, 2010

3 Pairs

As we've suffered some might poor railfanning weather in the past 10 days or so, posting here at look4trains has been non-existent. The combination of clouds and work have left me with a desire to shoot some train photos so this afternoon Mrs. L4T and I checked out the ATCS, put fresh batteries in the scanner, and taking into account the late autumn sun angle, pointed the vehicle west.

With not a lot of traffic showing up on the computer I fell back on my normal plan-drive until you find a train, then decide what to do. We met an eastbound just past New York Mills, but the combination of an unnatractive consist and poor lighting led me to pass it up. Crossing fingers, we continue west. And the other side of Perham, I heard the dispatcher give a warrant to BNSF 8943 East. Maybe a coal train, and I can shoot him somewhere near Frazee where there may be at least a little nose light. First up: Acorn Lake, and a matched set of Halloween painted MAC's.

I've always wanted to shoot a train here when the water is dead calm. That would probably involve me getting up real early in the morning, and a train being there at the right time, but someday these things will come together.

As soon as he passed, we raced back east to try and beat him to the S curve. It was a losing race, by about 60 seconds. I stopped to shoot him just a bit east of the curve, shown here:

Since the track is still real close to north/south here, for a few miles, it seemed worth trying one more shot at the curve between Frazee and Perham. I beat the train this time, by 30 seconds or so.

Since we were already so far west, it seemed only right to sniff around Detroit Lakes for a bit. We may have just missed a CP train, as both signals near the Holiday Inn were yellow as we drove into town, then dropped to black as we passed them. A train at the diamond was the only explanation I was able to come up with, since there were no other BNSF trains nearby at this time.

After a stop at Menards to pick up some winter gloves and a drill bit for use on the model layout, we were greeted as we left the store by a coal empty passing through town. The DPU was a exec painted MAC, but I didn't get a look at the head end and learned there was an ACe up front only after he cleared his warrant. By this time I was hot on the trail of the train, with a goal of intercepting him in Hawley. I debated on the wooden bridge shot, but decided to get him entering town instead. Here's the first attempt:

And again as he passes, this time showing the matched power on the head end of this train.

On the way to Hawley we met a V-train, behind a pair of Dash 9's but those two were not matching-one each of the H1 and H2 paint schemes. But the matched units weren't done for the day. When I turned around in Hawley, there sat a rail train (stretched all the way across the highway bridge, which carries a siding as well as the two main tracks) behind a couple of green giants. The leader was a triclops, so even though the light was awful, I had to shoot this train since it fit into the theme that had developed. My third pair of the day:

With that in the bag, and light starting to fade, a stop at the Hawley DQ rounded out the trip west. By the time supper was finished, the light was pretty much gone. I did spot one more train on the way home: the Z train that Todd shot earlier in the day, this one sporting three matched Dash 9's on the point. A three of a kind seemed like a fitting end to the day of pairs.


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