Friday, December 10, 2010

Before the Storm

With Mrs. L4T recuperating from surgery to remove her cantankerous gall bladder over the last few days, railfanning has been replaced with housekeeping. This afternoon, after spending a few hours working from home, I was dispatched on some errands around town. A couple of inches of light fluffy snow earlier in the day had everything looking Christmas-y around Wadena.

After stops at the bank, post office, library, and grocery store, I allowed myself a glance down the tracks on the way home. A headlight rewarded the afternoon's tasks, so I pulled over and grabbed the camera to capture a mixed freight as it sailed east through its own personal ground blizzard. The first long distance shot catches the train as it passes by the former Leaf River Ag spur. It's not likely this spur will ever again see revenue service, as the fertilizer plant destroyed by last summer's tornado is being rebuilt in the industrial park on the south edge of Wadena. Rumor has it that a segment of the former GN line to Eagle Bend will be rebuilt to serve the new plant.

After backing away from the tracks, I waited as the train approached to catch the power in a more wedgie configuration. Quite a mix it was, with the Dash 9 leader, an ES44AC second, and a pair of cascade green units trailing. The train was a mess as well, with a lot of coal loads mixed in with tank cars and covered hoppers.

Then is was off for home, to carry in the groceries and report on the activities uptown. The big snow is due tonight, so perhaps I will venture out tomorrow for some actual railfanning.


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