Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy, Snowy, New Years

Seems like it's a New Year tradition to look back. I plan on making the traditional "best of" post soon, but this isn't it. This is the story of 2010's final railfan outing. One of my catches reminded of the importance-and rewards-of looking back. I present you a stack train parked in a snowy Staples yard:

If not for for the engine numbers, you could imagine this photo from nearly any of the past 30 years or so, I expect.

But I get ahead of myself. Before the opportunity to shoot that photo presented, I had to get from Wadena to Staples. Here's a look at Highway 10 around 8:30 this morning:

Between Wadena and Verndale, a headlight announced an impending westbound train. With most of the crossings between the west and eastbound lanes not yet plowed, the only option was to pull over and make my way out into the ditch to try an unplanned backlit shot. Obviously the lack of railfanning is driving me to do ridiculous things.

At least that is over with.

Arriving in Staples, the Dower Lake crossing was blocked by a stopped east bound manifest. This gave the opportunity to check out the yard, which was when the first picture of the greenies above was snapped. The dispatcher was talking the eastbound train by a red signal and giving permission to hand throw the switches on the main, which slowed his progress enough to let me get in position for shots at 6th St and 7th St.

In the last shot you can see the conductor who just lined the switch to stay on Main 2. The train stopped so he could re-board.

There was also a section crew waiting for time and track to begin clearing crossings. I talked with one of the section gang and he didn't seem to mind waiting, since it was time and a half today. He did share that it could quit snowing anytime.

Since the railroad would be tied up for a bit due to this MOW work, I headed back to Wadena. Just east of Aldrich, I came upon another waiting train, this time a short Z. I finally found a spot to make a u-turn and came back for a shot of him.

And then, it was home. My last railfan photo of 2010 is in the bag, hopefully 2011 will be as entertaining as 2010 was. Thanks to everyone who reads this blog, and have a Happy and SAFE New Year!


No comments: