Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunshine! And Trains, Too!

After what has seemed an interminable cloudy and overcast period, the sun finally came out in Wadena this afternoon. Since Mrs. L4T and I were planning on a little ride and supper, we decided to hit up the Staples DQ and see if the BNSF was up to anything.

Crossing Highway 10 in Wadena, we spotted a headlight to the east. An empty coal train was waiting on Main 1. I shot him from a distance and continued east, figuring that a zipper would should up to overtake him on Main 2 before crossing over at Wadena.

Instead, the next train was another coal empty sitting at Oink Joint Road. Once again I took the chance for a nicely lit shot, and this one is worth sharing. Of course it would be even nicer with a nose logo on the leader.

It is so nice that the sun is coming back toward the north. Finally, some nose light.

We continued on to Staples, and checked out a number of trains in the yard, but took no photos. I noticed at least one each loaded and empty coal train along with what looked to be a manifest. Then it was off to DQ for supper.

Just as we approached the depot after supper the rear end of a westbound pig train was passing the depot. I figured this for the zipper that would pass the coal empties spotted earlier, and formulated a plan to shoot him west of Wadena, but rapidly pulled ahead of the train. By the time we made Verndale he wasn't visible in the mirror. Then the plan changed again. An eastbound worm train was passing through the sag. With two units up front I guessed there would be a DPU, and was lucky to find it facing the sun. So I sprinted to the other side of the crossing as the train passed to shoot this:

If you click on the photo to view the larger image, you might be able to make out the headlight of the pig train. It wasn't moving anymore. So a u-turn and visit to Verndale was in order, where I managed to get a shot from a good sized snowpile. The third unit is a warbonnet SD75.

He had to stop, as the two coal empties we had spotted on the way to Staples were still sitting there. Seemed to be the evening of snowpiles, as I found another one to shoot the first coal empty as he waited at the CTC signals in Wadena. The power was a matched set of GE's.

I like the way this shot catches some of the industrial trackage in Wadena. The siding that takes off to the right is the K line, which ends a few hundred yards further south but serves Drywall Supply and is a candidate to be extended to the new fertilizer plant that has been built in the Industrial Park on the south edge of town. The line that comes toward you is only used for MOW equipment when the crews are in town, but used to be the siding for the Peterson-Biddick elevator that was razed this winter.

So we managed to get out and see some trains in the sun, and enjoy some DQ food. Not a bad way to spend late Sunday afternoon. Hopefully this will become more common as the weather turns.

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