Saturday, July 16, 2011

Almost a (1997) Calendar Shot

If not for the crappy light, the foreground clutter, the locomotive re-numbering, the fact the leader is wearing the absolutely most classic paint scheme of all time, and the second unit is pointing the wrong way, this photo could have been considered for a first-edition BNSF company calendar. When was the last time you saw a trio of shiny H1 SD40-2's?

Mrs. L4T and I were out for an evening drive, with nowhere to go and expecting little if any traffic due to the derailment in Fridley. Enjoying my Rolo McFlurry (snack size!) as we cruised west on Highway 10, it seemed like a nice evening to just relax. Even the sight of an eastbound behind a pair of H1 Dash 9's and a warbonnet wasn't enough to motivate yours truly into a simple U-turn. For some reason I just kept heading west on Highway 10, speculating with the Mrs. about where the train we just saw would spend the evening. I explained to her the intricacies of traffic routing, and how even sending them east to Superior wouldn't open the way to Northtown yard. I think she was listening, but can't say for sure. It was clear that she was watching, though, when she informed me of another train. Sure enough, we had stumbled upon the set shown above. This was enough to motivate me to make a U-turn, and step on it. The EMD's were making good time as I barely caught them near Bluffton for the shot above.

All four units were leaning into the train as they climbed out of the Leaf River plain. Smoke belched from the exhausts, and the train slowed just enough to let me catch him for one more going away shot on the west side of Wadena.

As they lifted the entire train up the grade, the locomotives rapidly brought the speed back up and they were almost clear of the grade crossing in Wadena when we turned to go home.

Another lesson in why you never quit looking. Sometimes the real treats show up at the most unexpected time.

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