Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sampling some Switchers

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like any railfan who wakes up in Thief River Falls, looks out the window to see sunshine, and has a half hour to spare should be obligated to take a swing by the CP yard to see what else is up and about.

So that's what I did this morning. After shooting some pictures of the Farmer's Coop concrete grain elevator (one of my new obsessions) I tracked this down sitting what I think is south of the roundhouse.

It was the beginning of a long day, a day that would interestingly enough involve the sightings of a number of switch engines. The CP engine above was the first, but after reaching Crookston sometime after lunch a little exploration revealed a couple of others. The Minnesota Northern engine is hidden behind this little gem, and there didn't seem to be a way to get a shot that included them both. The heat distortion is really getting to be a problem when combined with the high sun.

Since the day seemed to be developing a switch engine theme, and the trip up offered a look at the unit that lives in Callaway, a return route through Ulen seemed fitting. This engine is hard to get from a good angle AND in good light. I finally got a little better light today, although it was high sun, but the angle was awful. Too much "elevator" stuff around.

While doing a little more snooping, I thought I spotted a crew van in Ulen, although there was no grain train present. This instantly alerted the railfan senses, and after heading south sure enough headlights were spotted leaving Hitterdall. This train is an easy chase, as I think the track is only 10 mph and they absolutely don't speed, so I shot him in a couple of spots between there and Ulen. Since this post is about switchers, though, I will save those for another day.

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