Saturday, August 27, 2011

Creature of Habit

In the last almost 2000 days, a lot of things have changed, both in the railroad world and in my own little world. I have a new job, lots of new friends (some of them thanks to this very blog, which is also something new within that time), new interests, a new camera, ATCS and radio traffic, and new traditions (see Verndale Rail, Granite City, and Rollag as examples). The railroad world has seen changes as well. BNSF 7802 used to be an SD40-2, but now is a GEVO. The handsome nose logos are gone from the SD70MAC's. But not everything has changed.

On July 15, 2006, at 7:05 AM I shot this photo. It was one of my first two shots accepted to railpictures, and I still remember how exciting that was. The excitement of watching the train approach and "getting the shot" lives on.


This morning found me in the same location, waiting for another BNSF train led by a pair of engines wearing the H2 paint scheme. I was a bit over a month and 16 minutes later, but the location is still one of my favorites. I am a creature of habit.


I still chase trains too. This one seemed like a prime candidate, and so it was off to the races, next stop the east end of the Verndale sag, MP 160 on the Staples Sub.


And with four lane highway between Verndale and Staples, it was easy to beat the train to the depot for another shot. This Superior-bound coal train crossed over from Main 2 to Main 1 at Dower Lake, offering the chance to shoot him passing the depot on the near track. BNSF even was nice enough to pose another engine in the yard, peeking around the coal train.


I left him to continue his journey east in peace. After walking through the Staples depot to check out the book sale going on in conjunction with Railroad Days, it was time to head for home. The radio surprised me when BNSF 1113 called approaching Staples from the east. Even though the shot would be backlit, a trip to the Dower Lake crossing was in order. At least I captured an oddity. Take a look at the nose door on this Dash 9.


That H1 paint is just killer, so one more shot between Staples and Aldrich. Strange how these engines can look so good when the H2's whether GE or EMD, look so scruffy.


That's it for my short outing this morning. An hour and a half from start to finish, in some ways it was a repeat of so many other railfanning outings, yet every one has its own twists and turns, revealing something new if we are but willing to look and listen.

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