Friday, August 5, 2011

Over and Over

This morning found me in Perham to conduct a morning training session. The folks I was working with had their own work to do, and were in a hurry to get done, so a relatively early trip back home was in order. Sometime between 9:30 and 10:00, while leaving the shop in Perham, I heard a horn. This called for an investigation.

I found the Wadena local sitting in Perham, pointed east. With a set of old grungy hoppers in tow, an imminent departure seemed likely, and sure enough they started to pull before I even got a shot. Traffic was wild on crazy days, and it seemed like the train would get well ahead of me, but as quickly as they started, they stopped, and uncoupled from the train on Main Two at the east edge of town. I reached the crossing in time to see them back into the trailing point spur, grab a few more of what I believe were tie cars, and run back up to the main, as seen here.

Just as all this was going on, a headlight appeared at the curve near the Ottertail River bridge. Although the light was awful for a westbound, the power was unique enough (for Perham at least) to warrant a shot. For the second day in a row CP GE's graced the lens of the Pentax.

With the crew putting the local back together, a quick trip a mile or so east found me at the bridge. Before I knew it, the GP's came flying down the hill and around the curve, surprising me so much I only got this shot showing the dark side.

Hopping back in the Escape I gave chase, finally getting a bit of breathing room east of New York Mills. Here comes the local once more, undulating across the swales of the Staples Sub.

I figured if I hurried I could get him once more as he rounded the Bluffton curve. Sure enough I was in place with a minute to spare. They still had these GP's wound up as the train climbed out of the Leaf River Plain.

It's always enjoyable seeing how the train works Wadena. To the best of my knowledge the only run-around that is available is down by Drywall Supply, and when I stopped to watch them work, I found that track occupied by a covered hopper being loaded with what I think is edible beans. This is again new business for Wadena to the best of my knowledge.

This raised the question of how the hogger would get his power on the proper end of the train. As they backed into the spur, it seemed that somehow the loading operation would be interrupted. Was I ever surprised when, after clearing his warrant, the dispatcher and conductor started talking about work they had to do in Staples! All of a sudden they headed up the spur, light power, and indicated they would be leaving as soon as everything was properly lined.

With that I was off, intending to grab a shot of the pair of geeps as they made their way east. It was a competitive chase, and I barely managed to get ahead of them on the west side of Verndale. In fact, this was shot out the car window as there was no chance to dismount.

Well, now you know the story of shooting the Wadena Local "over and over", plus what happens where Jer gives me free reign to shoot red GE's. Thanks for looking!

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