Friday, September 30, 2011

A Picture is Worth Many Words

I've been terribly negligent about adding content to this blog recently, having been distracted with modeling, work, and actually getting out and chasing trains rather than writing about chasing trains. The photo below seemed like a great opportunity to try and make up for that.


The reason I picked this particular shot is because there is so much that is interesting to me. First off, the power on the northbound train, holding the main. Anytime you catch a warbonnet leader in decent paint is good. This particular time was better, as the GE was trailed by four interesting EMD's. The first three were interesting but not unusual, at least over the years. Oakways used to be common on the Staples Sub and I have lots of shots of them but not too many solid three unit sets.

The trailing unit is the most interesting, being my first sighting of a Dakota and Iowa Railroad engine.

I came across the northbound while following the DME from Tracy to Florence. A mile or so before reaching Highway 23, I spotted a train to the north and figured it to be on the DME. Lo and behold, after a little investigation it turned out to be this train on the Marshall Sub. The train was travelling directly away from the sun and there weren't any good options for well lit photos, but knowing he would meet a southbound in Marshall I chased all the way up there.

The local out of Willmar was also at the ADM plant in this shot, so there are actually three trains present. This created a bit of a dispatching challenge given that the northbound also had 25 cars to drop at the plant. As a result the local got a head start on its trip home, but I was more interested in the southbound and catching him in some decent light.

And so I headed south, looking for a chance to shoot the 7784. Here's the first one, where the tracks come back near the highway near Russell.


And finally, after he met an ethanol empty headed north, something a little different than the normal grade crossing wedgie.


I really enjoy the scenery in this area and need to keep trying different things to capture the look. Hopefully these pictures help to tell the story on a lovely part of the state.

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