Monday, September 19, 2011

Talk Like a Pirate Day


Yep, it was today. And lucky me, I got to spend it with a few scoundrels who had sailed in from up north. Mike, Craig, and Dave had rolled into town a couple of days earlier and brought their usual good luck when it came to catching trains. These guys are hard-core fans and when they come to town they are disappointed if they leave with a train count not in the triple digits.

So this morning I headed uptown (first day of vacation!) to look for the crew. They turned out to be over NYM way, but headed back to Wadena for breakfast. After taking sustenance at the Boondocks, ATCS told us to look for some trains so we set up at the depot. I'm not posting all the photos from the couple of hours I spent there but this is a sample of what they see.

First up is the DPU of a coal empty headed back for a reload. Just like you'll see in other shots, this train is being captured not only by still photo but also on video. The technology is also impressive in that these fellows have the speakers out on the truck, multiple scanners running, and ATCS fired up at all times.

Next we have an ACe-led coal load. I believe this was a COLX train, one of the first I have seen in quite a while in Wadena. The last one was actually the empty shown above. Before that I think it's been months since I have seen a COLX on the Staples Sub. Not that they weren't there, but I sure didn't see any.

We were lucky enough to catch the local coming into town. On this day he was pulling 8 tank cars, which I think were carrying fertilizer going by the placards, but I can't say for sure. None of them were for Wadena, but they had to run around their train down on the K line to head back to Dilworth. They also picked up an empty gon that was sitting on the Drywall Supply spur as a memento of their stop in Wadena.

While they were working, what looked for a while to be a grain train drifted through town, crossing over from two to one to avoid the local. It turned out to be a long manifest with all the mixed freight tacked on at the very end.

And here's a shot of the local as it passes the depot headed for home. That big BN logo on the nose of a green engine never fails to impress.

Actually it turns out I'm not the only one with a soft spot for the BN. Someone even went so far as to express his true feelings about the situation on a BNSF covered hopper, shown here. I especially like the little BN in a heart. True, that.

Thanks for the good times, guys, and I look forward to seeing you next year!

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