Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Turkey of a Day

If a railfan were to tell you that he spent all of three hours along the track on a day when "code blue" was a great description of the sky, and when the sun was finally low enough in the sky to reduce the high sun issue, AND that he saw 10 trains during that less than three hour period, you would likely think he ought to have some passable photos to share.

Sadly enough, in the case of today, at least you would be wrong. As Exhibit 1, I offer up the most interesting "turkey" of a shot from today. At least it inspired some horn action from the crew of this stack train, in the hopes of not having to squeegee someone's future Thanksgiving dinner off the windshield of their ride.

Just another one of the eight-yes, that's correct, eight-eastbounds BNSF fleeted through Staples late this afternoon. Mrs. L4T and I had made a trip to Brainerd, and with no pressing need to get anywhere, we decided to take the long way home through Randall and follow the tracks back to Wadena. During an early supper at Kim's on Pacific in Randall (highly recommended), an eastbound Z was the leader of the pack. ATCS showed a couple more behind him, so we headed for the Lincoln bridge only to find the train had beat us there by about 30 seconds. Same story at Pulaski Road. Then we spotted a headlight from the Philbrook crossing, and after a short wait got a shot of the train passing the signal bridge.

The stack train in the first photo, a Becker coal load passing the depot in Staples, another stacker near Aldrich, and finally a manifest between Verndale and Wadena rounded out less than two hours with 8 eastbounds on the Staples Sub. Backlighting galore!

And it had all started out with at least a little promise. Passing through Staples on the way to Brainerd, this cried out to be photographed. Must be the switch engine Jake mentioned on the list a day or two ago, now sitting in a train in the Staples yard.

When we arrived in Brainerd, another headlight beckoned from east of the 371 crossing. I couldn't help but swing down that way and grab a shot. I thought the lighting was pretty poor but it turned out to be a gem compared to the remainder of the day.

So, I saw a whole bunch of trains, took a few rotten pictures, and drove a bunch of miles. Still, it didn't change my thinking that a bad day railfanning is better than a good day of just about anything else.

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