Friday, February 17, 2012

Some Blue and Yellow

One of the best parts of spending a few days in the southwest part of the state is getting the chance to catch some blue and yellow engines while they are still around. Having left for Westbrook Monday afternoon, here is a sampling of what I was able to shoot while travelling from town to town for work.

This first one has already been shared on Flickr. With a 6:00 PM appointment in Westbrook Monday evening, the L4T official chase Escape was meandering down a county road paralleling the DME near Tracy when the tail end of a train appeared. Putting on a burst of speed, I was able overtake the head end as it crossed Plum Creek near Laura Ingalls Wilder's former home town of Walnut Grove. Here is the shot after stepping across the road and cranking up the ISO on the Pentax.


After overnighting in Windom, it was back to Westbrook on Tuesday. I've mentioned before that there are no trains in Westbrook. However, the road to Marshall goes through Tracy, and there is always a chance of finding something on the east side of town. This cloudy Tuesday afternoon was one of those days when you get lucky, as four units were sitting with a short train and no crew.


The last unit in the consist was a four axle EMD, and even though it's front coupled it seemed like it was worth the electrons to shoot it.


After spending most of Wednesday just a few feet from the tracks in Tyler, and not seeing any trains, my aim on the trip to New Ulm was to stay as close to the tracks as possible. This resulted in a good helping of "county tar" along with some gravel, but didn't yield any blue and yellow locomotives. There are some scenic spots along that line, though.

I stayed in the Microtel Inn in New Ulm, and was serenaded by three trains after dark and before bed. Guess the DM&E knew I was out looking and held the trains til dark. The next morning on the way to a meeting, a pass by the depot found a pair of blue and yellow units switching. With no time to spare I had to take the best shot offered and this was it.


All in all a good week. Got to shoot the classic paint scheme three days out of four, and got a good look at a reasonable section of the railroad. Every trip down there makes it more evident why people are so drawn to the area.

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