Thursday, July 12, 2012


It's about the people.

Folks came from far and near. Much food was consumed. For the first time, many (real) train horns were blown. And some not so real ones, provided by yours truly. Videos were watched. Trains sailed by, in both directions this year. Even tank trains, for those who enjoy such things. It was, for the first time, an international event. Attendance records were set. Door prizes were awarded. A group photo was made. In what is becoming a tradition, a few extra dollars were raised for a good cause. Stories were told. Old memories were exchanged.

All that was great, but far and away the best part was the people, young, old, and in between.
Here's one of the oddities of this year's Verndale Rail. Since Mrs. L4T and myself were preparing for an upcoming move, I used the morning to make a couple of trips to the transfer site north of Wadena. I crossed the tracks 4 times that morning, and three of those times, sure enough, I saw a headlight. Each of those three time the locomotive shining the headlight was attached to a crude oil train. I was quick to share my good fortune, resulting in protests that surely that was the day's ration of such trains. Somehow, Mr. Buffet's railroad managed to scare up one more, to the delight of one of the younger fans in attendance.

And, I suppose, to me.
The horn guys were there for the first annual Verndale Horn Honk, which I would rate as a re"sound"ing success. They were good enough to provide hearing protection to all who desired it. By the time they were done that was everyone. That's quite a selection of horns.
Each train that passed by was greeted by a flock of railfans. The crews in the area must look forward to this day just about as much as those who attend. With a foam cushion like that you could land a jet wheels-up in Verndale with no damage.
My favorite photo of the day includes a train but it's a tiny one. Here a group of hardcore modelers assemble one of the day's door prizes. Honestly I haven't seen this much concentration on the task at hand since the year Chris tried to learn his camera's self timer during the group photo.
If you are interested in the fate of that trainset you'll have to check with Bryant.

Chris found it in himself to play with the sign out by the highway. Don't worry, he put it back the way it was after he was done.
And finally, as has become habit, we got one final train as the sun was setting. Except this year everything was twice as good, so instead of one we got two!
And that's my story of VR2K12. I, along with a lot of other people, want to thank Chris Muller for all his hard work. Also, thanks to everyone who attended. Like the first line of the post says, it's the people who make it special.


Tracy McKibben said...

That next-to-last sunset shot is SOOOO cool. Awesome shot!

Jim said...

Thank you Tracy. Some of the other attendees did even better with that train. The guys on the hill caught a rolling meet:
Like this