Sunday, February 24, 2013

Looking for (and Finding) Trains

Today after church, Mrs. L4T and I arrived at a consensus. The time had come to go looking for some trains. The sun was out, ATCS showed some movement, and it was a gorgeous afternoon, so off we went. After a quick stop for gas and food, we headed across the bridge to BNSF's Superior engine terminal to see what was waiting for assignment. Got a pretty nice selection of EMD's.

I suspected an inbound taconite train, and so we headed south out of town. I passed what looked like another railfan near Saunders, and found the pellet train was already past Boylston. A quick u-turn brought me back to Saunders, where I was soon joined by the Carney clan. Interestingly, at this very moment the CN decided it would be only proper to run a stack train through the area. Scott and I both made comments about how close we came to duplicating the situation Kevin recently got here, with a beautiful over/under.

 'Twas not to be, though. The BNSF train was couple of minutes late, and coming from the wrong direction anyway. Still a fun site to see.

Scott had informed me of a UP train off the Hinckley right behind the pellet loads. For once my ignorance of the area served me well. I was waiting at Saunders for the train that would never arrive (he was going into Pokegama instead of Itasca) when Mrs. L4T looked east and announced the arrival of the train. After explaining to her it wasn't coming from that direction, I finally looked and sure enough she was right. As usual. Here's a transfer with an SD75 running long hood forward. The Mrs. said this didn't really count as a train but I set her straight in short order.
 Next stop was Stinson, where the only shot to be had was a long range attempt at a nicely painted GP that didn't really turn out well. After that I decided to swing through the BNSF yard once more in the hope of a transfer leaving. Instead I got this, approaching 28th Street in nice light:

And then back to the engine servicing facility, where the switch engines featured in yesterday's post were found today. They're such a cute pair I couldn't resist one more shot.

Since it looked quiet on the BNSF, I proposed we work our way home via Proctor. I noticed a pellet train on the dock when we crossed the bridge and so a detour was called for, which allowed me the chance to catch the PRS as it waited to back the slightly steaming loads out onto the dock. It's hard to get tired of this view.

And then it was off to Proctor, where a pellet empty was creeping up to the overpass as we arrived, while the yard switch job paralleled him. I'm counting this as two trains in one shot, for the second time today.

Finally, having heard a train blow for the Midway Road crossing while on the overpass, we chased a CN manifest north to Munger, where I was pleasantly surprised to find a BC Rail cowl the second unit on this long train. The gorgeous blue skies are something I have come to treasure living in Duluth. Seems like clouds are more often the order of the day.

And that's the story of a couple of hours along the tracks in the Twin Ports. There seems to be no end to the excitement if you are just will to get out and look.

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