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 Archive - Saint Paul Riverfront Oct. 2003

OK. I will freely admit that I don't actually remember a lot about these pictures. The date stamp on the files says October 10th 2003. That was a Friday according to the internet so that must be right. As per ususal I'd got off work early and must have decided to try out my then almost new (to me) Olympus E-20. We'll see what I can recall about the day as we go on.
The Saint Paul riverfront is a super place to trainspot. Quite busy and very scenic with the bluffs along the Mississippi there. I seem to think it was about lunchtime when I arrived and as I got out of the car 2 CP units were running light westbound. I didn't know where they were off at the time more on them later. Notice how they are consecutively numbered 4608 and 4609 a pair of GP40's superb catch. Double points for that then...
4608 & 4609 running light
Shortly after that I had an eastbound come into my sights A pair of GP 30's in the Maroon and Gold of the Red River Valley and Western and Twin Cities and Western. The Railroads are sister lines owned by the same gentleman who happens to be an ex-alum of the University of Minnesota hence the Maroon and Gold livery. Just like the U of M sports teams.
GP 30's
For some reason known only to me, that is lost in the mists of time I then decided to walk out to Pigs Eye yard to see what I could see. It must have been a nice day that's all I can say. Must have been very nice if it was October... That is a good mile walk out to Pig's Eye. As I walked along the base of the bluff another CP headed train went by. No. 8570 an AC44 on a grain train.
CP 8570 under the bluffs
I made it without any other interruptions and took a perch on the road bridge to see what I could see and was rewarded with this nice pair of Union Pacific SD40-2's No's. 3384 and 3457.
Nice pair of UP SD40's
They slid off out of sight probably to get refuelled or something and then in the distance a pair of CP AC44's appeared on an auto train. They stopped a while. One of the crew got out went somewhere (perhaps he needed a pee) returned and after a while the train headed off.
AC44's No. 9548 and 8578
I took a stroll around to see what else I could see hereabouts and I came up with the find of the year. This old, old SW1 switcher No. 320 that was used to switch some of the industries on the riverfront. Still looking pretty good for 50 years old. It's gone now though. I hear that it is now in Thief River Falls restored and repainted in Soo line livery because, built in 1939, it was the SOO Lines first diesel locomotive.
SW1 No 302
There wasn't too much other activity going on so I decided to stroll back to the car. Or perhaps my car had 2 hour parking and I needed to get back. I think that's it. So back to the car I headed and met a pair of BNSF C44's on a grain train at the base of the bluffs. Strange to think that this was the only BNSF train I saw in 2 hours
BNSF 909_981
I still wasn't done. As I strolled a bit further the two CP GP 40's that I had seen earlier reappeared with some autoracks in tow. They had been out to the Ford Ranger truck plant to pick them up. The Ford plant turn will soon be a thing of the past. If not already with the forthcoming closure of the Ford plant in Saint Paul.
CP GP40's on the ford turn
For such a good place to spot I don't go out to Pigs Eye very often at all. Three times since 2003. This time. Good Friday 2008 when it was snowing and August 1st 2008 when I got blocked off by a long freight train and didn't see anything. Perhaps I should go more often.