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I heard a rumour - St. Cloud April 17th.

Through the Outstate Minnesota rail group on Yahoo! I heard about a "new" loco for the Northern Lines Railway, so of course I had to go and check. As it would happen I also had to go out to Saint Cloud on Friday afternoon to pick up my race packet for the earthday half marathon the next day. An excellent way to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. So here's a few shots of the ex-BN GP10 No. 1444.
Northern lines 1411
another shot of 1411
a third shot of 1411
There was also another goody on display in Saint Cloud. The rather well known BNSF coalporter hopper with the excellent graffiti was in the RIP track. Most graffiti is normally is just the scrawling of stupid sprayed signatures on items. So when someone takes the time to do something like this it's quite refreshing. Yes I do like the work of "Banksy" too...
The graffitti'd hopper
The car itself is a bit of a mystery. Is it some kind of BNSF officially sanctioned community arts project? Was the artist in question knowledgable of railway practices and chose to leave the reporting marks clear of paint?
 If the BNSF wanted to obliterate the artwork they easily could but it would appear that they have chosen to work around this. Witness the fact that the reflective strips on the side of the body are placed over the paint job. Also the car is always clean. Cleaner than many hoppers on the BNSF. It's like the BNSF like the work and are doing their best to look after the car. Perhaps there was nothing wrong with the hopper and they chose to site it on the RIP track for the public to see? Who knows? But later in the evening BNSF #2735 one of the yard switchers was seen in close proximity so perhaps it was being readied to move out.

hopper getting ready to leave
April was a very bad month for Trainspotting. With the quicker than usual snow melt out west there were many reports of washouts on the railroads. Trains were delayed or diverted, as a consequence whenever I went out things were quiet. Too quiet. Lets hope for a busier May.