Trainspotting by boat. Duluth/Superior. Jun 11th
A month has passed since my spell lineside at Saint Cloud. Everything has conspired against me in the ensuing weeks. Work, weather and running in two marathons have severly curtailed my trainspotting activities. By the time Mrs TS-USA and I headed up to Duluth for a mid-week break I'd almost forgotten what it is like to see a train...
One of our hotels of choice in the area is the Country Inn and suites in Proctor just off I-35 right alongside the railway line. Anyway, this one morning. I switched on my scanner just out of curiosity, to see if the battery still worked more than anything and I heard the PRS being given the warrant to head down the hill. Immediately my head was filled with thoughts of last years' chance encounter with the PRS and DMIR Maroon on the point. So I headed out to the road bridge, camera in hand, to see what would appear. No such luck on Maroon power but perhaps this was an omen for the rest of the day. Interestingly these three locos were charged with hauling just two, count them, two centrebeam lumber cars.
|With that wifey and I
got into the car and headed down to Duluth for we had an appointment
with the Vista Fleet and one of their excellent harbour tours. A trip
to Duluth is not the same without a harbour tour and this one would
would not disappoint. As usual, we made a brief jaunt into the lake
before heading into the harbour. As we passed the General Mills "A"
elevator I could just see one of the GE centre cab loco's working a
grain hopper so I zoomed in with my 300mm telephoto lens to see what I
could pick out.
|Not bad, I suppose.
After a month of not seeing anything. Even a loco in the distance is a
start. The boat headed along the water front as passed the cement
terminal, and what do you know? Another centre cab diesel at work. I
could zoom in closer on this one. Things were looking up.
|Things were looking
up. There was even a train at Midwest Energy but the DPU was
disappearing into the distance so the picture wasn't worth it. With
that the boat turned and headed down towards Fraser Shipyards.
That is when we hit paydirt because we had to pass Cenex Harvest States
elevators and there was things to see there.
CHS has several SW1's on its premises but they have always been in the distance to me wherever we've been in Duluth. But not this time. As the boat passed them by we were a matter of yards from them. Number 15 looked to be awating some repairs being partly sheeted down.
journeyed on the whole CHS elevator site opened up before us
|and I could even
glimpse an SW at work hauling some hoppers through the unloading
equipment. Superb! I can't identify the loco to the left in the shadow
there. Is it another GE centre cabber?
|There was still plenty more
excitement to be had as we toured the ship yard. You can read about
Then as we came out of the ship yard and headed for home I got another
last look at the locos and workings at CHS
couldn't ask for a better day. But we still weren't finished. This was
a long day and we did a few other things before eating dinner and
heading back to the hotel. As we headed out of Duluth and passed under
the approach to the taconite docks I spied a train load of empties
heading up the hill. The sun was heading well towards setting and I
wondered if I might grab a last shot before the sun disappeared behind
the hill in Proctor. You know what I made it. The shadows are
long, but I got my last shot of the day. Boy was I a happy Trainspotter