Clear Lake June 1st
|So then once again
the sun is
shining, my wife is in the garden and I'm off lineside. I cut the grass
in the morning so my garden duties were done. I gave Mrs TS-USA the
opportunity of doing something else but she wanted to garden. OK. I'm
fine with that. So I hopped into the truck and headed for Clear Lake. I
thought I'd try somewhere different for a change. As I approached HWY10
I saw a train headed west. Once onto 10 I caught it fairly easy and I
hoped to get to Clear Lake in time to snap a pic. But the traffic
lights on 10 put paid to that. So I have another "fishermans tale" 236
axles according to the detector.
Almost as soon as I had found a parking spot lineside I heard a horn and rushed to snap these two magnificent SD70's #9706 and 9539 on a coal train. I don't see enough of the green and grey ones. I really like them. 440 axles on this according to the detector. That makes for 107 coal hoppers behind them. The hoppers are about 53' long according to the manufacturers website that's 5671' - there are 5280 feet in a mile so this train was approaching 1.1 miles long! I'm English that sort of thing amazes me totally. Awesome!
|After another 10
minutes or so
the detector sprang to life and just as it got to the important bit,
the axle count, a noisy truck went by drowning that out so as this pair
of SD's 8322 and 9161 went by I decided to count the wagons for the
heck of it. 114 coal hoppers.
|So deciding that this
too noisy I moved down the line a tad to get some quiet. Very quickly I
was surprised to hear a 12 axle count on the way. I wasn't properly set
up and grabbed this shot of ACe 9175 and CITX 140 running light. More
on them later.
|Then it went quiet.
I heard a train given clearance to head from Coon Creek to Staples so I
knew something was on the way. What seemed like an age went by. I heard
that there was something waiting at MP68 for this upcoming to clear so
at least there was something to wait for. Then the batteries went flat
on my scanner. I moved again to see if I could find a better shot for
the west bound. Eventually I could see it in the distance. As it
rounded the curve I got this shot of #5273
|Oooh Boy! What a belter of a
shot! I won't take a better one than that for a while I don't think.
But I didn't have long to gloat as what had been held at MP68 was on
9135 and CITX 140 again still with the ACe leading. What was going on? Well thanks to the outstate minnesota group on Yahoo here's what hapenned.
For unknown reasons, the BNSF ran a coal train through Northtown and up the Staples Sub to the Becker Power station. The crew took it up to Becker, where they left it on Main 2. Then they ran up to Saint Cloud, where they turned the locos on the wye (this was why 9135 was still leading). After waiting for the westbound freight they crossed over to Main 1 and ran back to the train at Becker, where there they brought it into the power station to be unloaded.