View Full Version : Around town 11-9-05

11-10-2005, 02:33 PM
With the low temperature far exceeding what the normal high temperature should be, John Witthaus and I ventured out for some night shooting on Tuesday into early Wednesday morning. We stopped at Dupo, Valley Junction, Madison, Granite City, and O'Fallon. Our hope was to catch some night shots of the BNSF SD9s working the Madison Turn, but they were parked south of CP, and as I always say, I don't like to be shot at while I am doing shooting of my own. The first train of the night was GECCRB 04 sitting under the moon at Dupo:


Soon after this the clock struck midnight, and the following are shots we took in the post midnight hours. John wanted to capture some lit CPL shots, especially since they are in their final days here near STL. We went to O'Fallon where at least the dwarf at the east end of Carbon siding is always lit. Otherwise, it was dead on the line, and the high mast signals were dark as usual. I will very much miss these classics, which will be replaced by mundane signals possessing no personality. Now, to work on aquiring some of them, especially that dwarf. I'm sure there are 100 people in line before me, however.


Back at Dupo we caught ILBNSD 02 getting a drink of diesel in preparation for its trip south to Memphis.


Brian, John, and I went back out during a good part of Wednesday. We thought about catching the SD9s again, but when we heard the operator at HN Cabin talking to a maintainer, telling him she had four westbounds close, we headed toward Caseyville Park. Unfortunately, at that time of day, the sun is not favorable. The first train, Q639 09, about beat us to the park, Brian got a quick shot, then we headed to catch it at Black Lane. That thick cirrus deck made for a perfect contrast with the blue engine.


Before we got back to the park, Q115 was already heading west, running on the restricting signal behind Q639. So we went back to Black. Again, the sun stunk, not surprising as we were just there five minutes proir. We went back to the park, and again, another train running on a restricting, Q385, came into view. Such a shame the sun was bad again, because that train had a nice variety of power. We decided to go to the ketchup bottle since the sun is at a great angle there, not to mention having a large kethcup bottle in the background would make a neat shot. I've been meaning to take such a shot for many years, but for some reason have never tried to do so. We sat for a while with no trains, and decided to give up. Five minutes later, as we drove by Black Lane, HN told someone L111 was coming and was close. So we went back toward the ketchup bottle, but did not make it before L111 showed up. Witthaus got a shot at Caseyville Park. I was quite disappointed. We had great sun, if only we could have made it to the ketchup bottle in the first place. Oh well, let it be a lessen learned. Maybe next time we should just go to the bottle and sit waiting for all this to show up. As for this day, my shots of these trains did not survive out of the park before the delete button sent them into oblivion.

If you think I have gone deeper off the deep end when mentioning a giant ketchup bottle next to the tracks, this should set your mind at ease...

And here is a pic from Ween with a train and the bottle. I'll guarantee he was out there trying to catch some UP power, and was quite disappointed when this showed up.


Ween, there was not a UP unit on any of the four CSX trains we saw Wednesday.


John got out and shot the Federal Puller sitting at Pontoon Road while we were driving around looking for trains. Well, let me rephrase that. We stopped first, then John got out.


Brian took a shot of an NS unit sitting at Granite City.


Next stop was beautiful Brooklyn, IL to catch the SD9s. On the way, we stopped at Highway 3 to catch this TRRA coming over the Merchants Bridge.


And then, sure enough, we heard the Madison Turn putting its train together at CP, so we went down that way. To much disappointment, there were two NS units in front of the SD9s, not to mention the sun could have been better. That sure would have been nice to catch them by themselves, though.


On the way back to Brian's John got out and shot YDU41 09 coming back from A&S with some light power. We had just seen QASLIX 07 ready to leave A&S with two CN units as well.


After this, we all went our seperate ways. I came back a half hour later after stopping home to catch QASLIX 07. First up was ZMQDU 08, which I caught coming into Dupo.


Behind him was QASLIX 07, but the high clouds were really starting to cut down on the sun, so I went south. He had a stop indication at ICG because of a northbound coming up track 1, which QASLIX 07 was going to cross to. Once the northbound cleared, QASLIX 07 started moving south through the crossover. By then, I had to get down to Steppig Road for halfway decent light, and then I screwed up and had the exposure set incorrectly as the train approached. In trying to reset it as the train blasted by, I did not have time to widen out the lens, and settled for a halfass wedgie. I was disappointed about this one, because the lighting was neat. Witthaus was at Bottom Road and also caught the train. He uploaded it before me, why that little....... Anyway, his is far better, and I'm not sure why I uploaded mine in the first place.


Heading home I caught the rear end of CROJO9 05 at Bottom Road then called it a day.


11-11-2005, 01:21 AM
Ween, there was not a UP unit on any of the four CSX trains.

Good! As for the CPLs on the ex-B&O, maybe it's a good news/bad news deal with those. Bad that they're going away, good that they are spend money on that line that will maybe see an increase in traffic. But I doubt it...

11-11-2005, 02:37 AM
I guess it is never a good thing in my opinion because once they are gone, they are gone. They are laying a ton of new ties, so for whatever reason, they are making big improvements. I don't know of any traffic anticipation, so it may just be time for an overhaul. Anyway, I wish the signals were staying. I'll miss them. Hopefully I or some of my associates in preservation can recover some of them. If the same contractor gets them that got a few back in the late 1990s, there will not be a problem. He'll sell them all to me if I want them. I'll have to call him soon to find out if he is involved.

11-11-2005, 12:13 PM
Looks like John Witthaus got a shot of the bottle yesterday.


11-11-2005, 02:42 PM
Looks like John Witthaus got a shot of the bottle yesterday.


A much, much better shot than mine too! With great power! And he did it legally (ahem)...