View Full Version : Lots of Exams and a Local

01-14-2006, 04:41 PM
This week was exam week, and for the last two days of it(Wednesday and Thursday), we get out early. On Wednesday, I was contemplating going out, since I have my license now, I can go a little farther than usual. :-) Unfortunately, it was cloudy out, and I was thinking about not going.
Then during the day, a thought hit me. The Argonne Local was running today. For those who may remember, I believe my first post to these forums was asking about this very local, only at the time I called it the Woodridge/ Romeoville local(I found out differently after an email to BNSF). I had heard the train once when I was fishing in the area over the summer, and I knew it would be in the area. That solidified my decision, since I still had never see the train. After getting off the bus, I got home as quick as I could and got my stuff together and left.
BNSF's Argonne branch(or siding as they call it) leaves the mainline near Argonne Nat'l Laboratory, climbs up and out of the Des Plaines River Valley(about 200 ft), then serves the industrial parks from Woodridge to Romeoville.
I caught up with the train at the end of its run, near the Loews movie theater where ex-BN GP39V 2961 was in charge. I was trying to get caught at the crossing so I could take some pictures, but instead the gates went down after I crossed them so I pulled over to get some shots.
Then to my surprise, the engine seperated from the train, moved forward to the crossing, and stopped.
Then, a switch was thrown and the engine began to back down the industry lead.
I jumped back into the car, knowing that there was a way around to where the engine was heading. Unfortunately, I got there just in time to see the engine heading back to its train.
2961 then reattached to the rest of its train. After seeing this, I assumed it was going to head back to the mainline, so I headed up ahead to the next crossing and parked at a nearby gas station. After sitting there for about 20 mins, I headed back to see if the train was still there. It was, and it was the same length, meaning I had missed an oppurtunity to see it drop off another box car. :sad: I then pulled into the nearly empty theater parking lot, grabbed my camera gear and tripod, and traveled down the bike path that crosses tracks. I then proceeded to snap off many shots. As I was doing this, the clouds began to part. :)
Then, after looking at the time, I realized that I needed to get home. With that, I got one last shot and bid adieu to the Argonne Local.

01-14-2006, 05:02 PM
Since I had railfanned the day before, I had planned on staying home. However, the next day, it was a perfectly clear day out, and it was unseasonably warm(almost 50 degrees!). I knew I couldn't waist the day at home. First though, I went and got some more gas, but ended up helping a guy push his stalled car back into the gas station. After doing my good deed for the day, I then proceeded to Lemont to do some railfanning.
As soon as I had parked and walked up to the spot, I spotted headlights coming around the curve, and struggled to get my camera out.
As I was waiting, a cop pulled up nearby. I was convinced he was going to question me as to what I was doing, but acted nonchalant and other than the first glance over, I did my best not to pay attention to him, since I didn't have anything to hide. As the cop sat there, I saw a glimpse of yellow, and realized a train was coming. I got several good shots of it. I like the first one though, because it looks like its still 1995 in the picture, when the Santa Fe still ruled these rails. http://slopes09.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=265051
Figuring the next train, would be an eastbound, I set myself up for another train. However, with the scanner sending confusing messages and a train stopped nearby at Argonne waiting for another train, I realized I had to head home. Luckily though, as I was pulling out of Lemont though, the gates came down in front of me! :D I threw the car into park and jumped out with my camera. The Southbound Texas Eagle was running on time( :shock: !) out of Chicago and headed for Joliet.
And with that, my day came to an end. Exams were over and I had four day off ahead of me. :)

01-14-2006, 09:33 PM
Great shots, Mike! Thanks for sharing your photos and your report. I had exams that day also and got out early. I got out at 8:30 on Wednesday and 11:04 on Thursday. I train watched both days. You and I definately have to get together and train watch sometime. Keep up the great work! :)


01-16-2006, 12:06 AM
Great shots, Mike! Thanks for sharing your photos and your report. I had exams that day also and got out early. I got out at 8:30 on Wednesday and 11:04 on Thursday. I train watched both days. You and I definately have to get together and train watch sometime. Keep up the great work! :)

Thanks a lot! We'll have to see about that train watching somtime. No fair though! We didn't get out 'til 12:44!

01-16-2006, 02:21 PM
very nice pics mike.i think that you get alot of fun in these 2 days.its something hard for me to railfan in 2 direct days as i have alot of work and lectures and exams in the faculty.
i like specially the second pic of the B23-7 SANTA FE loco.really make me feel with the historic railroads before merger with BN also i like in it as just the face of the loco is just lighten and the rest of the loco is dark.
can i make very small fixing to it and save it as abackground mike?
thanks for sharing and waiting to read more about your nice trips.

01-27-2006, 05:31 PM
Very nice shots!!! After my week of exams...I too did some railfanning..it was fun! Very nice shots, Mike! :)