View Full Version : A Snowy Day at Downer's Grove

02-07-2006, 02:58 AM
Twas the day of Saturday, and I had nothing to do. I decided that I would like to go explore Downer's Grove, a hop, skip, and a jump away, for the first time. Even though it was cloudy out, I decided that I wanted to take advantage of my parents granting me permission to go somewhere I had never driven before.
After leaving(late of course), I spied the Argonne local working ,but decided to pass it by, thus why you aren't reading about it. Once I reached my terminating destination, I found out I was just in time to catch BNSF(Metra) 1314, bound for Chicago.
I was then graced by the presence of a unit covered hopper train led by CSX 42.
After these two rather uneventful passings came the drama of the day. A train led by Warbonnetted BNSF 889 proceeded down the middle track of the racetrack.
As the train was passing I noticed multiple wheels that weren't spinning freely(are these called dragging wheels), and were sparking and smoking pretty nicely. After steering amazed at the phenomenon, I realized it probably wasn't good, and phoned BNSF. They then informed me that the train was stopping up ahead for an inspection. In never found out exactly what happened with that, but I hope it turned out alright. Unfortunately, in the process of doing this, I probably deprived myself of trains since it probably clogged up the middle track for a while.
After that, I waited awhile for another train. It began to snow lightly. Another Metra passed through, but it didn't yield any satisfactory digitals(B&W film may be another matter though). After a relatively long wait, I was rewarded with two unpatched BN SD70MACs running elephant style on a coal train.
The next arrival would foreshadow the arrival of the rest of the afternoon's weather. BNSF 5308 arrived from the west with snow plastered to its pilot.
As I was waiting, the snow began to come down harder, which I knew would make for something other that cloudy day, wedgies! :smile: However, this came at a price. The wind picked up and snow began to plaster me. I was forced to hide my camera in my coat to keep it from getting soaked. It would be well worth it though. The pictures I collected from there I really like.
First, came the outbound California Zephyr.
Then came the arrival of 1309, a Metra bound for Aurora, with METX 200(buckshot! :p ) in the lead.
I looked at the time and decided I would wait for the next Metra, BNSF 1316, and then I would head home. Seeing lights up ahead from 1316's direction and ETA , I assumed it was the 1316. My assumption proved wrong however, and I was forced to quickly abandon the edge of the platform when I realized it was a speeding Amtrak, either an extremely late California Zephyr or on-time Southwest Chief. Either way, the only shots I got were blurry after fleeing from the edge. Only after that did they announce that 1316 was running late. In the meantime, another freight train came through.
Only then did 1316 arrive.
Overall, it was a pretty good day. I got some neat pictures, and I found another good spot to railfan at. :grin:

02-07-2006, 11:10 AM
nice report mike.also i can say that most of the pix are really cool and i think that most of it would be accepted if it wasnot cloudy.
keep up the great work and waiting to see more from your great work.

02-07-2006, 06:48 PM
Very nice snow shots, and great report Mike! Thanks for sharing, and keep up the great work.

02-07-2006, 09:06 PM
Great shots and great trip report! Maybe some day I will see ya trackside....I live in the Chicago area too. ;-)

02-07-2006, 10:06 PM
I saw 3 of those trains you saw. I was in Polo(Aurora Sub MP 112) and saw them different times of the day.

The CSX grain train came by me at 7:40 PM. I'm not sure what the ID of that train was but the eastbound CSX grain train is the X-ANDCHC.
BNSF 5308 came buy me at 11:29 AM, the engineer and conductor were friendly, they waved and honked a whole lot.
BNSF 4627 came by me at 6:17 PM, I don't know if that CSX unit was dead when it went by you but it was when it went by me, the train was late because of it.

Nice shots by the way ;-)