View Full Version : Know When To Hold 'Em

03-30-2006, 05:03 AM
Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away, and know when to run... OK, so I'm not exactly Kenny Rogers, but with the recent luck I've had with photography calls for a poker or gambling related theme.

Before I get to that though, it's amazing that I actually enjoy writing these things because I hated writing in high school and college. That's more than likely because it was forced, there was the lack of creativity, and it seemed like everything I wrote got shot down. I actually like doing these though since it's not forced and there's no critiquing of my style (but I'm sure there will be after some of you read this).

Back to the photography...

Railfanning is much like gambling. Not that I would know about the latter, but it seems to be that way. Indeed, I went out with a buddy on March 11 and it was like shooting craps all day long. Will the sun stay out? Will CSX run anything? Will we make it over the Falls Road without the timing belt snapping? The answers were no, yes, and yes, respectively.

Anyway, Andy and I headed out and hung out around Tateville for a little bit to catch a few on NS before heading over to Corbin to shoot CSX. First train we catch is 216 which has a trio of GP60's on the head end. I shot it going over the Antioch Rd. crossing.

NS 216 - Tateville, KY (http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/rail/2006/03/ns216ns7135tatevilleky031106.htm)

We watch three more go by and then head over to Corbin. The clouds start rolling in shortly after our arrival, yet CSX is running trains left and right. The disc in the Mavica craps out and I now have no manual control since I'm forced to shoot with my Kodak. The one day CSX decides to run trains, I hose just about every friggin' shot. Luckily, the sun did come out long enough for me to pop off a shot of this ancient B36-7.

CSXT 5843 - Savoy, KY (http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/rail/2006/03/csxt5843savoyky031106.htm)

Radio traffic clues us into the fact that CSX has pretty much run all they were going to run. What do smart railfans do in that situation? Why go home of course. On the way back, we did stop at Marshes Siding (about a mile north of Whitley City) to catch NS trains 117 and 124. I shot a totally lame, backlit, cloudy POS on 117 but at least it's got a water tower in it.

NS 117 - Marshes Siding, KY (http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/rail/2006/03/ns117ns8915marshessidingky031106.htm)

Thus ends part one of this literary work of art (this is debatable). Part two covers the trip of March 18, which brings in the poker theme...sort of.

Before, I get to that, here are two terms you'll find that will make no sense in this situation: Deuce and Joker. A "Deuce" is an SD70M-2 while a "Joker" is a GE Dash 9. GE's could also be called "Smokers", but we don't have anything to call a "Midnight Toker".

Anyway, Emmett and I found out that 167 on March 18 would be running with a brand new Deuce. It had left Princeton, IN late at night, which meant it was probably going to be a daylight train on the Louisville District. I ended up drawing firewatch since my sleep cycle had been a little odd the past week. Basically, I stayed up all night to hear if it got into and out of Louisville early. It didn't.

So EB picks me up here, and we head west towards Louisville to intercept 167 around Tucker. There was a parade of westbounds with 112 bringing up the rear. We got to Tucker about the same time 112 got in the clear. 223, 167, and T79 are all heading east. We find out on the radio that T79 has a Deuce as well, but decide to chase 167 since T79 goes to the Mixer. Upon parking the truck, we see that the crossing signal has become activated and end up scrambling to get shots...of 223...with a Joker.

NS 223 - Tucker Station, KY (http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/rail/2006/03/ns223ns9014tuckerky031806.htm)

167 arrives shortly thereafter and has a Deuce leading a pair of Jokers. I didn't get a good shot at Tucker, but we beat the train to Fisherville and I managed to pull off a shot of them there.

NS 167 - Fisherville, KY (http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/rail/2006/03/ns167ns2695fishervilleky031806.htm)

The chase is now on.

Speed limits were more than likely broken trying to find the next suitable location. Both Clark Station and Veechdale suck, so it's decided that it's best to shoot the long bridge at Shelbyville. Upon arrival, I already see the shot I'm going to try. Emmett had the same idea and set up for his first, so I opted for a low-angle shot that involved laying in the grass. I was pleased with the results.

NS 167 - Shelbyville, KY (http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/rail/2006/03/ns167ns2695shelbyvilleky031806.htm)

Next place we go to is Waddy. How many times have I shot at waddy? I don't know, but I've shot here many, many times. Most trains with EMD power can be heard for several miles as they fight gravity to make it up Waddy Hill. Apparently the Deuce is quiet (until it's right up on you) and sadly all I heard was a pair of GE's working the hill. Here's the shot near the west end of the siding, and it's probably my best/favorite of the day.

NS 167 - Waddy, KY (http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/rail/2006/03/ns167ns2695waddyky031806.htm)

167 has to meet 22A at Waddy, so we're able to catch them in a few more places before they stop at the east end. We shoot 22A at the east end, across the pond. Vegetation kind of killed the effect, but hey, you can still see the reflection.

NS 22A - Waddy, KY (http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/rail/2006/03/ns22abnsf5399waddyky031806.htm)

There, all you foamers can now drool over that. The bunch that has not lost all sense of perspective and reality may now continue.

167 starts moving again and we catch it at Alton Station Rd., where Emmett shoots a long 400mm shot of them coming up the hill. 167 met 375 at Coal Chute. We decide to wait for the train at Pumphouse Rd., near McBrayer. It shows up not too long after we set up our shots. I didn't like my result at first, but it seemed to grow on me after the fourth time I looked at it. If you believe in the rule of thirds, this shot will more than likely upset you.

NS 167 - McBrayer, KY (http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/rail/2006/03/ns167ns2695mcbrayerky031806.htm)

We also shoot the train at Vanarsdall, but I hosed my shot. Upon our arrival at East Talmage, we run into Randy who's out to see 167. He's hauling a pair of Civil War style cannons on a trailer, and that doesn't look suspicious at all sitting next to the tracks.

Suspicious Truck (http://www.cmherndon.com/lighterside/outtakes/randytruck.htm)

167 meets 287 and we get some shots of it leaving the siding. By this time, both of us are pretty hungry and stop at the Kountry Kupboard (yes, that's how it's spelled) on 127. If you're ever down in that area and are hungry, stop there and get you a sandwich. They're awesome, and a nice change from Grease World.

So after we get lunch, we start heading south again towards Danville to get a few more shots of 167. En route, I shot this outtake.

Muffin (http://www.cmherndon.com/lighterside/outtakes/muffin.htm)

We bypass Danville and head down to Junction City. A heads up from earlier in the day informed us that 229 was out of Cincinnati with a Smoker (GE C39-8 ) leading. The unmistakable sound of a GE engine can be heard working hard as we set up for our shots at Junction City. Turns out it was just 215 with a pair of Jokers. This caused me to shoot my obligatory lame shot of the day.

NS 215 - Junction City, KY (http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/rail/2006/03/ns215ns9957junctioncityky031806.htm)

It's decided that the last shot of the day will be at Bowen. We get there and 143's waiting on a signal after getting smoked by 215. It had a UP SD70M leading and I almost shot it. However, a major golf foxtrot made me think better of it.

167's next up and in an attempt to get a different shot, I go up the road a little ways and try to shoot a new angle, only to have it not come out. It's like poker though. You win some, and you lose some. We weren't going to chase the train any farther since we'd already caught it in 13 previous locations. Upon arrival back at the house, I promptly ended up crashing after being up for around 36 hours.

Thus concludes yet another chapter in the saga of a central Kentucky railfan...well, almost.

A few days before the most recent trip, I attended a few games of the KHSAA Sweet 16. If you have class basketball in your state ::cough:: Indiana! ::cough::, prepare to be offended by photos from The Greatest Show In Hoops.

2006 KHSAA Sweet 16 (http://www.cmherndon.com/galleries/sports/2006sweet16)

Now this chapter has been concluded. Until next time, I hope y'all enjoy and thanks for looking!

03-30-2006, 11:56 AM
Nice shots!

03-30-2006, 12:21 PM
great report and very nice pix caleb.keep up the great work and show us more of these nice pix.