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mtrails 07-26-2005 01:19 AM

Not very good with trips...
1 Attachment(s)
This isn't much, but wanted to participate on the topic...

Saturday, July 23, I drove to Hardin, MT, a small town 50 miles SE from Billings where I live, and spotted a bridge over the tracks on the way there. There was a train already making it's way toward Hardin, so I visited the bridge on the way back. I saw a good photo op, and decided to go there the next day...

Sunday- I make my way to the bridge, just 1/2 a mile from the interstate, 12 miles before Hardin. I set up my tripod and waited for a *southbound on the Casper sub. I sat in my car with the tunes on, myself covered in OFF spray to avoid insect bites. So much for the insect repellant... I was constantly being bombarded by flies! I had arrived at 8:30am, and the first train was a *yardbound (west), passing through at 10:20am, pulling flats of used ties, and ballast hoppers.

See pics below for the following trains:

10:50am - An eastbound coal train makes an appearance, leading with BNSF 9206 (SD60M), EMDX 9033 (SD60), and BNSF 9272 (SD60M).

11:35am - Another eastbound coal train, leading with BNSF 9273 (SD60M), BNSF 9215 (SD60M), EMDX (Oakway) 9042 (SD60), and BNSF 8226 (SD75M).

12:10pm - A *yardbound (west) mixed freight train, leading with BNSF 819 (C40-8W), BNSF 8200 (SD75M), and BNSF 9241 (SD60M).

All I wanted was ONE shot of a southbound heading into the sun, and I got four trains coming out of the sun! Though I didn't get a worthwhile photo, I really enjoyed the plethora of big EMD power, rumbling by at less than 25 Mph.

*If you're wondering;

From the Laurel yard, trains manifest in all directions.

South vs. Westbound? - Jones junction, located near Huntley, MT directs rail traffic from the west, to east and south, and from south to east and vice versa.

The attached photos are screenshots from mpeg's taken from my camera.

bnsf sammy 07-26-2005 03:25 AM

cool trip and sweet pics! :-)

WC_SD45Q 07-26-2005 03:18 PM

Nice pictures
Great shots. Im heading to Montana myself the week of August 6th. Hoping to get some photo's while I'm there visiting the homeland.


mtrails 07-30-2005 10:10 PM

Thanks guys for the compliments!

mtrails 08-08-2005 05:53 AM

The conclusion...
4 Attachment(s)
For your entertainment, here is the conclusion of this trip report:

Last weekend (see original post), I found an overpass to shoot from, and needed a southbound for the shot, and got skunked.

So this weekend, I went back for another attempt at the shot...

8:00am - I arrive at the location; Toluca overpass near Hardin. At 8:07, a westbound coal, for PPL Power passes by, with two Oakway SD60's on the point. 9045 and 9056.

I decide to go into town and grab something to nosh, and an eastbound coal flies through, led by BNSF SD75M 8246, BNSF SD60M 9209, and BNSF Dash-9 (####?). "Here we go again with all, but a southbound." So I decide to chase this eastbound to a location I had picked out for another photo opp.- 60 miles from where I was. (Hardin to Pompeys Pillar)

10:20am - I am at my next location, Pompeys Pillar siding, where lies an abandoned grain elevator. Ready and waiting for the train. In the distance I see the train come to a stop. Several minutes later, the train creeps into the siding, and approaches my camera view. I thought, "This is great, nice and slow, right into the picture!" BUZZZZZZZZZZZ! Wrong answer. Train halts just about 40 feet short. As he was stopping I wanted to wave him up just a little more! Well so much for that, at least I can get a meeting photo for the day...

The area was obstructed by poles and wires, so I basically had ONE good photo angle, unless I moved closer to the tracks, and felt 30 feet was close enough.

11:22am - The passing train comes through at 55 Mph. An empty coal drag for Kennecott Energy, led by a trio of Oakway's (9045, 9067, and ####?). I was just a little early on the shutter, but otherwise not a good passing angle to begin with. I tried.

I chase the Oakway's toward Jones Junction. "If the train grabs the Casper, I'm on my way back to Hardin. If not, I'm calling it a day!" He takes the Casper to go south, and back to Hardin I go.

12:25pm - Again, I arrive at Toluca overpass near Hardin, and anticipate the Oakways' arrival. Well, now that it's later in the day, I couldn't shoot from my plotted angle, so I had to plot a new one.

12:34pm - I get the shot.

It only took 9 hours between two weekend's, roughly 180 miles, about $50 in gas, four bottles of water, and a can of bug spray. It's not the most spectacular photo, but hey, I enjoyed myself, and hope you have enjoyed my little trip!

On my way back home, I came up behind a tractor trailer, with an unusual message on the back... see photo.


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