Old 11-07-2006, 09:21 PM   #1
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Default Chasing the Reverend Spiv X

The first of November here in good ole' St. Louis was downright nasty. It was cloudy and windy and nice and cold. Pat and I had already planned to go out this day, and I was having second thoughts until he called and told me that not only was our friend Dave coming south on a grain train, but the clearing line for the clouds was past Springfield, the first place we could catch Dave. I said yes and the chase was on.

On the way to Springfield, we decided to stop in Litchfield to catch NS 240, and also stumbled upon BNSF H GALMAD1 31A waiting on an NS coal train to clear the diamonds. At this point is was still too cloudy, so no shots.

So we continued on our way up to Springfield via I-55. We swung off 55 and headed into Springfield to catch Dave at Ridgley Tower, where his train (GSRKNA 31) would swing off the I&M and back onto the UP Springfield Sub. We picked a spot and waited. Then, Mr. Happy Sunshine himself graced us with a phone call, he said that he was making a run at the hill and would be at Ridgley shortly. Sure enough, here he came charging up the hill making lots of noise at the grade crossings.

Image © John Witthaus - stlouisrail.tk
PhotoID: 164099
Photograph © John Witthaus - stlouisrail.tk


After that, we decided to catch engineer Spiv coming through downtown Springfield. While waiting for Dave to show up, we heard on the scanner that someone had been spotted riding in-between the cars on his train. The train was stopped and the conductor went to investigate, but no one was found, and with that, Dave continued on through Downtown.

Image © John Witthaus - stlouisrail.tk
PhotoID: 164139
Photograph © John Witthaus - stlouisrail.tk


On our way out of town to catch the Reverend further south, we caught an NS train with a Conrail leader, this photo will be uploaded later, after I learn the name of the NS division that runs through Springfield.

After Springfield, we caught Dave in Auburn, IL. As we headed back south the clouds seemed to be moving south quicker than Dave was, Auburn was the exception and it was cloudy when Dave rolled through.

The next spot to catch Dave on his way to St. Louis was the Macoupin bottoms, it was sunny here, but the shot wasn't anything special, so it wasn't uploaded.

Dave was told that he'd be going in the siding at Shipman for Amtrak 303 to run around him. We caught him tip-toeing down the siding just before entering downtown Shipman.

Image © John Witthaus - stlouisrail.tk
PhotoID: 164112
Photograph © John Witthaus - stlouisrail.tk


Of course, when he stopped in Shipman, he got down and we chatted for about 10 minutes until Amtrak rolled by at 71 MPH. Before Dave continued south, we had him do his Nixon impression on the front of the locomotive.

When Dave left Shipman, we booked it south to beat him to East Alton where Pat wanted to shoot him going over the Wood River bridge. Dave gave us a call when he was passing the Alton Depot, knowing that we were going to shoot him at the bridge.

Image © John Witthaus - stlouisrail.tk
PhotoID: 164114
Photograph © John Witthaus - stlouisrail.tk


Finally back in the St. Louis area, we decided to shoot him going through Granite City, IL under the TRRA Merchants Bridge over the Mississippi. We were hoping something would be poking out of the yard and up the bridge. Alas, Dave was about 5 minutes too late to be caught under some BNSF power, including an EMD SD9.

Image © John Witthaus - stlouisrail.tk
PhotoID: 164132
Photograph © John Witthaus - stlouisrail.tk


After catching Spiv at Granite City, we decided to go down to East St. Louis to see if he had a signal at Valley Jct. but he didn't, so we shot KMNOA 31 on the TRRA MacArthur Bridge and called it a day.

It was a fun chase, and I would do it again, if the chance arose. Plus it was fun to get the shots of Dave doing stupid things from the cab .
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:54 PM   #2
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Nice report and great shots!
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Old 11-07-2006, 10:52 PM   #3
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Good stuff John, too bad the clouds got you on some of the shots!
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Old 11-08-2006, 12:09 AM   #4
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Cool stuff, and great pictures too. I like the last one the best.
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StL-rail
Of course, when he stopped in Shipman, he got down and we chatted for about 10 minutes until Amtrak rolled by at 71 MPH. Before Dave continued south, we had him do his Nixon impression on the front of the locomotive.
Don't forget to mention the first thing you did before he even said "hello" was to bum cigarettes, you mooch.

It looks like you like my arse, too.
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Old 11-12-2006, 03:24 AM   #6
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Nice report John. I see youre going Richard Nixon at the end there!
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:16 AM   #7
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Nice report and shots John.Its really nice to chase atrain that you know it's driver.
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