Old 01-02-2011, 02:25 PM   #1
ShortlinesUSA
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Default I'm getting older-- and my standards are lowering

Not long ago, an operation like OmniTrax's Alabama & Tennessee River RR would not have been on my radar. I would have easily overlooked this line, grumbling that "I'll go there when they paint some power" or something along those lines.

Enter my modern state of railfanning-- I get out maybe once a month, so my standards have changed from going to the shortlines with sharp painted units or where some major change is about to occur to, well, shortlines.

I realize tastes vary...you could almost say "If you've talked to a railfan, you've talked to one railfan." To say that there are different interests among railfans is an understatement, at the least. Even when I was turning up my nose at consists like this, others would love it, remarking on the great variety of schemes, how much they like tunnel motors, or they were just happy to see a train-- kind of like where I am now, but wasn't then. And I realize there are still plenty of fans that would just assume go elsewhere than photograph non-descript lines with no real identity (it was very odd that there were even OmniTrax painted units in the consist this day, usually it's an all LTEX consist on the road train).

I left the ATN exuberant with how this day had gone. I relished the fact that I even caught the road train, which is VERY difficult. The fact I even caught it here, pulling into Ragland, AL to make a setoff, was pure luck. Couple visiting a shortline I hadn't photographed before on a beautiful fall day with the fact the train was led by one of a handful of true 20 cyl SD45-2Ts left operating in the United States, and all in all, it was a great day-- and one that wouldn't have happened all that long ago...
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:42 PM   #2
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I am too impatient for shortline railfanning. I will not make a trip where I cant guarantee seeing even one movement. My closest shortline is the Seminole Gulf RY, they basically run once or twice a week on no semblance of a schedule. The next closest is Florida Central in Orlando which is a little better, but nowhere what would qualify as a schedule. So I can shoot CSX or stay home.

Nice paintjob on that lead unit, looks like LTEX must have gotten a similar deal on the paint that NS uses.

Some of you in other areas of the country are a little luckier because you have multiple choices of class 1's and shortlines.

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Old 01-02-2011, 08:54 PM   #3
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I like the shot... and I do hear you... but it may not be getting older, it may be that the dog's breakfast consists of the late 1990s early 2000s on all the Class Ones are but a memory now... suddenly those pointless rainbows of colors on shortlines that don't paint have become rather unique.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:16 AM   #4
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"Seminole Gulf RY, they basically run once or twice a week on no semblance of a schedule."

Well....a couple threads ago, you said north on Weds, south on Thurs from Arcadia...THAT is a semblance of a schedule. I'm probably one of the few that would bother with them, and have been touting them a lot in these cyber forums the past couple months, but the southbound move is the one to get. Usually out of Arcadia around 9-10AM depending how long it takes to switch cars.

"The next closest is Florida Central in Orlando which is a little better, but nowhere what would qualify as a schedule."

Where are you getting THAT from? They are VERY reliable. Two crews on duty Mon-Fri 0600hrs, one runs to CSX/Taft, the other runs to Winter Garden Mon-Wed-Fri & Tavares/Eustis Tue-Thu with backfill work as needed. Second crew on duty 1400hrs to work the Silver Star branch. VERY reliable, very easy...and no GEVOS in sight.

"So I can shoot CSX or stay home."

Amen to that
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:15 AM   #5
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Im a power guy so that consist is awesome, Mike. I also have to echo your statement Freericks. The "common" road power has completely changed over in less than five years. Obviously in 2006 the older power was still on borrowed time, but was still to be had and wasn't exactly an amazing sight like it has become now.

I shot the NS 5415 today, one of only a dozen or so Blue SD50's left, and I just kind of stared at it for awhile, because the final chapter for older power still in predecessor paint on Class 1's isn't far off from being finished. I find myself, as I have been for years now, just savoring the moment when I catch something that I truly enjoy.

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Old 01-23-2011, 06:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FBU32804 View Post
"The next closest is Florida Central in Orlando which is a little better, but nowhere what would qualify as a schedule."
I have caught them once while I was in Mt. Dora and they were parked diesels. There is a LOT of old super vintage rolling stock, somewhere at HQ is an old Santa Fe caboose. I'm wondering how close I could get to it.
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