Old 10-13-2005, 06:02 PM   #1
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Default BNSF trip of 10-12-2005

My friend, Rat, and I headed north along the BNSF's Hannibal Subdivision on our way to Hannibal, MO. From there, we were just going to decided which way to go depending on how the sky looked. We were favoring Galesburg, IL, but wanted to wait until the sun came up to finalize that decision. The weather forecast was for clouds, however, most of the way up there the sky was filled with stars. You can't trust what those guys tell you anyway, can you?

In the darkness of morning we passed by two westbound BNSF coal loads, not really worrying much about what we missed since we could not photograph them at 4:30 in the morning anyway.

Arriving Ilasco, just south of Hannibal, we found a BNSF local switching a cement plant. The sun was not saying "good morning" and the fog was quite dense. I shot a 2 second exposure, something that turned out a bit less than spectular:


We asked the crew which way they were headed, they informed us they were shoving back north through the NS interlocker, so we went to the downtown park in Hannibal to wait for them. Before they arrived, a westbound NS came through with four SD40-2s, all in different paint schemes. Given that the sun was still not yet above the horizon and that it was foggy, there was not much I could do about it. Rat was doing his usual videotaping, so he probably got a decent bit of footage. As soon as the NS train cleared the park, the BNSF local was shoving up. Their plan was to go through the interlocker, then come back west on the NS to deliver a cut of cars. I shot that, trying to squeeze out a shot in the low light and fog:


Our next plan was to scarf down breakfast at Mark Twain Dinette and shoot north. We did that and motored up the Hannibal Sub for a while. The sun was up, and with the dense fog, a really neat photo op was there, we simply had no trains at that point. We noticed the clear skies to the west, and abandoned our idea of visiting Galesburg, IL in favor of the bustling metropolis of Bucklin, MO.

On the way to Bucklin, we drove along the BNSF Kansas City Line and encountered a powerless train broken for the crossings at Lakenan, a bare table with no power at Anabel, and an eastbound with power but no crew at Callao. We also ran into a state trooper who charged Rat 108 dollars for a friendly reminder of what the speed limit was along that stretch of US 36. Here is a shot of the eastbound at Callao.


Arriving Bucklin, we hit the usual speed and traffic of the Santa Fe. I remember the days in the early 90s when I went there a lot, seeing all red and silver consists, GP20s, 30s, you name it. Not so anymore.

First up to bat at Bucklin was this Q train:


As Rat was the driver, and he was taking video all day, I was somewhat limited as to where I could setup, unless I wanted to walk and wait. Most of what I shot on the Santa Fe, therefore, were wedgies.

More trains quickly followed in the two hours we stayed in and near Bucklin.
The shot with the NS unit on the point is dedicated to Chris Paulhamus. I want him to take note of the second unit. This was a BNSF train:


My near highlight moment of the day turned out to be an eastbound BNSF on the former BN which ducks under the Santa Fe at Bucklin. We heard a horn on the BN while at another crossing on the Santa Fe. After rushing back to town we could hear the BN train grinding up the hill, so I set up on a bridge over the BN. Sure enough, as the train approached, I heard a horn on the Santa Fe. I have always wanted to get an over and under shot here. As the BN drew closer, I just started taking pics of it, hoping to capture the Santa Fe as it flashed by. Unfortunately, the BN was too quick, and I had the widest shot I could just to fit in the train, which resulted in a teeny little representation of the train on the Santa Fe, which is not really even in the picture all that well:


Image ©
Photograph ©

From Bucklin we headed to Marceline to catch a local we heard switching. At Marceline we saw another westbound BNSF:


The local moved off to areas of the yard where we could not catch it, so we gave up.

We headed back east on US 36 toward Hannibal, thinking we would probably catch the eastbound on the BN, hoping he might meet a westbound. The line sees little traffic, and for the amount of trains sitting, it seems a strange duck when juxtaposed with the no nonsense, fast running of its Santa Fe counterpart.

The train at Callao was gone when we passed through, but the train at Anabel was still there. At least something moved. We soon caught the train with the NS power, sitting right behind the BNSF 8053 which we shot at Bucklin. They were waiting on maintenance at Monroe City to proceed east. We shot 8053 at Lakenan:


And then got out of there when it became apparant nobody was going to move with the maintenance guys on the track. After leaving, the dispatcher told 8053 that West Quincy did not want the train in the yard, but wanted the one behind, probably because it was the same train of the day before.

Arriving back at Hannibal we were quickly greeted with a westbound BNSF coal load for AmerenUE, which I just barely got out in time to shoot:


I waited for the DPU to come by, thinking I had some shot at the park. Two guys walked into the picture, which at first pissed me off, but then I thought it might be cool to incorporate them just looking at the train or whatever they were doing. Looks like a tourist on the other side took a shot, too. For which reasons might he find his picture rejected if he submitted it here?

Image ©
Photograph ©

The NS Hannibal Bridge started lowering right before we left, so we waited for the NS train that was coming because of the bridge lowering. It turned out to be NS 263, well worth the wait with two high hood ex Southern Railway GP38-2s.


That was it for me. Rat shot some trains on the way home, as we came upon a meet at Elsberry between the 8923 and an empty AmerenUE train.

Click on n691lf.rrpicturearchives.net for a good laugh and waste of your time.

Last edited by 4kV; 10-13-2005 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:44 AM   #2
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The shot with the NS unit on the point is dedicated to Chris Paulhamus. I want him to take note of the second unit.
It's been noted. But you purposely set out to shoot BNSF. For that, you are forgiven!
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