Old 12-21-2010, 09:07 PM   #1
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Default Best Catches of 2010

I made this as a compliment to the Top Shots. This is for the rarest things you caught while track side. I figured there would be a difference between Top Shots and rarest shots.

Here are mine:

From the moment I laid eyes on this train, I knew it was going to be the Catch of the Year. Ever since early 2009 full Missabe consists have been impossible to catch. After our nice "Summer of the J" in 2009, all the EJE units were gone too, save for the #674, which was assigned to the Missabe. I feel so lucky to have been able to catch this consist, and I was the only one who got them in full sun. Not to mention you have the US Steel Family together here, with the former B&LE (#215), DMIR #403 and EJE #674.
This will likely never be repeated again:

Image © Max Medlin
PhotoID: 322884
Photograph © Max Medlin


This next photo may be even rarer. Our former Missabe SD-18 #193 was sent out for wheel work in the spring and had been gone for around 7 months. We finally got it back but it was held up at its old neighborhood for a few days. I went up to check on it and lo and behold the last maroon tunnel motor was spotted next to it. There was a very short time when SD9's and SD18's mingled with the new SD40-3's in the late 90's, but a shot like this is extremely rare, and I was very happy to have gotten it:

Image © Max Medlin
PhotoID: 345578
Photograph © Max Medlin


The following photo is the only one I have ever seen of a DMIR (or CN) train and a North Shore Mining unit together at Nor Shor Junction. Usually the Missabe will bring their cars for interchange down the long Wales Branch, and then the NSM will send a crew out once they see the cars on their camera. I was supervising the travel/interchange of our cars to the CN, then to NSM, and because it was such a special move, the NSM had an engine waiting for the CN and I was able to capture this scene.

Image © Max Medlin
PhotoID: 334204
Photograph © Max Medlin


This is the train itself heading for Babbit. I have the only photo's in the world of this move, and again, once in a lifetime.

Image © Max Medlin
PhotoID: 330901
Photograph © Max Medlin


Again I was the only one out to capture this move, the single largest load handled by the Soo Line (CP) out of the Port of Duluth.

Image © Max Medlin
PhotoID: 345016
Photograph © Max Medlin


At the time, this was very special. The SD60M's had just been put back into service after a long hiatus, and the second one to visit the Twin Ports happened to be pulling a geometry special. I was just ecstatic about catching this. Just narrowly got beat out for the first RP pic of the SD60M's since the resurgence.

Image © Max Medlin
PhotoID: 333876
Photograph © Max Medlin


This may look like a typical Soo wedge, but besides the fact that it has matching SOO Geeps, there are two CP AC4400CW's heading for Duluth. Big power on the CP in Duluth is extremely rare, a once or twice a year type thing.

Image © Max Medlin
PhotoID: 336886
Photograph © Max Medlin


This picture was published in the Soo Line magazine, and is the Schnabel Car being moved from its resting place in the Port of Duluth to points where it will take its first load in a few years.

Image © Max Medlin
PhotoID: 323445
Photograph © Max Medlin


Finally, like I mentioned road power is very rare on the Superior Job, and Soo SD60M's in general are being pushed to trail-only and towards the scrapper as fast as they can. To catch SD60's was unique enough, but a SD60M leading the transfer was just awesome:

Image © Max Medlin
PhotoID: 314268
Photograph © Max Medlin



So theres mine, lets see what you guys got!
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:27 PM   #2
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I didn't have any "Once in a lifetime, I'm the only one that caught this move" experiences. But I do have a few to show:

BNSF power is a pleasant surprise, especially leading, for my part of the country. While its certainly not "VERY RARE, BNSF POWER IN SC, MUST SEE," it is unusual.
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It was unexpected to find this puppy trackside. You don't see SW1s around much these days, but again, not once in a lifetime or anything. Fun fact: This picture is one of only 21 pictures of SW1s uploaded to the database that were taken in 2010.
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An SD60, what more needs to be said.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:45 PM   #3
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Image © Stephen Dance
PhotoID: 348826
Photograph © Stephen Dance


My latest shot is probably my catch of the year. Class 60's are down to less than a dozen active examples again and 60054 is the last 60 of all still in original livery with sector decals. This freight working runs 3 times a week Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays. 54 worked it last Thursday for the first time in several years, but I couldn't get out of work to see it. I then noted on the email grapevine that it ws rostered for Saturday as well. Woke up on Saturday to find snow falling and by lunchtime we had 6 inches of powder lying. I now hear a rumour that 60's may be finished on this working so this shot may be the last. Todays run had 2 Class 66's up front

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Photograph © Stephen Dance


This railtour was rostered for a Class 52 Western diesel hydraulic and a Class 40. This combination AFAIK has never been seen before and was IMHO the railtour of the year. The sound of these 2 mechanically completely different locos working together was bizarre
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:57 PM   #4
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Here's mine:

BNSF power on the CP:

Image © Daniel DiFiore
PhotoID: 337694
Photograph © Daniel DiFiore


Bandit leading:

Image © Daniel DiFiore
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Photograph © Daniel DiFiore


Unpatched SP unit on a CP train:

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Old 12-22-2010, 12:00 AM   #5
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Mine would be the UP 3985 pulling the circus train. I don’t think I see that again anytime soon.

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Old 12-22-2010, 12:42 AM   #6
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Ok here are mine, although some aren't really considered "Once in A Lifetime" to some:

Image © Anthony Davis
PhotoID: 332066
Photograph © Anthony Davis


Ok, well this was a "Once in A Lifetime" event! CSX had on OCS that was traveling in the area, but on a different Subdivision and one of the F40s on it pooped out and so the OCS had tied down in Greenwood, SC and CSX sent an emergency F40 to the rescue! Only problem was that a light engine move could not exceed 25mph. (And 25mph from Waycross, GA to Greenwood, SC...well you do the math!) So what was CSX's solution to this? Add a 3-car set of empty well cars and consider it a train so that it could do track speed the whole journey! So can you say you've ever seen this? LOL


Image © Anthony Davis
PhotoID: 318561
Photograph © Anthony Davis


Not only did I get lucky with the light that popped out for exactly ONE frame for this shot, but at this time there weren't but a handful of Conrail painted NS Dash 8-40Cs floating around. NS 8304 was repainted a few months later and one its first trip in NS paint, caught fire and is now sitting in Altoona...

Image © Anthony Davis
PhotoID: 317931
Photograph © Anthony Davis


Although this isn't rare for most, but for me down here, this catch was pretty neat. NS power on a CSX road train riding down CSX/NS Shared trackage at Taylor Street.

Image © Anthony Davis
PhotoID: 333454
Photograph © Anthony Davis


Once again, only a handful of Conrail painted locomotives on CSX, way less than NS, and I was lucky to chase this one along the CSX Georgia Sub.

Image © Anthony Davis
PhotoID: 329902
Photograph © Anthony Davis


An Unpatched & Untouched B&O/Chessie System GP9 still in active service? Well at this time it was being repaired!

Image © Anthony Davis
PhotoID: 324099
Photograph © Anthony Davis


First to get shots of the Street Running action along the Sandersville Shortline on the RailPictures.Net Database!

Image © Anthony Davis
PhotoID: 338228
Photograph © Anthony Davis


First time NS 4610 has been to Aiken since its dedication in 1996 I believe!

Image © Anthony Davis
PhotoID: 336505
Photograph © Anthony Davis


Still Running LHF and Street Running too! Where do they do that at? LOL

Image © Anthony Davis
PhotoID: 341151
Photograph © Anthony Davis


The Fair is coming into town....Literally, but that wasn't too unsual, but the power was! Two High Hood units leading it were!

Image © Anthony Davis
PhotoID: 344274
Photograph © Anthony Davis


KCS/TFM quartet leading a CSX train on the Abbeville Subdivison which usually sees nothing but CSX GEVOs!

Image © Anthony Davis
PhotoID: 345590
Photograph © Anthony Davis


A NS B32-8 leading a Throughway freight in 2010! Passing another B32-8 doing what its now supposed to be assigned to: Yard/Local Jobs!

That's pretty much the biggies for me!

Last edited by AntD.; 12-22-2010 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:30 AM   #7
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In no particular order..

Catching this little red critter was totally unexpected, photographed January 4th in the Nitro Par Industrial Park. Have not seen the switcher since, but presume it's still interchanging tank cars with NS.

Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 309503
Photograph © Chase55671


Old N&E U-boats awaiting scrap at Mansbach were something I was really glad to document this year. Not sure if they've been scrapped or are still awaiting the torch, but regardless, I'm glad I got photos, especially on this day.

Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 310213
Photograph © Chase55671


Probably one of the best catches of 2010.. Seeing this small critter painted up in a Chessie inspirational paint scheme switching NS Top Gons is a rarity, especially in recent years. Was real glad I had the opportunity to document this operation. Very nice guys at Amherst.

Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 311235
Photograph © Chase55671


A B&O Jordan Spreader in service in 2010.. Certainly a rare movement, mainly because the spreaders are a rarity and also because the snow is generally not severe enough to require the assistance of this Grafton based spreader.

Image © Chase55671
PhotoID: 314216
Photograph © Chase55671


In terms of rare power, I also would consider the following to be "best catches of 2010".

Image © Chase Gunnoe
PhotoID: 332605
Photograph © Chase Gunnoe


Image © Chase Gunnoe
PhotoID: 334697
Photograph © Chase Gunnoe


Image © Chase Gunnoe
PhotoID: 336325
Photograph © Chase Gunnoe


Image © Chase Gunnoe
PhotoID: 344587
Photograph © Chase Gunnoe


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Old 12-22-2010, 04:18 AM   #8
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OK, I'll play along. This really isn't a good representation of my best catches of the year since I generally get crappy pics of anything interesting that I see.

Two SD45-2s on a road train.
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Glad I was able to get some good photos of the D&H GP38-2s this year.
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Conrail SD50s are going fast, so I was happy to see two of them in one day: including one leading an intermodal.
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How's this for rare? An OCS F unit, the battery powered engine, and the Exhibit car.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:19 AM   #9
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I'm sure CP hopes this is the rarest thing to see trackside.

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Old 12-22-2010, 06:01 AM   #10
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I've become pretty selective when it comes to posting on RP.net, so if I post it anymore I've got to consider it a "best catch". Here are a couple of my favorite best catches from 2010.

Outbound Northstar train in Minneapolis. My personal best zoom-pan. It worked out great because at the last minute a soft sliver of sunlight gave a little warmth to a dreary dull shot.

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PhotoID: 347715
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Next is the UP 1982 - the first Heritage locomotive I've ever seen in person. Luckily it was when the sun was out on a damp and uneventful trip to Chicago this summer.

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PhotoID: 338051
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It took a lot of attempts to finally nail one, but I finally got a good lightning bolt in the background as severe storms moved across northern Minnesota.

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Old 12-22-2010, 07:29 AM   #11
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Wink My Ten Of 2010.

This one because I was ready to fight for it.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 321327
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography



You just don't see this anymore.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 313419
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I liked the blue light on the ground.

Image © EL ROCO Photography
PhotoID: 348105
Photograph © EL ROCO Photography


Image © EL ROCO Photography
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A Private Sitting with No. 3751

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Old 12-22-2010, 03:12 PM   #12
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During my last railfan trip to VA/WV, I was in the middle of a really slow, absolutely dead day railfanning the pokey when I saw maybe 2 trains, completely bizzare, I round the corner into Iaeger, WV and sitting in front of my is the 4 NS F units pulling a 12 car OCS train. I had no idea this was running, but guessed it was why nothing else was running. I spent the rest of that day, plus the better part of 3 more days chasing it all around the states of VA and WV. It yielded some good pics, but also a couple very frustrating misses.
Image © Troy Nolen
PhotoID: 346665
Photograph © Troy Nolen

Image © Troy Nolen
PhotoID: 348942
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Image © Troy Nolen
PhotoID: 348284
Photograph © Troy Nolen


Also caught the New River leaf train on the CSX Kanawha Sub 2 different days the following weekend. Was unable to chase that train due to the logistics involved and one of the days, I was only able to catch it on the return trip, and it was nearing dark.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:08 AM   #13
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My best catches this year.

The first run of the new Xstrata GE's plus new train and on the same afternoon some old Alco's still in regular service.

Image © mark woody
PhotoID: 338493
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Image © mark woody
PhotoID: 338574
Photograph © mark woody



Also catching my first steam in years with preserved Alco's as well, the sad part is the steam engines of this type were still in regular service when i was a kid and a lot of my driving time was at the controls of the preserved Alco's.

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Old 12-23-2010, 01:19 AM   #14
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Well here it goes. Some of my better "catches" aren't on RP because they weren't taken during the good light period (high sun, cloudy, etc), but here are the ones that are on RP.

This was lucky just on how close it was to me. The LRJ90 hit this centerbeem at over 20mph. It was the second accident in Davis in a pretty short amount of time (CFNR tip over). The unit you see, 3666, use to be the 666. No joke, this unit has been plagued with problems for a long time. It has been part of another crash, a fire, numerous problems while traveling to Napa, and has been trashed by the public who did not want the #666 in their community. I think it was time for this unit to be torn up and sent to a scrap metal company.

Image © Jake Miille
PhotoID: 323239
Photograph © Jake Miille


This next one is special to me. The GM of the California Northern RR asked me to cover their Operation Lifesaver event. I got this shot as I got to ride in the new CFNR cab through Woodland, CA.

Image © Jake Miille
PhotoID: 324317
Photograph © Jake Miille


I got this shot while I was on my cross country trip. Its my only shot from outside of California. I was staying with my aunt in Denver and I was able to get down to the Joint Line early in the morning. It was nice of BNSF to put a clean DPU on the back of this coal train.

Image © Jake Miille
PhotoID: 330504
Photograph © Jake Miille


I heard that UP 1989 was leading the ZCSLT into California so I thought it would be a fun chase down Donner Pass. I met with a lot of other nor cal railfans (Steven, Mike, James, Adam, Ryan) as they were chasing it down to. It was a really fun day seeing 1989 lead and talking with all the other railfans.

Image © Jake Miille
PhotoID: 333169
Photograph © Jake Miille


I went into Roseville in search for UP 1996. It was hiding behind the fuel racks and diesel shops most of the day. I was lucky as all the sudden it moved down into a somewhat open area where I could get a shot off. Soon after this shot it was back behind the fuel racks. But I was wanting a few more shots. After talking with some of the really nice Roseville employees I got behind the scenes access to 1996 and the fuel area. It was a really fun day and one I won't forget for a long time.

Image © Jake Miille
PhotoID: 333850
Photograph © Jake Miille


I'm lucky that I live in Northern California for this next shot. Its of the Feather River Express as it goes through Haggin Junction in Sacramento, CA. The Feather River Express was an awesome train made up of a ton of private rail cars. What makes this shot special is now the only daily train (passenger and freight) that uses the west leg of the Haggin wye is AMT14 which goes through a little after midnight. So it was awesome to finally get a shot of a train on the west leg of the wye during the day and it was great to see all the private cars.

Image © Jake Miille
PhotoID: 335289
Photograph © Jake Miille

Image © Jake Miille
PhotoID: 335288
Photograph © Jake Miille


The next shot is from another chase down Donner Pass. This chase was of a BNSF Officer special. This was rare because A)Its a special B)it was coming down Donner Pass. You don't see this combo everyday. This shot was from Glenshire along the Truckee River.

Image © Jake Miille
PhotoID: 335406
Photograph © Jake Miille


Here an interesting train I got to see come through Sacramento. It is the IPDLTR which was made up of all matching UMAX containers. It was a nice photo op with all the containers matching and some clean units up front. It was something that was nice to see.

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Its hard to see what's special in this shot but its unpatched SP 352. I did not know about it till I saw it. Usually when I go out, I know about something like this but this was all luck. I'm very happy I decided to go out and shoot "just another regular ethanol train" that turned out to be not so regular.

Image © Jake Miille
PhotoID: 338315
Photograph © Jake Miille


Here you see UP 1996 leading a 3 car passenger special through Newcastle, CA. This train would pick up 1983 in Roseville and become the Operation Lifesaver train that would tour all around Northern California. It was fun to see this train and the Operation Lifesaver trains.

Image © Jake Miille
PhotoID: 338414
Photograph © Jake Miille


Another shot from a chase down Donner Pass. Here UP 7400 with open doors leads the SSPLA through Emigrant Gap. This shot has a nice view of the Bear River Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This shot would come costly though as at the last location I was at (Andover), I punctured the Oil Pan of my car and it cost me $500. But atleast this shot came out!

Image © Jake Miille
PhotoID: 345027
Photograph © Jake Miille


Here is the last shot I'm gonna post to this message. Its of a Union Pacific Work Train as it heads south through the Edna Valley near San Luis Obispo, CA. The reason this makes it to my best catches list is because its of a southbound UP freight train on the coast sub. This is very rare now a days as the Oil Cans are the only through freight train through SLO and they usually go through around midnight. I had wanted this shot for a long time and I finally go it.

Image © Jake Miille
PhotoID: 346427
Photograph © Jake Miille


So those are my best catches. It was fun seeing these and all the other trains I got to watch. It was a good year!
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