Old 09-08-2006, 07:22 AM   #1
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Default The Greatest Show on Earth

Disclaimer: This report contains instances of a pair of wooden axle railroads (CSX and R.J. Corman). If you are offended by such, do not read.

I'm not talking about 611 climing Saluda, nor am I referring to a GE that throws a rod. The first is definitely impressive, and the second will easily make one a famous railfan if they get video footage of it. However, nothing compares to the Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey circus.

Said circus came to Lexington last month, and arrived via NS. Thanks to a generous heads up from the NS Discussion Forums (http://jreb.org/v-web/bulletin/bb/index.php), Greg and I set out on August 16 to get a few shots.

After I met him in Nich-Vegas (Nicholasville), we determined that Georgetown would be the best place to get a broadside shot. After driving around and checking out the action at Delaplain, we parked at the Main Street crossing and waited for the train. While waiting, we watched 229, 215, 287, 133, and 55A all go by. I shot those to do some experimenting before the circus train arrived. 215 was the only shot worth sharing.

NS 215/NS 9937 - Georgetown, KY

While we were waiting, a few Scott County Sheriff's cruisers passed by and the officers just smiled and waved. They didn't stop and "harass" us. For those of you who are being harassed, I'd just like to know what you're doing to draw attention to yourselves.

We start to wonder where 048 is, and radio chatter tells us that it's by Williamstown. That's about 40 minutes north, so we ran over to the Taco Hell and got lunch, returning back to the crossing about 5-10 mintues before the train showed up.

When 048 arrived, we were slightly disappointed by the appearance of Bun-Sniff power on the head end. At least it was a pair of SD40s, though.

I also shot a few of the cars as they passed.

Circus Train Cars

Thinking about heading down to Richmond and/or Ravenna to shoot the (gasp!) CSX, we decide at the last minute to go to the NS/Corman connection and watch the train pull in, switch, and release the hounds...er...elephants.

I didn't shoot much of the train while switching was in progress, except for some detail shots of the locomotives.

RJC 2781 Detail Porches

I did take a few shots of the animals being released, but didn't bother with working on them. Thus ends day one of the report.

Greg invited me to ride to Ashland with him on the 17th and I took him up on that offer. Again, meeting in Nich Vegas, we headed east. Upon our arrival, we catch a light engine move heading towards Russell

CSXT 2282 - Ashland, KY

After taking care of some business, we headed over to Huntington to get some shots of the KRT and check out the Huntington dead line. The dead line had the usual wrecked locomotives, a few crispy GEs, and a few old Chessie units. We also make a stop by the Huntington chapter of the NRHS and chat with the guys for a little bit and they give us directions on how to get to the 2-6-6-2 that's on display.

Seeing the engine, I wasn't really impressed by it, as I prefer the products of the Roanoke Locomotive Works. We head back across the river in search of a moving train, which is a rare sight on CSX. We end up missing a few, and decide to break for lunch.

After indulging in the pizza buffet at Giovanni's, we head over to the Russell yard and see what's shaking. Not much is going on, but we do hear the yardmaster talking to a northbound loaded coal train that's about to leave. We headed up to Wurtland to wait for it.

While waiting for the train, I suggested that Greg use his tripod for a daylight still. He replied, "If your camera is set properly and you're not a total idiot..." You have to admit it...he's right.

We start hearing U552 on the radio, and it arrives shortly afterwards.

After observing U552's passing, we headed across the river into Ohio to see what was shaking on NS. Surprisingly, we only saw a local, but didn't shoot it. We drove down the road a few more miles into Ironton. There's not much going on there, either, but we do discover a caboose displayed on the levee, painted for the DT&I.

A closer inspection of the cab revealed that it was actually ex-Seaboard, and that "Family Lines System" was starting to show through the Krylon.

Wouldn't you know that as soon as we drive back over to Ashland, NS runs a train. Amazingly, CSX was running a train too. We end up intercepting Q695 heading south and stop at the Amshack to get a shot of it. We wait and wait, wondering where the train is. To our surprise, a northbound empty grain train passes us. A few minutes after that, though, Q695 is back underway.

While hanging out at the Amshack, we did not get run off. This turned out to be the last shot of the day, save for a quick shot of an industrial switcher a few miles south of Catlettsburg. We headed back to the house after that, getting home little after 9 pm.

And now...the soundtrack

1.) Come Together - Aerosmith
2.) Come as You Are - Nirvana
3.) Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2 (Fitting isn't it?)
4.) Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
5.) Hotel California - The Eagles
6.) Spill the Wine - Eric Burdon and War
7.) Paradise City - Guns N' Roses (Greg does a humorous impersonation of Axl. Not only is he a master of the Elbonian Snow Dance, but Greg can perfectly emulate Axl's voice.)

Until next time, I hope y'all enjoy and thanks for looking!
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Old 09-14-2006, 01:28 PM   #2
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Great report and shots Caleb specially the one of the coal train over the bridge.Im always enjoy reading your reports.
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