Begin CTC and End CTC at the same point? What the heck is going on here? What kind of territory am I about to enter? The truth is that the Begin CTC sign is correct. The End CTC sign actually belongs about 200 feet farther down the track. It should be between the same two tracks that it is now but directly opposite the dwarf signal you see up near the overpass. This is the east exit of Laurel Yard. Officially known as Mossmain since the days of NP ownership. The two tracks on the left are the westward and eastward mains, you are looking east. They are both CTC from this point east for about 3/4ths of a mile where they become ABS Double track for 14 miles. The 3rd track from the left, the one governed by the dwarf signal and the Begin/End CTC signs, is the switching lead for the bottom of the westbound yard. Because the track between the dwarf signals is part of an interlocking it is CTC for those 200 hundred feet. The MRL seems to have a difficult time with that End CTC sign. That is the 3rd place they have put it since they changed the designation of Mossmain from a Manual Interlocking to CTC and they STILL don't have it right. The picture is taken hanging out of the conductor's window of a C44 sitting on the righthand track, the switching lead for the bottom of the eastbound yard. The track that makes a sharp lefthand curve beyond the crossovers is the BNSF Laurel Sub to Great Falls, MT. (Former GN).
Cab shot along the Yellowstone River. Looking east about MP 217 one mile west of the West Huntley CTC siding switch.
Looking forward into my rearview mirror mounted just outside the engineer's side window.
East Huntley, Montana. We are about to cross Pryor Creek bridge where Pryor Creek empties into the Yellowstone River. This bridge washed out in 1979 and a temporary single track shoo-fly was built on a wooden trestle just to the right of the siding track on the right. I am on the mainline of the MRL, formerely BN and Northern Pacific, and I have a Diverging Clear (low green) signal at East Huntley to crossover to the siding then switch onto the BNSF's former CB&Q line to Kansas City. Looks better than the one I posted of this spot last spring when the snow was flying doesn't it.
Here you can see the ATSF C44-9 you've been riding all day. 70 miles east of Huntley at Benteen, MT I am in the hole to meet a westbound grain empty. The C44, B40, B39, and SD70MAC were good power for my H-PASKCK (Pasco-Kansas City) freight train even though it was a heavy 9134 tons. But the MAC is cutting off at Sheridan when we get there. We just squeezed into the CTC siding with 7200 ft of train. The grain empty in the picture was the second of two trains we met here, a coal train was waiting for us on the main when we arrived. The Bighorn Mountains are on the distant horizon.
Yet another meet picture at Lodgegrass, Montana. This one is the first of two we met here. A short odd-lot coal train pounds over the east siding switch just in front of me at 50mph.
This "Today's Photos" is getting too long again so I'll end here. Besides it is getting dark. Here at Lodgegrass I was happy as a lark this fine fall evening. Fifty miles to go to get home. But 20 miles ahead at Aberdeen my mood abruptly flipped 180 degrees. Dang *%^&$#@!(*&!! railroad anyway.
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