Gray DaysWyoming is the land of sunshine but it seems like we have been getting more and more overcast days in the past few years. Regardless of sun or clouds railroading goes on. Railroad fans do most all of their fanning on sunny warm days and I think that "clouds" their perspective of real railroading. It is not all bright sunny days. Indeed very little of it is days at all. Here are a bunch of not so sunny and not so pretty shots on cloudy days this week.
Run AroundI was on the H-KCKPAS and due to an M.O.W. track permit ahead had caught up to a Laurel bound coal train. The dispatcher put it in the hole at Dunmore for us to run around it. We are able to go up the hills ahead at twice the speed of a coal train. The track permit is still active beyond the west siding switch so I still have an Approach as I pass the east switch.
The signal at the west end goes green just before I stop so I widen out on the throttle and roar past the four SD70MACs in the hole.
My lead unit this day is the BNSF 7890, one of the two former methane gas powered BN SD40-2s. About the only evidence of its former test status are the flared radiators. Note these are NOT exactly like an SD45. SD45s do not have the "notches" at the ends of the radiators. Also note the number boards have different font styles.
Rowley meetsStill on the H-KCKPAS I have ran from Dunmore to Rowley where I stop on the main to meet two trains. The first is a light set of helpers returning towards Sheridan after having shoved a coal train over Toluca Hill.
The second is a coal empty.
Huntley againFollowers of this series have seen pictures of Huntley, Montana on numerous occasions. Usually from the other direction on eastbounds. Here is a shot approaching the junction on the westbound H-KCKPAS. You are 829 miles from Lincoln, NE on the BNSF's former CB&Q "Long Branch" and the Diverging Clear signal ahead is the end of BNSF ownership. Beyond the signal is the Montana Rail Link. The track coming in from the right on the far side of the depot is the former Northern Pacific transcontinental main line. MRL owns it for another 4 miles east to Jones Junction where BNSF ownership begins. That line goes to Forsyth and Glendive, MT and Minneapolis, MN. Moran Junction is 4 miles behind me on the former CB&Q line. The NP line and the CB&Q line form the two western legs of a triangle. The 3rd leg is a connection track between the two lines between Moran Jct and Jones Jct. The white "bars" on either side of the track 100ft ahead are AEI readers.
The second picture is 100 ft beyond the signal in the previous pic. You can see the switches are lined for my movement from the Sheridan line onto the MRL's Huntley siding then to immediately cross over onto the MRL main. All the switches were 35mph under BN ownrship but MRL has reduced them to 30mph.
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