Winter along the YellowstoneA cold Yellowstone River at Huntley, Montana from the P-SSEMEM on February 17, 2001.
The world is about to disappear into a wall of fog at lockwood, Montana. We rolled along at 50 mph for the next 5 miles trying to get a 3 second glance at the block signals as they zipped by in the soup. The loadout is for petroleum coke from the refineries at Billings. The side track was built on the roadbed of the former NP eastward main by the MRL in 1995 or 96 to load unit coal trains. The coal was to be trucked to this spot from the Bull Mountains north of Huntley. I think they only loaded one train before the operation folded.
Derail TestEvery year the BNSF tests their derails to see if they function as designed. Here we see the results of testing the derail that protects the west end of the Sheridan roundhouse tracks. (Yes I am joking!)
SD60M helper engine BN 9218 was parked alone and lost its air. It then rolled downgrade several hundreds feet towards the switching lead at the west end of Sheridan yard. The derail there performed as expected putting all 12 of the 9218's paws on the ground.
It was late evening and dark when it occurred and was not discovered for a few hours. Then attempts were made to rerail the unit using a steel rerailing frog (yellow object) and oak blocks and wedges. But with all 12 wheels in the snow she had no traction. The temperature was way below zero so it was decided to wait for daylight and hopefully somewhat warmer temperatures. In the morning after a few more tries and lengthy discussions the decision was made to call the Cat-Pack. Once they arrived the two sideboom Cats had her back on the rails in no time.
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