Wednesday, October 5, 2011

KCS trip - 4

Hi, It was quite foggy when we left the motel in Poteau, OK this morning.  We planned to concentrate on the Arkansas - Oklahoma Railroad on this day.  Unfortunately, the only activity would be at McAlester, OK about 80 miles west.  Given the weather at the time we decided to go for it.

When we arrived at McAlester the weather had cleared and we learned that the crew was working at Big V Feeds, on the northeast side of town.  Shortly they received permission from the UP dispatcher to enter the UP's north south main over which they would then run down to their own route.  The train, pulled by a B23-7 came down the UP and crossed the AOK's former Rock Island Choctaw route.

It pulled past the switch in the left background and pushed its train around the connecting track in the southwest quadrant of the wye.

After photographing the train we headed back east with a stop at the company's head quarters in Wilburton.  The only power well positioned was a pair of former BNSF B40-8Ws, still in BNSF paint.  We took this photo of a pair of super 7s next to a former Mid South Paducah rebuild and continued east.

After a brief stop in Howe for some roster shots, this time sun lit, of the B23-7 parked there, we continued on to Heavener, OK.

We arrived in Heavener about 11:30 AM where a coal train was getting ready to head south.  We would chase this train over Rich Mountain.

Our first stop was at Howard, AR.  Mr. Mindfall came out to talk to us.  Following retirement from a Navy career he had worked for BNSF out west until a heart condition forced him to retire.

The grade really slows heavy trains so even though it is not a particularly long climb it is easy to keep up.  The next large open spot was a few miles upgrade.  He is a railfan and a great source of information.

A north bound manifest was in the siding at the top of the hill at Rich Mountain, AR.

We therefore elected to shoot the coal train at CP North Rich Mountain.  The train is actually traveling east.

Here is the DPU at the same location..

We then backtracked to Heavener in time photograph a second coal train at Petros, OK.

The train had 2 DPUs.

Returning to Heavener we proceed a mile or 2 north to Forest Hill where we caught a grain train crossing over as it proceeded down to the fueling pad and yard.

We ended the day at Howe where we caught HKCSH.  The track ending at the Barrier is the far eastern end of the Arkansas - Oklahoma Railroad.  The B23-7 is directly behind me.

As the HKCSH pulled down the connection between the AOK and KCS is in the foreground.

It was a great day.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.

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