Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween railfanning

Hi, Friend Dale Jacobson and I went out railfanning on Saturday hoping to get some fall foliage with trains in them. Our success was modest. According to Dale there is some kind of law that nice trees and tracks don't coexist. Well, maybe that's true in the Potomac River Valley.

We caught our first train, B842, at Barnesville, MD (above and two below).  We heard a train was having difficulty on the radio and since we had not seen it as we came west and since the grade here is against eastbound trains we assumed the train was west of us and was eastbound.  This train moves coal from Brunswick to Benning Yard outside Washington, DC.  From there the coal will be sent up to Bowie, MD on the North East Corridor and then down the Popes Creek Branch to a power plant.

Dale thought we might catch the garbage train which runs from the Shady Grove Road transfer station in Rockville, MD to an incinerator in Dickerson, MD.  When we checked out this location on Mouth of Monocacy Blvd. we noticed that the signal on track two was clear for a westbound.  Since the trash train would need to pass this signal and then back in on the power plant/incinerator lead we surmised the trash train would arrive shortly.  However, before it got close enough to hear on the radio Q276 called the signal at Tuscarora, one signal west of Dickerson.  Soon after hearing Q276 we heard the trash train at Barnesville, the next town east of us.  Would this work out ok?  It did.  Here is Q276 coming east (above and below) followed by

D765 (the trash train) westbound.

Driving a little further on Mouth of Monocay Blvd. brought us to the lead up to the power plant/incinerator.  After about 20 minutes the power pushed across the railroad crossing (above and two below).

Our next stop was Brunswick where we encountered a flurry of activity.  First up was the Capital Limited followed by

K553 which looks to me like an empty slab train,


Q400, and

W059 (an empty tie train, above and below).  A loaded coal train was sitting here with a pair of SD70MACs.  The coal train did not move till dusk, by which time we were gone.

While we were photographing the work train this rock train left town.  We thought it was going to the Millville, WV quarry.  However, when it passed the quarry lead by we chased it and got it at Halltown, WV.  As clouds were now moving in quickly from the southwest and as neither of us were familliar with the roads in the area we decided to head back east.

Back at Brunswick, MD we encountered coal empties leaving the yard going west.

Our final stop for the day was Point of Rocks, MD where, after a short wait another flurry of trains occurred.  First up was Q217 coming off the old mainline (above and below) followed by

empty ethanol train K671 and

empty coal train E725.  Next up was Q415 but I did not like the shot so I skipped it.

All the while this was going on Q416 was sitting well east of the station having gone into emergency.  After the conductor walked the train and returned to the locomotive finding nothing wrong he finally pulled west at restricted speed.

While the Q416 came by on Track 1 the westbound Capital Limited passed on track 2.

The Cap had a pair of private cars on the rear; a nice way to finish the day.

Thanks for looking.

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