Monday, November 28, 2016

Italy Trip - 11, Ajacciao, Corsica, France

Hi, The first port on our Mediterranean cruise was Ajaccio on the island of Corsica. Here we took our only shore excursion off the ship.

Our arrival in Ajaccio provided some very nice views of the island (above and below).

The first part of our shore excursion was a bus ride out to Pointe de Parata. There were two Genoese Towers located here built for defense purposes. One was on the mainland the other on the peak at the far right in the above photo.

On our return I was able to grab some photos of a Corsican cemetery from the bus (above and below). Interment is above ground in these small buildings. which appear to be mausoleums.

Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio and there is a statue of him in the Place d'Austerlitz.

The town provided a number of photo ops which we took advantage of. Some of the resulting images are shown above and six below.

The interesting streetlights we have found in Europe during our visits has always intrigued us.

Europeans love to decorate their windows with flowers (above and below).

At the citadel donkeys grazed in what was once the moat.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Montana Trip - 7 and final

Hi, On our final day we followed the 4th Subdivision west from Missoula, destination Spokane for our flights home the next day.

As we were driving west we spotted this location between Toole siding and St. Regis.

We chased the train west and caught it at Quinns. There was no chasing the train any further so we continued west

stopping at Plains, MT. We hoped to catch the Day Gas Local here but first up was the eastbound Z train (above and below).

After shooting the Z train and Day Gas at Plains we were able to get ahead of the Day Gas at Paradise. Much to our surprise it took the 4th Sub instead of the 10th Sub over Evaro Hill. It is shown here crossing the Clark Fork River (above and below).

In spite of construction along our chase road (MT 200) we caught it at Quinns (above and below),

between Quinns and Donlan,

and at St. Regis.

The Day Gas local was followed by this eastbound manifest.

After the eastbound manifest we were able to beat the Day Gas to Superior  where it met a westbound grain train

with two DPUs.

While waiting for the eastbound manifest I took an appropriate photo of my longtime friend, Steve Salamon.

Here is the eastbound manifest on the right passing the grain train DPUs on the left.

When the manifest cleared the grain train continued west, and so did we. We caught it between Paslau and Superior and again

between Paslau and St. Regis (above and below).

Then it was time to head for Spokane. We looked around Spokane a bit but did not find anything we liked so this ended the trip.

It was a very enjoyable trip. Steve was great to travel with and his railfan knowledge contributed greatly to our success. Thanks for looking.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Montana Trip - 6

Hi, On the next to last day of our trip the good weather continued to hold. The main emphasis for the next two days would be to be in Spokane two nights hence so we could catch our flights home on 9/29.

We started the day with an eastbound train of grain hopers descending Bozeman Pass, just west of Livingston, MT (above and four below).

Our final shot of the train was on the west side of Livingston.

A train of coal empties followed the grain hoppers east about 15 minutes later, shown here on the east side of town.

With nothing in the offing we headed west stopping in Bozeman to photograph the business train being serviced. Then we continued west.

Catching another grain train, this time westbound, was our ticket to Missoula where we again would spend the night. We photographed it at Gold Creek,

Jens (above and two below, the third photo is of the DPU),

Bearmouth, and


We got to Missoula just as the Afternoon Gas Local was departing for Thompson Falls and photographed it at Desmet (above and below),

Nagos, and

Evaro. Thanks for looking

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Montana Trip - 5

Hi, Our objective this day was to visit Lombard, MT where the former Milwaukee crossed the former Northern Pacific, now Montana Rail Link, in Lombard Canyon.

As we headed east from Helena we encountered a westbound BNSF coal train in Winston Siding and stopped to photograph the DPU.

Shortly a westbound MRL train showed up with a pair of SD70ACes on the point. We guessed this to be train LM (Laurel/Missoula), above and below

and chased it to photograph it again at the west end of Winston Siding. From here we headed on to Lombard Canyon. Although there are many great views in the Canyon we elected to drive directly to Lombard.

After a difficult drive we reached Lombard where we photographed a couple of westbound trains, a coal train (above and three below) and

grain train in the siding being passed by empty coal cars (above and below).

At this point the sun was getting on the wrong side of the tracks so we left the Canyon and stopped to have lunch at Toston, MT. Then we drove south, stopping at Logan, MT to photograph the westbound Z train (above and three below).

We then drove into Livingston, MT where we found this work train sitting on a spur track.

All day we had been on the lookout for a deadhead passenger special which had been scheduled to arrive in Bozeman in the early afternoon. By evening it still had not arrived but we heard something on the radio so we drove over to the station to see what was happening. Just as we were getting to the tracks the local came into town, above and two below,

and began switching (above and below).

Having completed its switching the local left town.

About ten minutes later the special finally showed up.

Thanks for looking.