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Archive for the 'Along the line' Category

Photos and Story by Martin Burwash

The Montana Rail Link is a regional line that tends to think big. Maybe it’s the big skies of the Big Sky State. When you are having issues with a tunnel what do you do? Remove part of the tunnel, of course! Essentially, the narrow smokey hole through the Great Divide west of Helena, known as the Mullan Tunnel needed an upgrade. With the arrival of the newer hi-tech locomotives, the SD 70 ACe to be exact, the narrow confines, high heat and thick carbon laden exhaust was more than the computers and circuitry of the new engines could handle. Unit after unit, the engines assigned to help trains over Mullan Pass were falling victim to the harsh interior of the tunnel. Full Story

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Took a break from family vacation in the Blues I got out last tuesday.

Started out day break in LaGrande, was an unusual scene with no trains in the yard at sunrise. Found two trains parked east of town on the main and coming down the grade from Telocaset.  More…

 

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In search of the eponymous Brewer, Illinois

Photographic adventures of a young railfan

Glen Brewer

When I was a young boy, and of course typically not very interested in such things, my father mention to me one evening that there was a place in Illinois named for our family. He knew our branch of the Brewer family had pioneered near Danville at a very early date. Father went on to tell me that this place was located somewhere near the north side of Danville along the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad. He didn’t think it was actually a town….  (more)

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The Wreck of the 8099

Kent in SD

A BNSF manifest from Sioux City was cruising north towards the Willmar MN junction. As it approached Clara City, a major siding location, a southbound grain train pulled into a siding. All except for the last two hoppers anyway. Those apparently picked a point and went sideways on the mainline. The northbound manifest did see the hopper, but it was way too late to stop the train going roughly 25 mph. Hitting the hopper caused the engines to derail. Along with about 80 other cars! Most of these were empty ethanol tankers, which went on their sides in a neat little row…  (more)

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Hi-railing with Buck

It’s a sunny Friday morning and Buck is about to work west, making his weekly inspection of the mainline over Mullan Pass. His territory today will go from the depot in Helena to just beyond the west switch at Avon, on the west side of the mountain…(more)

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Cane Creek Sub – Potash Branch

Skyview

The ex DRGW now UP Cane Creek Subdivision (Potash Branch) runs through exceptional scenary in Utahs Moab canyon area. The branch leaves the Green River Subdivision at Brendal, UT (mp 533.8) and runs some 35.8 miles to the potash mine at Potash, UT, passing within several 100 yards of the entrance to Arch’s National Park…. (more)

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The Gulch

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The Gulch

Martin Burwash

Officially it was termed the “Tacoma Hill”, or to some the “Tacoma Eastern Hill”. For me, a kid growing up on the east hills of Tacoma, it was simply, the gulch… (more)

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Grainy Afternoon

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Grainy Afternoon

Two23

About a month or so ago I was working in west central Minnesota, following the BNSF’s Marshall sub north of Marshall MN on Hwy 23. Where the TC&W (Twin Cities & Western) tracks cross the BNSF tracks near Hanley Falls there is an ethanol plant.  (more)

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The Long Way to Lombard

Martin Burwash

Sometimes how you get there is more important than where you are going. Lombard, Montana would be one of those kinds of places.  (more)

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Unlimited Ceilings

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Unlimited Ceilings 

ccaranna

Just as a broom can whisk around madly to and fro kicking up dirt, so too can trains on the Norfolk Southern Sandusky district. Upon a first-time casual visit you may need to shield your eyes to keep the debris out, but be careful…an attempt at blindly braving the storm may result in getting caught up in a blustery whirlwind of activity and being blown away… (more)

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