Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The Road to SDI-Columbia City, IN: Day 1
With a recent photo job planned for RailAmerica, Steel Dynamics Inc. and LB Foster, I decided that I would drive from my home in White River Junction to Indiana with a planned stop in Pittsburgh at the LB Foster headquarters. This would also allow ample opportunity to do some shooting of rail action along the way and give me a chance to stop in and see my parents outside of Hershey, PA. Though a bit out of the way, I figured on a drive south from Whitehall, NY to Belden Hill Tunnel <IF> anything would be in the afternoon picture there. Heading from home to Whitehall, I came across the Vermont Rail System ethanol train departing town with a mixed bag of leased power - the GMTX GP38-2 2189 leading GMRC GP40 304, GMTX GP40 3105 and LLPX 2334. Having these trains as close neighbors, I let that one go and continued on toward Whitehall with the hope of running into the CP 252 train that would likely be southbound about the time I arrived.
My recollection of the lighting for the time of day led me to the Route 22 overhead bridge in Fort Ann, NY, where I would officially kick off the day's photography with the CP 252 being led by CP AC44CW 9813 and CITX SD40-2M 3100.
A trip to the other end of the yard found the crew aboard the 256 conducting their brake test and readying to roll south. The consist had been a pair of ICE blue-and-yellow units bracketing a CEFX SD40-2M in SD45 carbody. Today's train would be departing with ICE SD40-2 6446, CEFX SD40-2M 3127 and the last ex-Canadian Pacific SD40-2 still in CP red paint on the ICE - 6214. With the air test underway, a trip south toward New Milford, PA to grab fuel (no I didn't use a full tank to Binghamton, but started with only half a tank...) and make myself a sandwich before setting out to find the first location. Again in texting with Brian Plant (who by now was on his way south also), the decision was made to head to the south end of the controlled siding and wait it out there. From ground level the shot was rather fouled by high grass again - but atop the truck - well, you can see the results.
Making a quick turnaround - which on that narrow road and my Nissan truck - well, I made it and then headed for the overhead bridge at Hop Bottom that would thankfully allow just enough light to capture a fairly well lit image of the 256 passing mile 648 of the CPR Sunbury Subdivision.
And alas - the bolt up the hill yielded the following photo...
With the day getting later and my desire to make my parents place before it got too late, I figured this was a SCORE and was pleased with my efforts of Day 1 on the journey to Indiana. I explored a few more trains along the way, but didn't feel like shooting anything else with the end goal of Roma Pizza awaiting at my parent's place!