Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Another Twin Towns Trip, June 3, 2007

On June 4-6, 2007, I attended industry standards committee meetings on behalf of my employer in Bloomington, MN. Since I had the time on the 3rd, I offered to drive the round trip for mileage rather than incur the cost of a plane ticket, and my bosses took me up. After a social outing on the 2nd, I left Belgium, WI about 10:45 of the 3rd.
After passing through some vigorous thundershowers in western Ozaukee county, I topped off the Magnum's fuel in Fond du Lac, and recorded the clouds' imposing presence while driving on Scott Street.

Waiting next to the mostly-vacant south yard office at Shops Yard, the south end switch set blocked Lakeshore Drive.

The class engine of a group of rebuilt first-generation EMDs, CN 4000, also was awaiting its next assignment there.
A typical assortment of road power laid over by the fuel rack that morning.
At Subway Road (Shops North CTC), a northbound manifest was preparing to depart when I passed at 12:06, led by a pair of ex-GCFX "SD45 killer" SD40-3s.

Up the road, after passing a southbound manifest at Winnebago whose power I didn't see, I found a meet between T119 (dropping off a block of auto racks for T357 to forward) and a yard engine, WC 3000.

After leaving 3000 at Cecil Street, whose overpass was well on its way to completion, I first found rain showers near the US10 CN overpass west of town. They would be my companion for much of the next few hours, including my visit to the roundhouse and yard in Stevens Point.

The Plover turn was approaching from the south, and waited as an eastbound manifest pulled through on the yard bypass.

Not much of note was seen after that, save for taking note of the full set of CTC signals at Junction City on the new connections, as I encountered rain coming down "axes and hammer handles" soon after I turned west at Abbottsford. CN RTC West broke the silence as I went west from Chippewa Falls, giving permission to someone to tie up on the siding at Colfax. Having not been there for a few years, I drove the few miles north from Elk Mound. Didn't see any trains, but I recorded the state of the museum there, and the pair of WC Railway-era passenger depots.

After dinner and fuel (24 mpg) in Woodbury, MN, I swung over to Pigs Eye to see what was around.

The switch/local power was also tied up at the UP Hoffman yard, just to the west.

Paired up still, the CP's ex-Kennecott Copper GP39-2s (4598-4599) were tied up near the fuel rack.

In fact, a notable amount of the SOO GP38s were collected at Pigs Eye, hopefully not for final disposition.
A second-order SD60 was staged next to a repainted MP15AC, as well.
Checking into my hotel near MSP airport, the departing showers provided a double full-arc rainbow, only portions of which I could catch with the camera as I went to Minneapolis.

I guess the pot o' gold was in the IDS center that evening. :>)

Finally, as the last day's light faded, I visited the Milwaukee Road depot in Minneapolis, which has been refurbished as a Courtyard by Marriott hotel, offices, and a skating rink in the trainshed.

Details of my return journey on the 6th to follow in part 2.

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