Wednesday, June 13, 2007

An Eau Claire weekend, June 9 & 10, 2007

On June 9, I set out on an 'overnighter' to Eau Claire, with a Board of Directors meeting for the SLHTS scheduled for the following morning there at our convention hotel for '07. On my way about 11:30, I went by the usual route, picking up the railroad at Shops. CN 4705-WC 1564 were at the south yard office, with CNWC 6903, at 14:45, and I saw a southbound manifest waiting to get into the yard at the CTH N crossing, led by an IC 60xx-ICCN 60xx.
I hit pay dirt again at Black Wolf North at 15:00, catching what looked like T357 there, led by CN 5715-WC 6002 (!).

Neenah South had T119 dropping off its 357 block at 15:34, led by CNWC 6945-ICCN 6136. Heading west on 10, at 16:10 CN RTC East told T408 to pull into the siding at Weyauwega behind T340, to meet T119. At Hoover (16:49), I saw the tail half of an eastbound manifest, and another eastbound passed through Point yard (led by CN 2427-CN 5366) as I was examining the roundhouse and yard.
Heading west, I found a track crew's equipment in the siding at Rocky Run, and at 17:33, found an eastbound manifest parked at Auburndale, featuring CN 2636-CN 2674-CANAC 8734 on the head end.

Getting dinner at Hudson's in Marshfield after a fuel stop, the radio was quiet the rest of the way west. Playing a hunch, I swung by Altoona yard, and found the UP business train there, it having provided rides to the local residents as part of an Operation Lifesaver promotion that day.

After a few tall cool ones produced by the local brewery, I was ready for a good night's sleep. The Directors' meeting and hotel tour the next morning went well, and after lunch I was headed east again. After a pit stop at the folks' to change the oil in the MR2 (yes, it was due, as well), I saw a "City of New Lisbon" UP power set by Weston III generating plant, consisting of UP SD9043MAC-UP AC44-SP AC44. After fueling in Point, I swung by the roundhouse and yard.

At Hoover, a meet had been arranged, so I pulled in to see the show. First off, T357 showed up at 16:46, a monster (127 cars) led by CN 5328-CN 5366-CN-2410, and featuring 100 empty lumber centerbeams, which snaked by for a long time.

This was followed at 16:57 by the eastbound, featuring CN 5265-CN 5289-WC 2500.

Political commentary was scrawled in the dust on the second unit.
With 5 hours' drive in front of me, I took off when the train doubled back into the yard. Before taking the Winchester cutoff, I heard the Weyauwega detector (MP 216.4) sound off for 462 axles, with "CN 2412 South" involved in conversation on the radio shortly after. A northbound manifest was waiting at Cemetary Road at 18:23 for a crew, led by CN 5712-CN 5500-CN 9450-CN 9540, and the same power (CNWC 6903 and 15??) were at Shops North as the day before. Likewise for Shops South at 18:32:

A northbound was seen at the Quad Lomira plant at 19:02, and I took a grab shot through the windshield in the midst of the second half of my "Golden Earring" feature.

Expediting from there, I was home about 22:15 that night. It was a good trip, covering 847 miles in about 35 hours, counting down time.

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