Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 18, 2009 and SP4449

On Saturday July 18, 2008, my wife wanted to go fishing with her Mom on a pontoon boat. Knowing that SP4449 was scheduled for the weekend and that it was likey following the Amtrak speeds, I figured we had one shot to catch it. So I told her we could if I could catch the SP 4449 in the process, as the kids would like to see it. Her Mom agreed.

We went out to a point we could see the tracks near Onalaska, WI, from the Black River (Mississippi River), just above the Dresbach Lock and Dam. The track is the BNSF, former 'Q line. As of late, the line has been very irratic for a "schedule". There has been plenty of trains, just at varying times of the day (depends on the day we go looking). This meant we had no idea what, if anything, for other trains we would see.

Before we even got to the site, one train went by, some BNSF, some NS power.

Soon after, another train came by, again from the north. On this line the BNSF typically runs multiple trains in a row (typically 3) in one direction, followed by multiple trains in a row (typically 3 in the opposite direction).

This was followed by a Northbound train(Not shown). All in the course of a half an hour.

At this point it was quiet for a while. I figured it was the time. They were running "late", and we were wondering where they were. I did a serch on my cell phone for SP4449, and found out that it had passed Trempeleau 10 minnutes earlier. At this point, we heard the wistle for a steam engine. Sure enough!

Shortly after the SP 4449 came through, another BNSF southbound train came through with more NS power.

And last but not least. Note the fact that the pontoons are submerged! Not a loading I would like to be a part of! We saw this overloaded pontoon on Lake Onalsaka while we were out and about.


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