Saturday, December 17, 2011

Guthrie, Kentucky

When I was in Tennessee earlier this week, I had a chance to step into Kentucky on Sunday evening. Since I was in Clarksville, it was a mere 5 or 6 miles of driving to cross the border into Kentucky. I chose Guthrie because it was close and it had a few rail lines showing on the map, including an interchange. One of them was clearly the R.J. Corman Memphis Branch that goes through Clarksville, but I was not sure what the other line was that they interchanged with. I thought it might be another R.J. Corman line.

It was after dark when I left Tennessee and stumbled into Kentucky, but that's OK. I drove down into the town of Guthrie and headed for the first rail line I saw. I noticed that the line was signaled and that there was a green light facing west.

I looked at the crossing and I saw a CSX sign there. "CSX Transportation. To report stalled vehicle blocking crossing or other emergency CALL 1-800-232-0144. Refer to crossing 345 229 L located at 00H 215.95 milepost."

Ah, CSX! That explained the signals. I would not have expected a short line to have signals on their line. This was a good sign. I hadn't seen any CSX action since May 2007 when I was in Chicago.

Soon a headlight came into view from the west. It was a long way off but it eventually came closer and closer. I had my 50mm prime lens on the Canon T1i, because of its superior light sensitivity. I tried recording the train using my Canon T1i but I was too close to the crossing for the 50mm lens and I recorded only the middle of each car. I'll spare you the agony of watching that video. ;)

After that roared by, I went prowling around the town. R.J. Corman has a four-door engine house in the wye. I tried to take pictures but they didn't turn out very well. I expect there were engines inside but there were none outside... except for CSX 2630 (a GP38-2) idling in the CSX yard. I was mindful of the NO TRESPASSING signs and it was not in a photogenic location.

I drove a bit east of Guthrie and stumbled back into Tennessee. Guthrie is really close to the border! While shooting photos of the moon, I heard horns blowing so I waited for the next CSX train. It was not a long wait.

This coal train had three engines: CSX 306 (AC4400CW), CSX 5457 (ES44DC) and CSX 20 (AC4400CW).

I went back into the town and poked around a bit more. I saw a green light facing east so I parked at the east end of the CSX yard, hoping the yard lights and my car's headlights would provide better illumination. While I was waiting, a fellow stopped and asked if my car had broken down. "Nope, just waiting for a train, thanks!" It turned out to be another coal train.

The two engines, CSX 778 and CSX 783, are both ES44ACs.

I found a Louisville and Nashville caboose on display, and I was just about to take its picture when I heard the distant sound of horns again. Back to the crossing to shoot... another coal train.

This one had CSX 537 (AC4400CW) and CSX 4500 (SD70MAC). The train slowed down and eventually stopped, for a meet. I was stupid and didn't get in the right position to catch the other train of the meet, although I did see it roar by.

I went back to grab a shot of the L and N caboose and then headed back to Tennessee. Not bad for two hours in Kentucky.
Louisville and Nashville caboose in Guthrie Kentucky

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