Friday, February 20, 2015

Grand Forks Action

Cleaning the Switch Points
After my little trip to Grafton, North Dakota, I returned to Grand Forks and spent an hour looking around. My first stop was North Washington Street and the industrial locomotives at Gavilon Grain. I photographed these back in April 2011 and I won't repeat the photos here - the Con Agra GP7 and the Peavey SW7 are both still there and look the same.

Next I went to the North Dakota Mill, a massive facility. Fortunately I spotted a BNSF locomotive working there. BNSF 2256 was switching on the north end of the facility. I believe this was being operated via remote control by the gentleman pictured above, cleaning out switch points. The wind was blowing pretty hard and there was a lot of blowing snow.
BNSF 2256 at North Dakota Mills

I took a little video of the locomotive running light over a crossing.

I saw BNSF 2256 in Grand Forks back in 2011. After that, I headed south down Washington to BNSF's yard.

BNSF 3004 was working in the yard in the background. BNSF 1546 and BNSF 2834 were parked near the main building. The main excitement for me, though, was a trio of foreign power.
CEFX 6006
SOO! Well, not any more, but clearly it was a SOO engine.

PRLX 8136
Clearly an ex BN unit!

CSX 7541
Finally, a non-patched engine!

Those were fun to see in a BNSF yard.

There was one locomotive over by the turntable, BNSF 4606, surrounded by some maintenance-of-way equipment.
BNSF 4606
I spotted a pair of Burlington Northern snowplows - BN 972501 and 972510, both of which I spotted back in April 2011.

I was almost out of time, so I headed west on Gateway Drive to get back to the interstate. I noticed a train was heading out of the yard so I resolved to grab it before heading back to the hotel. I got ahead of it, and after a bit of driving to find a safe place to park, I ran back to the tracks. Fortunately the train was heading directly west, rather than going south toward Fargo!

A bit of blowing snow...
I was surprised to see BNSF 3134 and BNSF 2259, the very same locomotives I saw in Drayton on the previous day. The weather wasn't so nice this day!

BNSF 3134 in the snow
They rolled on past me, with a wave from the engineer. Let's just say visibility was restricted...

Grain cars in the snow
On Monday (Louis Riel Day) we headed back north to the US border. At Drayton I photographed BNSF 4382, BNSF 5679 and BNSF 4438. We crossed the border and I kept an eye out for CN 532/533. There was nothing at Emerson but as we drove through the blowing snow, I kept looking and eventually I spotted a train just south of Morris. I pulled over, hoping to get a great action shot in the blowing snow... only to realize they weren't moving. I drove closer and found CN 2640 and CN 2508 with a medium sized train.
CN 2640 parked south of Morris, MB
I don't think there was a crew on board.

That was the end of our Grand Forks adventure. Thanks for reading!

Further reading:


bmillier said...

Another great report, thanks Steve

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, Bill!

Karl A. said...

You shots sure capture the cold well. Thanks for posting them!