Kolin Storage

Coal cars stored near Kolin, MT shimmer in the moonlight.

While Central Montana Railway’s bridges are unusable and under repair the CMR is storing cars where they can.  About half of the track from Moccasin to the former GN Judith River trestle is filled with coal cars of various ownership.  These long strings of cars stand out on the open prairie and are quite a contrast to the wheat fields that dominate this particular area.  Kristi from the CMR told me last month they have over 240 cars stored currently.  Nice bit of income for a shut down railroad.

At one of the grade crossings near Kolin I stopped when I noticed how the moon lit the sides of the stored hoppers.  I spent 10 minutes or so photographing this spot until the moon moved around to where it wasn’t shining on the car sides any more.

Rainy Day

Today has been a rainy day here in Vancouver.  As a result I’ve enjoyed several inside activities including watching some college football (Go Cougs!).   Now, I live in the Northwest so I’m not afraid of the rain.  It just felt good to take care of some chores and not worry about having to be outside.

Since we are moving into the rainy season, and all predictions are it will be a wet one, last Sunday’s photo of of a grain train  crossing from the Hill to Grain Lead seemed an appropriate post for today.  Dark cars on a dark day with dark clouds.  That stands to be our Western Washington weather trend for the next 3 months or so.  No problem for me as rough weather can be interesting and will give me something different to photograph.

I’d rather end this post on a more sunny note so here’s a photo of the 844 when it was in Portland in mid-September.   This was of course on a nice warm evening with fabulous light bathing the side of the engine.  Ahh, I can still feel the warmth.  Sure, I long for the warm, dry days of summer but I know that without the rain and winter weather we get here in the Northwest that this place wouldn’t be a beautiful as it is.

Middle of the Train – Last Round

Here’s the last round of  my middle of the train series.   These are some miscellaneous favorite “middle” photos that depict the great fun cars can be for a photographer.

A long stack train winds along the Columbia River east of Washougal, Washington.

Grain cars on the Columbia Drawbridge at Vancouver, Washington.

An empty grain train is stopped on the eastward main at the Downs, Washington elevator while preparing to make a set out.

A westbound Z train passes over the Wentatchee River under the threatening skies of an afternoon thunderstorm.

Middle of the Train – Winter Edition

Ok, so I’m aware it is August, but some of my favorite car photos were taken in the middle of the winter.  Brrr, fast moving trains and blowing snow make for a cold but rewarding experience for the photographer.  So, here is the middle of train from the middle of winter.

With a string of SP’s legacy behind, a southbound UP manifest pulls a string of laden boxcars up the Cascades near Heather, Oregon.

A northbound UP manifest makes blowing snow in Crescent Lake, Oregon.

With the mercury hovering in the single digits a northbound UP manifest blows into Chemult, Oregon

With a light dusting of snow on the ground a UP stack train glides around the curve at Vancouver, Washington.

Middle of the Train – Sunrise Edition

The neat thing about railroad cars is they are quite reflective and low suns bounces off of them giving off wonderful ‘glint’ light.  Sunrise is of course one of the best times for glint.  Here’s the next series of photos from the middle of the train.

An eastbound empty grain train heads into the Desert at West Daggett California on a soon to be warm September morning.

A stack train crawls uphill past a manifest stopped at Pleasant Valley Oregon.

Just after sunrise another of the multitude of Z trains rolls westbound through Maine, Arizona.

Against a cold wind blowing across the Baker Valley, an eastbound stack train starts its
high speed run for Baker City with the first rays of morning shining on it.