September Nights

Amtrak Cascades train 509 has a clear indication on the cantilever signal at Vader, WA on a beautiful September evening.  509 was the last of 14 trains passing this spot in a 4 hour period on September 12th 2013.

Some of the best weather we have in the Pacific Northwest happens in September.  The sun starts down after 7pm but with the warm days the temperatures are still comfortable enough to be outside after sunset.  Early September usually remains dry so the skies are clear and the bugs are few.  All this adds up to some great September nights outside!

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.