Railroading in the Peace Garden State

HemiAdda2d Apr 27, 2020

  1. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It was beautiful, and thank you! I did get a train (CP 198, Vancouver-Chicago intermodal), although the early glow was gone by train time almost 2 hours later at 0745:

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  2. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    August is sunflower time!
    North Dakota is second in the nation in sunflower production. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2019/08/23/north-dakota-agriculture-one-word-diverse

    Sunflower fields bask in later afternoon neat MP 13 and Des Lacs ND on the BNSF Glasgow Sub as a grain train approaches.

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    An exceptionally heavy and long double grain load is about to split the signals at MP 12.4, BNSF Glasgow Sub, among fields of sunflowers:

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    Amtrak is late, but a time exposure shows the crop:

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    Heavy rain during harvest season has prevented this field from being harvested into October that snow is on the ground. A grain train grinds by in a 30 sec time exposure:

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  3. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The Peace Garden State also features wonderful autumn color. If you know where to look, and time it just right, you can see incredible color.

    4 shots near Gassman Coulee, west of Minot.

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    Some fall color at night, as a CP stacker glides over the Souris River:

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  4. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Beautiful shots Hemi, that second one has the perfect lighting and the angle is great!(y)
     
  5. OlyPen

    OlyPen TrainBoard Member

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    These are exceptional photos of an oft-derided state.

    Were that the Soo was still a going concern in North Dakota rather than CP.
     
  6. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Many folks would not associate a prairie state with trestles, but as you've seen, there are a few grand steel trestles here.
    There's also wooden ones, in use daily, and supporting heavy unit trains, no less.
    Welcome to the Northgate Branch. Built by GN in the 1960s to serve a CN branch and interchange unit potash trains, the branch no longer serves CN, as the Canadian carrier long ago lifted the rails of its connecting branch. Today, a large facility just north of the international border is BNSF's customer, not CN's, and the branch serves smaller elevators across the branch, as well as large shuttle loaders. The branch is welded rail, but carries across deep coulees on wooden trestles. The Northgate Local out of Minot serves this branch; westbound one day, eastbound the following day except no service on Mondays. The crews call and travel from Minot at 1000 mountain time each service day. Where once 6-unit lashups of Big Sky Blue F's trod, elderly Geeps and Deuces, as well as modern GEs roll.

    This is Niobe, ND, about 10 miles west of Kenmare.

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    Near Kenaston, ND, another trestle:

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    With twilight fading fast, the local reaches Coulee, ND:

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    gmorider, BNSF FAN and BoxcabE50 like this.
  7. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Dang, pics not working for me.....:(
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Even better if in their pre-1961 paint scheme.... :)
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  9. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Another trestle on Northgate Branch, this one just a few miles south of the namesake:

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    BoxcabE50 likes this.
  10. PAPPY1

    PAPPY1 TrainBoard Member

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    Post 26 and 29 no pics. Post 23 and back no problems.
     
  11. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    That's really weird. A number of folks can see them, yet others cannot. I posted these in the same way I have posted thousands of photos on TB, all sourced from my RailImages albums.
     
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    No issues with photos from my vantage point.
     
  13. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    I'm in the same boat. Errm... train.

    Interestingly, both are Hemi's posts? All prior posts, I can see the photos. Something must have changed?
     
  14. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    No idea why my newest Rail Images-hosted pics are not showing up, so I'm attaching them directly going forward.

    More trestles on the Northgate! My goal is to shoot a photo of each one. Still have a few to find.

    When I left you last, a September photo day yielded plenty of fall color. Now that the fall color is gone, we have a totally new look to the branch.

    Overcast and gloom seems to make the branch that much more remote.
    The rolling prairie at MP 12 (from Niobe, the junction of the namesake subdivision with that of the Crosby Sub):

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    MP 16 and a cool hogback:

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    Pipeline Foods might be able to load unit trains, is near MP 12, and a few miles north of Bowbells, ND:

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  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    What is the allowed track speed on that subdivision?
     
  16. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    25 MPH.
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  17. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    There's so much to explore on the Northgate Branch--somewhere north of 50 track miles from Berthold to the border.
    Here we see the Savage loadout at Bowbells, ND. You see the original GN/BN location sign and the loadout flies both the US and Canada flags since it serves international customers.

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    After the local finished its work at Savage, it must wait to cross the CP Portal Sub diamonds, just south of Bowbells. CP sometimes returns the favor to BNSF by making their trains wait for signals to proceed, just as BNSF does to CP train at Soo Tower!
    The sun is set, twilight has fallen and the local drifts across a wood trestle bridging a feeder tributary of the Des Lacs River:

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    Blue hour is almost up, but we're not yet done. At Niobe (see https://www.trainboard.com/highball...peace-garden-state.131357/page-2#post-1152432), we're at the opposite side of the tracks as before, and because I'm too stubborn to put the camera down, my son was with me and we both wanted a shot, we set up a time exposure.

    Northgate Local trundles south over the long trestle as dark night approaches on the prairies.

    My son was with me, and I was helping him set his shot up. When I realized the train was where it was, it was too late to start the shutter to get the full streak, so I made sure he got a shot and salvaged what I could.

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    But wait, there's MORE! (in my best infomercial announcer voice)

    It's dark on the branch, but we still have a train to shoot and the right gear to do it, so why not a final shot of the day?

    We're near Aurelia, ND (the middle of nowhere), and some neat wood trestles are near here--two of them in fact. I have to find and shoot the second one yet. These are among the tallest on the branch, too. While it was overcast and gloomy north of here, it's full-on fog when we reach the last shot.
    The fog made exposure tricky, but we'll give it a go and see how it turns out.

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    More to come, stay tuned!
     
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Are all of the old GN depots gone on this line?
     
  19. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Haven't seen a single one, but haven't looked specifically for them.
     
  20. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Berthold, Kenaston, Niobe, Bowbells, Northgate and?
     

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