Monday, August 15, 2011

A plan comes together!

(Train sightings on 8-13-11.)

My plan for Saturday was that once I was finished with my scheduled platelet donation, I would check the internet to see what the progress was of NS's 056 that was scheduled to come east to Manville. Normally this high and wide load of a heat exchanger are done in the afternoon so as not to interfere with the morning rush of intermodal traffic. I figured that with a 9:30 platelet donation, that would leave me sufficent time to donate and then head trackside to see this move.

Going on the internet I read where it was still in the Bethlehem area around CP Richards around 10:30. My arrival at Three Bridges around 12:19 would mark the start of a long wait. It was something I didn 't mind since it was a fairly nice day to be trackside. Shortly after my arrival, the block signal would change to indicate a eastbound was coming but when? Time seem to drag after that, perhaps the anticipation of seeing 056. Finally around 1:45, a headlight would appear off in the distance. It was NS 056. Motive power was NS 3421 (ex-CR 6515; SD40-2) and NS 5612 ex-SOU 2823; GP38-2).

 After Three Bridges, it was on to Manville's 13th Street grade crossing for a few more images of this train. Seeing that heat exchanger, estimated to be about 145 feet long, was impressive and definitely a challenge to photograph due to its immense size. After passing through Manville, I opted for one final shot of this train pulling into Manville yard where another surprise would await. CSX's Q300-13 had leased power as its leader. HLCX 7181 (ex-BN7181) and CSX 5480 was heading east through Manville yard. By now the platelet donation left me fatigued and I decided to call it a day. My dual plan to donate platelets to help someone in need and photograph NS 056 contributed to accomplishing my goals for this day. I like it when a plan comes together.