Coal Train – BNSF 9166

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It was a cold day. The snow was wet and heavy and incessant. And I had an hour or so to kill. So naturally I grabbed the camera and walked out to a new vantage point to see if there would be any trains coming. For a long time, all I saw was this while I was getting pelted with snow:

We had to go pick up the kiddo from school, so it wasn’t like I could fudge on the time all that much. As the drop-dead time approached, I looked up and saw the signal light had come on (trust me, it’s on — the bottom light is red):

Cutting through the snow, was the headlamp of BNSF 9166, an EMD SD70ACe. Helping out in the front of the train, is BNSF 6182: a GE ES44AC.

I’ve had this idea that it’d be nice to get some photos of a train in the snow with the wind from the train blowing the snow all around. This snow was too wet and heavy; as you can see, it stuck to the engine instead.

Then it was past my position, heading north toward where ever its destination was to fill all those empty hoppers:

I tried to get a picture of the front of the train as it curved around the Golden Hills neighborhood, but the visibility was pretty bad. It’ll give me something to try to capture sometime when the weather’s better.

The usual configuration of unit coal trains along the Colorado Joint Line is two engines in the front, about 100 or so hoppers, and two engines at the rear. Bringing up the rear of this train was BNSF 5856, another GE ES44AC, and BNSF 9029 (another EMD SD70ACe) gives the train some fun symmetry.

Despite the cold and wet conditions, I think I’ll try this again sometime. I’m also looking forward to getting pictures from here in the summertime, too.

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3 thoughts on “Coal Train – BNSF 9166

  1. Dennis Wagoner

    I am about five miles from the nearest active railroad and it is a huge rail yard with a hump for distributing freight cars. It is fun to watch but I am not sure if there are any legal vantage points to sit and get pictures. However, I will find out!

    Reply
    1. matt Post author

      Finding good places to get photos is hard; hopefully you’ll find one; that sounds like some good photos if you can get some.

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Empty Coal Train — BNSF 6161 – Simplify…

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