Trackside in Kansas

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A few shots I took while waiting for train traffic in Kansas the 4th of July weekend. My awesome wife came out and sat by the rails with me, and we had some great quality time during the long stretches between trains. I don’t think there’s any real schedule for rail freight traffic, but I think I’ve developed a little bit of a feel for the rhythm of the traffic at home. In Kansas, I had nothing. After essentially losing a drag race against Union Pacific 2607, we elected to stake out signals where I figured we’d have a couple of minutes warning before the train arrived.

The above shot is looking south along the main line just south of McPherson, Kansas. The long straight track also stretched north toward McPherson and you can see the mirage on the tracks:

There had been a lot of rain in Kansas before we arrived, and lots of areas were flooded. Water pooled up around the tracks as well.

Later, we drove east from McPherson and found a spot near Galva, Kansas. As we approached the crossing, I saw a train coming from the east; but there was no way I could actually get in position to take pictures of it. Despite the sense that there wasn’t much reason to do so, we hung out for a bit after the train passed at the crossing. I was completely astounded by how straight the rails were. We don’t have anything like this near where I usually take photos.

Looking east:

And from the same spot, looking west:

I also snagged a couple of photos of the rail fasteners. Through Colorado Springs, the rails are fastened to concrete ties; and these aren’t used too much any more. These spikes seem to be working their way out of the ties.

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