Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Today's Train of Thought- Dakota Gold, November 21st, 2012

Today's train of thought takes us to the northern plains and a place one wouldn't normally associate with trees of any significant quantity, let alone fall foliage. But a little like the Mohave desert, all it takes is a few strategically located trees to set up a scene with as much fall color as Vermont.

Case in point, this scene out of North Dakota. Here, contributor Steven M Welch caught Dakota, Missouri Valley and Western SD45 #7515 leading a trio of SD50Fs with Bismark to Max, ND train #136 at Falkirk, ND on October 1st, 2012.

The train is seen dragging cars of coal, grain, aggregates and oil in the shade of some trees turning a golden hue as they make their way through some gently undulating grades enroute to Max, ND. Besides the abundant wheat crop which keeps regionals like DMV&W busy come harvest time, the line also handles lignite coal and oil from the Bakken shale.

Interestingly, all four locomotives on Train #136 came to the Dakota, Missouri Valley & Western by way of Canadian National. The SD45 is ex-Wisconsin Central, which was one of many that were deemed surplus shortly after the CN acquisition of the WC about ten years ago while the SD50Fs were acquired directly from CN in 2009.

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