Photo By: Kevin Morgan

Green and cream SD70MACs are still pretty common on coal train on BNSF, but it isn't very common to find five such units on a single train! The last four units here are idling, apparently in a power move. UP does this quite often, particularly on the Moffat, but I haven't seen it on BNSF very often.
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User Comments (4)

Posted By Hontz On Monday, April 14, 2008 At 10:02:16 PM (PT)

No problem. I don't know how much you get out in the afternoon, but good trains to catch on the Brush Sub for power moves are the M-LINDEN and H-DENGAL. Both trains are used to shuttle power back and forth, to what I assume are the Topeka shops, but who knows where they go. The yard power is typically hauled in for major repairs by these trains.  
The LINDEN is usually slotted to arrive late afternoon, but its M status sometimes leaves it in a siding for hours while empties fleet against it. The DENGAL is harder to catch in daylight, as it usually gets called for 2100 or so. Seeing 6-8 units on these trains is pretty common, and sometimes you can catch some rare lash-ups. On one of the colder days last week, the DENGAL left with four units: a KCS SD40 on the point, followed by a KCS SD45 and another KCS SD40, and trailed by a BNSF GEVO.  
One of your photos from this week shows an EMD leaser that got plastered in a grade-crossing wreck, and I believe that was the LINDEN on that day, followed by two CN SD70I's, which later brought the train to the yard, and were sent back east on a DENCHI later that evening.

Posted By Webmaster On Monday, April 14, 2008 At 1:50:27 AM (PT)

Wow Hontz, thanks for the outstanding explanation and information. Since I'm along the Moffat Sub taking picture more often than the Brush Sub, I just hadn't see this before!

Posted By Hontz On Monday, April 7, 2008 At 2:38:05 PM (PT)

Actually, we shuttle power on the empties fairly regularly. UP does it more frequently, which is probably due to their practice of running their loads in 2x2x2 or 3x2x1 configurations. UP's empties rarely seem to carry power anywhere but up front, probably due to train handling reasons/rules. Either way, they use more power on their loads than on the empties, which can imbalance things. Not only that, but it's probably the case that when you see an empty with 6 motors up front running over the hill, it's all the DP's for that train riding where they won't provide harsh in-train forces.  
Our usual practice is 2x2 on loads, and then to cut out a unit front and back and return to the mines 1x1. Even when we run the Chihuahua trains over the Moffat, they don't run with mid-trains. It makes it easy on the hostlers and everyone else involved when we need to make power mods, but I'm not sure how it affects train handling. I don't hear about many break-in-twos, so it's probably not an issue.  
In sum, since we typically run 2x2, and only occasionally 3x2 or 2x3, and usually only then in bad weather accross the Palmer Divide, the balance is usually maintained. However, when I'm in the yard, I usually see at least one empty per day that has 4 or 5 units on the front, and none on the rear. NINE units is pretty rare though. =)

Posted By Alan On Monday, April 7, 2008 At 6:01:46 AM (PT)

Superb photographs Kevin. I always look forward to them this side of the pond.  
I know realize why UFO's visit the United States far more frequently than the UK - your railroads and highways are very wide and straight - it makes the place more easily found.

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Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 10:32:52 AM
image date

Location Information
City or County and State
Lockbuie, CO

Brush (BNSF)

Milepost or Control Point

Train Information
Unit Number
BNSF 9823

Photo Information
Camera Make/Model
Canon / Canon EOS 20D
Did Not Fire

Focal Length
28 mm
1/250 seconds

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