"Vommit Bonnet" Heads North News Story Posted By Kevin (Click Name To Email)
Sunday, April 23, 2006 - Yesterday I got word that BNSF 9647 was one of two rear DPU units on a northbound coal empty on the Joint Line. BNSF 9647 wears a one-of-a-kind paint scheme...the scheme given the nick-name "vommit bonnet". When Burlington Northern and Santa Fe merged in 1995, the new railroad went through a few experimental paint schemes before deciding on the "green and cream" scheme for the final image. One of these experimental schemes copied the pattern of the famed Santa Fe warbonnet.
My dad and I set out yesterday on the Joint to try to find this unique unit. We were half way between Sedalia and Castle Rock on Highway 85 when it presented itself, clipping along north! We chased the train back to Denver (with it being in the lead most of the way). In Denver, the train stopped long enough for a brief crew change, and twenty minutes later, it was departing north on the Brush Sub.
We gave chase north, coming up with eight shots on our way. The train took the siding at Tonville for a meet with a westbound coal load. After that, however, it was clear signals all the way to Bijou, where they again took the siding. Bijou is actually located in the town of Fort Morgan, roughly halfway between Denver and the Colorado/Nebraska border.
At Bijou, we had the opportunity to get some good coverage of the vomit bonnet while they were waiting for the westbound. Unfortunately, we had to leave and head for home before the westbound got to us. We had no complaints though as the weather was great and the day was very good.
Today (Sunday) I spent a few hours in the Denver area in search of two SD70ACe's on a northbound coal empty. BNSF has received 11 SD70ACe's so far in 2006 (out of an order of 70). BNSF 9376 and BNSF 9382 were spotted in Monument heading north just after noon. I headed to South Denver to see if I could find them. Indeed, I spotted the train tied down on Main 3 (waiting for a fresh crew) at South Denver. While I could not get shots of BNSF 9382, BNSF 9376 was stopped at the Evans Street Station for RTD. I hung out and got a few roster shots of 9376 and a new ES44AC on a train tied down on Main 2!
Finally (for this weekend), on my way home from shooting the ACe, I went past North Yard and spotted an unpatched Espee SD40M-2. SP 8586 was sitting near the fuel tracks in North Yard. There is quite a bit of stuff in the way, but it was the best I could do from public property.