Up until a couple days ago, it had been just over 4 months since I’d photographed a moving train (with my camera, not with my mobile device). A combination of other priorities, general frustration with certain elements of the hobby and a lack of traffic each contributed to this hobby break. For instance, instead of watching trains, I spent one weekend digging holes in my backyard. No big deal…you’d think, and normally you’d be correct. But…this involved renting a small digging machine (excavator) and removal of a tree stump. And will further pull me away from the railfan hobby as I painstakingly use hand tools to regrade and smooth out the ruts left in the yard from the excavator. But it’ll be worth it, as this also gave me the chance to cross several projects off of my landscaping to-do list in the backyard. Wiping out most of the lawn in the process is a bonus in that I won’t have nearly as much to mow for the next several months (rest of fall and beginning of spring).
Back on May 2, I happened to be in the right place at the right time to catch CSX’s D711 (or something like that) job work its way up 32nd Street in Port Huron (Township). Thanks to COVID, that weekend’s planned Tunnel City Railway Show had been postponed to the fall (and has since been pushed back several more months to at least Spring 2021, owing to restrictions on how many people can be in show room at the same time). I don’t recall why or how I happened to be in the neighborhood to catch the train, but here it is:
Watching CSX road diesels trundle up and down 32nd Street has been something of a fascination, on the off chance that I happen to be in the right place at the right time to see the movements. About 8 years ago, I shot this from a little closer to the wye:
Here’s a similar shot from 2015, with the train heading in the opposite direction:
The DTE Marysville power plant, visible in the photo above, was removed a couple years ago. I did manage to shoot CSX power in front of it shortly before it was demolished entirely:
While I’m pulling shots out of the archives, here’s a (2017) vintage shot of an empty coal train moving through Marysville. It doesn’t sound like there will be many more (if any) coal trains moving through Marysville in the future.
The shot above was one of a couple I took during a slow chase of the empty coal train. I don’t recall if any of the other locations yielded a shot that was good enough to share.
On slow days, it’s more tempting to chase the CSX trains to/through Marysville. Here’s a coal train I apparently chased back in 2014:
Back in 2010, when we had first moved to St. Clair County, I took advantage of not having to drive an hour each way to railfan in the Port Huron area. The day I snapped the shot below, I had no idea that one day I’d live within 2 miles of this photo location, or that someday I’d ride my bike over this crossing on a regular basis. Amazingly, that’s an autoparts boxcar behind the locomotives- Chrysler may have still been shipping/receiving via rail at the time of the photo. The photo was taken in 2010, but wasn’t published until 2014.
Finally, here’s a shot of the CSX road train at the north end of the 32nd Street run. On this particular evening, I wasn’t the only one out to see the train…
“It’s Gaining On Us!”
Speaking of memories- both individuals photographing and waving at the crew or “running” from the train in the two shots above have since relocated out of the state, making shots like this impossible to shoot again.
There is more to come- I promise.