I Got Lost

by Steve Eshom on December 29, 2012

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Montana December 2012

I got lost.  The Lost Local that is. On my last day in Central Montana the local which runs out of Great Falls to serve industries and branch lines from Moore to Conrad made a trip to Moccasin and the Grove elevator loop.  As normal the local power is primarily painted in BN colors though this time one odd duck, the 2352, came along.  On the southbound trip the train consisted of 2 covered hoppers.  On arrival at Moccasin they lined themselves into the Grove elevator loop and headed around to the fertilizer facility.  There they spotted the first car over their dumper.  While the first car dumped the power ran around the loop to the other end.  They then spotted the rear, now first, car and waited while it dumped.  I found it unusual (these days) they waited for the customer to unload the product instead of just spotting and running.

Lost Local

BNSF’s Lost Local passes the Grove shuttle train elevator on its return trip to Great Falls.  Dear BN BNSF 1504, your logo is showing through!

The next chore involved a 31 car pickup.  After two tries with the dispatcher to see if they could get paper work on the hazardous cars they knew they had to pick up they reluctantly backed on the the Central Montana interchange track and began the search for their cars.  Come to find out their pick up was not amongst the 60 or so tanks spotted on the interchange.  Instead they found their 31 empty rail cars sitting on the Moccasin siding.  I’m not sure why there was so much confusion over the location of the pickup and whether or not the Great Falls yard had given them the right paperwork (which they had).

Once on their way north I chased the train to a couple of my favorite photo locations around Benchland, Stanford, and Geyser.  With the sun and the mountains out I chose a couple of locations which would put the train right in some of the best scenery in Central Montana.

Lost LocalThe Lost Local, with empty rail cars in tow, is just about to blast through Geyser, Mt.  Geyser is set at the base of the scenic Highwood Mountains.

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