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Western Railroad Discussion > Loaded unit fertilizer train roaring through amid hazy/smoky sky.

Date: 05/22/23 10:45
Loaded unit fertilizer train roaring through amid hazy/smoky sky.
Author: jmulhol2

A 81-car westbound (geographically northbound) loaded unit fertilizer train (made up of old rusty three-bay-covered hopper cars) in a 3x0 power configuration (conventional style; i.e., no DPU) is seen here roaring past MP92 on the BNSF Hillsboro Subdivision between Thompson, ND and Grand Forks, ND during the warm and hazy/smoky lunchtime hours of 05/21/2023. The smoky skies continue overhead owing to the large active Alberta, Canada wildfires. This train was loaded and originated near the St. Louis, MO area and is eventually bound for unloading in the loop track at the "CenDak Cooperative" grain elevator in Niles, ND (a bit north and west of Devils Lake, ND) along the BNSF Devils Lake Subdivision.

The crew (most likely a Dilworth, MN crew) aboard this train was talking with the Grand Forks Dispatcher since they were running low on operating hours. To the crew's knowledge, they were supposed to bring the train to Grand Forks, ND for a crew change; however, the Grand Forks Dispatcher asked if they could make it all the way to Niles, ND (their final destination), or at least Devils Lake, ND to tie down. There was apparently a Grand Forks, ND crew on duty that was supposed to take a Grand Forks, ND --to-- Minot, ND mixed manifest train (H-GFDMIN) to Devils Lake, ND and then switch trains to this one and drag it the rest of the way to Niles, ND. The crew aboard the train said: "No one ever tells us anything" with a response from the Grand Forks Dispatcher: "Me too" (LOL...). After the Grand Forks dispatcher talked to the "chief", he came back on the radio to tell the crew that a fresh Grand Forks, ND crew will be fired up to relieve them in Grand Forks, ND. Just another day on the railroad, eh? 

BNSF #6239 (GE ES44AC; built: 10/2008)
BNSF #1035 (GE C44-9W; built: 11/1996; H1 paint scheme)
BNSF #7878 (GE ES44DC; built: 05/2010)

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Date: 05/22/23 11:20
Re: Loaded unit fertilizer train
Author: timz

At the elevator, the fertilizer gets unloaded ...
into the elevator?

Date: 05/22/23 12:41
Re: Loaded unit fertilizer train
Author: plowboy

I'm sure they have a seperate fertilizer facility.  They wouldn't want the possibility of contaminaging a bin full of grain.  It's entirely possible they use the same loop.  


Date: 05/23/23 17:25
Re: Loaded unit fertilizer train
Author: ns1000

Yep, it sounds like a normal day on the rails.....

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