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Western Railroad Discussion > Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)


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Date: 06/01/23 09:07
Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: santafe199

My lunch break turned out to be more of a temporary, diet Pepsi + a cheese-fix, courtesy of a small bag of Cheetos. Crunchy of course! The Cassoday pit stop -Rick & Jenny's Country Store- normally has a respectable short order menu. But today they were prepping for a big community function for Memorial Day, and the grill was closed down.

I left off with ‘alpha’ image #15 having just discovered that 2 trains were lined through Cassoday. I figured the K-177 overpass down near Chelsea might be a good (read: lucky) spot for an overhead shot of 2 trains running side-by-side...

16. At 2:15 PM BNSF 4021 came drifting slowly down Main #2 w/ train U-CCEWAT. But not slowly enough as...

17. & 18. ...BNSF 4235 didn’t showe itself until 2:32 PM w/ train Z-LPKSTO. It was a heckuva try...
(Photos 16-18 taken at Chelsea, KS)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/23 09:40 by santafe199.








Date: 06/01/23 09:08
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: santafe199

At this point I thought about running down to El Dorado for a ‘fine culinary experience’ from the closest fast-food joint. Instead I went back toward Cassoday, and shot another westbound train at 2:51 PM (not posted here) that had also gotten the runaround from train LPKSTO. At Cassoday, against any sane odds I saw that TWO MORE trains were lined west. (I made up my mind right then and there to go buy a Lotto ticket... ;^)

19. With 2 more trains lined up I had a phone chat with my friendly contact. We decided that I should head right back down to Chelsea and set up at the cemetery road crossing (Cole Creek Rd). Rationale: any westbound train getting clipped there will probably stop short to keep the crossing clear.




Date: 06/01/23 09:09
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: santafe199

20. At 3:24 PM the next runaround victim rolled through Cassoday on Main #2. This is BNSF 4692 on train V-BLUSBD.

21. I got it again at 3:34 PM on the elongated S-curve down west of old Aikman.

22. At 4:04 PM the 4692 is finally getting the runaround at Chelsea. But the train stopped too far back and I had to use 300mm to shoot BNSF 3696 on train Z-WSPNBY alongside it. I had 3 total chances to shoot side-by-side running during the day. I came close all 3 times, but no bananas. (just pumpkins... ;^)








Date: 06/01/23 09:12
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: santafe199

After the 2nd runaround at Chelsea I did indeed head on down to El Dorado. I had word at least 1 eastbound was somewhere ‘on the radar’. At 4:26 PM I caught the 4692 again off of the Myers Rd overpass (not posted here), then moved into town to BNSF yard office at the old ‘Tower B’ location. At 4:58 PM here came BNSF 3741 on train S-FRESCO (not posted here). After that I thought I had time to dash through the Taco Bell drive-up window and make it back to Tower B for that eastbound. That turned out to be my only snake-eyes dice-roll all day. While at the window I heard a familiar RR rumble in the distance. But I had an idea! I got my grub and ran out of town straight north on US hwy 77. My plan was to out-run that eastbound by sneaking thru the west door (NW 110th St) over to the Emporia Sub. It would be the first real workout for my new rig, Willie V...

My luck was good. The short-cut dumped me back onto K-177 right in the middle of that eastbound! There was a problem, though. The eastbound was meeting a westbound. At 5:31 PM BNSF 8199 (not posted here) was approaching with train H-GALBAR. In a snap decision I let the eastbound go thinking it was better to try for a guaranteed shot in perfect light. Then I saw the eastbound DP consist was made up of an FXE unit followed by BNSF 604. In perfect light. I reversed my prudent thinking and threw caution to the wind. I would grab-shoot the westbound and run like hell(o) to catch the eastbound after all. It was time to see what Willie V was really made of...

23. It was my good fortune that eastbound train H-DYTGAL was pretty heavy, and was still slogging its way through Aikman. I put Willie V into ‘railfan sprint mode’ and at 5:42 PM caught the head end (BNSF 5167) in a gap off of K-177 a ways north (TT east) of Cassoday. The real question was: could I make it to Theater Hill for what I knew would be the best shot of the day???

24. We could! Willie V was splendid, depositing me in the Theater at Matfield Green with less than a minute to spare. At 5:49 PM in low golden sunshine I got a multi-shot sequence coming around the graceful S-curve.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/23 09:22 by santafe199.






Date: 06/01/23 09:13
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: santafe199

25. And at 5:51 PM I got a great shot of the DP consist, to boot! But I was far from done, Not even 60 seconds later...

26. ...BNSF 8336 popped into view with westbound train Q CHISTO (5:52 PM).

27. At 5:55 PM the rear end of the CHISTO winds its way up through the curves. “Well done, Willie!”



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/23 09:44 by santafe199.








Date: 06/01/23 09:14
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: santafe199

Can you stand one more adventure? I knew another westbound train had a chance to make it into this Golden Hour setting. So I set up in the back side of the Theater and kept a long vigil looking compass north. If a train was approaching I would see it in multiple places through the trees. It took a while, but...

28. ... I spotted BNSF 7164 at 6:53 PM on train H-GALBAR.




Date: 06/01/23 09:15
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: santafe199

29. 30. & 31. It’s to & fro passing by my seat in the Theater was nothing short of inspirational. The rural peace, and quiet beauty of the Chase County Flint Hills can subdue even 16,000 (give or take) growling horsepower from mere Nike swoosh rip-offs!








Date: 06/01/23 09:16
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: santafe199

32. A scenic end to a banner day. DP unit 7245 (+ companion) follow the GALBAR thru the curves in a location that will always be known as Matfield Green.
(ALL photos taken May 26, 2023)

Thanks for the great tips!
Lance Garrels
santafe199




Date: 06/01/23 09:18
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: texchief1

Love those shots, Lance!  Are they running all EBs through there now?

texchief1



Date: 06/01/23 09:20
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: jgilmore

Really great bunch, yeah that was a good choice on the last move to Matfield in perfect light and the crunchy Cheetos, and not just because they match BNSF paint. They taste really good! ;^)

JG



Date: 06/01/23 09:31
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: santafe199

texchief1 Wrote: > ... Are they running all EBs through there now?

Not yet. There is still the leg between Augusta & Mulvane to complete. But for right now, a huge tie-gang project up on the La Junta Sub will divert many day-time EBs back here to the Emporia Sub. It should be an interesting summer... :^)

Lance



Date: 06/01/23 10:22
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: ATSF5669

Way super excellent pics Lance!  You make me want to head back up there again.  Once the final DT is completed it's going to be interesting to see how much gets routed through Wichita/Newton.

Jerry
ATSF5669



Date: 06/01/23 10:28
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: santafe199

ATSF5669 Wrote: > ... going to be interesting to see how much gets routed through Wichita/Newton ...

My guess is it will pretty much revert back to the "old days". They will use the Mulvane ~ Wichita ~ Newton ~ Ellinor route in times of track work, derailments and other misc reasons. The unit grain out of Hutchinson will still run down that way, of course...

Lance



Date: 06/01/23 10:36
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: eastpenn23

Great series! I've never been to KS but these pictures make me want to



Date: 06/01/23 10:49
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: King_Coal

Nice series. Last trip for railfanning in the Flint Hills was about 20 years ago. Need to make another trip. BNSF as opened up some lovely vistas for you to take advantage of.



Date: 06/01/23 11:48
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: Coalca

Great to see capitol expenditures happening. I look forward to all these post about the DT happening there. 



Date: 06/01/23 12:05
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: Milw_E70

texchief1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Love those shots, Lance!  Are they running all
> EBs through there now?

Much like the Topeka Sub, the route via Newton will essentially become Main 3 for the Emporia Sub. Traffic won't be as heavy as it has been but there will still be plenty of action to keep a railfan busy



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/23 12:06 by Milw_E70.



Date: 06/01/23 15:20
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: santafe199

Milw_E70 Wrote: > … Much like the Topeka Sub …

I should have remembered that. But this old dinosaur just can’t seem to get used to the 1st District… er, I mean Topeka Sub having CTC in effect… 🤓

Posted from iPhone



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/23 15:21 by santafe199.



Date: 06/01/23 18:16
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: dwatry

Lance - beautiful shots!

duncan



Date: 06/01/23 21:02
Re: Banner day in the Flint Hills (omega)
Author: monaddave

Love the Flint Hills green, golden hour, full-bore, down-the-pike telly #28 photo in this series. Thank you.
DAF



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