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@ScoutingDad posted:

Gary, thanks for the photos and map. With my imminent move to Grand Rapids, looks like we are at the end of the line. But good to find places to railfan.

Hi Scouting Dad:

Welcome to Michigan: Durand Station is my favorite place to go rail-fanning. It is an historic structure with both freight & Amtrak Service.  The station is beautiful on the inside with a lot of marble floors and walls. It is open most weekends and it is also open for Amtrak, about two hours before the scheduled arrival time to about an half an hour after.  Inside their is a Model Train Club, Gift Shop, Amtrak & small museum.

Gary: Hope to see your out Rail-fanning at Durand Station. 🚂

Railfanning and Riding the rails this past weekend in Reading PA. We were super excited to see and ride behind Reading and Northern’s beautiful T-1 2102, albeit for a short time. Mechanical difficulties took her out of commission as we entered Port Clinton. A pair of SD50-2 took over for the rest of the journey. No word on what 2102’s difficulties are. Hope they get her running for next weekend’s fall color excursion.


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Last edited by John E K

Great pictures everyone, and there’s many beautiful pictures and awesome videos to. @RSJB18, Bob, cool passenger train near your golf course and great video, wow. I have a friend, in Clarksville that bought a new Pontoon boat just before the Pandemic, so 2 years later, we took the boat down the Cumberland River also the Red River and we went right under the big swivel bridge that allows the RJ Corman RR. to deliver goods to the Zinc Plant. Oh what fun we had. Happy Railroading Everyone CC43DC34-BD89-448B-9001-EC78D58AE30741B66D58-B13A-4629-B3FF-D843B01DEDEE3EA3813C-9AF5-438E-A4ED-9EAE2866A6D2BE910DFD-EC61-498A-BE74-D037188107C04ECDB3B8-CCF3-48B4-B391-7DCBE2F08C94AD9FBB5E-F9E6-4248-8179-B11FAE547B390B62E1F6-90AE-492E-8325-98F055883F9532F665C8-153A-4F85-B035-24BF06184997


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Detroit Windsor Railway Tunnel • October 4, 2022

We are now hanging out waiting for the Canadian Pacific #8797 arriving from Windsor Canada with autoracks filled with new Chrysler vehicles from the Windsor’s Final Assembly Plant. This two portal railroad tunnel goes under the Detroit River, between Detroit Michigan & Windsor Ontario. This tunnel opened in 1910 and it is now owned by The Canadian Pacific Railway. I am standing on the Bagley Ave. Road Bridge.

Arriving from Canada.

1 Out of tunnel

2 Out of tunnel

3 Out of tunnel

4 Out of tunnel

Departing the United States

5 To Canada

6 To Canada7 To Canada

The Water Tower

8 Water Tower

Google Earth

Google Earth Tunnel

Hope to see you out rail-fanning: Gary 🚂


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  • 1 Out of tunnel
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Last month, we went to Minneapolis for a week.

Our rental condo in the “revitalized” northeast part of downtown was conveniently one block north of the light rail station (in the shadow of the Viking’s massive US Bank stadium) making our trip in from the airport a snap.  

The location on the south side of the Mississippi River was formerly the site of many mills, freight houses grain elevators etc. and the Milwaukee Road and NP freight yards that served them, now a trendy location as our rental condo was located on the former row into Milwaukee Road Depot, it’s old train shed now a convention/event space and its head building a Renaissance Hotel.

Likewise some of the former industrial structures were saved and repurposed for mixed use, museums etc. though sadly Minneapolis’s massive GN station was long gone, torn down in the late 1970’s. The station’s rail line approaches have now been repurposed to street or bike trail use including the famed stone arch James Hill Bridge above which is now also part of the many pedestrian/ bike trails.

While I skipped the Amtrak station across the river, I did shoot the suburban Northstar service, above its Minneapolis terminal housed below adjacent Target Field. Despite the impressive station facility here post-covid it currently serves only a pair of morning inbound and afternoon outbound schedules operating an hour apart from each other, running on former GN trackage northwest to Big Lake.

The state funded Northstar service rosters a half-dozen MP36PH-3C’s for power and a fleet of 18 Bombardier bi-level coaches.

The stub end terminal is adjacent to a pedestrian trail that parallels the BNSF line about a mile up to the Mississippi River.

The above shots of the 4:30 departure were from the bike trail and road that replaced the former NP/Soo passenger main on the south side of the river.

While waiting for the 5:30pm departure a southbound BNSF freight passed over the bridge. You’ll note the amputated switch on the right that used to access the old GN station’s west end trackage.

Returning a few days later I found a double header covering the second after-noon 5:30 departure. The current four car consists seemed to be easy for a single MP36 so I was intrigued by the need for a second unit.

Securing a bridge vantage point over the throat of the terminal, the 5:30 departure smoked it up more than usual so I’m thinking one of the two units had acted up on that morning’s inbound run and the second was added for insurance.   

Nice looking trains anyway, the livery is very similar to the light rail cars, the trains certainly looked clean and well maintained (despite the smokey start.)

The light rail currently has two routes; one “Blue Line” south to the airport and Mall of America, and the other “Green Line” to St. Paul (above) There’s an ongoing build of a Southwest line to Eden Prairie that’s mired in funding/nimby/overruns that they now project gets done by 2027 at the earliest.  


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Last edited by atlpete

Gary, thanks for all the aerial views you post, so that those of us from elsewhere can visualize your photo locations as they relate to the surrounding landscape.

atlpete, thanks for the interesting Minneapolis photos.  I rode the Rock Island Twin Star Rocket to visit family in 1952, and again over the 1956-'57 Christmas season.  The Milwaukee Road Station was fascinating to me as a kid.  Saw a little Soo Line train there, and also saw a Skytop observation on Milwaukee Road.  In 1954, I rode the Omaha Road (C&NW) train (the North American) from Omaha to Minneapolis, and vividly recall passing over the stone arch bridge.  

It's good to see some historic structures still in use there.

The Northstar commuter trains are manned by BNSF crews, and they are some of the best I ever rode with.

Last edited by Number 90
@Number 90 posted:

Gary, thanks for all the aerial vies you post, so that those of us from elsewhere can visualize your photo locations as they relate to the surrounding landscape.

Hi Tom: Thanks for the compliment about my post, “Detroit Windsor Railway Tunnel”. When I was there I met a real locomotive engineer, just like you. Ray spent 37 years as an engineer. At Great Lake Steel, Detroit. Below is a photo of Engineer Ray on the Bagley Street Bridge. Notice the hole in the fence. This is where I had my camera and the tunnel in the background.

Ray Engineer

Hope to see you out rail-fanning: Gary 🚂


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@Mark Boyce posted:

Great job on the Windsor Tunnel shots, Gary!  It’s great Ray let you take his photograph!

Thanks Mark: Yes Engineer Ray said I could take his photo. I handed Ray my YouTube business card and he granted me a YouTube interview for my channel. Below is the thumbnail for the video. It is scheduled to be televised on Wednesday December 14, 2022 at 4:15 PM EST.

You meet the nicest people out rail-fanning.

Thumbnail DDetroit Windsor Railway Tunnel

Hope to see you out Rail-fanning: Gary 🚂


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This is a wonderful thread and there’s so many folks sharing great pictures, great videos, great memories for all of us to review. While driving home from Evansville Indiana, as I passed gate 1 of Ft. Campbell, there’s a Railroad bridge where RJ Corman Railroad delivers merchandise to Ft. Campbell. I live 10 minutes from gate 4. So, they have painted a sign on the bridge that I think is uniquely cool. While driving, I took this picture, hopefully you can read it. Happy Railroading Everyone 08087448-7881-4F12-8982-FFA9444D4821


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@RoyBoy, if I get caught taking the picture while driving I might get in deep trouble. For many years this bridge was painted Tan, nice, clean, but no pictures. For about 6 or so months they’ve put up these pictures on the bridge, I think it’s so neat. Then, I said to myself, hold the I-phone on the steering wheel and just push the buttons while going under the bridge, and that’s what came up. I would love to take the Last Train To Clarksville, a song made famous by The Monkeys…. Thank you for chiming in. Happy Railroading Everyone

High Noon At The Michigan Central Station • October 4, 2022

We are now hanging out at the Michigan Central Station. The future home for Ford Motors new engineering and research center. Ford has already moved into adjacent buildings. The construction is underway.

Micigan Depot Front Oct 2022 IR

This was shot with a Canon DSLR & converted to Infrared Effect with Adobe Photoshop. I used to do this with Kodak Infrared Film. When using Infrared Film the camera had to be loaded and unloaded in total darkness. The film was sensitive to the visible light spectrum with decreased green sensitivity and infrared radiation up to 900nm in wavelength, and some ultraviolet radiation as well.

When I was teaching High School B&W Film photography. The advance students enjoyed this process, because the end results were amazing. The students did the developing of the negative and prints in the darkroom.

Hope to see you out rail-fanning: Gary 🚂


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  • Micigan Depot Front Oct 2022 IR

01E2D350-91C7-41D1-B64C-5AAF04E1480654ECFB0F-C76E-4833-A86D-952B1708B3FE0D203118-6C9D-4B3B-A4B0-CF5F17CDA3B9937077D7-0672-44E4-94B5-1FCD15FBA8D05DC65575-56DF-4635-8638-A564C85DFF72B0170C75-F050-4E78-B559-B3D6FACF04CEI rode on the Iron Horse Rambles this past August. A few days before the excursion the Railroad announced it would be a double header with both of their steam locomotives, 425 & 2102. That was a pleasant surprise! I highly recommend that if you haven’t been on a Reading & Northern excursion that you do so in the future. Here are a couple random photos I took that day.


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The second part of the chase...after waiting a few hours at Rook yard, the Southwestern Pennsylvania (SWP) Geeps that I had stumbled upon by chance continued east on Wheeling & Lake Erie's 610, an extra interchange and yard job. The W&LE sent the Geeps with a regular interchange of LNG tanks for the Allegheny Valley Railroad at Bruceton, and the SD40-2 and SD40-3 in charge of the train had to work hard to get the train through Castle Shannon. The 610's crew was fantastic; one of the conductors rang the cab-mounted bell on 2001 in the yard, and tossed my friend and I one of their marker flags.

The Texas Compound is located at the 9000 block of Highway 290 West, Austin, Texas. The project commenced in 1984 with the acquisition of a Santa Fe Railroad Depot at San Saba, Texas which was set for retirement and demolition. This building was purchased from the Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company for $1 per square foot and moved to 9120 Highway 290 West, Austin Texas in the summer of 1986. At that time this address was out in the country, far beyond the Austin city limits. Later acquisitions included smaller Santa Fe outbuildings from Coleman, Cleburne, Sanger and Barnhart along with boxcars obtained from Cameron and Miami, Texas. These railroad structures have been leased continuously since 1986 to a Purina Feed dealer.

In later years, additional acreage was purchased in the same block, to the west, and the project has continued. Later acquisitions include the Santa Fe Railroad Depot from Dumas, the United Oilfield Supply warehouse from Snyder, and Texaco bulk fuel warehouses from McCamey and Spur. In addition to these West Texas structures, all of which were rescued from demolition, the developer has snatched five old stainless steel railroad passenger cars from the jaws of hungry scrap yards. These cars represented the pinnacle of luxury travel in the prime of the railroad streamliner era. Five of these cars have been relocated to the property, being three "Texas Zephyr" Railroad passenger cars, and two Southern Pacific "Sunset Limited" passenger cars. The 'Texas Zephyr" passenger train was operated daily between Dallas and Denver, via Wichita Falls and Amarillo, by the Colorado & Southern (Burlington) Railroad from 1940 to 1967. The cars have were first built for Chicago, Burlington & Quincy's "Denver Zephyr" in 1936, and later assigned to Texas service. The "Sunset Limited" passenger train was operated daily between New Orleans and Los Angeles, via San Antonio and El Paso, by the Texas & New Orleans Railroad (Southern Pacific) starting in the 1880s. The cars here are from the first streamlined cousist, placed in service in 1950.

Most recently we have relocated to the site the old National Oilfield Supply warehouse from a ghost town in the Permian Basin named Midkiff. This structure was built in 1944, when wartime steel availability for civilian purposes was quite limited. The original corrugated iron for this structure was so deteriorated that it is being given a new skin upon restoration.

An application has been submitted for a site development permit to enable the location and restoration on vacant acreage to the immediate west of four more West Texas structures. Potential rescue candidates have been located.

Thematically, this project represents the dawn of the machine age in West Texas between 1900 and 1950. The oldest structure is the San Saba Depot, built in 1911. The newest items are the Southern Pacific railroad cars, placed in service across Texas in 1950. The project is focused on infrastructure of the railroad and petroleum industries in Texas.

All of the structures and railroad cars are restored for lease to commercial tenants.

In addition to the Texas Compound, the developer has also restored a Santa Fe Railroad bar-lounge car that is currently leased for excursion train service to the Austin Steam Train Association.0452EC2A-7276-473A-A811-4D44C2B640D3F70CAE60-D737-4017-BA49-0A5EF02ED793D918B9C7-10CF-4A26-8192-73C3FCFD4F7B


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Last night, I went to Napavine Hill, south of Chehalis, WA and found everything was slowed down due to the afternoon UP switcher out of Longview. I have no idea where the power was, but the rest was fouling main one. The only train I managed to get on video was a northbound grain train.


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