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Edition #93, January 1, 2009


Photographer: Richard S. Marsh

                                                                            Photo by Richard S. Marsh


While sitting at home after plowing snow most of the night, I got a call that a westbound train is hitting snow, a lot of it. The Canadian National grain extra G84372-25 was 70 miles east of me so I thought Iíd have time to find a drift or two. My next problem was whether or not the roads would be open. As I headed out the main roads had some cover but werenít all that bad. The side and gravel roads are what had me worried, especially where they drifted.

Winds were out of the northwest so the east-west roads were not filling back in as quickly as the north-south roads. I got another call and found out where the train was located, I knew I didnít have much time to find a shot. At the first spot there is a CN maintainer clearing a drift from the tracks with a big backhoe so I headed to the overhead at Beth siding. As I arrived I saw that there is some snow drifted in. A big puff of snow to the east tells me the location of the train, about a mile away.

I plan on shooting the train with the zoom at about 200mm. The train hit 2 or 3 drifts in front of me before I get my shot. When I get back to the car, the wind chill is Ė25 degrees. I headed out the way I came in but over the past 10 minutes the road had drifted in for about 150 feet and a couple of feet deep. Just like the train, I slammed my way through and was grateful I didnít end up sideways. On the radio I hear the train crew stopping to clear snow from the windshield so they can see.

Heading back west, I decided to find a shot off the main highway. I didnít want to risk the gravel side roads and get drifted in. As soon as I pulled over I heard a muffled whistle and jumped out of the car. As I pressed the shutter all I could see were puffs of snow until the last frame when the nose of the engine poked through. I headed home knowing I had some nice shots.

Richard S. Marsh

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