Day 1, Saturday, 03/24/01
What is that sound? Must be the alarm clock. What do you mean it is only 0330? Time to get up. Have to pick up David at 0500 in downtown Salt Lake City. David was in town on a business trip from New Zealand and had a free weekend. Grab a cup of coffee and do a quick trace of the T-2's. We have a Black and Gold T-2 on the point of the MDVRO-23 due in Helper in the early afternoon. Nothing else special going on.
Finally get out of the house at 0430 and head north. Normally, getting to downtown is a piece of cake. Just drive a mile to I 15, head north to 600S and bingo, you are there. Not today. I 15 is closed into the downtown area. So it is I 15 to I 215 to I 80 and finally 600S.
Pull up in front at 0455, load David's stuff and try to find the way through the construction to find a way out of town. Finally find a I 80 west onramp and away we go. Our plan was to catch either the ZRODV or the #6 at the top of the hill and chase it to Helper. On the earlier trace, #6 was running two hours late so our target was the "Z".
Finally get to I 15 and back on track for the run south. Get on US 6 eastbound, turn on the scanner and head up the hill. 0715 arrive at the top and no word on the scanner of the "Z". Hmmmmmm. Wonder where it is?? Head on down the hill and pull into Helper. Nothing going on at Martin so head to the yard. The T-2's were in the process of making up the Dirt Train.
The scanner is still quiet so head to the Wildcat Loadout. Nothing there either. Head off to CV Spur for a look. Bare! Well heck, let's go get some good old B&G and more coffee. Good stuff. We feed our faces and hop back into the truck. Scanner goes off for Dirt Train.
Well, finally some action. Head off to the north side of Wash down the dirt road. Get turned around and head around the curve to set up. Darn, it is here already. Oooooops. Mad dash down the pavement to the turnoff for the road to the bridge between Mounds and Banning. Get there well ahead of the action. Dirt Train is just entering the Sunnyside Sub. Get setup and notice a cloud of dust coming off the road down below. Must be someone chasing the train from Mounds.
Time to check out the people that came up from Mounds. Much to my suprise it was Paul "Z" and Mike. Talked for a couple minutes and then they were off to catch the #6 that was heading for Mounds. David and I continued the chase of the T-2's. David got some good shots. I just ran him to the good spots and left the camera in the bag.
Time to head back to Helper and see what we can find. Found out there would be no "Z" today but there was a UP coal loading out at CV Spur. Checked out Martin and Wild Cat. Still nothing. It would stay that was all weekend. Hard to believe there would be no Utah coal trains. "0", zip, nothing. Very strange. Not only that, no BNSF around. The only good news was the MDVRO-23 coming to town.
Grabbed a bite to eat then got word the "M" was running real late. Aaaarrrrgg. Decided to take David up Spring Canyon for a look see and pictures of what is left of the old mine sites. Back to Helper and still dead. Time to head to Colton and chase the UP coal that had left CV. David got shots of it all the way up there. I got one.
In the mean time, the scanner was working full time. Have a loaded Skyline coal coming down the hill and the ZDVRO coming up the hill to Colton. We must have came to the right place at the right time. Here comes the coal train heading around the corner. Then he turns off the lights. Hmmm. Here comes the "Z".
Still no word on the MDVRO-23 so decide to chase the coal train to Gilluly as David had no shots of that area. I got off one shot.
Time to head back up over the hill to check on "M". Starting to get late and the light is getting worse. Been bad all day but now the sun is starting to go down. Stop at the west end of Kyune and wait and wait. Finally say the heck with it and head back to Helper to find out what is going on. The "M" has been in the yard a long time. As we come around the corner at Willow Creek, lo and behold, what do we have here. Pulled over to let David run across the road and get some shots. As luck will have it, the "M" was only making about 5MPH up the hill. He got some great shots of the T-2 on the point and the four T-2's cut into the middle for help. Made his day after a slooooow start.
Well, time to check in the motel and grab a bite to eat. I had stopped by earlier in the day to tell the desk I was in town. It was kind of "Hi, I'm in town. Bye."
Last Update 03/27/01
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