With no cucumbers this year, I decided the time I'd normally be putting those seeds in the ground would be beter spent in Montana. So long about Memorial Day Janice and I made a quick run over to Bozeman to check in on eldest son. This really wasn't a railfanning trip, but with the early morning hours mine to spend...I thought it only right to spend them along the MRL and Bozeman Hill. So here's a little sampling of what I saw.
The morning local drops downgrade towards Bozeman at Trail Creek. With still pletny of snow and sudden warm temps, the creeks were really roaring.
No trip is complete without some early morning glint on the eastside of Bozeman Hill. Here a westbound pops into view....
With a 3-set of ACe's shoving on the rear.
With the advent of DPU's on the "heavies" (grain and coal) the Livingston Helper is now cut-in as opposed to the old system of pushing on the rear. Rather than cut on the fly at the summit, (Muir) the helpers now make the trip all the way to Bozeman where they are cut out. In a predawn scene, a westbound coal train, with a 3 set cut-in ACe helper a a 2 set DP on the rear rolls into Bozeman.
Cutitng helpers into the DP trains requires extra switching in Livingston. A westbound coal train has split its train east of the yard. While the head-end pulls the upper cut clear of the road crossing, a 3-set ACe helper moves onto the main where it will pull the lower cut of cars west to rejoin the train. The coupling complete, the switchman double checks the connections.
Loaded and cocked, the manned cut-in helpers and the two rear DPU's each wait for the command from the head-end engineer to continue west.
A sign of better days in for the shops at Livingston.
A little predawn action: eastbound grain MT's slip downgrade as the sun just begins to kiss the hills in the background.
It wasn't all trains by any stretch of the imagination. A day spent at Yellowstone allowed for some nice images of the park still under a fair mantle of snow.
So once again, the Big Skies did not disappoint.