Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: Time for work

Posted by Matt Van Hattem
on Monday, August 15, 2011

On August 4, I caught the morning crew on Canadian National local L504, just as it was starting its day. The GP38-2 has just moved north of the depot on the “tie-up track,” and the conductor in the foreground is walking ahead of the engine to line a switch so the local can enter the main line.

Throughout the month of August, I want to try a photography project that focuses on the trains in TRAINS Magazine's backyard. How many different pictures can be taken in a circle extending 10.27 miles from downtown Waukesha, Wis.?

One of the great railroad elements of Waukesha is that a local freight still originates in town. Canadian National bases morning and evening jobs out of downtown Waukesha. The crews share one locomotive and on weekdays they come on duty 12 hours apart, signing on at the depot you saw in the first photo of this series.

On August 4, I caught the morning crew on local L504, just as it was starting its day. The GP38-2 has just moved north of the depot on the "tie-up track," and the conductor in the foreground is walking ahead of the engine to line a switch so the local can enter the main line.

There's no yard in downtown Waukesha, so the first order of business will be to head to a group of yard tracks 1 mile north, then assemble the train. The daytime crew runs south to Burlington, Wis., 28 miles from Waukesha, where a glass plant and a Nestle chocolate factory provided the bulk of the local's work. The nighttime crew switches Waukesha-area industries.

What I like:

You can see both crew members in this photo. The engineer is in the cab, and the conductor has a determined pose as he makes his way toward the hand-throw switch.

What I don't like:

I would have liked to have zoomed back a bit, but this spot is shadowy, and were it not for the early-morning summer light, it would be tough to shoot here at any time of day.

Galleries:
Flickr: Matt finds the trains in TRAINS' backyard album
Facebook: Trains Magazine Facebook Page

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