Matt finds the trains in TRAINS’ backyard: The most elusive train of all

Posted by Matt Van Hattem
on Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Union Pacific local LPA70 switching cars on a spur off the Waukesha Industrial Lead.

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.?

You're watching Union Pacific local LPA70 switching cars on a spur off the Waukesha Industrial Lead. The industrial lead is an isolated piece of trackage that was once part of Chicago & North Western's main line from Milwaukee to Madison.

The lead branches off of UP's Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul main line at a place called Belton, and runs due west into Waukesha. But only 8.7 miles of the line are in service. There's a red board wedged between the rails 2 miles east of Waukesha in New Berlin, Wis., not far from where this photo was taken.

The line's remaining shippers are located in the New Berlin Industrial Park, which is where I photographed MP15 No. Y1377 delivering covered hopper cars to Schoeneck Containers on Aug. 18, 2011. Union Pacific only works this line two afternoons a week, always on weekdays. Of all the trains I wanted show in this blog series, this was the one I was most worried about missing.

Thanks to a tip from our Ad Sales Rep, Mike Yuhas, who closely follows UP's Milwaukee-area locals, I was able to go out at the right time to photograph the train.

What I like:

I enjoy shooting locals, and this image has a classic local freight feel, especially with that distinctive ex-North Western bay window caboose.

What I don't like:

I'm shooting into the midday sun. I tried a couple of other angles, but this scene, with the local actually pulling empties from a shipper, was my favorite, despite the less-than-optimal lighting.

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

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