A Change of Scenery

A lot’s been going on lately, aside from the lack of posts here. I’m behind on posting photos here, but wanted to share a couple I took yesterday as part of a short trip over the (Michigan-Indiana) border.

First, my original plan was to spend a day chasing whatever trains were moving on the Wabash between Fort Wayne and Lafayette. Unfortunately, a few wrong turns and a general desire to do something else intervened, and the only shot I got of a train on the Wabash was this stone (ballast?) train tied down in the yard at Peru, waiting for a crew.

I’d heard that Kokomo Grain had had a car painted with their logo, in a rare case of the prototype following the model. The Train Exchange, a hobby shop in Kokomo, had produce a series of HO scale covered hoppers last year that were only slightly different than this car. I was able to pick one up at the Kokomo train show back in February, and while the car I bought is a different body style, it was still really cool to get a photo of the new prototype.

I was surprised to see both US Rail Geeps were on the east end of the Winamac Southern Railway system. The 412 was sitting just north of the passing siding on the north side of Kokomo. The 409 was sitting a few miles north in a siding with its stacks capped, but with another line running south and west from the other side of Logansport from where the Kokomo line terminates, and no trackage rights between the two lines, there must be something on the other line…right? Yes, I realize I should probably check the Indiana Railroads.org Bull Session to see what the deal is, but I don’t get data on my cell phone in the Logansport area and I had too many other things I wanted to see to take the time to see where the power was parked on the west end of the WSRY. In the meantime, here’s the 412:

Finally, I decided to check out part of the Monon’s remnants before heading north, and homeward. Among other things, I realized Monticello, Indiana is a LOT bigger than I’d realized driving through on US24, and that the CSX line to Monticello is not only not abandoned (the STB in fact denied the abandonment petition CSX filed last year), the only remaining customer had several (6 or 7) cars on site and the rails from Monon looked to be fairly recently used. Not that I got to see a train or anything cool like that, but I did get to see what is purportedly the ONLY all aluminum open top hopper built in the United States (according to the car itself).

There were some other things I saw along the way, but these were definitely the highlights…

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