Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Special Train Coming Through

Shortly after 1 PM today, the regular eastbound "Z" train (high-priority intermodal) came through through Fernley, and as often happens, Lisa and I went out to watch it go by. Not too long thereafter, we heard another train coming, and Lisa was out ahead of me. She spotted it first. "Look! Look! Look!" she shrieked, and I realized it was the BNSF business train.

I did not have my camera-phone on my belt. I just got a new smartphone yesterday, and it's bigger than the old phone and thus doesn't fit in the holster. I dashed inside and grabbed the phone off the desk. But by the time I got the phone unlocked and the camera app launched, the train was upon us, and the cars parked in the Fernley "house tracks" blocked most of the view.

BNSF Business Train

Unlike the UP train, which is painted in UP colors, the BNSF train is all stainless-steel business cars. Lisa, who wasn't running to deal with cameras, got a much better view of the train.

I said, "We have to try and chase this train," and Lisa ran and got travelswithkuma while I rushed to the van and got it going. It was going to be a challenge, because the business train is allowed passenger train speeds (70 MPH). We had to hope that the Z train ahead of it might be leaving yellow signals behind it. We made as good a time as could be expected down to Hazen, but without luck. We got a brief glimpse of the train's rear end with spotlights for inspecting the tracks as we left Fernley, but we weren't able to catch up with it. Probably the only way we could have got ahead of it would have been to do as Lisa suggested and jump onto I-80 and roar up to the US-95 exit (we'd be cutting a corner; the rail route is longer but has better grades), but that's about 40 miles away from here and I still had Day Jobbe work to do.

After we returned home from our fruitless train chase, I configured the new smartphone with one-button access (even when locked) to the camera. I also need to go buy a case for the phone, hopefully one with a belt holster.
Tags: bnsf, fernley, lisa, trains
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