November 22nd, 2013

Beware of Trains

Railroad Traffic Jam at Fernley

Fernley siding, which is immediately across the street from our house (it's on the north side of the main line; we're on the south side), is the longest siding (almost 10,000 feet long) on the Union Pacific main line between Sparks and Lovelock, and dispatchers appear to prefer it as a location for setting up "meets" on the single-track railroad. This morning, however, things got out of hand.

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It was otherwise an ordinary day here at Fernley, with the usual amount of train traffic. There was an oddball load that went through last night — a rotary snowplow on a flatcar — and I knew it was coming, because it was an oversize load (out of loading gauge) and the dispatcher had been having to baby it along all day, making sure it never was in a position to foul adjacent tracks. I was all set up to shoot video as it went by; however, by the time it got here, it was so dark that I wasn't able to get a clear shot of it. I assume that it was one of UP's rotaries returning from repairs back east, but I know nothing more than that.