Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Spot the Railfan

This afternoon, Lisa and I had just come back from shopping in Stayton and were preparing to unload Lisa's stuff and get my luggage from the trailer when I heard a locomotive horn in the distance. "I heard a train!" I said.

Lisa hadn't heard it, but she had been busy inside the old house. I said, "Jump back in the van; let's go see if we can catch it." Lisa agreed, grabbed her camera, and we hopped into the van and motored.

There was a story in Trains magazine this month that said that the Albany & Eastern Railroad, which operates the ex-Southern Pacific branch from Albany to Mill City through Lyons, had filed to abandon the line, and that they hadn't made a revenue movement in months. Lisa said that didn't make sense because she heard them running a couple of times each week, but she'd never been situated to actually go look.

We drove the 1.5 miles over to the OR-226 grade crossing in Lyons. I wasn't sure just where I'd heard that train. It might have already gone through, or I might have only imagined that I'd heard a train. We got up and walked over to the tracks. Lisa said, excitedly, "You were right! it's coming right now!"

Lisa, who is still recovering from the foot injury she sustained two weeks ago, hobbled back to the van and I looked down the tracks. Sure enough, there were the headlights of a a train:

The AERC track isn't in very good shape, and as the train rolled at a sedate 15-20 MPH, you could see the cars rocking. Lisa came over with the camera and took the shot above, then set up to shoot a video of the train going by. She fretted over not having brought the tripod, but did the best she could. I waved at the engineer as she rolled her train across the OR-226 grade crossing:

I thought Lisa wanted me to get out of the shot here, but what she wanted was for me to get further into the shot. Despite what it may look like here, I was several feet back from the tracks, and there wasn't really a danger that I would back up into the passing train; it's an optical illusion.

After the train had gone, Lisa switched from video to stills and took this photo of me alongside the tracks. You can see the bandage on my right arm protecting the gauze covering my injury from yesterday.

Having played with trains, we went back over to the house, finished unpacking her stuff, loading my luggage, and fueling the van from the farm fuel tank. I then said goodbye and headed south.
Tags: lisa, mehama, trains

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