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Losing a Coin Toss…

January 22, 2010

There have been day-long MOW curfews in my neck of the woods,  UP’s Glidden Sub SA012 to SA036. Once the curfews expire, I’ll turn on the VX-170 to see if something might be shootable.

Sometimes the DS will make mention of fleets, EB or WB, depending on traffic. Sometimes there’s a bit less running, so there’s less info from the radio.

Case in point: this afternoon I hear the DS give KCSM 4730 two unforseens in my area, and then radio silence.

There’s not a lot to work with there. All I knew is that this train would go by me. Eastbound or westbound, that’s the question.

If it’s WB, I can get some really nice light on a KCSM Belle. If it’s EB, well, I’d rather not think about it. There’s only one way to find out.

I grabbed the camera and headed to the big curve near the US 59 overpass. I scoped out a nice WB shot, and waited.

You don’t need Paul Harvey to tell you the rest of the story.

I hear a horn behind me. I turn to see the KCSM coming out of the west. Since I had no shot planned for an EB, I almost blew it off. At the last second I change focus points on the camera and bang off a few frames just for the heck of it.

KCSM 4730 and 4731 are EB at MP SA021 (Sugar Land, TX) with a KCS manifest on Jan. 22, 2010.

So I gambled and lost the coin toss.  Had it been a WB, I’d have one more shot with nice light, just like so many others that I’ve taken here.

By choosing to shoot “the wrong way”, I ended up with a unique shot that nicely captures the nice contrast between the freight cars and the nose of the 4730.

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