"Rack 'em up"
Railroads' racks on CP train #281
Oct. 9, 2013

by Dave Ingles

"Vehicle," as BNSF calls them, or "unit trains" of auto trilevels, are perhaps my favorite type of train for telephoto shots. Thru Milwaukee, 5 or 6 afternoons a week we see CP #281, which is sometimes such a train but these days often has "fill" of miscellaneous cars up front. I'm not sure, but I think it originates in the IHB's Gibson Yard, which sorts trilevels for all over. Ford had a plant in St. Paul, MN, now closed, and this train used to also carry hy-cube boxcars ahead of the trilevels, but there still is a distribution yard in the Twin Cities on CP, apparently.

On October 9th, out of boredom or who knows what, as #281 passed me at Dupalinville at 5:15 pm, with nothing but 108 trilevels behind the power, NS units 2751/8828, I put the D70 short zoom on maximum 70mm and nailed the various emblems or initials on the trilevel racks as the train passed. For just "something different," here is the variety of rack owners we usually see on this train. The flat cars themselves are mostly TTX-owned, but some of the railroads do own some, among them CN, FEC, and P&W. I hope you enjoy this "variant" on the normal action shots.

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