Recent Digital Photos
by Mike Condren

Sept. 27, 2009
Kentucky Street Memphis, TN
The following photos were taken over a 4.5 hour span.

My first train was this NS stack train from the UP which got permission to proceed down the UP track to KC Jct., 1:23 PM. Note that the train gets a flashing red at CN Jct. and moves slowly onto Broadway. By 1:27 PM a BNSF train is seen on their Main 1.

This BNSF "bare table" train reaches CN Jct. at 1:30 PM, the train extending around the curve in the distance. The NS stack train is still visible over the empty well cars.

The next train was an empty BNSF unit coal train on the westbound Southern at 1:58 PM. The train is seen coming through the ladder and then crossing over from UP to BNSF Main 2.

Action dropped off until the next train, the CSX stack transfer to Marion, appeared at 3:15 PM Note an empty coal train is already in sight.

This loaded BNSF unit coal train appears at 3:38 PM and heads to the eastbound Southern track, crossing over from BNSF Main 2 to UP while an empty unit coal train sits at Tower 17.

The BNSF coal train then meets the NS transfer to CN for two moving trains.

At 3:49 PM I hear rumbling behind me and turn to find a third train moving in the form of a UP train going to the CSX.

The NS transfer keeps coming, the BNSF keeps going, and the UP moves into the picture. The parked empty coal train then comes into view. Four trains in the same photo, 3 of them moving.

The NS transfer is still moving around the tight connection at CN Jct. as the power of the UP train reaches the parked BNSF empty unit coal train and the DPU of the loaded unit coal train is about to disappear in the distance. Then there is more rumbling behind me as I turn to see the BNSF afternoon stack train creeping up on me, a fourth moving train. The end of the UP train comes into view as the BNSF slows for the red signal at CN Jct. Note that the NS transfer has cleared but the signal has not, as the dispatcher waits for the circuit to clear before aligning the switch to normal.

The BNSF finally gets a "clear" signal and proceeds toward Tennessee Yard. The UP train is visible over the empty coal train, for 3 moving trains still in the photo.

At 4:48 PM a second BNSF empty coal train pulls up to Tower 17 and parks. Kenny Young joined me about this time.

For some time I had heard a horn from the south suggesting something northbound on the CN. At 4:50 PM a UP empty unit coal train appears at CN Jct., enters the BNSF Main 1, crosses over to BNSF Main 2, and then crosses over to the UP on its way west.

At 5:07 PM the dispatcher cleared the signal for a second "bare table" on Main 2, having to delay it while the UP coal train crossed over. Note the two empty coal trains at Tower 17. As the last car comes into view, another BNSF train appears, again two moving trains.

Now at 5:13 PM there are three empty coal trains side by side separated by an empty track between each.

While the empty coal train on Main 1 was passing, the coal train on the westbound Southern keeps toning the UP dispatcher for a signal to depart on the UP. At 5:30 PM it gets a signal and switches from the UP dispatcher. Then it gets a signal from the BNSF Memphis Terminal dispatcher to cross over to Main 2 and proceed west.

What a good afternoon of railfanning: 13 trains total, including 2 NS,1 CSX, 2 UP, and 8 BNSF.
There were 3 stack trains, a transfer, a loaded unit coal train, 2 "bare tables", 1 general freight,
and 5 empty unit coal trains, 4 BNSF and 1 UP.

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