Heading Home – Heavener, Page, Rich Mountain, Vandervoort, and DeQueen – 25 June 2007

by admin on 2017/06/25

Good morning.  I am tired.  I am tired from all of the action on this trip, and I am tired, a decade later, composing these gigantic photo essays for this trip!

The pictures from this last day, Monday 25 June 2007, of this five-day out-of-state trip are not bad, but they are no more inspiring than – are anticlimactic compared to – yesterday’s bountiful feast that included the KCS rocket motor train.

I Want To Go Home

I mentioned three days ago, on the way north, on the second day of the trip, that I wasn’t sure if I learned on that day that the recently-cleared-out area between the old highway and the track starting about a half-mile north of the fuel racks was now used for refueling by truck, but, if I hadn’t learned it then, I definitely learned it by today.

Ah, okay, I see what is happening here, and I see why the trees that were here were removed.  So many trains that come through here have locomotives at either ends of the train, and, even though having fuel racks at both sides of the road crossing at the north end of the yard meant that this could work, it would mean stopping the train twice and potentially taking up space in the yard or, in the other direction, not using available space in the yard and holding up other trains.

So, what this new arrangement means is that regardless of the power arrangement on the trains, if two northbound trains and two southbound trains came into town at about the same time, all four could be fueled at once.  This has made the process much more efficient, and the mobility of the trucks helps when the length of trains varies.

So, while the rear-end locomotives of this northbound empty coal train are getting fueled at the fuel racks, the truck just goes to the front of the train to fuel the front end locomotive, wherever it is.

And that may be the trainmaster or someone bringing a fresh crew to the head end.

Back at the fuel racks, here are the two rear-end DPU locomotives.

Yeah, it’s strange (to me, at least) that this train had only one locomotive on the front but two on the rear; perhaps one of the locomotives on the rear wasn’t running, which would make sense, since two locomotives seems to be enough for an empty coal train.

Hey, look who decided to join the fun.

Behind our northbound coal train is a more interesting-looking head-end of another northbound train.

Since the empty coal train was about to blast off, it was time to relocate to the South Howe Hill for a shot, and, there, there was a southbound loaded coal train coming through.

Right then, it was known that that was the train that I’d follow out of here and on my way home, as happens on many last days on the mountain.

This, of course, presumes that the train would not stop in Heavener for much longer than it takes to refuel and recrew.

That is the rear-end DPU.

Here comes the northbound train, with one locomotive leading.

Yeah, that’s rough, but this is better.

Yes, that’s better.

Okay, well, now, it is time to say goodbye to Heavener, a great place.  It’s time to chase our loaded coal train up the mountain.

The first stop is at Page, where, not surprisingly, there is a northbound train waiting in the siding.

Before the southbound loaded coal train left, a southbound loaded grain train left ahead of it, and both would meet the northbound empty coal train here at Page.

Here is the grain train.

It meets the northbound train.

For some variety, and perhaps because I feared that the northbound train might start moving ahead and block my shot, I relocated to the other side of the track for the southbound loaded coal train, which came 44 minutes later.

Yeah, it looks like my fears that the empty train might block my shot were unfounded.

Here’s the tail end of our loaded coal train, which appears to be the C-KCTU, headed to a Texas Utilities plant.

And, a few seconds later, the tail end of the loaded coal train passes the head end of the empty coal train.

It looks like there has been some tie work happening.

Now, here comes the northbound train.

I like that shot.  Now, it’s time to resume the chase of the southbound loaded coal train, and we next catch up with him across the state line at Howard, Arkansas.

Next, it’s time for one last stop at the Rich Mountain Country Store.

Come here, Chase!

Awww, that’s a cute dog!

Visiting Chase was always fun.

It looked like there was some sort of work train or something parked here.

Okay, now, it was time to head further south, homeward bound; eighty-one minutes later, here is our train again, at Vandervoort, a favorite location of on-the-way-home-from-Rich-Mountain foaming.

Yes, the rains came.

Fifty-four minutes later, it’s time for one more view of this train before putting away the camera for the remainder of the trip and focusing on getting home.

This is at DeQueen Lake Road, north of DeQueen, and our final view is of the rear-end DPU of this train.

That’s all.

This was a good and productive five-day trip, don’t you think?  Thanks for checking out this series.  I’ll see you tomorrow with one back-home picture and some more thoughts on this trip.


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