Foamer Follies on the Pope’s Creek Branch

by Jim on 2011/06/21

[Jimbaux will only patiently wait for you to disappear for a few more days.]

This Is My Cross To Bear

What, you’re not listening to today’s song?  Anyway, a week ago today, I ended up on the CSX’s ex-Conrail ex-PRR Pope’s Creek branch in Bowie, Maryland, camera in hand.  You might remember my snow shots from this line back in February.  Being a foamer may be my cross to bear, but that’s a negative way of viewing it.  It also may be fun, but that’s a positive way of looking at it.  Whatever the case, I am a foamer, and foaming is what I occasionally do; it helps me maintain my sanity, though too much of it can erode one’s sanity.  As most of you know, however, I have not had that problem at all lately!

You Don’t Know Me, You Don’t See Me

Whatever the case, I crossed over Collington Siding (or whatever it’s called) near the Main Street Carry Out, and I saw a northbound empty hopper train moving below.  Sweet!  I went all the way to Bowie Junction and waiting at Zug Road for a long time.

What Might Have Been

In life, it’s often to just settle for what is and what was, and so is the case for this shot.

Sometimes in life, you just have to take what you get.

Will The Real Slim Shady Please . . . ?

Shut up?  Not yet.  I wanted to finally get an action shot of a moving train on this line, but now I just had to wait.  While at it, why not point down from my perch atop my truck to take a self-portrait on, appropriately, the track?

My curiosity got the better of me, and I headed south to find the train.  I found him waiting a few crossings south of here with ditch lights on, which should have been a clue for me to not go jack around, but is that what I did?  Actually, I foolishly headed north of the Amtrak NEC line, and it was just before I took the shot of these cool old truck below that I heard the horns.

I knew I’d been had.  I knew that there was no hope of me getting the shot at Zug Road since that’s the crossing for which he was likely blowing.

What To Do Now?

There’s only one thing to do now.  Actually, there are two things to do; one of them is to say “to hell with it” and just go home, but that’s not quite what I did.  The other choice was to try in vain to find a shot, and that’s what I did; here’s the result.  This is CSX train B806 or B807 heading toward Benning Yard in Washington, DC.

And that, mes amis, exemplifies better than any picture I’ve shown here why foaming in this place just pisses me off.  A fence, and there are plenty of them around the tracks here, prevented me from taking this picture any farther to the right.  I think I’d have to go to Hawaii or the city of New York to find a place in the United States that sucks worse for foaming.

Peace . . .



1 Tom Becket June 21, 2011 at 15:05

Welcome to the northeast, land of fences, restricted access, nosy cops, and busybodies with cell phones. It can be a real challenge to watch trains there. I grew up in NY City, back before everyone was as paranoid as they are now. It was always a problem to find good public locations. It will take you a while, but you’ll find some.

2 BobE June 21, 2011 at 15:30

Yeah, what Tom said. The Northeast is hard.

However, there are plenty of serene, rural, easy places if you just get a little further away from the city. The RF&P, Sand Patch, Magnolia Cutoff, the Buckingham Branch RR, Winchester & Western, all just a modest drive away.

3 Todd June 21, 2011 at 21:47

You need to get out of the city. Go north and west. There are miles and miles or tracks with plenty of trains.

4 David Horree June 22, 2011 at 14:21

As Mr. Becket said, welcome to the northeast. Get away from the city. Go south of the Mason-Dixon line, it is a different world there where no one bothers you.

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