Kalamazoo, MI - 11 May 2017
Grand Elk Train No. 303, with through service from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo, has just departed GR for an evening trot down to the railroad's central yard in Kalamazoo, with four motors and 57 cars in tow.
Our first spot of them is south of town near Byron Center, where they're working a slow order in addition to an uphill climb from the Grand River Valley, along tributary Buck Creek.
Second, we're just north of the hamlet of Shelbyville, where they're again working against gravity on an uphill ascent. The online motors are giving it a good pull, with plenty of classic EMD rumble.
After a successful summit, we catch them again rolling through Martin and shortly thereafter Plainwell. From here it is all downhill to Kalamazoo, as they're now in the namesake Kalamazoo River Valley.
Upon arriving in Kalamazoo, they're got one of the more clumsy moves to complete. They start by rumbling over the Amtrak/MDOT Michigan Line, where until recently Michigan's second-to-last manned interlocking tower stood guard...just a shell now!
Just south of downtown, the conductor and who is presumably a conductor trainee mount the rear end, for the shove around the connector for Gearhart Yard, located to the east of the just-passed diamonds on the Michigan Line.
This backup move is time-consuming, and even frustrating for the people of Kalamazoo, with several major roads tied up each time the railroad works one of these shoving movements.
- WAMX 3534 [GP35]
- WAMX 4225 [SD40M-2]
- WAMX 4209 [SD40-2]
- WAMX 4189 [SD40-2] *WSOR Paint*
- 57 cars [Mixed]
- GDLK RR, Byron Center, MI, Clyde Park Ave xing, on 5-11-17 at 18:40 EDT
- Shelbyville, 10th St bridge, at 19:36
- Martin, Allegan St xing, at 19:50
- Plainwell, Bridge St xing, at 20:06
- Kalamazoo, GR&I Diamond/Willard St xing, at 20:35
- Reversing into Gearhart, onto the AMTK Michigan Line, at 20:50
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