Essex, Montana [October 2004]

In late October, I was able to find a few free days for a trip up to Essex. Aside from an opportunity to photograph trains in the autumn scenery of Marias Pass, I had my usual landowner chores -- picking up the fallen tamarack branches, piling them up for burning at a later date, also removing the remaining "leaners" and cutting them up with a chainsaw for firewood. Lots of work, but also lots of fun.

The first arrival in the morning was this eastbound manifest train, powered by seven units on the front end.
The locomotive consist roars by, but the train shortly comes to rest on Main One.
A short time later, the eastbound Empire Builder chugs up Main Two, alongside the reefers of the manifest train.
The Conductor calls "Highball!", and the Builder glides out of town.
The following morning, the Empire Builder has the track all to itself, but the trailing P40 is suffering from a blown turbo.
The engineer throttles up for Walton Hill, and the wounded trailing unit belches a smoke cloud sure to warm the heart of any steam fan.

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