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Cowl Units Around Town

madsek01's picture

With a pair of cowl SD60Fs assigned to most pusher moves out of Pokegama, it has been easy to catch cowls around town. The 5527 and 5548 are usually used to push heavy CN northbounds up Steelton Hill but can also be seen on transfers to BNSF, UP, and Proctor.

A few days ago, the 5527 and 5548 shove the regular morning northbound (M347) under Becks Rd. on Steelton Hill.

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Usually the two 5500s are on the back of the Proctor Transfer, but on a Sunday trip they got to be the leaders and stayed up in Proctor to lead a transfer back down. Here they are again under Beck's Rd. this time northbound with their Helper Link and transfer "blinkie" on the front of the 5548.

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On the Missabe side, the pair of SD60Fs that remain have been more difficult to catch as they usually shuffle back and forth between Proctor and TH on the MRF. This service seems to fit it since these two units (5529, 5503) don't have straight air. But, there are surprises on the railroad and the 5503 and 5529 were paired up with DM&IR 215 on a PRS that handled an ore train to the docks. I have seen the 5300-SD40-2Ws working the hill, but not with ore cars.

Very dark, misty weather along the lake but rare enough to warrant a shot of the cowls pulling an ore train off the dock. Yes, they did bring the train down the hill.

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Otherwise most other hill trips in late June and early July have been run with DM&IR 215 along with a couple of SD40-3s. Nice seeing the maroon on the hill. I have been able to shoot it quite a few times despite the terrible I-35 cluster road work which makes chasing up and down Proctor Hill less enjoyable. Until I dig more out, here is at least one with the 215 leading a more standard PRS set.

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Kevin Madsen
Superior, WI