Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin; March 2017
The little GP CN 7027 is in town. The CN locomotive roster says it is a GP9RM, rebuilt 1991.
Some small GP's have been around Thiele Clay on the northwest corner of Rapids this Winter, including the 7027 this week.
I wonder if the Thiele yellow trackmobile is laid up for repairs? and these gp's are filling in?
Thiele mixes and blends varities of clay (or starch?) (for coating paper) for the paper mills nearby, and its said a switch engine can spot cars all afternoon so batches can be made.
But a track mobile can sneak between cars and spot individuals from each side of their building, rather than have to move a whole string to get to the last car in the bunch when using a big loco.
Anyway, that's just my speculation.
And this northwest corner of town is not always quiet. There used to be 2 tracks that went to Marshfield, and now just a mile remains.
One evening, a DPU on the rear of a loaded sand train heads past Thiele on their way to the end of the line to use the parking space so the limited amount of yard and mainline are kept free. A few years ago, I never imagined BNSF would be passing through town. There's 2 BNSF engines on the head end of this.
The Dura Beauty Lane yard office collects locomotives between shifts.
. . . . (the paper mill fills the horizon.)
In the picture above, the air horn looks just like my Athearn GP-9 little plastic model.
On the 7027, It's interesting that all 4 corners are marked in big letters for direction,
I wonder if that's an aid for new brakemen?
this page was filmed and wrote in March 2017