Got it This Time

Last month I traveled in a convoy with a couple other railfans in search of Indiana Rail Road trains in western Indiana.

We had a lull in our schedule so we hung out in Sullivan along the CSX CE&D Subdivision in hopes of getting a train passing beneath the coaling tower that straddles the tracks there.

Built in 1941 by the Chicago & Eastern Illinois, the mammoth landmark would probably be expensive to raze.

It hasn’t been used for decades but so long as it doesn’t interfere with current operations it’s probably better to just leave it in place.

Our hopes of getting something passing beneath the coaling tower were soon dashed when a CSX maintenance of way employee who happened to be passing by told us the line was shut down for track work that would be going on for several more hours.

The coaling tower wouldn’t be going anywhere and the track work would be ending with summer’s end so I decided to come back on another day, probably in September.

That turned out to be last Sunday. The weather was nice and I wanted to get out somewhere so I ventured to Sullivan on my own and hung out by the Frakes Street grade crossing, which is the closest public spot to the tower.

I hadn’t been there but a few minutes when I got my first train. That was the good news. The not so good news was that is was a northbound when I needed a southbound.

That northbound, the K721, an ethanol empties train that originates in Alabama and travels on CSX as far as Chicago, stopped shortly after its last car cleared Frakes.

The two tracks that pass beneath the coaling tower include a passing siding that ends on the north end of town.

Perhaps the ethanol train was waiting on a southbound. It wasn’t.

I don’t know why the K721 stopped, but after sitting there awhile it continued onward.

It turns out the ethanol train would meet a southbound about 45 minutes later.

That would be the manifest freight seen above, which enabled me to complete some unfinished business.

Although I’m pleased with the image, I could have done without the tree branches hanging out over the tracks.

I also wonder what this scene will look like next month when the leaves turn. Will it be colorful?

It’s starting to sound like planning for another trip to Sullivan is taking shape.

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