Yeah its Trailing But Look What its Trailing

In my perfect world the first Canadian National heritage locomotive I would see and photograph would be ET44AC No. 3008 on the point of a southbound on the former Illinois Central mainline in east central Illinois.

As it turned out my first CN heritage unit was the 3008 and it was running on the ex-IC in east central Illinois. But it was trailing and headed northward.

What’s special about the 3008? It’s the Illinois Central heritage locomotive.

Yeah, my first sighting of it was as a trailing unit, but just look at what it is trailing. No. 3008 was assigned as the third of three units pulling train A407, the daily Centralia, Illinois, to Kirk Yard in Gary, Indiana, job.

In recent months this train has typically operated with former IC SD70 units, many of them still in their IC “death star” livery.

So what we had on Saturday, May 1, was a pair of original IC SD70s, Nos. 1028 and 1001, both wearing their “death star” look teamed up with a “death star” IC heritage unit.

This begs the question of which of these units is the heritage unit.

The 3008 could have been the leader on the A407. It’s nose was facing north. I would later learn that the 3008 was removed from the A407 in Champaign and put on another northbound train as a leader.

I don’t know if working with original IC units is a first for the 3008. CN heritage units are allowed to roam the CN system, which is quite vast so the 3008 will be matched with a wide range of CN motive power.

Whatever the case, this motive power consist was one instance in which I didn’t mind all that much that the heritage unit was trailing. Three out of five isn’t a bad day’s work in railroad photography.

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