SATURDAY, JANUARY 24, 2004
For other days, see: http://www.trainweather.com/3985.html
Today I got photos of the Challenger from Pine Bluff to Texarkana, Arkansas
and it contains the first shot of the train in Texas. Unlike the perfect
sunny day yesterday, today it was raining, sometimes heavily, all day.
MPEG MOVIE - Steam special speeding through Rison, Arkansas at 840 a.m. With sound. (448k)
Ready to leave Pine Bluff, Arkansas, 750 a.m.
Bearden, Arkansas, 919 a.m. These two were a little out of focus as I temporarily
took the focus off infinity (i.e., I pressed the wrong button!)
Stephens, Arkansas, 1025 a.m. going at track speed, at least 55 mph. It had
started raining heavily here as you can see the water running off the bridge.
At Stephens. Although hard to see, that bridge the 3985 was starting to go
under was still decorated with Christmas lights. I tried to close the lens
enough for them to show up.
Coming into McNeil, 1043 a.m., 2 minutes early! It was raining moderately
here too. This was a service stop and they opened the Sherman Hill concession
car while here.
There was a huge crowd at McNeil. You can see the cars lined up on this side
road, which goes to US 79, one looking toward the train the other looking
away from the train. There were hundreds of people, and a lot were on the
other side of the train. A local policeman told me they had estimated 1,000
Inside the Sherman Hill concession car, which they opened while they fueled the locomotive.
Where's WALDO? Arkansas, that is. Here the train sped through at 1141 a.m. after leaving McNeil.
First photo of the Challenger Super Bowl steam special in Texas. Here the
train is about to cross the old Missouri Pacific, then the KCS just west
of Texarkana, Texas at 1251 p.m. It was pouring.
It was going very slowly here. You can see the smoke linger in the wet atmosphere.
This was the last shot I'll make of this special since other committments
will prevent me from following it all the way to Houston. However, I plan
on chasing again when it returns to Arkansas February 4, 5, and 6. Good
luck to the crew of the Challenger! Specials like this is one of the few
times that the general public even considers or thinks about railroads. For
a brief time as the large locomotive passes, the train is the most important
event in town. Complete strangers become friends for a few minutes - it makes
us all slow down a little, and for a time, the world is beautiful.