John L. Mathis

Railroad Photography

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BNSF 9024 - adds helpers at Louviers, CO on January 11, 2014.

BNSF SD70ACe 9024 is stopping at Louviers, CO which is just north of BNSF's Big Lift yard. They will add a set of manned helpers here for the climb to Palmer Lake, CO. Manned helpers were regularly used on this grade until the late 1990's. From then until recently, BNSF switched to run through distributed power and left the extra power for the entire run. Recently however, with the increased demand for power for the North Dakota oil trains, BNSF needs all the power it can get, and has reverted to manned helpers for some trains between Big Lift (south of Littleton) and Palmer lake. The helpers are 6 axle AC's. They are not connected to the train's air lines and can disconnect on the fly. This uses software called "HelperLink" and while waiting here, the crew was familiarized with it. The tumbleweed on the lower left of the locomotive is a product of the recent windy weather here.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 - 1/1600 sec - f/5.6 - ISO 200 - Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD lens @123mm (effective 246mm) with MMF3 adapter. Processed with Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Photoshop CS6.

 

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This work is copyright 2014 by John L. Mathis , but licensed under a Creative Commons License.