Author Topic: An Hour in Philip, SD - 9/10/2007  (Read 689 times)

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An Hour in Philip, SD - 9/10/2007
« on: January 02, 2017, 04:55:40 PM »
The weather here has been pretty lousy today and I'm off work for the holiday, so I decided I'd go through and start scanning some slides. Found one box, and looking at the subjects, I'm really glad I did. The date was September 10, 2007. Less than a week earlier, it was announced that Canadian Pacific would be buying out the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern. As a part of my job at the time, I had to drive from Rapid City to Pierre a couple times a year, and I would usually leave with a couple hours to spare so I would have time to see if I could catch anything moving on the PRC subdivision as I made the 170 mile trip over I-90 and US 14. Most of the time, I had very little luck, as the minimal traffic on the PRC makes catching a train difficult, but on this day, I had a bit more luck.

It was a hazy morning but I had my trusty Nikon N90 and a 50 mm lens and a brand new roll of Velvia just waiting to be shot as I pulled into Philip. First thing I noticed was the west freight tied down just east of town, but I also noticed what looked like a crew van driving out the dirt path to where the train was parked! It looked like I was finally going to catch some action on the PRC. I also noticed a lone GP38-2 working one of the elevators in town.

I pulled up by the road train and watched the conductor walk back a couple car lengths to make a cut. I guessed that they'd be setting out some cars here, and I was correct. Once the cut was made, the engineer brought the pair of SD40-2s and a couple grain hoppers into town.
DME 6364 Philip 1 by Baxter  Barnes, on Flickr

Looking the other way down the tracks into Philip, I grabbed a shot of the switcher working one of the elevators.
DME Philip 1 by Baxter  Barnes, on Flickr

With the grain hoppers set out, I took advantage of the fact that the CEFX rent-a-wreck was no longer nose-coupled and grabbed a shot of it crawling slowly back toward it's train.
CEFX 2802 Philip by Baxter  Barnes, on Flickr

With the train re-assembled, the west train set off for Rapid City.
DME 6364 Philip 2 by Baxter  Barnes, on Flickr

Once the road freight had left, the switcher set to work getting loaded cars ready for the east train to pick up the next day. Coincidentally, I noticed that DME 3803 is lettered as the "City of Philip". Pretty cool to catch the locomotive in its namesake town.
DME 3803 Philip 1 by Baxter  Barnes, on Flickr

Once the switcher had the outbound cars sorted, they tied down for the day by the small office.
DME 3803 Philip 2 by Baxter  Barnes, on Flickr

As I was leaving town, I took a closer look at this Santa Fe covered hopper that's certainly seen better days, but surprisingly, is yet to be patched by current owner BNSF. Based on the white streaks down the side of the carbody, I'm betting it has spent quite some time in Bentonite service. Quite a piece of history rolling around here.
ATSF 305114 Philip by Baxter  Barnes, on Flickr

With the road train gone and the switcher tied down, I decided I should probably get on the road for Pierre as I was unlikely I would see anything else soon. I'm glad I went through some old slides today and found these. I'm also glad I shot some of the final days of the DM&E. CP would go on to take over in October, 2008, and would sell off the line west of Tracy, MN to Genesee and Wyoming in 2014. Even though the PRC has seen two new owners, very little has changed. The track is still in horrible condition and sees little traffic, but blue and yellow SD40-2s are still the predominant power as very few of the 50+ ex-ICE locomotives G&W bought at the start up have been repainted into orange. In many cases in railroading, things are always changing, but in West River South Dakota, things have stayed much the same, and it's not such a bad thing after all.


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Re: An Hour in Philip, SD - 9/10/2007
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2017, 02:00:40 AM »
We've driven the Wall-Rapid City portion numerous times, going to and from Washington.  Saw a few trains, but usually not where we could easily stop.

I did take pictures of the Wall elevator every trip.  Our last trip was in 2011, and the old wood/corrugated elevator was apparently torn down not long after that.  In 2011 they had a huge new "tank", which changed the appearance dramatically.

Mom and/or my sister were along every trip, but they didn't mind my stopping, because the elevator is across the street from Wall Drug's parking lot.  So, something for everybody!
N Kalanaga
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