Friday, March 02, 2007

A different kind of railfanning

On Sunday the 25th, M joined me for a day of driving around southwestern Oklahoma, listening to Hank Williams and Bob Wills cd's, and scouting out the area shortlines. We had a few specific missions in mind -- checking out the unsignalled diamond crossings at Altus (which has 3 such crossings), Snyder, and Frederick.

Along the way, we found several shortline locomotives, all tied down since it was a Sunday and harvest season is still a few months away. We pretty much ignored the BNSF trains we saw on the Wichita Falls / Red River Valley Subs... those weren't our objective for this trip. It was definitely a different kind of railfanning day, as we concentrated mostly on the trackage arrangements of shortlines and branchlines, rather than on the trains themselves. Those small Oklahoma towns sure are quiet on a Sunday afternoon... just the kind of places I could get used to spending more time around. Anyway, on with the show...

Our first stop was Wichita Falls, to photograph a few Wichita Tillman & Jackson GP7s

Farmrail - Hollis & Eastern diamond crossing in Altus, OK

This gate protects the BNSF - WT&J crossing in Altus

Stillwater Central - Grainbelt crossing in Snyder, OK

Grainbelt - WT&J crossing in Frederick, OK

K&O GP38 1152 was on hand near the Stillwater Central's office in Lawton.

Nature was reclaiming the former Rock Island south of Lawton ...
While in Altus, we followed a friend's recommendation and had lunch at the Altus McDonald's. The interior is decorated in a railroad theme, with display cases, framed art, and a coin-operated LGB train that runs around a long loop of track just below the ceiling through a large portion of the dining area. For 50 cents, the train will make several loops, and the "operator" can press buttons on a control panel to activate whistles, bells, and various other sound effects. The "moo-ing" cow sound probably made customers wonder if something suspicous was happening back in the kitchen.

Don't bother me, dammit! I'm railroading...

tracks along the ceiling... McDonald's in Altus, OK

Check back in a few days for more... I'll probably add a second section of photos.
nr: John Steinbeck - Sweet Thursday
np: Max Stalling - The Pila Song (on KHYI 95.3 FM)


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