Pulled up to a rural crossing and saw these homeowners sitting in lawn chairs by the tracks.... leaned out the car window...
"Are you waiting for the train?"
"Yes. do you know when it's coming?"
"Yes." (I had my scanner and tweets from the train on my cell phone.) "Would it be OK if we sat in your back yard and waited with you?"
"Sure but no smoking and no drinking."
"No problem. Could I park in your driveway?"
They pulled out 3 more lawn chairs and we spent the next two hours in the shade under their tree and got a shot without any other foamers in sight.
SP Daylight 4-8-4 4449 emerges from the forest at the Rock River into storm clouds at Chana, Illinois on the way to Chicago. It was not the day I hoped for but at least I got one decent shot and heard something very unexpected. It is crossing the detector right here and after the train passed we heard...
"Detector milepost 95.5. Hot box detected. Right side, axle six. Left side axle six." If you are counting that would be the last driving axle which sits right under the firebox... and yes... I'll bet it's hot.
This was the end of the day as I got delayed a half hour by a kind young State Trooper who wasn't happy with my rate of speed... $75 and home.