Canadian Pacific eastbound freight train no. 280 near Winona, Minnesota, on October 8, 2011.
Former Milwaukee Road freight house at Winona, Minnesota.
Canadian Pacific westbound freight train no. 581 seen from John A. Latsch State Park, Minnesota, on October 8, 2011.
Canadian Pacific eastbound freight train no. 298 seen from John A. Latsch State Park, Minnesota, on October 8, 2011.
Canadian Pacific westbound freight train no. 283 seen from John A. Latsch State Park, Minnesota, on October 8, 2011.
Canadian Pacific eastbound freight train no. 498 at Lakeview, Minnesota, on October 8, 2011.
Canadian Pacific eastbound freight train no. 498 at Kellogg, Minnesota, on October 8, 2011.
Canadian Pacific eastbound freight train no. 170 at Maple Springs, Minnesota, on October 9, 2011.
BNSF Railway eastbound intermodal train in Alma, Wisconsin, as an upriver tow navigates Lock 4 on the Mississippi River on October 9, 2011.
Amtrak special passenger train operated by the Friends of the 261 eastbound at Maple Springs, Minnesota, on October 9, 2011, on a fundraising trip to help rebuild steam locomotive no. 261.
Canadian Pacific westbound freight train no. 283 at Maple Springs, Minnesota, on October 9, 2011.
Canadian Pacific westbound intermodal train no. 199 at Lakeview, Minnesota, on October 9, 2011.
BNSF westbound intermodal train at the Sunset Bay Marina in Trempealeau, Wisconsin, on October 9, 2011.
BNSF westbound grain train passing the Mississippi Palisades near Savanna, Illinois, on January 21, 2012.
BNSF eastbound stack train crossing the Wisconsin River at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, just after sunset on February 18, 2012.
Main Street and Canadian Pacific Railway tracks in McGregor, Iowa.
BNSF westbound empty unit oil train along the Mississippi River at Savanna, Illinois, at sunrise on March 25, 2012.
Canadian Pacific northbound empty ethonal train 641 crossing the Mississippi River at Subula, Iowa, on March 25, 2012. CP 8636 and two mates lead two ider cars and 157 empty tankcars back to the ethonal plants on Iowa's "Corn Line."
BNSF eastbound doublestack intermodal train along the Mississippi River and about to cross the Sinsinawa River near Galena, Illinois, on the morning of April 7, 2012.
BNSF eastbound unit oil train passing Sentinel Rock along the Mississippi River near Savanna, Illinois, on May 5, 2012.
Canadian Pacific southbound freight train no. 170 passing a farm along U.S. 52 near Green Island, Iowa, on May 6, 2012.
S-TCEFTM1-25A, 38x0, 3088 feet, 3445 tons, BNSF5293, BNSF7895
U-STNMIX0-46T, 107x0, 13938 tons, 6351 feet, BNSF8932 - BNSF7680 x BNSF6765
Canadian National westbound freight train M337 with three locomotives and 102 cars (30 loads and 72 empties) passing a farm near Julien, Iowa, on the climb out of the Mississippi Valley from Dubuque on the afternoon of September 9, 2012.
Canadian Pacific southbound freight train no. 270 with CP6243 leading 170 cars (102 loads and 68 empties, 15,000+ tons and 10,000+ feet) passing through Bellevue, Iowa, along the Mississippi River on September 9, 2012.
BNSF eastbound intermodal train (likely the ZSEACHC or ZPTLCHC) crossing the Wisconsin River just south of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, just before sunset on October 7, 2012.
BNSF eastbound freight train passing fall foliage along the Mississippi River on River Road just south of the Chestnut Mountain Resort near Galena, Illinois, on October 9, 2012.
Eastbound BNSF Railway intermodal train crossing the Wisconsin River at Wyalusing, Wisconsin, as seen from Pikes Peak State Park in McGregor, Iowa, as the last rays of daylight spill onto the Wisconsin River Valley on October 20, 2012.
Canadian Pacific's Holiday Train pausing at the Wood interlocking on the south end of Dubuque, Iowa, while awaiting permission from the CN dispatcher to proceed north on the evening of December 6, 2012.
BNSF eastbound intermodal train ZSTPCHC heading down the Mississippi River at Trempealeau, Wisconsin, as the sun rises on the shortest day of 2012, December 21.
Eastbound Canadian Pacific grain train no. 396 at Wabasha, Minnesota, on February 24, 2013. Selected as the cover of the January 2016 issue of Trains magazine.
Canadian Pacific westbound local freight train H19 at Maple Springs, Minnesota, on February 24, 2013.
Canadian Pacific eastbound mixed freight train crossing the Mississippi River on the Camden Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on the morning of September 17, 2014.
Union Pacific eastbound DDG unit train crossing the Robert Street Lift Bridge over the Mississippi River on the afternoon of September 17, 2014.
BNSF Railway westbound local freight train at Hannibal, Missouri, on May 20, 2014.
Kansas City Southern's Roodhouse Local crossing the Mississippi River at Louisiana, Missouri, on May 20, 2014, with six cars.
Westbound BNSF Railway unit coal train on the Terminal Railroad Association's High Line in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, on the morning of May 22, 2014.
Union Pacific freight train at Dayton's Bluff in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on the morning of May 4, 2014.
BNSF westbound empty oil train waiting by the entrance to Goose Island Park to enter the yard at La Crosse, Wisconsin, just before sunset on February 7, 2014.
BNSF Railway eastbound automobile train V-TACLPC running along the Mississippi River at Stoddard, Wisconsin, at twilight on October 8, 2013.
Canadian Pacific local freight train B27 climbing Stockton Hill near Stockton, Minnesota, on August 31, 2013. Two brand-new SD30C-ECO locomotives lead 58 cars into the 1.7 percent grade out of the Mississippi River Valley.
Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis northbound transfer freight train (Lindenwood to Madison) passing under the Eads Bridge in St. Louis, Missouri, on the morning of September 30, 2014.
BNSF Railway eastbound doublestack container train running down the Mississippi River through fall color near De Soto, Wisconsin, on October 17, 2014.
BNSF Railway westbound autorack train passing the palisades of the Mississippi River near Savanna, Illinois, on the evening of October 18, 2014.
BNSF Railway westbound mixed freight train along the Mississippi River near Savanna, Illinois, on October 21, 2014.
A BNSF eastbound stack train crosses the Wisconsin River on the morning of July 17, 2018. For the hundreds of trains I've photographed in this part of world over the last seven years, this was the first time I'd taken this classic shot in full morning sunlight.
It was only a matter of time until I rediscovered the river...and forgot everything else. The same thing happened nine years ago when I moved here, so how could I expect it would be any different now? And since I've found the river again, I want to wake up every morning next to the river, and sleep by the river each night. So when can I get back to the river? And is it October yet? And why can't it always be October at the river? And soon it will be, and when it is, I hope that's where you'll find me.
A BNSF loaded grain shuttle rolls geographically south, railroad east, as the setting sun races for the Iowa bluffs, casting long shadows across the Mississippi backwaters at the end of a perfect summer day. For a week in July, Maureen and I had this spot as our front yard from the AirBnB we rented just outside of Galena, Illinois, for a change of scenery in a working vacation. It might very well be the best thing to come out of this bizarre year.
Canadian Pacific train 687, ethanol empties led by a pair of BNSF locomotives, climbs the grade up Bloody Run away from Marquette, Iowa, and the Mississippi River on August 29, 2020.
I would have preferred to shoot with the train a little closer, but the passing clouds had other ideas. I hope to see how this spot looks in the fall and winter.
With fall colors near the their peak, a BNSF Railway intermodal train rolls west up Lake Winneshiek in the Mississippi River near Lynxville, Wisconsin, on October 11, 2020.
The leaves along Bloody Run are beginning to show their autumn colors as Canadian Pacific train 681 climbs the grade out of the Mississippi River Valley on October 8, 2020. Heritage locomotive 7017 is running solo on the empty unit train bound for the ethanol plant at Charles City, Iowa.
An eastward Canadian National train swings away from the frozen Mississippi River to follow the Galena River at Galena Junction, Illinois. When the Illinois Central Railroad built this line in the early 1850s, its locating engineers employed nearly a full half-circle of track at 8.5 degrees of curvature to connect the route between the two valleys. The grade here is just 0.3 percent, but east of Galena, it ramps up to 0.8 percent for eight miles to climb out of the Upper Mississippi Valley.
This shot had been high on my list ever since getting a drone more than a year ago. Summer foliage hides too much of the scene, so a winter view was necessary, but the short days and infrequent trains on this line make it challenging. I snowshoed into this spot from the Casper Bluff Preserve (1.5 miles each way) on two consecutive afternoons. There were no CN trains on the first day, but the second day offered up this one in the late afternoon.