Simple pleasures of railfanning in the Midwest on a fall afternoon

A friend of mine recently shared these photos he took yesterday near Kearney, Nebraska.  He captured a number of images of covered hoppers on a Union Pacific freight.  Each of these cars have a tale to tell and many of them have been around 30 years or more under multiple ownerships.  The weathering, patches and faded schemes offer a delight to the trained eye.

PLCX 22289 Kearney NE Nov 5 2014 ©photo by Robert Houtwed

PLCX 22289 near Kearney NE Nov 5, 2014 ©photo by Robert Houtwed

INTX 765887 (former Illinois Central Gulf) in Kearney NE Nov 5, 2014 ©photo by Robert Houtwed

INTX 765887 (former Illinois Central Gulf) near Kearney NE Nov 5, 2014 ©photo by Robert Houtwed

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Illinois Central Gulf engine 9567 at Rantoul, IL

Illinois Central Gulf engine 9567 at Rantoul, IL on August 12, 1982. The Illinois Central Gulf existed from 1972 (upon the merger of the Illinois Central with the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railway) until 1988. In 1988, it reverted to the name of Illinois Central and become part of the Canadian national in 1998.

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IFRX 21434 near Kearney NE Nov 5, 2014

IFRX 21434 (former Denver and Rio Grande Western?) near Kearney NE Nov 5, 2014 ©photo by Robert Houtwed

CNW 178478 near Kearney NE Nov 5 2014 ©photo by Robert Houtwed

CNW 178478 near Kearney NE Nov 5 2014 ©photo by Robert Houtwed

CNW 178041 Kearney NE Nov 5 2014

CNW 178041 (two scheme apparent!) near Kearney NE Nov 5, 2014 ©photo by Robert Houtwed

ADMX 52198 near Kearney NE Nov 5, 2014 ©photo by Robert Houtwed

ADMX 52198 near Kearney NE Nov 5, 2014. Interesting transition from gray to a rust color. ©photo by Robert Houtwed

SSW 78676 (aka "the Cotton Belt") near Kearney NE Nov 5 2014 ©photo by Robert Houtwed

SSW 78676 (aka “the Cotton Belt”) near Kearney NE Nov 5 2014 ©photo by Robert Houtwed

MP 723458 near Kearney NE Nov 5, 2014

MP 723458 near Kearney NE Nov 5, 2014 ©photo by Robert Houtwed

Like the Illinois Central Gulf discussed above, some of the railroads featured on this train have been merged away for years.  The Missouri Pacific became part of the Union Pacific in 1982!  The Chicago and Northwestern became part of the Union Pacific in 1995.  If you know the history of these cars, each car becomes almost a “personality.”  All of these jewels were on a single train!

Thanks goes out to Robert for sharing these great images from a train passing through Nebraska yesterday–simple pleasures on a beautiful fall day.

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