Battle Wagon leader on Amtrak 352 + Foreign Power - Royal Oak, Michigan 2/14/24

Give us a run down of what you saw, post pictures if you'd like...any info is welcome.
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David Collins
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Battle Wagon leader on Amtrak 352 + Foreign Power - Royal Oak, Michigan 2/14/24

Unread post by David Collins »

On Valentines Day morning, I got word that two noteworthy catches would be appearing on the Holly Subdivision that day. I had, however, promised my girlfriend (Kay) that we would have a Valentines Day date night, so timing was kinda tight. We went out around noon and saw some cool stuff though!


Our first train was CN L515, heading back to Pontiac with centerbeams, boxcars and scrap gons, the going away shot was filmed by Kay which I thought was really well done.


Since Kay is an on call nursing assistant at a hospice home, she had to leave since work called her in, but that wasn’t the end of my railfanning day. One of my friends happened to show up after 515 passed…and we managed to grab E251 with a BNSF duo leading a somewhat sizeable train. This was my first time shooting from the parking garage in Royal Oak, I will try this again when lighting is better.


Next train was Amtrak 350, an engineer buddy of mine at the controls as they flew into Royal Oak, still hit the stop perfectly.


The last train of the afternoon was CN Q116, which had a solo UP ES44AC (or whatever UP calls it) leading solo with only stacks. Nice hornshow from the crew on this one :)

This was the last train of the afternoon as Kay had gotten off work and we had our dinner plans, but trust me, I would be back later.


After our dinner, Kay went home to take care of a few things while I went back out to the tracks. The first train of the evening was CN L507, note the large amount of empty wellcars. These were most likely stored in Flat Rock/Toledo, and were being moved elsewhere as CN has started bringing them back into service.

Two GEVO’s, one being a 100th anniversary sticker unit for power.


Kay showed back up because of Amtrak 352, but we had one more train to get before then…which was CN L508 (507’s counterpart). No stacks on it tonight so he’s haulin’ through at track speed. I absolutely LOVE the two part K5LLA horn on CN 8923, definitely something different sounding for an SD70M-2. Sizeable train too


Definitely the highlight of the day was Amtrak 352 with a P42 (or as I now call ‘em, Battle Wagons) up front. Kay came back out for this as this was the first time she had seen a P42, and I kinda overhyped them to her :lol:. I will say, I hated every second of hearing that horn.


352 departs Royal Oak with the P42 making all the ear candy sounds it’s known for, the loud HEP howl, the GE whoop, and most importantly, the CHUG! Kay told me after it left “now I know why you train fans love those things!”. Those P42’s will never get old for me.

One noteworthy thing was how clean #68 was, this unit had gotten into a wreck a few years and Amtrak had finally gotten around to repairing it down in Beech Grove. It got fresh Phase V paint, and unfortunately lost the big bold font numbers on the side it used to have for the longest time, it still however had that awfully fouled hybrid K5LA though.

More to come soon!
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Re: Battle Wagon leader on Amtrak 352 + Foreign Power - Royal Oak, Michigan 2/14/24

Unread post by AARR »

Nice video and thank you for the report describing the trains
PatC created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see Don Simon no more they want AARR I'm chopped liver, well if you want AARR this is what I'll give ya, bad humor mixed with irrelevant info that'll make you roll your eyes quicker than a ~Z~ banhammer...

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