Our ultimate goal when touring Kentucky last October was Fulton in far western Hickman County. We arrived in the late afternoon of Wednesday, October 21.
1. CN 8861 (SD70M-2 blt 2009) pulls to a stop in front of the yard office with intermodal Q197 northbound (Memphis to Prince Rupert BC daily) for a crew change. CN Fulton KY.
2. Q197 departs. CN 8861. Fulton KY.
3. CN DPU 2537 is a C44-9W. Fulton KY.
4. CN 8861 Q197 pulls past the fuel pad on the Cairo District main. That office trailer at the extreme right is the “Amshack”. At least the air condition was working and the rest rooms were clean. Fulton KY.
5. The present facility is much more modern than the one seen on earlier visits in ICG days. The head end didn’t need fuel, but the DPU needed topped off. We found a motel, but had to go south to Union City TN to find a place to eat (Subway). CN 2537 DPU.
6. The next morning at Fulton. Yep, the phone cables are still there. The metal building for yard crews seen in 1998 in the foreground is now gone. CN yard. Fulton KY yard.
7. CN SD40-2W 5319 departs northbound on the Bluford District with L513-71, the Paducah Turn (fka FUPD). Fulton KY.
8. CN 5319 SD40-2W is a classic. View 2. Fulton KY.
9. CN car department drop table with 2711-PRSX 7223 heading south with a freight. Note the changes from earlier photographs. Shot from US 45E at Oaks TN. CN 3243-2623 are parked with an ethanol train.
10. I had left Sue snoozing at the motel, and I discovered I had left maps, etc. also snoozing in the room. I had a Tennessee road map, so headed south on US 45W. South of Union City I exited to Obion TN, not knowing what to expect. I waited close to an hour before the southbound came roaring through behind 2711 and Progress Rail leased 7223, a SD70ACe-T4. CN Obion TN.
11. IC Fulton Cairo employee timetable. Click here for a slightly larger image.
12. Back at Fulton KY, CN 3281-3178 were parked with a northbound freight.
13. CN 3281 is a GE model ET44AC. Fulton KY.
14. CN 3178 is also an ET44AC. No rebuilt IC engines now. Fulton KY.
15. Note the interesting logo. CN 3281 ET44AC. Fulton KY.
16. CN 2288-8844 arrive with a 136-car s/b freight off the Bluford District. Fulton KY.
17. You’re looking at non-AC SD40M-2 8844 and ES44DC 2288. CN Fulton KY.
18. Now they commence some block swapping. CN 2288-8844. Fulton KY.
19. A new crew shows up. CN 2288-8844. Fulton KY.
20. The Memphis crew takes charge. CN 2288-8844. Fulton KY.
21. CN 2288-8844. Fulton KY.
22. Down at South Oaks (Pierce Station on the DeLorme map) we find CN DPU 2247 on the rear of the ethanol train. Oaks TN.
23. CN 2247 is a DPU equipped ES44DC built in early 2006. Oaks TN.
24. CN 2247 ES44DC. View 2. Oaks TN.
25. The car department drop pit at Oaks TN. CN 2623-3243.
26. CN 2623-3243. View 2. Oaks TN.
27. CN 2623 is a C44-9W. CN 3243 is a ET44AC. View 3. Oaks TN.
28. Clear signal at South Oaks TN.
29. CN 2288-8844 accelerates by with the reconfigured southbound freight. S Oaks TN.
30. CN 2288-8844. S Oaks TN.
31. The old GM&O went through Columbus and Cayce KY. Some of it around Union City TN, and elsewhere remain to serve industries. Western portion of the area map. Click here for a larger image.
32. The old GM&O went through Columbus and Cayce KY. Some of it around Union City TN, and elsewhere remain to serve industries. Eastern poriton of the area map. Click here for a larger image.
33. Back in Fulton we discovered a freight departing northbound. I assumed it to be heading out the Bluford District, although I should have stopped briefly on the Purchase Parkway bridge and made sure! We raced up the Purchase Parkway and exited somewhere. Through several intersections and sharp turns we made it over to Dublin. The KY 1748 bridge yielded the shot below.
34. One thing about the Bluford District, it is low grade and straight. It was built as a relief valve for the busy IC main through Centralia, Carbondale, and Cairo and to open up a coal producing area in southern Illinois. The Bluford is for the most part boring, but it does have three tunnels in southern Illinois. The only passenger trains were a pair of mixed trains utilizing its track for only a few miles. Like the C&O Northern and the PRR/NYC Lake Erie & Pittsburgh the Bluford was built for tonnage. Looking south. CN Dublin KY.
35. The problem with this great location was that there was no convenient place to park. Thinking the northbound would show at any time, Sue dumped me off on the bridge with instructions to come back by in a few minutes and pick me up. She made several passes at that handsome nut standing on the bridge with a camera, but he just waved at her. The northbound seen at Fulton never showed. It could have beat us (doubtful), but probably went via the Cairo District, a few miles to the west. But the wait was not a total loss. Local L513 saved the day on its return trip from Paducah. CN 5319. Dublin KY.
36. Clear signal for CN 5319 on the L513. View 2. Dublin KY.
37. An Amish or Mennonite carriage ends this fruitful day. We head up to Fancy Farm, Mayfield, and on into Paducah for the night. CN Dublin KY.