April 25, 2017
O-four-hundred. Night is winding down as we approach Richey Road crossing. Nothing but quiet as darkness so well does, but daybreak is just around the earth’s bend, and a few belly-full early birds - having caught their juicy worm - are flying notes from branches on high. Closer, in the distance we see its deltoid beam searching the nebulous nimbus above the conifer spikes betraying its angle of attack on infamous Deep Creek Hill with more tonnage in tow than you can shake…well, you know. The many-miled EMD motors – two 45’s and a 40 Tunnel – make short shrift of their charge as they slip around the Hill’s penultimate curve on their final assault, cresting and taking the high ground at a comfortable 11 per in notch 8 at the deft hands of Engineer Steven Welch: the trio of 645’s each inhaling some 12,500 cfm of night-cooled air, exhausting it 700 degrees“warmer" than the chilly 41 ambient. Anabasis complete, the last few mile poles to tie up at Highline Grain are an easy campaign…until the next imminent Deep Creek eminence.