Something I mentioned briefly in my last post was this quote: "On May 17th, we got to return to the bridge after a rather grueling day in Hanna." Why was it such a grueling day, you might be wondering?
The #4014 was scheduled to arrive in Hanna, WY at 9am and depart 15 minutes later, then arrive in Medicine Bow at around 9:45am. So, none of that happened, of course.
For a bit of reference, Hanna is a very isolated place. It's along the UP mainline and near US Route 30, but a fair few miles away from the Interstate. There's not much there - in fact, there's so little that there isn't even phone service. Remember the lack of service at the bridge? Turns out, Hanna has none either for some reason. You would think that it would, because it's a town, but then you see "No Data" in the upper left of your phone, which is less than ideal.
The truly amazing thing is 4014 left Rawlins on time - actually a little bit early, too. Things were looking good in that regard.
Then it reached the town of Sinclair and stopped for a freight train.
While 4014 was leaving Rawlins, we had caught it and proceeded to jump on the highway after following it into Sinclair. It was still moving when we passed it on I-80 - just leaving Sinclair. So, naturally, following the days plans, we headed up to Hanna. We had skipped it back on May 4th, but now, I thought we should visit for a quick photo, then go to the bridge again if we could. Seemed like an alright plan, right? Well, it was, and then 4014 didn't arrive. Turns out it stopped, but we lost phone service before we could find that one out.
9am: No #4014, probably a few minutes behind, that's okay.
9:11am: Oh, there's a westbound freight, maybe that's the delay- hey hold on is that-
Little did I know that a very dirty Heritage unit would be leading a westbound. In fact, it came up on me so fast I couldn't get a shot of it approaching. The photo above is literally the first shot I was able to get of it. Trains are startlingly sneaky at times.
9:27am: Ah yes another westbound
10:00am(ish): It is time for rain
10:17am: Can I interest you in an eastbound
10:27am: I present to you an eastbound that looks literally identical to the last one but I promise is actually not the same
I didn't even photograph one or two of the other freight trains that went by. At least one more westbound, might've been a third eastbound, too.
This whole time we stood underneath a bridge - the only bridge, mind you - that led into the rest of town over the tracks. It was fairly windy, it was cold, it was cloudy, it was rainy, and frankly, it just kinda sucked. No data either, so we had no idea where the train was. Was there a problem? Were we JUST waiting on freight?
Yes, but we didn't know that. Nobody around did.
Finally, two hours after it should've arrived, #4014 found its way into Hanna.
Despite the wait, we did get to see #4014 and still beat it to the bridge ten miles east or so. Overall, though, my experience in Hanna was not exactly amazing, but... I guess it's hard to ask for a lot in the middle of nowhere while waiting for a train to show up. At least we did see other trains - including the 1995, which was a total surprise - but I can't say I'd do it over again. I now wonder what this experience will do to my perception of people with the name Hanna(h). Better or worse? Hard to say. I used to like that name. I still do, but I used to, too. I have no shame for that joke, by the way.
Terrible stolen jokes aside, after a brief walk down from the bridge over to where the #4014 stopped, we hiked back to the car and drove off to the infamous bridge that the police just absolutely loved - A Tale of Two Bridges, the Big Boy, and the Police.
This post is part of a series on chasing the Union Pacific Big Boy #4014 on its Great Race To & From Ogden. For more, find the "UP 4014" category on the sidebar!
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