BNSF Empty Coal Drag @ Norman, OK 2/24/2012

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You know, I've been puzzled by this, and I'm beginning to have doubts that those coal hoppers were actually empty. It doesn't make any sense that coal hoppers going south to Texas would be empty. But they sure seemed like they were empty when they were going by me. Normally, it's easy to see the mounds of coal protruding above the rim of the hoppers, and there's usually coal dust flying in the air as well. I couldn't see any coal mounds when the hoppers were going by, but maybe that's just because I was so close to the train, and I'm starting to wonder about that. Usually some coal pieces fall out of the hoppers too as the train is going by, and this did not happen. When the hoppers were going by, they didn't sound "heavy" like they were really loaded down, it sounded "light", if you know what I mean. The ground wasn't really shaking as the hoppers rolled by, and a loaded coal train normally shakes the earth pretty good, especially as close as I was to the train. Still, it seems strange that empty coal hoppers would be going south. They obviously aren't going to pick up coal in Texas...And then just this morning, I saw more coal hoppers going south to Texas, and I did see coal in those...I'm thinking maybe this train was loaded after all??:eek: Any of the Texas folks see this train yesterday? It would sure make a heck of a lot more sense that the hoppers were loaded, coming from Wyoming.
 
Upon closer inspection of the video footage, and stopping it in a few places to get a better look at the hoppers, it does appear that you can see some small "protrusions" above the rim on a few of those hoppers...I think this train was loaded after all, and it sure makes more sense that it would be. But man, I'm telling you, that has to be the lightest loaded coal train that's ever gone by me, normally there would be much more rumbling to the point where my tripod would even shake, and there wasn't hardly any rumbling at all with this train, you'd have almost thought it was passenger cars rolling by you. And normally I'm standing further away from the train than my camera because I'm trying to avoid getting hit with any coal pieces that fly out, and not a single piece of coal came flying out of those hoppers as they went by. Maybe BNSF is going lighter on the coal loads now? I'm going to go ahead and correct and reupload this video later on.
 




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