Please accept my apologies for any typos that you may find in this post. The spell checking routine on the blog software isn't working correctly and it has been difficult to check for all of the errors. They tell us that they are "working on it..."
Even though it has been hot lately, that still hasn't stopped me from one of my favorite summertime (and anytime I guess) past times of watching trains. I caught this interesting photo about a month ago as a westbound intermodal train literally snakes his way into the yard at North Baltimore. I wish I could have gotten a clearer picture but I had to shoot through the security/debris fence that is on each side of the bridge over the tracks. So we made the best with what we had to work with.
In this particular photo, the train approached on the left-most track as he drew near the yard. The first move was to transfer him from the track on the left to the track on the right. He is still on the main line at this point but simply getting ready to switch onto the approach track for the yard. That is his next move as he transfers from the main to the approach track. Note that the end of the train is still on the original track though.
But his snakey moves aren't done yea as he approaches the yard, he is again switched onto one of the two outermost yard tracks. That is the point where I caught the image and he has successfully fouled four tracks because of his length. Note that he is on both mains, the approach track AND the yard track. One of these days, I'm going to get to talk to a dispatcher and ask why trains approaching the yard there aren't at least transferred to the south side main to leave at least one track in the area open.
A few hours later, this interesting situation developed as three trains tried to access only two tracks! The train in the foreground has just come in off of the main but both of the yard leads are temporarily occupied with switching. It only took the train on the right a minute or two to back up and push the cars he was switching into the yard to allow for the new arrival. But it created an interesting situation for the time being. Note also the the tail end of an eastbound tank train is almost out of the image. Perhaps this train's approach is what forced this rather unusual situation. You can also see that the signal for the right-most track is green which means that another train is coming. There was just no place to go for the arriving train. As I've always said, you just never know what you might see along the right of way.