Maybe it was to exorcise any lingering bad memories of the weather from the morning before, or maybe it was to pay another visit to the classic position-light signal bridge while it still stands. Whatever the reason, I returned to Lilly on the 14th for another look. Scuttlebutt had an eastbound high-and-wide move somewhere nearby, and I was hesitant to drive much further west to catch it, lest I miss the train in passing. All was quiet for a good 45 minutes or so, until my scanner rudely interrupted:
'NS detector, milepost two five eight point nine, track one. No defects.'
The high-and-wide train was still lumbering my direction, but in the meantime a monster coal drag would do just fine, thank you. It was another 534 like the day before, but this one had an extra pair of SD60Is on the front to make an even quartet: 6726, 6734, 6719, and 6725. The sun played peek-a-boo while the bathtub gons marched upgrade, humming a mantra as they went - I suspected the rails had seen a recent visit from a grinder, and the droning was the result of the texture left on the railhead by the work. Several ambient light changes and 130 cars later, the head-end fury was echoed on the rear by SD40Es 6312, 6328, 6300, and 6301 as they put their backs into the work of keeping the beast in their charge in motion.
As the drama subsided and Lilly returned to pastoral quiet, we wondered if that rail grinder was still in the area...