The lights came on, the bell started ringing and the gates came down. Traffic stopped at the UP crossing in SE Cedar Rapids to let a fast moving train zip on by. Locomotive 6053 moved pretty quickly from the west pulling several cars filled with coal, that is most likely from the Gillette, Wyoming area mines.
One of the highlights of this fast mover was the cloud of snow that was kicked up by the moving train. The effect produced a small snowstorm in the immediate area as the powder snow settled nearby after the train past.
At the end of the train, where the traditional caboose would have been was an unexpected surprise. A pusher locomotive occupied the last position giving the train a bit more oomph to move that coal. Commonplace? Maybe, but its interesting to see how the nation's infrastructure works on the rails - in the winter - with a load of coal - moving fast.