Busy Times at the “Hole-in-the-Wall”

This last Saturday December 16th I was out covering the work going on at the “Hole-in-the-Wall” in Fort Worth where the single track Trinity Railway Express / Union Pacific line passes under the four main tracks just north of Tower 55.  In order to make room for a second track below that will carry the TEXRail light rail to DFW Airport, the bridge pillars that support the four main tracks above and in turn the pillars that support Spur 280 on top have to be rearranged.  The four main tracks overhead from east to west are Choctaw Sub Main Two; North Yard Siding; Choctaw Sub Main One; and the “Gauntlet”.

I took a complete series of photos for the TEXRail documentation project and also took these to share from vantage points that are difficult for others to be in.  In order for the pillars to be reconstructed – all without interrupting train and highway traffic – the Choctaw Sub Main One and the Gauntlet tracks have been moved to a new curved bridge just west of their original location so the old bridge may be removed.  Here is a view taken Saturday while the cut-over is in progress from underneath Spur 280 looking south towards Tower 55.

Here is a view taken just to the right of the previous photo looking down at the TRE main and the construction that has taken place so far to add a second track on the close side.  The loaded coal train in the background is on Choctaw Main Two. Notice that the TRE main track rests on a concrete slab as the “hole” is also a drainage channel during heavy rains.

Next I moved to the middle of the new bridge above the TRE main.  My radio was set to Channel 038 to communicate with the UP “Form C” foreman keeping me informed about his clearance of trains through the work site where I was standing.  The TRE had a foreman performing the same function below on channel 062 and I communicated with him via hand signals that he had a westbound train approaching just after he blew his warning horn.  Just before the TRE showed up a southbound BNSF train came through the scene on its way south to Tower 55.

A minute later the TRE passed below on its way to the ITC and finally the T&P station.

Approximately 30 minutes later the TRE is seen again eastbound towards Dallas.

Now things came together for me as a northbound UP train came down the hill from Tower 55 on its way to Peach Yard and beyond.

On the way back to the car I caught this northbound UP train moving up the North Yard Siding leaving Tower 55 with an empty grain train. 

On the way home I drove through Davidson Yard and happened to catch this SD70M number 3994 that had been tagged in California as an SP unit and will now be repainted by UP as a result.  The nose door is open making the tagged logo applied to the nose harder to view but the “S” was upside down and backwards on purpose or just in haste?

 

Also present was this MP15DC in an attractive paint scheme for Harbor Rail Services number 3005.  I read later on Facebook that this unit is on its way to Pittsburg, TX.

In the next few days I will add multiple entries from my time earlier this month on board the BNSF’s Holiday Special from Fort Worth to Kansas City!

3 Comments

  1. Scott Speed December 21, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    Ken

    Good stuff as usual. Purina Jct will never be the same. The smell of diesel exhaust and fermenting grain is still firmly etched in my mind. BN SD9’s moving back and forth from north yard….

    You need to find that shot of the UP GE’s coming out from under here SB. Flames erupting from the stack.

    Keep it up.

    Scott

  2. Scott Speed December 21, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

    Ken

    Like it a lot.I was wondering when you would put up those shots from the canyon.The crusher shot is a classic. Remind me of those Friday night slide shows at you old apartment in Grapevine. What did you do on Friday night Scott during College? Well…..Ya see….There’s these guys…

    Scott

  3. Jim December 21, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

    I’m looking forward to seeing that MP15DC in Pittsburg! I enjoy reading the logistics that go into your work.

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