February 13th here is a cloudy and chilly day with a few drops of rain now and then. I ran a few errands in Fort Worth this afternoon and when I pulled up at home, just as I hit the button for the garage door the previously silent railroad radio came alive. The UP Baird Sub dispatcher called the UP 3053 East to give the train a slow order and the train reported they were approaching Aledo. In the old days the first thing that would have come to mind would have been a SD40-2, but now that number belongs to a new EMD Tier 4 SD70AH.
I had unloaded all my camera gear this morning for cleaning and charging after working TEXRail yesterday, so I made a snap decision to catch it and raced in and grabbed by camera off the counter. Luckily I had already put in a charged battery and memory card this morning so it was ready to go. I jumped back in the car and headed out for Iona siding on a gamble that I would get ahead of it. I was about 1/2 mile from the turn onto Aledo-Iona Road off of FM 1187 when the head end passed the west end of the siding at around 40 mph.
Eastbound traffic on the paralleling road was non-existent and I passed the train as it topped the grade in the middle of the siding running on the main line. I could see the train had a green signal at the east end and I pulled to a stop at the crossing gate just as it reached the bottom of its arc. I had already set the camera for ISO 800, 1000/second shutter priority and had only a few seconds to frame, focus and then hit the button as the train passed now doing 50 mph or better.
Now less than one hour after taking the photo here you go!