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 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!