Engineering Special Returns

I had a good day Monday, June 29th chasing the UP Engineering Special in the afternoon as it made its way from Kansas City to Fort Worth. On Tuesday it ran from Fort Worth to San Antonio and back to Taylor for the night, but I did not know what the plan was for July 1st. When I got up Wednesday morning the railfan network indicated the train was northbound out of Waco on its way to Wichita, Kansas.

I decided to catch it going through Fort Worth and quickly got dressed since it was rapidly approaching. I drove over to the south end of Wrenn Siding at Sycamore School Road where the only open shot I could find was on the south side of the crossing as the train rolled by at 8:03am.

Knowing the train would stop at Ney Yard for a crew change, I headed for the Terminal Road overpass in north Fort Worth to catch it leaving town on the Duncan Sub with the skyline in the background. I parked and waited on the overpass only to hear on the radio the special was blocked by another train at Tower 55. The wait was broken at 8:35am by a northbound empty coal train powered by three SD70ACe’s on the paralleling BNSF Fort Worth Sub.

I was now joined by fellow railfan Jadon Henderson, and at 8:59 we both captured views of a northbound BNSF autorack train.

We both heard on the radio that the northbound special was on the move at Tower 55 at 9:35am while a southbound BNSF autorack left Saginaw behind us. The open space on the right side of the train is for a new second main line.

Five minutes later the special rolled into view coming upgrade.

No vehicles were coming so I crossed over to the north side of the overpass for this going away view showing at least one person in the theater section of the inspection car “Idaho”.

After this Jadon and I parted company. Back at work at home, I became more aware from social media that the UP’s Southern Pacific heritage SD70ACe number 1996 was leading a manifest freight leaving McAlester, Oklahoma. The train was coming down the Choctaw Sub to Fort Worth on the way to Houston, and even though I already have multiple photos of this locomotive I could not resist seeing it again.

Other railfan friends were catching it from Denton on south so knowing its location I set up at a clear spot just south of the bridge over I820 in Haltom City. Once again I was joined by Jadon Henderson who had just missed a photo in Denton, and at 7:26pm we were rewarded with this perfectly lit sequence.

We heard on the radio that the train would encounter a slow order on its way south to Tower 55. Jadon and I took advantage of this and jumped ahead of it to where Ninth Street dead ends at the tracks. As the light started to wain at 7:46pm we caught these coming and going photos along with Eric Escobido who arrived at the last moment.

The 1996 had a green signal across Tower 55 and I also had a green signal to head home for dinner with two catches for the day.

One Comment

  1. Mark St. Aubin July 5, 2020 at 3:20 pm #

    What a fantastic series of blog entries Ken ! I read all of the ones I had missed in the last few weeks.

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