On Thursday August 20th I had photo work to do for a client near Hearne, Texas. I was headed in that direction when at 7:53 am I came across an eastbound UP MLDMN train (Laredo, TX to Marion, AR) leaving “Little Brazos” on its way towards Palestine after a crew change.
In true PSR fashion, in addition to the intermodal on the head end, the train had a little bit of everything trailing including several cars of automobile frames from Mexico.
A single SD70ACe was shoving hard on the rear as the head end of the train moved from the Austin Sub onto the Hearne Sub.
At 11:17 am while flying the drone, I managed this photo of the UP 2658 leading a MASMX (Gateway Yard, IL to Mexico City) southbound train out of Hearne approaching Tatsie on the ex-SP Giddings Sub while in the upper left another UP train is heading due north on the ex-MP Fort Worth Sub to Valley Junction.
On the way to Bryan for lunch I heard a northbound train leaving College Station on the Navasota Sub, so I pulled over in west Bryan at 11:59 am to photograph the MHOSS (Houston, TX to St. Paul, MN) led by SD70ACe 8938.
I really wished the second unit, very clean SD70AH 3037 had been leading.
After delivering my completed photos and starting back towards Fort Worth, at 5:27 pm I caught the IMNMX (Marion, AR to Mexico City) train pulling onto the Giddings Sub from a crew change at the “back door” of the old SP yard office in Hearne.
The pace picked up as I turned north onto Highway 6 and spotted a northbound MEGDV (Eagle Pass, TX to Dupo, IL) heading my way. I quickly pulled over just north of the diamond and photographed the UP 5855 leaving on the Hearne Sub for Palestine at 5:33 pm.
Getting back on Highway 6 north, I drove less than a mile before sighting a southbound train approaching on the Ennis Sub. I quickly pulled over onto the shoulder and took this view at 5:37 pm of the UP 8617 leading a GSVTHO (Hastings, NE to Houston, TX) grain train south toward the diamond still occupied by the MEGDV train heading for Palestine.
I was able to easily pull back onto Highway 6 north as the MEGDV was still blocking the crossing behind me. Two miles up the road I pulled over one more time at 5:40 pm as I encountered a MNPEW (North Platte, NE to Englewood Yard, TX) train stopped at the north end of Seeger.
Photographing four trains on three different subdivisions in thirteen minutes was a rush, but now the excitement was over as I drove north to Waco and took I35 North towards home. the radio was pretty quiet until just south of Alvarado when I heard a train call the UP dispatcher for the signal at the junction where the BNSF Venus Sub crosses the UP Fort Worth Sub. I made an impulsive decision and took the highway 67 exit to make my way to the street crossing both lines just north of the Junction.
Not knowing from which direction the train was coming, I stood at ready while lining up on the one sliver of light left before sunset. In a few minutes I heard a horn to the south down by the junction, and at 7:31 pm the UP 5807 accelerated by me on the UP Fort Worth Sub. This train was the LBC45 local with a dozen or so cars from the Midlothian Rail Park over BNSF trackage rights on its way north to UP Ney Yard in Fort Worth.
Many years ago, Alvarado Junction a mile south of my location where the BNSF Venus Sub crosses the UP Fort Worth Sub was set up as a diamond crossing. After UP gained trackage rights on the Venus Sub, it was replaced with a pair of back-to-back switches for greater flexibility. The BNSF Venus Sub is in the foreground in the previous photo and Cleburne is twelve miles behind me.
Oh, and from here I made it on home without seeing any more trains!