After photographing BNSF 6017 on Monday heading south with a loaded coal train for the Houston area, this Wednesday morning found the now northbound empty train cycling back to the mine. Even though it was overcast and rainy, I decided to head over to Joshua this morning to see it pass by. As I pulled up to the crossing where I first planned to catch the train, suddenly the gates and lights activated and I found my path blocked by the northbound Alliance Yard to Cleburne local pulling up the siding.
I quickly made a U-turn and drove towards the north end of the siding. As I got close I could hear the horn of what turned out to be a southbound grain train heading down the main. I pulled off the street and raced to the top of the small hill behind the fire station to grab this last second shot.
I drove the remaining few hundred yards to the crossing just north of the north switch and shot the single DPU going away from me.
A few minutes later the northbound local came out of the siding as the two GE’s cycled up to full throttle.
The local went to Crowley where it met another southbound train. About ten minutes later this turned out to be a single unit pulling one of BNSF’s Track Laying Machines or “TLM” for short.
It is hard to explain from just these photos how these puzzle pieces go together to “transform” into a working TLM, so I will save that for another day. I heard on the radio that the empty coal led by 6017 was coming through Cleburne to meet this train so I drove north of Joshua to Silver Valley Street by the local baseball fields. I did not have to wait long for this view as the train roared by towards Fort Worth.
Satisfied with this two photo sequence, I moved to the other side of the street to complete the morning with one more photo of the DPU’s whining by.
So far it had only rained a few drops all morning, but on the way back home towards Aledo the skies darkened and a downpour engulfed my vehicle as I covered the last few miles of a successful trip.