First 25th Anniversary Locomotive through Fort Worth

Yesterday September 7th marked Labor Day and the first visit of one of the BNSF’s 25th Anniversary locomotives to the Fort Worth area. BNSF 6017 was leading a loaded coal train from the Powder River Basin to a power plant southwest of Houston. The train left Wichita Falls at 5:30 am and while other dedicated railfans were out chasing it before dawn, for my first catch I chose after sunrise photos at 7:51 am in Rhome, Texas along with Jadon Henderson and Steve Grabman.

There was no room at Saginaw for the loaded coal train to exit the Wichita Falls Sub, so it took the siding at Avondale to meet two westbound trains out of Alliance Yard.

I think there were seven or eight of us “foamers”, some of who were BNSF employees here at the Avondale-Haslet Road crossing. I will keep their identities a secret in case any of them are not “out of the closet” at work! 🙂 We were all ready when this bare table train roared by led by a pair of older “Heritage Two” painted units.

The second westbound train had yet to leave Alliance Yard so I put on my BNSF contractor required PPE and followed the rules to get a few closeup photos while the train was not moving.

I made my way safely back down to the group at the crossing and twenty minutes later a westbound train of empty containers flew by.

By now the “East Pass” at Saginaw had opened up for the loaded coal train to move up to so the dispatcher lined it out of the siding immediately after the westbound.

From here thanks to it being a holiday, Jadon Henderson and I beat the train to the East Industrial Avenue crossing in Saginaw at 10:46 am.

We heard the train was not called out until 2:00 pm, so I went home for lunch and at around 3:00 pm showed up at the park on the south side of the Trinity River bridges north of downtown Fort Worth. A number of other fans had gathered here by the time the train rolled over the BNSF bridge at 4:02 pm.

This is the view I was aiming for.

I wanted to catch the train one more time at either Crowley or Joshua so I quickly left my companions and headed south on I35. When I passed downtown I could see the loaded coal train had not been held up at Tower 55 and was rolling smartly across the diamonds. I decided not to risk the train beating me to Crowley and headed for Joshua.

Jadon Henderson had gone to Crowley and let me know the train had been delayed by a northbound at Birds. Now with time to spare I set up at a spot with good shadowless afternoon light and a nice background. At 4:59 pm I composed my final sequence of this train for the day.

Since this was the end of my chase, I waited for the two DPU’s to drift by as the train headed down grade towards Cleburne.

Overhearing that a northbound train was arriving for a meet at Midway in Cleburne, I waited a few minutes and caught the BNSF 5720 leading a vehicle train.

In retrospect, I wish I had been ready to make a sound recording as the K5LH horn on this unit sounded as close to a Nathan M5 as I have heard in a long time. For those who have not had the pleasure, check out the M5 recordings under the “Horns” tab on the home page.

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