Here it is December 31st and it is very cold, windy and raining outside. What to do? Stay inside where it is warm and dry? No, go out and photograph my final trains for 2020! I am not completely crazy so I did not go farther than my usual haunts in nearby Aledo, Texas on the UP Baird Sub.
Just before 11:00 am the Fort Worth to Monahans MFWMH manifest train rolled through Aledo passing the Poquitomas Mexican restaurant which was closed today.
When it is open it is a great place to eat and watch the trains go by.
Running close behind at 11:14 am was the hot ZMNLA with four units up front heading to Los Angeles from Marion, Arkansas (West Memphis).
At 11:48 am as the rain picked up the westbound IDISI (Dallas Intermodal to Santa Teresa, New Mexico) came through Aledo with a train of around 13,000 feet in length.
To assist with this big train, a single unit working as a DPU was cut in around two-thirds of the way back from the head end.
On the radio I heard a IMNSI (Marion to Santa Teresa) intermodal train leave Fort Worth, and I was surprised when the dispatcher put it in the siding at Iona and lined up a green signal eastbound. The answer came at 1:21 pm when the ILBNS (Los Angeles to Norfolk Southern) roared upgrade through Aledo with five units up front and two more in DPU mode in the middle.
As the two trains met at Iona, the eastbound crew told their coworkers on the westbound that earlier they were delayed by having to tie their train down at Clyde and take their lead units to pull a stalled westbound up Baird Hill. Now the dispatcher was in a rush to get them to Fort Worth before they went dead on the law. In a few minutes I finished up my day and the year with the westbound IMNSI passing the familiar landmarks in Aledo. First the grain elevator and old downtown buildings.
And one final photo this year with the elevator and the Church at the Crossing.
This crew had said they came up the hill out of Fort Worth to Iona at four mph, so I did not envy the rest of their day with both Ranger and Baird Hills ahead of them. They at least had a warm and dry locomotive cab and I headed home to my warm and dry house for New Years Eve.
So long 2020 and welcome 2021 in a few more hours!