A Day Around Fort Worth With Ethan

My friend Ethan Whetstone from Norman was back in Fort Worth with his grandmother on Saturday February 27th. It was a cloudy day the same as Ethan’s last visit, but regardless we decided to go out and see what trains we could find. We all met on Arizona Street on the east side of the tracks just south of Tower 55 shortly after 8:00 am. The first train we caught together was a northbound empty coal train on the BNSF.

The second unit was one of the few remaining ex-BN SD70MAC’s working still in original paint.

Only one DPU on the rear but then this was an empty coal train.

After this find Ethan and his grandmother followed us over to the Fort Worth T&P Building station to catch some TRE, TEXRail and Union Pacific. When we arrived on the platform a westbound UP was holding at Tower 55.

The Eastbound freight began to move just as a westbound TEXRail pulled into the station.

The westbound freight was powered by a GE C45ACCTE and a GP38-2 that started life as M-K-T 309.

A westbound merchandise train was stopped and waiting with I30 in the background.

A few minutes later the TEXRail train left heading east to DFW Airport just as an eastbound stack train rolled up to the depot from Davidson Yard.

The eastbound stack train had a diverging clear signal to cross over at Tower 55. After the head end had passed by a westbound TRE train arrived from Dallas.

At this point we heard on the radio that a southbound BNSF train with a CSX leader would leave the Tower as soon as the stack train cleared the way. We decided to head south to the north end of Birds siding where we set up for the arrival of the southbound a few minutes later. Ethan took a good video of the wayside horn installation here, one of the few in this area.

After the passage of this train we decided to relocate to the TRE main in east Fort Worth along Little Fossil Road with the main goal of catching Amtrak 21 westbound later on. On the way we made a quick stop at the Beach Street crossing for a westbound TRE at speed.

While we waited the TRE kept us busy with photo opportunities. First up was an eastbound that I caught a reflection of in a puddle. Shortly after that was a westbound counterpart that we caught crossing Little Fossil Creek.

After a wait the next move was another eastbound shuttle that I photographed passing a much smaller puddle. A few minutes later Amtrak 21 shot out from behind the trees at 79 mph and I almost missed it crossing the Little Fossil Creek bridge.

Right on the heels of Amtrak 21 was a westbound TRE that I wrapped up with one more photo at Little Fossil Creek.

We had seen on social media that the UP ZAILC train had a Norfolk Southern locomotive leading this day and Ethan wanted to catch it. We drove out to Aledo west of Fort Worth on the Baird Sub to wait. Our first catch turned out to be an eastbound roughly 14,000-foot merchandise train pulling upgrade through Aledo with four locomotives up front and two DPU’s mid-train.

This train was too long to fit at Iona but the ZAILC was able to fit in the siding to meet this train and then show up in Aledo a few minutes later with Norfolk Southern 8004 leading past the grain elevator.

We parted company here, and when I got home I found the mailman had delivered a copy of Kalmbach’s “Hot Spots” that I had ordered for Ethan. I called his grandmother and we decided to meet back in Aledo Sunday morning for a few minutes so Ethan could take it back to Norman with him. Shortly after we met up again Sunday morning, an extremely long eastbound intermodal came through town with three units on the point and one DPU two-thirds of the way back.

Ethan’s grandmother took this photo of the two of us together before we went our separate ways.

We enjoyed some great railfanning along the tracks that weekend!

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