By the time I was packed up at the Bush Library on Monday afternoon it was late enough that I did not want to drive the 150 miles back home. I spent the night in College Station and started north early on Tuesday, March 23rd. I was aware that after leaving College Station on Sunday morning the 1943 had been the sole unit on the Hearne Local, and sure enough as I arrived in town it was parked on the east side of the yard office where it could be watched. At 8:00 am the sun was favoring the rear of the unit but I still managed three acceptable photos.
After this encounter I only made it to the north end of Hearne where I stopped to catch this southbound with a KCS leader. The hood door in primer paint made me glad this was not more of a side view.
I decided to take the time to check out the Vistra/TXU coal line and took the road to Bremond off of Highway 6. When I got to town I heard a southbound UP train hit the detector a few miles to the north and I set up at the northern most crossing. This is the shot I took a few minutes later with a second hood door fail in a row!
I drove the eight or so miles east from Bremond and took Prairie Grove Road which leads to an overpass over the track about two miles northwest of the Twin Oak power plant. When I glanced north off the overpass I was surprised to see a southbound loaded train. I could not instantly tell if it was moving or not so since the overpass is wide and not heavily used I pulled to the side and hopped out with camera ready. It turned out the train was stopped, so over the next few minutes I used the 100 – 400 zoom to capture these four views.
The solo power was EMD SD70ACe #5308 that I had seen the previous Friday on my trip down. Since the headlights are on you would not know in these still shots that the train is not moving. I waited for thirty minutes with no sign of anything happening before I headed back to Bremond to continue towards home.
Crossing the tracks at the north end of Bremond I was once again startled when I glanced north and saw this southbound unit train sitting there. I pulled over and once again used the 100 – 400 lens to bring my perspective up close to me.
I assumed that things were backed up at Hearne and this train was sitting clear of all crossings. I drove north up Highway 6 and north of Marland I overtook a northbound empty grain train. The light was behind the train so I continued on north of Riesel where the road turns sharply west towards Waco. Now the light would allow me a half way decent broadside shot and I knew just the spot at the West Lake Creek Road crossing.
This was my last train of the trip, and I made it home in another 90 minutes with some great photos and memories of the past four days.