Yesterday, Tuesday November 23rd around 8:30 am I met friend Paul Beverung at the Aledo Diner for breakfast. A westbound Z train rolled through town at 50 mph just as I entered the restaurant door and sat down with Paul. The UP Baird Sub was quiet while we ate, but as soon as I got back in the Explorer the radio came alive with a conversation between the dispatcher and the eastbound Abilene Local that was leaving Weatherford with two units and 600 feet of train.
The dispatcher told the local they would be going into Fort Worth with no delays so Paul and I relocated to the Aledo city parking lot next to the old Aledo depot where at 9:48 am we witnessed SD40N #1782 with bad injectors and a modern “SD40-2” equivalent in the form of an SD70M heads upgrade through town.
Paul and I went to his house where we operated his HO scale layout until we got hungry around 12:30 pm. We had lunch at Los Vaqueros in Willow Park and when we got back in my SUV the radio alerted us that the hot westbound ZAILC (Atlanta to Los Angeles) train was leaving Fort Worth and would be meeting an eastbound ISIDI (Santa Teresa, NM to Dallas) intermodal in Weatherford. We drove over to the nearby FM 5 crossing where I launched the drone for this view looking east as the ZAILC with a Norfolk Southern leaded sped by below at 2:13 pm casting long shadows.
The Z train was around 10,000 feet long while the eastbound he would be meeting at Weatherford was around 13,000 feet long listening to the crews converse. Paul and I moved three miles west and waited until we could hear the eastbound with two units on the head end in the distance for me to once again launch the drone for this view of the rural countryside at 2:43 pm.
A little more than halfway back in the train two more units running elephant style were doing their thing in DPU mode.
A few minutes later silence returned here once again as the rear end continued on east towards Fort Worth.
I dropped Paul off back at his house after a really good day with a friend and trains both full-size and miniature.