Gravel Train

We had a good holiday season here, and hopefully you did too! Rail traffic has been down as it almost always is between Christmas and New Years but yesterday morning I got word that a 12,000-ton gravel train from the Olden plant between Ranger and Eastland was eastbound on the UP Baird Sub. The weather was mainly overcast but I decided to catch it with the drone at the west end of Iona siding. This is one reason I enjoy having my own website so if I decide to post photos from a day without full sun, I do not have any “screeners” to worry about.

I drove to my spot and when I heard the hotbox detector in Aledo sound off it was my signal to launch the drone. At 9:37 am the gravel train rolled past me on the main with three units on the point after announcing an approach signal at the west end of the siding.

I moved in a bit closer to examine the loads.

In a few minutes, a single DPU on the rear passed by working a bit to shove the heavy train up the hill towards the east end of the siding.

The loaded gravel train announced on the radio they had a red signal and all stopped on the main at the east end as a westbound merchandise train from Fort Worth to West Colton, CA was entering the siding. This train arrived a few minutes later with two units up front.

Before long three units running elephant-style working as mid-train DPU’s slid past the camera as the sun started to appear.

Satisfied with this expected one catch that turned into two, I packed up and headed back home for the rest of the day.

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