I try to make these blog posts in chronological order, but then I get busy with work or family and fall behind. I was asked today by friend Mike Harbour if everything was OK as he had not seen a new blog entry since March 1st; so I decided to create a new one based on today’s adventure. This morning, Saturday June 10th, railfan intel indicated no less than three of the Norfolk Southern’s twenty Heritage Units would pass through Fort Worth in daylight hours.
Fellow railfan Luke Meacham lives nearby and his mother dropped him off at my house and we headed towards Tower 55 to intercept the UP MPBFW (Manifest Pine Bluff, AR to Fort Worth, TX) which had the NS 8105 Interstate Railroad Heritage Unit in its head-end consist. We found the train tying down on the Dallas Sub just east of Tower 55 at 9:30 am. The locomotive was backlit, but I made the best of it with some post processing help from Lightroom.
Next up would be the Erie Railroad Heritage Unit which was the third unit on the head end of the ZAILA (High Priority Atlanta, GA to Los Angeles, CA) intermodal train which was passing Arlington at that time. Luke and I decided to head west ahead of it in search of better light. Ultimately our search took us to MIllsap west of Weatherford where we caught the train passing by a foliage free area at 11:46 am.
We checked with friends on the progress of the third Heritage Unit, the Central Railroad of New Jersey or CNJ for short. It was the middle of three units on a southbound BNSF HTULTPL) (High Priority Tulsa, OK to Temple, TX) freight coming south from the Red River to Tower 55 using trackage rights on the UP Choctaw Sub. Leaving Millsap on the Baird Sub heading back to Fort Worth we paused at the east end of Preble siding to photograph the UP ZMNLA (High Priority Marion, AR (Memphis) to Los Angeles, CA) intermodal passing that location at 12:36 pm.
I stopped twice to run quick errands on the way back to Fort Worth, and we arrived trackside on East Ninth Street where it dead ends on the west side of the UP Choctaw Sub at 1:48 pm. Just six minutes later at 1:54 pm the BNSF 4417 South came into view running on Choctaw Sub Main Two. This was the best light of the day for our third catch.
With our triple play accomplished, Luke and I headed back to Aledo where I dropped him off at his home. As you probably noticed, the paint schemes on these three dirty units have faded over the years. Fortunately, Norfolk Southern announced recently they will be refreshing the heritage paint schemes on all twenty units, so there will be a whole new world of opportunities to photograph them again in their original splendor! Nows that I have finally posted a new and timely entry, I will go back and pick up again soon where I left on March 1st.