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Southern Pacific, Before & After

January 28, 2010

Time for a new category here at Southwest Rails: Before & After.  It will be for photos taken at the same location,separated by a number of years.

SP 9348 at Tower 26 with an HOASM on Nov. 23, 1985. © Robert Pierce

It’s a chilly Nov. 23, 1985 as SP 9348/7626/8771 make the turn onto SP’s Lufkin sub at Tower 26 interlocking in Houston, TX. You can see the top of the Tower 26 structure above the cab of the second locomotive.

T26 is where the Houston Belt &Terminal tracks cross over the SP’s Sunset mainline. The MP, BN and ATSF  jointly owned the HB&T. This interlocking has a long, fascinating history that is covered nicely here at the txrrhistory.com site.

SP 9812 leads the SRASK onto the Lufkin sub on Dec. 22, 1994. © Robert Pierce

Nine years later, we see two 6-month old SD70M’s at the same location with another Alton & Southern bound manifest. The K suffix in the symbol indicated haz-mat was in the train’s consist.

The changes that occurred in only 9 years is obvious, beginning with the contrast between the motive power. The rail and ballast  has been upgraded and the foreground spur is gone.

Of course the change between the second photo in 1994 and the present are even more pronounced.  But that will have to wait for another post…

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