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BNSF 4815 – Today in Houston

February 15, 2010

I had a few errands this afternoon in Houston. With the weather finally clearing up, I thought it prudent to take the camera just in case.

Driving back to Sugar Land, my preferred route is via South Main (US 90A) which parallels the UP Glidden sub beginning at West Junction, MP 12.7.

As luck would have it,  a westbound was on the move at Heacker,  a new control point 1/2 mile west of West Junction. Traffic nor sun permitted a shot until MP 20.6 at Stafford, where the BNSF 4815 arrived literally seconds after I bailed out of the car and set up for the shot.

BNSF 4815, WB with 97 empty GATX hoppers at Stafford, TX on Feb. 15, 2010.

The train consisted solely of empty GATX hoppers. As I overtook the train coming down Main Street, it appeared that the wind was kicking up coal dust. The only problem is neither the power nor the hoppers are typical for Powder River Basin Coal.

Empty GATX hoppers westbound through Stafford, TX on Feb. 15, 2010

My guess is this is an empty coke train that unloaded at the Port Of Houston. Any additional information about this train would be appreciated. You can add  a comment, or email me via the contact page.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Lawrence permalink
    February 16, 2010 9:29 am

    Robert, you are correct. The empty GATX cars were headed back to Borger, TX after unloading at the Port of Houston. These cars were built in 2006 and have made that trip over 200 times since 2006.

  2. April 25, 2010 6:45 pm

    Robert, here is a little more information, these trains move out of Borger as mentioned above, moveing south out of Borger (Panhandle) they use BNFS symbol UPANPTN and moving north off of the PTRA they use UPTNPAN, we usually get one a week from the BNSF and three to four a week off of the UP from Sweeny (OSWPT) or (OPTSW) both trainsets consist of GABX hoppers, the BNSF train is usually 98 cars and the UP is 127 cars.

    • April 26, 2010 9:58 am

      Thanks for the good info. I have a post about an OSWPT here from a few months back. It was SB on the East Belt at Wallisville Road, so I never would have guessed it was coming from Sweeny. Do they have to run West belt around town to go south on the East Belt so it can go into the Port without a reverse move?

      • April 26, 2010 10:07 am

        Correct, the OSWPT comes in off of the BNSF Mykawa Sub, straight down the West Belt around Pierce Yard and then drags into PTRA North Yard, all unit trains arriving PTRA North Yard must drag in as everything is moving south out of North Yard to industry, we swap out crews and keep right on moving.


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