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Carpetbagging in Fort Worth

March 24, 2010

The first weekend of spring break was an opportunity to get out of town for a bit. We decided to go to Fort Worth. Our oldest son would meet us there, driving from Abilene.

After hanging out at the motel, we drove to Edgecliff Village, a suburb of Fort Worth, to visit family. After the appropriate interval, Andy and I sneaked out to see what might be running, while my wife and Eric stayed behind.

Being railfan tourists, we went for the #1 railfan tourist attraction in North Texas, Tower 55.

As we arrived, we saw a westbound UP transfer pass through the interlocking with a 3 genset power consist. After making a few wrong turns, we found ourselves at the east end of Davidson Yard just moments ahead of our quarry.

What’s up with the steam engine on the sidewalk in the background?

Three gensets pull a transfer into UP's Davidson Yard in Fort Worth, TX on March 13, 2010.

Not wanting to wear out our welcome on this overpass, we headed back towards the Tower 55 area. As we exited the freeway, we saw some Amtrak equipment at the Fort Worth ITC.

As Amtrak in the day is a rare commodity back in Houston, we went to investigate.

Amtrak 500 on the point of the Northbound Heartland Flyer at Fort Worth, March 13, 2010

The first order of business was Amtrak 500, the first of only 20 GE P32BWH units. Amtrak received these in 1991. They debuted a new Amtrak paint scheme, that to many, resembled the colors on a can of Pepsi soda.

The units were nicknamed, of course, “Pepsi Cans”. has a good view of the 500 in its original colors.

Amtrak's Texas Eagle at Fort Worth, TX on March 13, 2010

One track over was the northbound Texas Eagle. A second unit, P42DC 121 , is being added to the consist. Note the Amtrak employee between the units making the air and electrical connections.

The radio advised us that the Texas Eagle was getting ready to depart, so we headed to the Tower 55 area to see if we could get some shots of it as it departed.

The NB Texas Eagle making its reverse move out of the Fort Worth Depot, March 13, 2010

The second unit appears to been involved in a grade-crossing collision recently.

The reverse move out of the depot is necessary so the Texas Eagle can access the UP line to Dallas via a connector track at Tower 55.

The Texas Eagle has crossed over to access the connector track to the Dallas sub at Tower 55.

The Texas Eagle approaches Tower 55 in Fort Worth on March 13, 2010

Making the right turn to enter the Dallas subdivision

Now that Amtrak was out of the way, a SB UP manifest was next up. We re-located to the Hattie Street overpass, about 1/4 mile to the south.

A SB UP manifest passes through the Tower 55 interlocking

An SD9043MAC on the point suggests DPU power on the rear

Several miles ahead, this train will be routed via the Fort Worth or Midlothian subdivisions

Bringing up the rear of the UP manifest, DPU power in the form of SD9043MAC 8067

There’s more, but it will have to wait for the next post, which I’ll try to complete tomorrow evening…

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