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That Was Quick – More KCS

September 13, 2010

Yesterday I remarked that I needed to photograph more KCS trains. I didn’t necessarily mean the very next day! I wish I acted that quickly on my other resolutions…

I was wrapping up the edit of a recent wedding around 10:00 this morning when I hear the Glidden sub dispatcher take back a warrant from KCS 3997 East. My attention was piqued because I knew that the 3997 was an ex-EMD demonstrator unit.

Then the dispatcher tells the 3997 that he needed to run 3 west before the terminal was ready for him. That wasn’t good, but hopefully he’d get cut loose before the sun got too high.

It wasn’t until 11:45 that the DS called the 3997 to look for a light at the east end of Sugar Land. Mid-day high-sun or not, I grabbed the camera and headed out to try my luck.

I went to CP SA017, the east end of Missouri City siding, where I knew the light would be as good as it could be for a mid-day shot. I wasn’t there for 30 seconds when I see its headlight come around the corner at CP SA019.

KCS 3997 and 4016, both SD70ACe's, power an EB manifest at CP SA019, Sept. 13, 2010

All the recent trackwork around here has paid off, because the 3997 was doing a good 50 mph when it went by me.  Can I catch him again at West Junction? I won’t know if I don’t try, right?

I passed the head end as the train hit the detector at MP 15.6.  Shortly, the detector tells me that the train is still doing 44 mph, with West Junction less than 3 miles away.

Between the train slowing for the turn at West Junction and light traffic on Highway 90, I was able to get to the switch at West Junction with a good 45 seconds to spare.

KCS 3997 at West Junction in Houston,TX at 11:58 AM on Sept. 13, 2010.

The 3997 is entering UP's Terminal sub trackage. The Glidden sub is in the foreground.

KCS acquired SD70ACe demonstrators GM 71 – GM 73 in early 2007. They were numbered KCS 3997 – KCS 3999. They operated in EMD colors for several months before being painted into Southern Belle colors.

KCS 3997 at Alorton, IL on Feb. 10, 2007. Keith Belk Photo

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