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Out & About – Oct. 21, 2011… Continued

October 23, 2011

When we left off, BNSF 980 was at Dayton Junction, where UP’s Baytown branch joins  UP’s Lafayette sub mainline at Dayton, TX. I decided to follow this train back to Houston because I don’t get to see many BNSF H1 motors leading.

Getting to the west end of the yard ahead of the BNSF 990 was easy due to the 10mph speed restriction for trains at Dayton Jct. The only question is what will the clouds do?

The head end and first 2-3 cars are in sun, the next 10 cars are not, the next 15 cars are, and the balance of the train is not in sun. Talk about random clouds!

Once the train was on the mainline, the engineer opened up the throttle.

As the head end got by me, the clouds had arrived.

I headed west in search of the next shot. I turned into a little private crossing at MP 331. As the train approached, I just knew I was to getting cloud-hosed.

I wanted to get the lead unit even with the mile post, but this “in yo’ face” is OK too.

Next stop was the intermediate signal at MP 333.8. As much as I’ve whined about these clouds, don’t they look good when they’re properly positioned in the background.

Next stop was a crossing at MP 337.5, just east of the siding at Crosby. In case you were wondering, yes, this track is surrounded by vegetation, as are most tracks north and east of Houston.

Enough of tunnels through weeds! I set up on the Old Hwy 90 bridge over the San Jacinto River. It wasn’t long before the BNSF 980 glided across the bridge.

You’ve never heard of the San Jacinto River? That’s hard to believe. It holds the honor of being “one of the most polluted water-ways in Texas and contains a number of pollutants in high concentrations that are persistent in the water and riverbed.”   But I digress…

Back to the BNSF 980. I caught up to it again just west of Sheldon, MP 345.

The going away shot seemed best in B&W.

By this point, I was getting tired of this train (I know, you were tired 7 shots back!), but I decide to move to the east end of Hatchery, MP 346.7, for one last shot.

I broke off the pursuit here and headed home.  I had been home for a few hours when I heard the Glidden sub DS give a track warrant to KCS 708. The number sounded familiar…

Of course! It was the same train I had seen departing Dayton at the beginning of my trip to Dayton.  I headed out to the west end of the Sugar Land siding, with KCS 708 arriving shortly after I had set up.

I wasn’t able to get a better shot of the train as it got closer due to the weeds to my left and at the right side of the frame. Somebody really needs to come out here with some cloppers…

En route home, I took a peek at the signal at CP SA025. It showed another westbound lined up, so I quickly made a u-turn and set up near the east switch of Sugar Land siding. Within 5 minutes, an MEWSA (Englewood to San Antonio) manifest arrived with UP 8057 on the point.

With the passage of UP 8057, I called it a day. To ensure no more railroad-related distractions, I turned off my radio and headed home.

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