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Out & About – Feb. 4, 2012

February 7, 2012

I had a photo/video job in Houston this last Saturday. There was a 2-hour gap between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception. Not really enough time to go home, so how do I kill two hours?

Of course, I’ll see what’s going on at UP’s Englewood Yard. The fact that it had been raining all day would normally deter me from this, but not today. I’ve been wanting to develop inclement weather photography skills, and there’s no time like the present.

I arrived at the east end of Englewood just in time to catch a hump job shoving a cut:

Englewood hump power has changed up over the last few years. 3-unit sets of SD38-s were standard for years, but lash-ups of SD40-2’s and SD38-2’s are the norm now. Note the remote-control sled at right.

You can only watch a hump job so much, so I headed east to see what might be coming into town on the Lafayette sub. I didn’t have to go very far before I saw a KCS grain train slow-rolling between switches at Dawes.

Nice to catch new ES44AC 4779 leading this train. The KCS took delivery of 25 ES44AC’s, numbered 4765-4789,  late last year.

KCS 4779 leads a Mexico-bound grain train at Dawes on Feb. 4, 2012.

The 4779 is coasting to a stop for the red signal at Mesa, CP LF355.

Interesting to see an approaching eastbound train here, as virtually all traffic on the Lafayette sub is  westbound.

I decided to get my shot of the eastbound as it passed by the DPU on the KCS grain train.

The only eastbounds typically through here is local traffic for Dayton, TX, about 30 miles east of Houston. There’s a large aggregate plant there, which would be the destination of UP 8585.

The 8585 was traveling on yellows, so it was easy to get ahead of it for some shots of it at Greens Bayou, just east of the east switch of Dawes.

Like I said, it had been raining all day.

 Click here for a picture of Greens Bayou under normal conditions.

I decided to head back west to see if there might be some shots of the KCS 4779 where it had stopped. When I got to Mesa, I saw another eastbound approaching. I thought eastbounds were uncommon here!

This train is also headed for Dayton. BNSF has trackage rights to Dayton to access trackage rights on UP’s Baytown Branch, where BNSF and UP generate lots of chemical traffic.

The KCS conductor has a friendly wave for the crew on the BNSF 7469.

I was impressed by the amount of water in Green’s Bayou, so back there for shots of BNSF 7469. The first shot shows it just west of the bayou at CP LF353, the east switch of Dawes.

BNSF 7469 crossing the old bridge across Green’s Bayou. Anybody care to hazard a guess what year this bridge was built? Enter your guess in comments below. Hint: it’s older than the Galveston Causeway.

I had heard another train roll-by the first eastbound, UP 8585, at Fauna.  I headed east to see what might be waiting there for the BNSF 7469.

Here’s BNSF 7469 going in at CP LF351, the east switch of Fauna.

UP 5090 has been holding the main for the two eastbounds.

Not quite enough water in the ditch to get a complete reflection, but what can you really do?

I was ready for more action in spite of the rain, but it was time to head to the reception venue and get back to work.

 P.S.- Don’t forget to enter your guess in comments of what year the Green’s Bayou bridge was constructed.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 9, 2012 7:59 pm

    Interesting. I don’t know as much as I’d like to know about Englewood Yard.

    Cloudy day stuff like that is tricky. In those situations, I find it best to get as much elevation as possible – like climbing overpasses or at least on top of my truck – so that the dark train will not be against the brighter sky. It looks like you were unable to do that. That’s why I want a bucket truck!

    You may have seen my latest post with 19 cloudy shots from New Orleans on Sunday. Many times, I use the lasso tool in Photoshop to lasso the train and then do levels and curves there, leaving the sky just as the camera captured it.

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