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Down By The Corner

May 15, 2012

If there’s any point on the Union Pacific in the Houston area that can be called a corner, it would be Eureka,  at MP 366.3 of the Terminal subdivision. Westbound trains make a fairly sharp 90 degree turn, from Northwest to Southwest.

I had seen a westbound QEWWC manifest departing Englewood this past July 17, 2011, but there just wasn’t proper light for a shot. Knowing that the track makes the 90 degree turn at Eureka, I made the 8 mile drive there to wait for the train.

The train arrived within 15 minutes, allowing me to capture this series of images as it traversed the big curve.

Union Pacific 7718 leads the QEWWC train in Houston, July 17, 2011

Union Pacific 7718 leads the QEWWC train in Houston, July 17, 2011

Union Pacific 7718 leads the QEWWC train in Houston, July 17, 2011

 The track in the foreground serves double duty. It’s a lead into the ex-MKT Eureka Yard and a connector to the Eureka sub. An SD70M/SD9043MAC duo have the DPU duties today.

The DPU’s pass a train tied-down on Main 2. Eureka is a convenient spot to tie it down eastbounds when the crew is on short time, or Englewood isn’t able to take it.

Once the train gets out of this curve, track speed jumps from 20 to 40 mph for the 9 miles to West Junction. There, the Glidden sub begins and track speed increases to  60 mph.

I headed home to Sugar Land at this point, traveling via Loop 610 and Hwy 90. As I was passing through Stafford, I heard the detector at MP 15.6 go off.  The detector’s exit message announced the train’s speed at 51 mph.

I set up inside the curve near MP 20. Not the best location, but just not enough time to get to a better spot. As expected, the train arrived shortly. Interestingly, the same train I just photographed at Eureka 25 minutes prior!

Union Pacific QEWWC freight train at Stafford, TX on 7/17/2011

I didn’t try a shot of the DPU’s as the shot would have been almost straight into the sun. Homeward bound again. As I was pulling in to my driveway, the detector at 15.6 announced another westbound.

There’s still plenty of light, why not? I  headed to my favorite location, the  Imperial Sugar shot at MP 25. A friendly wave from the engineer accompanied the verboten whistle. (All of Sugar Land is a quiet zone, but crews may sound whistle to alert  pedestrians.)

KCS Kansas City Southern freight train at Sugar Land Texas on 7/17/2011

Once the KCS 4672 got by me, the sun was almost at the horizon, signifying that it’s really time to head home. Honest!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Howard Bingham permalink
    May 16, 2012 1:05 am

    Good catches & good timing..!

  2. OZARK WEAVERS permalink
    May 16, 2012 1:01 pm


  3. Gordon Hornak permalink
    July 27, 2013 10:10 am

    My mother in law was a tower operator here when the SP still had Tower 13 up. My wife told me how she would go with her mom to to the tower during the summer when she was a kid. By the wife doesn’t really care for trains but she humors me1 I used to take my grandsons here to watch trains but now that UP has put up the gate and fence on the west side approach all you can do is watch from the end of Old Washington or from where Tower 13 once stood…along Kansas Street. Progress is not good sometimes.

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