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Railfan Hat Trick

August 1, 2012

If I were a betting man, today would have been the day to play the lottery because I achieved my first railfan hat trick.

I know you’re probably thinking “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is this guy talking about?” Fair question, so read on.

We had just finished cleaning up the kitchen this evening, August 1, 2012,  when I heard the DS tell an eastbound that it would be at Sugar Land for two trains, Amtrak and a KCS.

I looked out the window and saw that it was fairly clear. I grabbed a camera and made the quick trip to MP 21.5 on the Glidden sub to indulge in my current favorite pastime, photographing Amtrak #1, the Sunset Limited in the last light of the day.

I wanted to catch it from the US 59 overpass, but I didn’t want to park on the shoulder any longer than necessary. I ended waiting in a shopping center parking lot until I heard the detector at MP 15.6 announce 36 axles at 65 mph. That was my cue that I had 5 minutes to drive the mile or so and set up.

I have done this shot a few other times, so I knew exactly where to park on the shoulder. With my emergency flashers on, I moved over to the passenger side, opened the window, folded the mirror in, made a few camera adjustments and waited no more than 2-3 minutes when I saw the train enter the curve just west of MP 21. Show time…

Amtrak P42DC 1 leads train #1, the Sunset Limited through Sugar Land TX

Amtrak P42DC 1 leads train #1, the Sunset Limited through Sugar Land TX

Shots in the bag, I contorted myself across the center console, back behind the wheel. My plan was to set up for the KCS that was following #1, but the DS mentioned that it was just leaving Eureka. That’s a good 20 miles away. By the time it got out to me it would be too dark, so I went home to savor my hat trick.

So what’s this hat trick business? I will put the question to you. If you read the 6 paragraphs and looked at the two pictures, you have all the data you need to divine just what the heck I’m talking about.

Go to Comments below and give your best guess of what my railfan hat trick was.  You won’t win anything, but you will be able to impress all of your friends, neighbors, family, and co-workers with your feat…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Zeke B. permalink
    August 2, 2012 11:15 pm

    Engine #1 leading Amtrak #1 on August 1! Great Catch!

    • August 2, 2012 11:35 pm

      Congrats Zeke! Thanks for taking me up on the challenge. I see you like the P-47. At the Dyess AFB air show earlier this year, we got to see several fly-bys of the P-47 alongside the new Thunderbolt, the A-10. Cool stuff!

  2. Kevin permalink
    August 3, 2012 6:35 pm

    Zeke, you’re goooooooooood !!!!

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