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Bass Ackward Consist and Train Vs Tow Truck

August 19, 2012

I was traveling through downtown Houston the Saturday before last, August 11, 2012, when I saw a westbound intermodal on the Terminal Sub as it was passing over I-10. I too, was westbound on I-10 en route to a quinceanera reception in northwest Houston. I was running ahead of schedule so I figured that I could get ahead of the train and grab a quick shot or two.

I exited I-10 at Washington Avenue and doubled back to Sherwin Street, near MP 365.9. It’s the last grade crossing before Eureka Junction. As it was nearly 100 degrees outside, I waited in the car until I saw the headlight approaching. It wasn’t too long before the headlight of UP 7641, a ZATLC train, came into view. The power has just passed over I-10 on the second of three UP overpasses of I-10 in a 6-7 mile stretch of the Terminal Sub. You can see part of the overpass at right in the first image.

UP 7641 leads a ZATLC train across the I-10 overpass just west of downtown Houston, TX on August 11, 2012

UP 7641 leads a ZATLC train across the I-10 overpass just west of downtown Houston, TX on August 11, 2012

As the trailing unit passed by me, I realized that it was a brand-new GE. UP ES44AC 7960 is looking pretty sharp, being less than 2 months old! Just my luck! The brand-new unit is trailing!

UP ES44AC 7960 at Houston, TX

The going away shot shows the contrast between UP 7960 and the two leading units. C’est la vie…

Here’s a Google  Street View of the Sherwin Street grade crossing where I took these photos. I was on the other side of the crossing, the train came from the left side of the Street View image.

I included the Street View so you could see the last thing a tow truck driver saw, or should have seen, before he got his rig high-centered on the UP track. Note the warning sign at right.

You already know the rest of the story. Click here to see the story, and short slide show, that was in the Houston Chronicle this past January 25th.

PS – I would have preferred to embed the Chronicle’s story, but they don’t seem to allow that anymore.

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