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Out & About – January 6, 2013

January 10, 2013

We’ve been pretty much socked in around here since Dec. 18th, so not a lot of current activity to show you. There was a brief respite from the bad weather this past Sunday, 1/6/2013, so I made a point of taking the camera with me as I left to Pasadena to attend to some chores.

I timed my departure from home in order to catch Amtrak #2 as it departed the depot at 12:10 PM. I wanted to catch a shot of it from the Elysian Street viaduct. The Houston skyline would be a nice backdrop from there. But my plan changed as I neared downtown when TD2 advised #2’s crew:  “You’ll be going Lafayette sub today”.  Cool, #2  will go the wrong way!

Pursuant to UP’s directional running plan, Amtrak #2, along with all other eastbound through freight traffic, is routed via the Beaumont sub. This is the ex-MP Houston-Beaumont mainline.

Today’s #2 will be a throwback to the good old days, when it went via the ex-SP Lafayette sub to Beaumont. The dispatcher didn’t give a reason for the re-route, but a good guess would be Beaumont sub congestion that would delay the passenger train.

I set up on the Wayside Drive overpass at the east end of Englewood. I had visions of a nice 3/4 view of #2 at the CP LF358 signal bridge, but a westbound manifest had just dragged in and stopped short before clearing up track 093, the westbound receiving lead. No problem, a head-on shot will do nicely. (Click image to view an extra-big 1600×800 version of image)

Amtrak #2 passing UP Englewood yard in Houston, TX

Did I mention that the rear of the westbound manifest was fouling main 2?

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Main 2 is fouled? No problem. The dispatcher has lined the Sunset Limited Main 2 to Main 1.

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 I crossed over to the east side of the overpass in time to catch #2 passing UP 7046 leading another westbound manifest. You might recall seeing UP 7046 a few posts back, leading an MEGEW train.

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 Time to head to Pasadena and get on-task. But I wanted to take a quick look at the south side of Englewood, just for grins.

I certainly got a grin when I came across the power for the MEWFP, with UP 1995 leading.  I had no idea the C&NW heritage unit was in town! With no crew on the power, it wasn’t going anywhere soon, so I contented myself with a few shots as it sat in perfect light.

UP SD70ACe 1995, the C&NW heritage engine, at Houston, TX

UP SD70ACe 1995, the C&NW heritage engine, at Houston, TX

Cab detail of UP SD70ACe 1995, the C&NW heritage engine, at Houston, TX

As I was wrapping up my shots of UP 1995 I heard a train to my right. A yard job was dragging a long cut of cars on to track 111, aka the western thoroughfare.

HLCX 3861 at UP's Englewood yard in Houston

UP 1995 about to be eclipsed by the yard job.

HLCX 3861 at UP's Englewood yard in Houston

At this point I headed toward Pasadena, thinking I was done with the camera. Think again. En route I came across BNSF 7205 at Manchester Jct. waiting for a Manchester Yard track to become available for its train.

BNSF 7205 at Manchester Jct in Houston TX

BNSF 7205 at Manchester Jct in Houston TX

I visited with the BNSF crew as they waited for PTRA to do their thing. Once they got the word to head in to Manchester Yard, that was my cue to head out to Pasadena. I hated leaving plenty of sun and plenty of rail traffic on the table, but the chores won’t do themselves.

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