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Out & About – Oct. 4, 2013

October 5, 2013

I got word that today’s Amtrak #2 would have a private car bringing up the rear. That was enough for me to get out and try my luck with the partly cloudy skies. As I left home, there were lots of big cumulus clouds above, so I knew it would be a hit-or-miss proposition getting full sun when my photographic quarry arrived.

I headed to West Junction to wait for #2. It’s more open there plus the curve might help get better light on rear of the PV. Several big clouds passed by during my 10 minute wait for the train, but the sun prevailed as #2 approached.

Amtrak P42DC 180 on train #2 at Houston, TX

Amtrak P42DC 180 on train #2 at Houston, TX

The private car really stood out because it’s several feet shorter than Amtrak’s Superliners.

Private car Hickory CreekI was quite taken with the sleek lines the car and its NYC lightning stripe livery. It’s apparently the only remaining NYC Pullman car. It’s owned by the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey.  Click here for the history of this beautiful car.

Hickory Creek2Interesting fact about this car-it was christened by Gen. Dwight Eisenhower in 1948 at New York’s Grand Central Terminal.

Hickory Creek3

Here’s a shot of it during its heyday:


I moved 2 miles west to Ormandy to await the RDTDP (Rock Dittlinger-Dallerup) that was following Amtrak. This is one of the heaviest trains on the Glidden sub, typically  in the 15,000 ton range for its 110 cars or so of aggregate.

A westbound manifest passed by on track 1 seconds before the RDTDP arrived. No way to get a shot of it here, but the DS had instructed it to hold for one eastbound at Missouri City, so I should be able to shoot it there.

UP 9572

RDTDPI headed another 2 miles west, to Missouri City, to set up for the next eastbound. The westbound that went by me at Ormandy was UP 3778, the MEWEG-4. It was already there , waiting for the LHT44, the eastbound Flatonia local,

UP SD70M 3778 on MEWEG manifest train at Missouri City TXBy the time the LHT47 arrived, my luck with the clouds had just run out, resulting in these craptacular shots. Nothing you can really do other than take it like a man, then carry on.

Union Pacific LHT44 local at Missouri City TX

UP SD70M 3778 on MEWEG manifest train at Missouri City TX and LHT44 localI headed to CP SA019 to catch the MEWEG manifest at the end of double track.

UP SD70M 3778 on MEWEG manifest train at Missouri City TX

UP SD70M 3778 on MEWEG manifest train at Missouri City TXAs the MEWEG approached me from the east, a huge cloud was approaching from the west. Fortunately for me, the train won the race by an engine length.


MEWEG-4There was a lull once the MEWEG got by me due to MOW getting 90 minutes of track and time to dump rock between switches at Sugar Land. I took this time to head home to cool off and get some lunch.

The first thing to run once MOW gave back their time was the LRNRNJ, the KCS local. Its power was 2 GP40’s in Southern Belle colors. It would have been epic had the clouds not made an untimely appearance. Clouds or not, it’s still a nice shot.

KCS 2959There wasn’t anything else running in the area, so I took that as a sign to head home and back into the A/C.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Howard Laker permalink
    January 27, 2014 6:27 am


    Is the LRNRNJ, the KCS local mentioned, the train that runs between the Kendleton terminal and the PTRA? And does it run on any sort of a regular schedule?

    Howard Laker

    • January 28, 2014 2:07 pm

      LRNRN is what KCS calls their Kendleton – PTRA local. The UP symbol for it is LRNRNJ. The J suffix is a UP designation to identify non-UP trains.

      It’s typically a mid-morning call time for this train, but here recently it’s been 4-5 hours running later. I don’t know if it’s a permanent change or if the recent later call times are a function of waiting for auto traffic blocks.

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