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Ten Years Ago, Never Again, Sad

March 18, 2018

Answer: Ten Years Ago, Never Again, Sad.

Question: When did UP 6936 last pass through Houston, when will it return to Houston, and how do I feel about it?

It’s been just over 10 years since UP’s last operating Centennial locomotive, 6936, passed through Houston. It was Bill Wimmer’s, head of UP’s Engineering Department, preferred locomotive to power their inspection trains throughout the system back then. Wimmer retired some years back, meaning the 6936 will never travel around the system again. That bites, but that’s business. And that’s life.

So indulge me in this trip down memory lane. Pics and (edited) text from a post that I made on Train-Orders back then.

Perfect weather, but everything else was a battle, in my quest to document the passage of UP 6936 leading the 2008 Wimmer Engineering Dept. special train through the Houston area on 2/18/2008.

The 6936 beat me to the first photo location I’d planned because I forgot to program my radio with a frequency that I’d need, so I had to go back home. I lost 30 minutes because of that mistake, then wreck related traffic congestion cost me another 10 minutes. Sigh.

We’re on the Wayside Ave. overpass as the SAVBL 18 (Special Avondale – Bloomington) approaches the Englewood Yard office for the crew change. I had just taken the first telephoto shot of the train when an HPD officer approaches me and wants to know what I’m doing. I try to explain quickly, but he’s not satisfied. He wants ID. So I miss some of my shots while I extract my ID so he can perform *Security Theatre*.

Fortunately, I wasn’t in a terrorist watch list and I had no unpaid parking tickets, so I was allowed to go on my way without too much time lost. Here we see the crew change at the east end of Englewood Yard.

Rolling past now-closed Tower 68 at the West end on Englewood. A UP Terminal Dispatcher now directs traffic from the Spring Dispatching Center.

A mad dash takes me to the Sampson Street grade crossing, CP H237 on UP’s West Belt sub, to capture the shot of the 6936 and the Houston skyline.

More crazy driving gets me to North Hastings on BNSF’s Mykawa sub. UP uses BNSF track between T&NO Jct and Algoa to access the Angleton sub.

The next several shots I got of this train were video only account poor light angles, but light angles improved by the time we reached La Ward, Texas.

The train arrived to Bloomington right about sunset. Next shot shows the 6936 as it shoves its train into the Bloomington Yard.

The final shot shows the train arriving to its resting place for the night, just before the crew tied it down.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 18, 2018 3:57 pm

    Great shots!

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