Saturday, July 11, 2015

Donuts & Diesels

In the past month my son and I have begun the Saturday tradition of having donuts at Krispy Kreme and then chasing diesels between Roanoke and Denton, TX. Today the skies were clear, light breeze, 85 degrees..perfect Texas summer morning.

           UP SD70M #4702 on point

Running northeast out of Fort Worth is the UP Choctaw Sub which sees at least 15-20 trains a day (conservative estimate) including automtotive, unit trains of all types, manifest, Roanoke Local, and BNSF trackage rights freights (usually a H-TULTPL or H-TPLTUL).

Today we had really good timing to catch two northbound and one southbound UP manifests after finishing up our sweet breakfast. 
              Donut deliciousness

Following trains along the US377 corridor is pretty easy since the tracks basically parallel the road from Haltom City to Denton, but to really follow along we always start out north of Roanoke since traffic is pretty light, stop lights are widely spaced, and speed limit will let you get ahead of the train running 45mph normally.
     Inspiration for weathering job using oil paints and turpentine..

   The ubiquitous general service tankcar in three different shades of black... Er grayish I mean.

 A lot of North American railroading at its finest in these 17 miles of railroad. 
  EMD leading as God intended. (Joe. A.)

As we wrapped up our follow along of the manifest we met it a grade crossing just south of Denton. A friendly wave to the crew with us distanced back safely at the crossing in our truck got us three short horn toots after the train had finished its grade crossing warning.

As it rolled by I took photos of some neat cars in the train - what great modelling opportunities as each car is unique and probably no two alike except for a brand new build.

        Coal gons now scrap gons

  Possibly new Trunity Jumbo builds coming out of Mexico.

Canadian Wheat Board cars - catch them while you can.

   Plate F - 60' Boxcar a favorite of mine

  Unique tagged car bringing up the rear.

Coming home from this chase we encountered another northbound with a "Border Sandwich" power consist leading Up-CN-UP-KCSM-UP. 

It is nice to get out and enjoy prototype railroading. While this is my hobby, sharing the experience with my wife and kids is important and something I would recommend to anyone. After all railroading American style is one of the unique things that makes our Country great and keeps our economy strong.


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