Lot of railfan action 8-19-2000
Got out on Hwy 290 in NW Houston about 7:30AM and found derailed UP grain train. Appeared where we parked North of Site that equipment had been dragging prior to crossing with ties chewed up. Crossing showed evidence of same. Scuttlebutt at scene was possible broken wheel and car was dragging over a mile. Had 5 or 6 Hulcher Semi flatbeds set up in roadblock like something in Eastwood's "Gauntlet". Very impressive.
Hulcher cats everywhere. A sea of grain did little to bog them down. One amazing sight was a derailed car near highway had a rail section that pierced car sticking several feet out to almost the center of highway. Big cat with claw device was having no success removing rail.
Went on a road trip to East Houston. Found PTRA yard near Port Of Houston Gate 8. Saw BNSF#4317 Dash9-44CW and BN#9293 SD60M White Face with a load of chemical cars being led by the PTRA locomotives that sound like thrashing machines.
CGOX, 1116,L,HOUSTON ,TX,DD,08202000,1435 ,BNSF#,MEMPHIS ,TN,,,,,,PTRA,,,,
MP ,718205,L,HOUSTON ,TX,DD,08202000,1435 ,BNSF#,MEMPHIS ,TN,,,,,,PTRA,,,,
Went to a place on Kirkpatrick said Settegast Diesel Shops. Tons of MP15 switchers, NS and Conrail power everywhere.
A trip to Galen Park found a small UP office with a couple GP38s nearby. Also SW of this office was a yellow locomotive in a fenced area #4478 with an "ER" on one side of nose. I swear from a distance it looked like one of those ex-CNW GP7s at the WTJR. Maybe someone knows.
Went out I 10 to Sheldon Rd and found big Cargill Grain Elevators at Port. Three little switch engines working there. One named "Ginger".
Found spot at Wayside Dr. and Market where apparently UP does crew changes. Had rock train with a consist of UP, HLGX, UP "B", DRGW, and 2 TFMs stop and crew leave. Couple hours later a mostly chemical train in same spot with 2 huge SP AC4400s in consist.
Got back to Spring around 3:00PM and not only were tracks clogged with SB but a SB mixed freight was parked on the Navasota main under I45, ditch lights out. Bet extra traffic off Eureka Sub. just clogged the System!!
Could not spot those Russian locomotives I heard about. None of Port Security etc. ever heard of such a thing.
See photos of UP grain derailment at:
Album Of Grain Train Massive Derailment