Tales of Tower 17

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Don't knock clouds. Some very good railroad photos (like your first one above) have interesting cloud formations in the background. Many times an overcast sky will present better lightning conditions than bright, harsh sunlight.
First, thank you. Second, true. Overcast skies can be beneficial at times. With these cloudy skies I'm staying closer to Richmond, and waiting on the trains at specific points. The Old Richmond and US90 shots are products of that. But I'll wait for the sun to come out again before I chase out towards Eagle Lake or Wallis.

That said, today dawned overcast and raining. Around 1500 I went into Richmond to work on a tricky shot as the rain moved on. Up to 2012 Richmond had the longest serving mayor in the U.S., Hilmar Moore. Elected in 1949, and reelected until his death in 2012. A life size statue was placed outside city hall in 2008 which is located about 100' from the tracks. The goal being to work a locomotive into the background of a piece of local history. This was the first attempt:

Hilmar Moore (Custom-Small).jpg

A bit more overcast and it might have worked. As it was the sun began punching through the clouds and strengthened the shadows. And expecting a freight train on ATCS, all that showed up was a hy-rail truck. Will try again. Below are a few shots I took as the sun began to show itself in Richmond and Booth respectively.

Approaching the Brazos
BNSF 7219 2 (Custom-Small).jpg

Clearing the bridge
BNSF 7219 (Custom-Small).jpg

ACe at South Booth
BNSF 8483 (Custom-Small).jpg
Got trackside this evening in Booth and Richmond. Caught a BNSF stack train in Booth, and a UP manifest in Richmond. A passing EB UP train included a patched SP unit in its consist.

Cloudy skies over Booth
BNSF 3815 (Custom-Small).jpg

Grab shot
UP 6379 (Custom-Small).jpg

Approaching the Brazos (sans lens flares)
UP 7495 (Custom-IncreasedEV-Small).jpg

Clean power, good light
UP 7495 2 (Custom-Small).jpg
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This past Saturday I had the opportunity to visit the Galveston Railroad Museum. They're based out of the old Gulf Coast & Sante Fe station on Galveston Island. They're notable for operating two F units done up in ATSF warbonnet colors on excursions in SE Texas. Both F units were not operated by ATSF, but started life as SP units. The history of the Warbonnets is available here. Their motive power roster also includes a 2-8-0, a 4-6-0, a 2-6-2, and a Shay as well (all non-operational). Here are a few photos from the visit.

WBT&S 1 (2-6-2)
WBT&S 1 2 (Custom-Small).jpg

ATSF 315 and SP 314 (4-6-0)
ATSF 315 (Custom-Small).jpg

ATSF 316
ATSF 316 (Custom-Small).jpg
Slow morning, and absolutely nothing this afternoon. But there were a couple. UP local out of Eagle Lake with an SD70M running long hood forward, and two KCS trains tied down just outside of their Kendleton intermodal transfer facility. The last photo is of a piece of rolling stock owned by the Imperial Sugar Company, for whom the city of Sugar Land is named. Imperial's trackage was torn up when the city began repurposing their old factory, so the car is currently sitting at the end of the Nalco/UP yard across the street in Sugar Land.

Long hood foward at Hermann Sulak Rd
UP 4444 (Custom).jpg

Belles under a big sky
Kendelton Belles 5 (Custom).jpg

Tied down at Kendleton
Kendelton Belles 2 (Custom).jpg

Imperial Sugar car
IMPX 1843 3 (Custom).jpg
This morning dawned sunny with a clear sky, and as of 1600 local the skies have turned dark and the thunder is rolling. Texas weather. The morning tally was 4 trains, and 1 gator. First train on the day was a WB KCS manifest outside Rosenberg. After that it was all BNSF action between Booth and Thompsons. A coal drag, stack train, and a cut of auto-racks. You'd almost miss the gator, but he can be seen in the last photo by the second axle in the reflection. Small one, maybe 3-4'.

WB Manifest
KCS 4852 (Custom-Small).jpg

Booth coal drag at first light
BNSF 6029 2 (Custom).jpg

Thompsons trestle
BNSF 6029 (Custom).jpg

Swamp railroading
BNSF 8111 2 (Custom-Small).jpg
Headed out this morning, and when checking ATCS didn't see any EB traffic on BNSF or UP. So I took a chance and headed down to Kendleton to see if there was anything moving on the KCS Rosenburg sub. The nice thing about KCS is that it almost completely paralells US59 west of Rosenberg, making a quick sweep a straightforward task. There's no ATCS coverage except at the Tower 17 interchange, so if something is moving you don't see it until it's already on the Glidden sub. I snagged an manifest/intermodal coming out of the Kendleton yard, and shot him again crossing the Brazos in Richmond. I used a stepladder for the bridge shot, I think it turned out well.

Pulling out of Kendleton
KCS 4770 (Custom).jpg

Need a taller ladder
KCS 4770 6 (Custom).jpg
I love that Southern Belle paint scheme. We will occasionally get one up here.
In that case, you'll enjoy the lone shot from this morning's run. Note the engine today is KCS 4771, and the previous shot at the same location was KCS 4770. Noticed it during post processing.

Straight out of Richmond
KCS 4771 3 (Custom).jpg
Grab shot of T&P 400, a 2-8-2 located outside the Marshall Depot in Marshall, TX. This would be one of those excursions afield I mentioned in the first post of this thread. More to come. But probably not in this thread.

T&P 400 (Custom).jpg
Lol, only thing I worry about when shooting is Mosquitoes...

Nice photos as usual!
Thank you.

This past Sunday I was in Freeport, about an hour south of Richmond on the coast. The railroad wasn't the reason I there but I did get a pair of grab shots of a UP local holding at the edge of the Freeport yard. The consist included a converted B30-7, along with two engines which appear to be SD40s or SD60s. However, when checking the engine numbers online it appears that they are both rebuilt from switchers (an NW2 and an SW1500).

UP 1099 (Custom).jpg

UP 1099 2 (Custom).jpg
A few shots from yesterday. The BNSF local heading north back to Sealy lead by a GP35, UP stack train coming out of Rosenberg, and the trailing motor on a BNSF unit train heading to Galveston.

O/T. A Gulf Coast thunderstorm in all it's glory.

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