Uprr - sait 4/21/2012
Here are a couple of shots of the UPRR San Antonio Intermodal Terminal (SAIT) , located in San Antonio near the junction of I-35 and Fischer Road. These were taken from the entrance overpass to the facility.
thanks for the pix. i am gonna be in san antonio to see some inlaws. wondering about some of the railfanning there. any san antonio railfans on this site? i am also gonna be between san antonio and austin so would like to do some railfanning on the UP austin sub. it appears there are two mains on part or all of this sub? do they do directional running? where are manifests out of san antonio originated (for example, the MSAFW?) i have heard from different sources that it is built in East Yard or also in SoSan yard. looking at maps i cant figure how a train built in East Yard would get out onto the Austin Sub, other than backing out? furthermore, what types of trains and how are traffic levels on the austin sub? any answers to these questions, or other good tips on railfanning in San Antonio, would be appreciated. Thanks.
they are running two Ft. Worth - San Antonio manifests now. There is an MFWEY and MFWSA along with their return counterparts. I mostly see the MFWEY (East Yard) manifest on the Austin sub but still believe the MFWSA still takes the Austin sub but sometimes goes through Hearne. Someone else might be able to add more info to this.
Other trains on the Austin sub through San Antonio that I know if include a unit train from Knippa, various rock trains, QEGLN ( Eagle Pass - Little Rock ) QLDNL ( Laredo - Little Rock ) AEGNL (Auto Train to Little Rock) AOASP ( Auto Oakland Ca - Spring TX ). Im not sure of the symbols for the unit pacer container trains or the other intermodal trains that have the China Containers and Swift, JB Hunt trailers as well as the cement and northbound SATX and other coal train emties. I will add that these are all trains that come through Taylor so I am not sure of any symbols for the southbounds as well as BNSF trackage rights trains that enter the Austin sub at San Marcos from Lockhart
best place to see all the action together would probably be New Braunfels where the lines cross. I was at a wedding there last weekend and it was one after another all afternoon and night long.
oh yea dont forget Amtrak
With the caveat that I'm still fairly new at this...
I live west of San Antonio in Kerrville, in an area with no local rail activity.
My experience at SAIT was moderate - although I was on public property, outside any fenced or signed area, we were still run off by UPRR security people after about 15 minutes. Rather than create an argument or confrontation, even though I was well within my rights we left the area.
Better experiences by far were along the Del Rio sub, which roughly follows Hwy 90 from San Antonio to the southwest. Good spots along that section include D'Hanis, Knippa (excellent) and Uvalde, with a number of good, safe and public spots along Hwy 90 itself that offer views of some of the trestles.
There is lots of MOW activity going on, with good shooting opportunity of the Plasser-American gear, particularly in D'Hanis and Knippa, as well as the siding at the Vulcan rock plant in Knippa. All the UPRR crews I've met have been friendly. D'Hanis and Knippa both have safe parking locations, with good vantage points off railroad/private property.
There is also a platform in Hondo, this is an OK location to catch the passing intermodal and manifest traffic, although it moves past this location at a pretty fair clip - better for video than still photography.
I don't know much about central San Antonio's yards, but I think there are a few others here who do...