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Thread: Tales of Tower 17

  1. #1

    Default Tales of Tower 17

    Back home in Texas after wrapping up freshman year at LA Tech. I live in Richmond, which is next door to Rosenberg, a crossroads for KCS, UP, and BNSF. The UP Glidden, BNSF Galveston, and KCS Rosenberg subs all intersect in Rosenberg. Dozens of trains daily, lots of photo opportunities. Tower 17 was original interlocking tower which controlled traffic in Rosenberg, thus the thread title. The plan is to post photos from all three area subs, with the occasional excursion afield. So here goes...

    The Sunset Limited approaches Sugar Land on the UP Glidden sub.
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    KCS manifest passes Harlem Rd on the UP Glidden sub.
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    BNSF coal drag passes the N Booth CP under cover of a thunderstorm.
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    BNSF unit train waits in the Wallis siding.
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    Traveler of Texas, photographer of steel.

  2. #2

    Default

    I got out at 0600 yesterday morning and caught 2 EB trains on the UP Glidden sub. Went home, and got back out at 1630 to catch WB traffic. Here are some of the results from those excursions. I shoot at the East Bernard siding quite a bit ue to a combination of good light, two tracks, and a good spot to park my car.

    Unit sand train sitss at the East Bernard siding. This is actually a local from a sand facility about 20mi west of this location.
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    UP local from Eagle Lake meets the sand train at the East Bernard siding. I was hoping for a pair of GPs on this guy, but apparently UP uses SD70s as road switchers.
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    BNSF WB stack train waits in the passing track to meet an EB at Wallis.
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    UP MoW track moves into the East Bernard siding.
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    Traveler of Texas, photographer of steel.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Edmonds (near Seattle), WA. USA
    Posts
    4,081

    Default

    Thanks for risking the heat, humidity, and bugs of a Houston area summer to start this thread and take those photos. I'll put in a request for more photos of the sand train, including the freight cars, source, and destination (if possible without trespassing).
    Bill Anderson, Mile Post 18 regular

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anderson View Post
    Thanks for risking the heat, humidity, and bugs of a Houston area summer to start this thread and take those photos. I'll put in a request for more photos of the sand train, including the freight cars, source, and destination (if possible without trespassing).
    My pleasure. It's home, you get used to it after a while.

    Freight cars I will do in the future, but the source is off-limits on private property. I don't know the destination. I'll try to find out.

    Sand train at first light. Low angle light is not a UP friend.
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    Another angle.
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    Traveler of Texas, photographer of steel.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Edmonds (near Seattle), WA. USA
    Posts
    4,081

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by USSHelm View Post
    My pleasure. It's home, you get used to it after a while.
    I lived in SE Missouri (pronounced "Misery") for five years when I was young. I never got used to it. Fortunately I spent most summers in Oregon with my grandparents.
    Bill Anderson, Mile Post 18 regular

  6. #6

    Default

    Nice stuff! I look forward to seeing more.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Itsed65 View Post
    Nice stuff! I look forward to seeing more.
    Thank you. I'll be happy to oblige.

    The last two days have unusually been cool and dry, autumn weather in May. I got out trackside at 1630 to catch WB traffic. Caught 2 BNSF trains in Wallis, and 2 UP trains around Rosenberg and East Bernard. The second UP train was a bad decision, as the sun was low in the sky and highlighted a very dirty SD70M. But otherwise the excursion was a success. Here are a few of those results...

    BNSF 5856 pulls an empty coal drag through Wallis.
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    BNSF 8419 hot on the heels of the previous with a cut of autoracks.
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    UP 8952 approaches Robinowitz Rd, exiting Rosenberg with a stack train.
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    UP 8952 sounds the horn approaching Pilcik Rd, startling a trio of calves.
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    A couple notes on the day. I'm going to bring a step ladder out to Wallis sometime to deal with the grade and high weeds. See if maybe I can mix-up the tele shots. I've got a number of unused Wallis teles, most of which look the same. Not good. On a better note, this was my first time shooting from Pilcik Rd. No roadside power lines, few trees, and good public access. I believe that it's the only spot like that on the UP between Columbus and Rosenberg. Definitely a keeper.
    Last edited by USSHelm; 05-26-2017 at 12:04 AM.
    Traveler of Texas, photographer of steel.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Edmonds (near Seattle), WA. USA
    Posts
    4,081

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by USSHelm View Post
    See if maybe I can mix-up the tele shots. I've got a number of unused Wallis teles, most of which look the same. Not good.
    That is the big challenge when you shoot from the same location, whether it is MP 17 near my home or Tower 17 near your home. Nothing beats shutter time to hone your photography skills.
    Bill Anderson, Mile Post 18 regular

  9. #9

    Default

    The skies cleared up for the first time in a week and a half, so I hit the road to see what I could find. Mostly WBs, including a military train hauling HMMWVs, gooseneck trailers, and support vehicles. The only EB was a manifest heading into Houston from the Eagle Lake yard. I photographed it a few miles west of East Bernard and again crossing the Brazos River at Richmond. The East Bernard location was a new one, I've wanted to try it but hadn't due to high weeds. This time I had a stepladder, so I was able to get above the weeds for a decent shot. The train crew got a kick out of it, in the first images you can see them grinning. But without further ado....

    Rounding the corner
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    Closing the distance
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    Crossing the Brazos
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    Traveler of Texas, photographer of steel.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    4,376

    Default

    Nice set of photos USSHelm. That quite an interesting looking bridge support in that last photo. Is that some sort of retrofit bridge pier?

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