H-TULTPL9-19 at Haslet
This locomotive is one of 20 former Santa Fe GE B23-7 locomotives being rebuilt with 3-axle trucks and small fuel tanks for East African Rift Valley Railways which operates in Kenya and Uganda. It is fitting that this trip would take the locomotive over the former Santa Fe rails it once called home! These units are being rebuilt by National Railway Equipment and are identified as C23-7's.
Amtrak No. 821 at GE
The BNSF Texas Division has seen some extreme weather recently, resulting in a blanket 40 MPH speed restriction. This combined with various other slow orders have made the environment unfavorable for the operation of passenger trains. On this day all of the passengers were detrained at Ardmore, Oklahoma and put into buses. The train seen here is operating equipment only and is about five hours late.
H-KCKTPL1-17 at Justin
Chasing Roadrailer Q-SAGKCK1-19 North From Lambert
We selected Lambert Junction where the old and new main track alignments come together north of Alliance. This train would be operating off the soon-to-be-severed Main Three. At Lambert the under-construction new Main One can be seen right in front of Main Two--both tracks sweeping to the west away from the original alignment. A new connection from the old main around what will become the "New" Control Point at Lambert is also under construction. This connection will be used to allow access to the GE Locomotive factory.
Train Q-SAGKCK1-19 would sport four locomotives today, the third being NS 9250 wearing a special Operation Lifesaver paint scheme. In tow were 116 Triple Crown Roadrailer Trailers on bogies.
The many speed restrictions in effect made this train an easy chase. After photographing the train at Lambert, we were able to get shots at Ponder, Krum, and South of Metro. We would again photograph the train at Valley View as it eased by the recent derailment site.
V-KCKPEA1-17 at Rector Road
There was a "Road Closed" barricade on Rector Road just east of the grade crossing, so naturally we went that way after shooting the V-KCKPEA1-17! This road is the long way to the next town which is Sanger, TX. There were four locations where flood waters from the recent storms was flowing freely over Rector Road. At the time of our passing it was shallow enough for us to safely drive through.
Having traveled this far it occurred to us that the site of the recent derailment of train Z-WSPALT8-06 was not far away. With train speed being very slow today, we decided to head to the derailment site to see what we could see.
Z-WSPALT8-06 Derailment Site - Valley View, TX
All four employees (the two-man crew of the Z-WSPALT8-06 and the two-man crew picked up off the Roadrailer) were injured, though non-critically, and were hospitalized for treatment. This location was on a fill and did not have immediate road access, so site recovery took several days.
Tragically and coincidentally, very near the location of this derailment, BNSF Conductor Brandon Henegar was dealt a fatal blow by this storm. He had accepted a call to work that night. While trying to travel from his home in Gainesville to the Yard Office at Alliance, his personal vehicle was swept off the road by the flash flood that caused Spring Creek to rage. Brandon was found deceased in his vehicle late that morning. The button below will take you to local news coverage of this storm event:
But on this evening, the locomotives could be seen. Very eerily looming over the muddy, scarred, and dangerous landscape. Only two contractors were on hand, using heavy equipment to tear apart the well of a Trailer Train stack car. We got shots of our Roadrailer and a southbound Z-Train passing the scene. Two very supportive Valley View police officers also made a presence. Their world had been turned upside-down by the events of the storm as well. After a pleasant conversation it was time to head home. I would need to report for duty at 0630 the next morning. My job as train dispatcher for this territory would be waiting for my arrival.