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Traingod
07-23-2006, 04:20 PM
It's been a while since I posted a report from your "western observation post", so I thought that I'd share a couple pics of my recent central TX findings.

I got out yesterday on the UP Austin and Waco Subs. I had plans to head north to Temple, TX to intercept the BNSF Galveston Sub, but increasing cloud cover and a threat of thunderstorms kept me south near Taylor, TX. Anyway, I found three shortlines in the area. The first is the Austin Area Terminal Railroad (AUAR), as you might have guessed it, operates in the Austin, TX area. They have a yard in McNeil, TX (with an interchange with BNSF and UP) and I stumbled onto some Saturday morning operations.

First up, local power from BNSF after interchanging with the AUAR.
[photoid=152367]

Next, AUAR power heading to get its trains. They have a nice scheme.
[photoid=152365]

They have a bridge at the west end of their yard over a local parkway.
[photoid=152369]

I then spent the next couple of hours driving around central TX. I located both the Georgetown Railroad (GRR) and the Rockdale, Sandow, & Southern (RSS), but I couldn't photograph any of their power since they were under cover or behind a bunch of no trespassing signs. I saw several other UP freights during the day, but I couldn't quite get the light (and clouds) to cooperate to get some good shots until the end of my day when I found some UP power idling at the AUAR interchange in McNeil, again.

[photoid=152368]

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I made my way out last week on UP's Sunset Route between Seguin, TX and Schulenberg, TX. I also ventured up on the old MKT to La Grange, TX to Smithville, TX. I found a couple trains, and a couple places that I need to go back to get some pictures with trains. Anyways, I was fortunate enough to catch two of KCS's (Tex-Mex) trackage rights trains over the UP Sunset Route.

First up, an EB/NB intermodal with one of those new KCS SD70ACe (#4006) at Flatonia, TX.
[photoid=151538]

Next, I was able to beat it to Schulenberg, TX (about 12 miles to the east of the previous photo).
[photoid=151540]

I got back to Flatonia from my MKT exploring (saw a couple trains, no photos though) and found a WB/SB mixed freight heading for the border at Laredo. It had a great consist of three SD40-2's and a SD50.

Flatonia: http://members.trainorders.com/traingod/Trains/0716/kcs6109_flatonia.jpg
Moulton: http://members.trainorders.com/traingod/Trains/0716/kcs6109_moulton.jpg
Shiner: http://members.trainorders.com/traingod/Trains/0716/kcs6109_shiner.jpg

I also found another area shortline, the Gonzalez & Northern (TXGN). I photoed one of their bright red SW somethings at Gonzalez, TX. This line interchanges with the UP at Harwood, TX.
http://members.trainorders.com/traingod/Trains/0716/txgn106_gonzalez.jpg

On my way back to home in San Antonio, I found this local job idling on the eastern side of the city with a MP15AC and a LLPX GP.
[photoid=151527]

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The next series of photos is from around the immediate San Antonio area.

UP Remote yard power at the old SP yard under neat lighting conditions.
[photoid=150683]

UP power leading Amtrak out of S.A. with the Alamodome in the background:
[photoid=149022]

UP and TFM power on a stack tranin:
http://members.trainorders.com/traingod/Trains/0709/up4407_san_antonio_brady_st.jpg

UP auto-rack/mixed freight on the Sunset route just west of S.A. (Pearsen, TX).
[photoid=150563]

Auto-rack train with a nice consist (NS Catfish, HLCX ex-SP, BNSF?, and a TFM) in S.A.:
http://members.trainorders.com/traingod/Trains/0708/ns9705_san_antonio_brady_st.jpg

UP mixed freight with a lot of power led by a UP GEVO:
http://members.trainorders.com/traingod/Trains/0708/up5420_san_antonio_kirby_yard.jpg

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The last series of photos involves my first real attempt at railfanning in TX with a trip to Flatonia, TX.

UP GP60 #1923 switching a local customer:
[photoid=146953]

UP local heading back to the yard, past the train viewing platform:
[photoid=146951]

Empty PRB coal train DPU on the Katy:
[photoid=146955]

WB UP Mixed passing a restored SP tower and caboose in downtown Flatonia:
[photoid=146950]

That's all for now...

Thanks for reading & looking,
Patrick

dodi4200
07-24-2006, 03:22 AM
great report patrick.thanks for sharing and keep those great shots coming.

LAHDPOP
07-24-2006, 11:37 AM
Thanks for the report. Good stuff.

Traingod
07-28-2006, 02:26 AM
Thanks for the nice comments...

Patrick

Matthew Roberts
08-01-2006, 06:56 PM
So I see that you found my favorite local shortline. I live within .5mi of the AUAR's line inbetween Leander and Cedar Park, Texas. Approximately 3 trains a day travel the line out to Fairland, mostly with empty gons heading north, loads back, but there are also covered hoppers, and centerbeam flats loaded with 4x8 plywood for a company that supplies contractors in Burnet.