View Full Version : Recent TX Findings

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.

Next, AUAR power heading to get its trains. They have a nice scheme.

They have a bridge at the west end of their yard over a local parkway.

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.



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.

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

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.

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.


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.

UP power leading Amtrak out of S.A. with the Alamodome in the background:

UP and TFM power on a stack tranin:

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

Auto-rack train with a nice consist (NS Catfish, HLCX ex-SP, BNSF?, and a TFM) in S.A.:

UP mixed freight with a lot of power led by a UP GEVO:


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:

UP local heading back to the yard, past the train viewing platform:

Empty PRB coal train DPU on the Katy:

WB UP Mixed passing a restored SP tower and caboose in downtown Flatonia:

That's all for now...

Thanks for reading & looking,

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

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

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


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.