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Western Railroad Discussion > Sunday on the Speedway with UP 1982

Date: 02/11/19 18:44
Sunday on the Speedway with UP 1982
Author: Vicksburg_Route

Any unusual movement is welcome news on the Meridian Speedway.  The typical menu doesn't offer much to shoot since there are only about 12 trains daily on the secondary mainline.  KCS power is not the best choice to shoot since it is frequently filthy or suffering from leprosy as the nose decals and paint peel off the carbody.  However, sometimes you have to play the hand you're dealt.  Such was the case on Sunday, February 10 as I ventured out with a close friend in search of UP 1982, the Missouri Pacific Heritage Unit.  

Thanks to a couple of folks providing much needed intelligence, we learned that the UP 1982 was leading NS Train 225 out of Atlanta.  The train would hang a right in Meridian, Mississippi and travel the KCS/NS Meridian Speedway to Shreveport, Louisiana as KCS Train I-ZATLA, where it would be turned over to the UP as their train I-ZAILC.

Driving approximately 100 miles east of my home base in Vicksburg, Mississippi, we set up at a remote county road crossing and waited for the Z to appear.  We knew we would be early, but that was preferable to watching the train blow by at 60 MPH and listening to each other emit unsavory remarks at our stupidity for being late.

Images 1 and 2 - KCS decided to treat us to a pair of trains before the Z ran, but neither train was particularly worthy of our attention.  However, we figured that they would be good test subjects to check exposure, composition, etc., so we both fired off images as the first train, M-SHNS (Manifest - Shreveport to Meridian-NS) appeared. Since it was a 1x1, I elected to shoot the head end unit, KCS 3973, as well as the DPU, KCS 3964.  Please excuse the filth on the units.  I guess it's better to save money than show a little corporate pride by cleaning the units now and then.

Image 3 - The M-SHNS met Atlanta to Dallas Intermodal Train I-ATDA2 just east of our location, so we had just a few minutes of wait time before KCS 4049 led I-ATDA2 at track speed.  Please excuse the apparent neglect as the nose decal and paint peel away.

Date: 02/11/19 18:45
Re: Sunday on the Speedway with UP 1982
Author: Vicksburg_Route

Image 4 and 5 - About an hour passed before UP 1982 appeared at the head end of I-ZATLA.  

Image 6 - We quickly broke camp and sped westward to catch the Z again before it arrived in Jackson.  With a 60 MPH speed limit and no eastbound trains to meet, we barely beat the train to the west end of Brandon Siding in it's namesake town of Brandon, Mississippi.

Date: 02/11/19 18:46
Re: Sunday on the Speedway with UP 1982
Author: Vicksburg_Route

Image 7 - Relocating to a location west of Jackson, Mississippi, we set up to wait on the 1982.  Much to our dismay, the KCS Dispatcher ran the I-ATDA ahead of the Z, with the diseased KCS 4049 leading.

Image 8 - The CN Dispatcher threw a kink in our plans by holding the Z on the east side of the CN mainline while a CN train departed Jackson for New Orleans.  The KCS Dispatcher decided to use that delay to advance KCS Dallas to Atlanta Intermodal Train I-DAAT which had been holding at a siding to our west for the I-ATDA and Z.  Shortly thereafter, KCS 4792 appeared through the elegant and sharp "S" Curve just to our west with I-DAAT in tow.

Image 9 - The sun had gone behind thick clouds, creating very dark conditions.  We elected to leave for a location slightly farther west where we could make use of every last minute of sunlight.  That proved to be a wise decision, because the Z was much later arriving than we expected.  We were able to get one final image, well after sunset of the 1982 leading the Z as it headed west.

Date: 02/11/19 19:18
Re: Sunday on the Speedway with UP 1982
Author: RailFanAZ

Very Nice Series!  We are going to be waiting for UP 1982 out of Tucson, AZ tomorrow morning (6:15 AM) leading the ZAILC-11 (Premium Intermodal-Atlanta-LATC).

RailFanning UP & BNSF, AZ

Date: 02/11/19 19:33
Re: Sunday on the Speedway with UP 1982
Author: 3rdswitch

Very nice bunch. One of my favorite routes with frequent trips to visit the grand girls in MS.

Date: 02/12/19 04:19
Re: Sunday on the Speedway with UP 1982
Author: NSSpike

Danny, glad you were able to capture the MOPAC unit. Not long after I posted it was leading NS 225 (ATLANTA, GA- SHREVEPORT, LA (KCS IZAILC-UP ZAILC) out of Atlanta the East End shut down and trains stopped running west. AMTK 19 sat at Tallapoosa Ga for 90 minutes. I feared 225 got caught up in the delays as well. Believe east bound manifest NS 172 (NEW ORLEANS, LA (UP QLINSL) - LINWOOD, NC) which tends to be a long heavey tonnage train had problems around Heflin Alabama. But luckly that was after 225 passed them.

Nice series of photos in a great location!!!

Phil Maton
Villa Rica, GA

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/19 04:20 by NSSpike.

Date: 02/13/19 14:49
Re: Sunday on the Speedway with UP 1982
Author: ns1000

Thanks for the pics...

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