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Western Railroad Discussion > Unusual coal trains through Sealy, TX tonight

Date: 09/18/22 21:36
Unusual coal trains through Sealy, TX tonight
Author: Roadmaster

Today was a great day to be a railfan in southeast Texas.

This evening I parked in downtown Sealy to take in some train activity. One northbound was uninteresting, but the southbounds were far from uninteresting. Here are those southbounds in chronological order:

7:51 PM
Southbound BNSF manifest transferred from UP Smithville Sub to BNSF Galveston Sub
BNSF ES44DC 7680 in H2 paint
BNSF C44-9W 742 in Fakebonnet paint
FXE SD70ACe 4019
FXE SD70ACe 4089
BNSF ES44C4 7041
BNSF C44-9W 1071 in H1 paint

I'm guessing this was a Cadet Yard (San Antonio) to New South Yard (Houston) train. 742 was spotted on 9/10 on a grain train destined for Eagle Pass.

8:31 PM
Southbound BNSF grain on Galveston Sub
UP SD70ACe 8751
BNSF ES44DC 7917
BNSF ES44C4 6511
BNSF ES44DC 7531 Rear DPU

10:12 PM
Southbound FPPX coal loads on Galveston Sub (!)
BNSF SD70ACe 9144
BNSF SD70ACe 8789
BNSF ES44AC 5839 in H2 paint rear DPU BNSF AC4400CW 5609 rear DPU
BNSF SD70ACe 9252 rear DPU

FPPX coal cars go to Lower Colorado River Authority's Fayette Power Plant located outside of Halsted, TX on the UP Smithville Sub. The routing south of Temple, since BNSF runs these trains, involves getting onto the UP Giddings Sub at Caldwell and then switching to the Smithville Sub at LCRA Jct. (located at West Point). I've seen Fayette Power Plant trains detour through Sealy, but they don't go south of Sealy in the process. They come into Sealy from the north, stop in Sealy, and a crew gets on the DPU's, which are made lead units, and the train goes up the Smithville Sub. According to conversations I caught on the scanner feed from Railstream's Rosenberg railcam page, this evening's train is going to NRG's Smithers Lake plant. What's up with that?

The next coal train had the right cars, but the power was atypical.

10:38 PM
Soithbound C-???SLP NRG coal loads with TGNX gondolas on the Galveston Sub
CSXT AC4400 531 in YN2 paint
BNSF SD70MAC 9791 in Grinstein green
BNSF SD70MAC 8935 in H2 paint rear DPU
BNSF ES44AC 6307 rear DPU

Yesterday on my way to Eagle Lake I stumbled upon CN 3115, the BC Rail heritage unit, in UP's Eagle Lake yard. I hear it has an oil leak and will be picked up tomorrow. NS 1069, the Virginian heritage unit, led MEPEW east out of San Antonio. I hoped to see it in Eagle Lake yesterday afternoon. However, it did not approach the Houston area until this morning. I searched Rosenberg railcam footage today and found that it passed through Rosenberg at 6:31 AM.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/22 05:10 by Roadmaster.

Date: 09/20/22 12:23
Re: Unusual coal trains through Sealy, TX tonight
Author: baretables

Thank you for the good report.  My guess is the Fayetteville coal set was redirected or leased to Smithers Lake service.

Date: 09/24/22 11:46
Re: Unusual coal trains through Sealy, TX tonight
Author: Roadmaster

The following day (Monday) I saw two FPPX/LCRX train sets, including the one I saw southbound on Sunday, going north empty through Rosenberg.


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