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Steam & Excursion > UP Steam on the FW&D

Date: 11/03/12 11:06
UP Steam on the FW&D
Author: BNSFDS

Friday, November 2nd was a noteworthy day for many railfans in North Texas. It was the first time a steam locomotive travelled across the former Fort Worth and Denver mainline, now BNSF's Wichita Falls and Red River Valley Sub in many years. The American Freedom Train in 1976 was the last trip to use steam on this route. The Frisco 1522 did make a trip back in May, 2001 but only as far as Fruitland siding near Bowie.

Since this was such a rare event, UP's 844 running on the FW&D brought out many railfans including TO'ers KB5WK, n.e.b., and KenFL9. The only issue facing us was the fact the line runs southeast to northwest for the first 70 miles making pics difficult.

I got my first shot of the trip just north of Tower 55 in downtown Fort Worth.

1. UP 844 pulls past some of Fort Worth's skyscrapers as it heads north out of downtown.

I raced a couple miles up the road and got a shot of the train crossing the Trinity.

2 and 3. UP 844 leads train SFWCD-02 across the Trinity River in Fort Worth, Texas.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/12 20:06 by BNSFDS.

Date: 11/03/12 11:12
Re: UP Steam on the FW&D
Author: BNSFDS

The next place I wanted to get a shot at was the U.S. 287 bridge south of the siding at Avondale. Thanks to some good luck with the traffic lights in Saginaw, I was able to make it to the bridge with a few minutes to spare.

4. UP 844 and train heading north on the FW&D main near Avondale, Texas.

Due to the backlight being so harsh, I put away the camera and shot video only between Avondale and Bowie which is where the trusty 50D came back out.

5. UP 844 crossing the bridge over F.M.174 still marked for the FW&D Ry at Bowie, Texas.

From Bowie, the line takes more of the east/west orientation which made things easier for pics but since it was still morning, I still didn't have much nose light to work with. I stopped at the small town of Bellevue for the next shot.

6. UP 844 leads train SFWCD-02 uphill past the siding at Bellevue, Texas.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/12 20:01 by BNSFDS.

Date: 11/03/12 11:18
Re: UP Steam on the FW&D
Author: BNSFDS

Up Highway 287 we continued and stopped at the east switch of Rhea siding.

7. UP 844 and train thunders across the east switch of Rhea siding near Jolly, Texas.

The train had a one hour stop in downtown Wichita Falls. Instead of fighting the crowds and getting a shot there, we took a short break and got lunch at a local Carl's Jr. After devouring my burger and fries, we went to our next spot in the small village of Pleasant Valley. After a 20 minute wait, the train came roaring by.

8. UP 844 flys through Pleasant Valley, Texas with train SFWCD-02 in tow.

Stopped in the town of Electra for the next shot.

9. UP 844 pulls train SFWCD-02 uphill through the town of Electra, Texas.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/12 20:06 by BNSFDS.

Date: 11/03/12 11:23
Re: UP Steam on the FW&D
Author: BNSFDS

Due to some commitments I had on Friday evening, time was starting to run short. I stopped on the eastside of Vernon for what would be my final shots of the day for the 844.

10 and 11. UP 844 and train SFWCD-02 starts up another hogback near Vernon, Texas.

This wraps up what has been a very active steam chase year for me. Two trips to Texas for the UP 844 (the other was in April) and chasing the Nickel Plate 765 when I was on vacation in Ohio last August. Hopefully, 2013 will be just as active of a year.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/12 20:08 by BNSFDS.

Date: 11/03/12 12:40
Re: UP Steam on the FW&D
Author: OKTrainboys

Thanks for these pics....a great pacing route indeed!

Are they getting close to moving 4018 and 4501 yet??

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/12 16:40 by OKTrainboys.

Date: 11/03/12 12:47
Re: UP Steam on the FW&D
Author: BNSFDS

Haven't heard of a move date as of yet. Hopefully it'll be sometime soon, but not on the same weekend of the OKC Train Show.


Date: 11/03/12 15:27
Re: UP Steam on the FW&D
Author: jfrank39

I hope someone is able to chase it tomorrow over Trinchera Pass. I have driven this route over it's entirety and much of it is accessable via paved roads. Here are the instructions: Take 325 north from Des Moines to Folsom. It follows the track all the way. There is a big loop around a volcanic peak about half way, but you can access that via a county road. Then at Folsom it makes a big 180 degree turn right in town. You can follow it on county roads for a short distance from Folsom, but that is a trap with no escape. Instead shoot ahead on 456 to 551 where the track comes back to the road. Some good shots there. 551 and 389 follow the track all the way to Branson off and on(so far all these highways are paved). From Branson you can take county road 68 and follow it to Trinchera. After Trinchera you can take a series of county roads that follow the tracks off and on all the way to Trinidad. However, if it has been raining do not try these roads as they turn to muck and are very slick. I hope someone is able to get out there and take some shots for us. This is a very rare treat. Unfortunately, I am in Houston and unable to get up there.

Date: 11/03/12 16:03
Re: UP Steam on the FW&D
Author: Frisco1522

I loved running on the hill and dale Texas lines with 1522. In daylight! Don't know if I would have wanted to at night unless I had a good pilot.
But then there was the Texas water...............

Date: 11/04/12 06:25
Re: UP Steam on the FW&D
Author: tomstp

Maybe you should have mixed a little JD with that water!

Date: 11/04/12 08:19
Re: UP Steam on the FW&D
Author: VERNON1946



I especially, liked the very first photo (My favorite color, is blue),

And the "8" element, headlight (yellow) Sun???? Photo!



Date: 11/05/12 06:33
Re: UP Steam on the FW&D
Author: YG

Nice work. Looks like a hilly profile.

Steve Mitchell

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