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Mesquite Belt Railroad - Operations

Operations on the Mesquite Belt

How we move Traffic



Operating Sessions
There are 9 folks in one shot!
Front to back:
Mike Chapmon (sitting), Darrell, Marc Bolton (sleeping?-relief crew waiting on his train)Max, Ben, Steve, Caleb, Aaron, & Wyatt.

We had 16 operators February 7th, 2005 for a Mesquite Belt & Piney Woods Model Railroad Club record attendance!

"Model railroad layouts are designed to be operated, just as automobiles are designed to be driven. The goal of the designer is to create a model railroad with an interesting and enjoyable operating scheme, providing an opportunity for people to get together and enjoy trains and each other, and for the layout builder to show off his or her handiwork and artistry."

"The formal operating session is the most demanding type of operation on a model railroad. The railroad is usually operated to simulate prototype railroad operations, with trains going places and doing work. Often there are several people working (playing, actually) together, filling such roles as engineer, yardmaster, dispatcher and others. Some sort of paperwork is used to simulate the prototype's masses of paperwork and to direct the action. A model railroad requires sophisticated track planning to allow all the train movements necessary during a busy operating session."

"We all love the hobby of model railroading, and seek to improve it and increase its benefits to the model railroaders who devote so much of their leisure time pursuing their dream. While a finished model railroad is a wonderful thing to look at, and photograph, it really comes alive and gives us sublime enjoyment when it operates just as the prototype."

From DESIGNING LAYOUTS TO OPERATE: The Layout Design Primer, Layout Design Special Interest Group of the NMRA.
Layout Design Special Interest Group of the NMRA. Copyright Mike O'Brien, Used with permission of the Author

A line-up of train movements during a "normal" operations session:

Mesquite Belt trains:

Called @ Houston Eureka Yard:

Y  EU 51    -  Yard Job/Local NB local Houston to Smithville
Y  EU HO    -  Yard Job/Local NB local Houston-Brookshire area
R  EU GT  -  Rock train (GRR) Eureka Yard to Georgetown via Granger
M HO FW -  Manifest Houston Eureka Yard to Ft Worth North Yard

Called @ Smithville Yard:
Y SV 51 - Yard Job/Local NB to Ft. Worth North Yard
Y SV 62 - Yard Job/Local SB to Houston Eureka Yard

Called @ Ft. Worth North Yard:
Y  FW 62   -  Yard Job/Local SB to Smithville
M FW HO -  Manifest Ft. Worth North Yard to Houston Eureka Yard

Called @ Ft. Worth Cargill Elevator:
Cargill Switcher Job - Local switcher for large elevator and transfer to Ft. Worth North Yard

Called @ Port of Houston:
PTRA Switcher Job - Local switcher POH Port Of Houston to Houston Eureka Yard & return

Called @ Granger:
R  GT EU - Rock train (GRR) Georgetown via Granger to Eureka Yard

TRE Trinity Railway Express trains:
Texaswide Express and local Budd RDC Service

TRE 2169 - TRE Express Service Houston - Ft. Worth
Stops: Houston - Taylor - Temple - Waco - Ft. Worth

TRE 2270 - TRE Express Service Ft. Worth - Houston
Stops: Ft. Worth - Waco - Temple - Taylor - Houston

TRE 2105  HO FW - TRE Budd RDC Service Houston - Ft. Worth
Stops: Houston - Sealy - La Grange - Smithville - Taylor - Temple -
                Waco - Ft. Worth

TRE 2206  FW HO - TRE Budd RDC Service Ft. Worth - Houston
Stops: Ft. Worth - Waco - Temple - Taylor - Smithville - La Grange -
                 Sealy - Houston

Amtrak trains:
Nationwide Passenger Rail Service

Amtrak #21 - Amtrak Service Houston - Ft. Worth
Stops: Houston - Taylor - Temple - Waco - Ft. Worth

Amtrak #22 - TRE Express Service Ft. Worth - Houston
Stops: Ft. Worth - Waco - Temple - Taylor - Houston

Trackage Rights trains:

Teague, Mexia, Rock Island & Gulf  RR

TO&K -
Texas, Oklahoma & Kansas RR

The MB has shipping alliances with the Texas, Oklahoma & Kansas and the Teague, Mexia, Rock Island and Gulf.   This coalition has the capability to compete with other Class 1's, with their overall traffic capabilities within the state of Texas, and points beyond.  Both the TMRI & the TO&K run grain shuttles on the Mesquite Belt to the Port of Houston.

The Mesquite Belt feels that we should use our model railroad interests to benefit and educate the community. This is done by offering entertaining yet educational demonstrations to such groups as the Boy Scouts of America and school groups.

The Mesquite Belt handles group outings and hosting other model railroad clubs for guest  operating sessions, as well as the Piney Woods Model RR Club and NMRA.



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Webmaster: Devin M. Jackson

Send  updates, information, and comments to:


Devin M. Jackson 903-724-3976

Dispatch Center 1-800-SHIP-MBT


Photo by: Steve Garbarino


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A Mesquite Belt Transportation Company