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Photo of the Month - the Southwest Railfan

Photo of the Month: April 2006

Photo of the Month

A BN GP39M leads a Santa Fe GP30 on train V KCKPEA, southbound
on the BNSF Fort Worth Subdivision near Ponder, Texas on April 3, 2004.

Surviving Race Weekend:

Every April, the NASCAR races come to Texas Motor Speedway north of Fort Worth. They generate a phenomenal amount of vehicle traffic on our highways and other roads... so much traffic, in fact, that I don't even like leaving the house when the races come to town.

However, I'm always willing to make an exception to that rule. For example, on Saturday, April 3, 2004, I knew of a southbound V KCKPEA train on duty at Gainesville, which just so happened to be powered by two GP30s (well actually, the leader was a former BN GP39M, but it's still a GP30 on the outside...) I decided that such a consist was worth the risk of possibly getting stuck in an hours-long traffic jam after the race, so I grabbed my camera and headed out the door.

The race was still under way as I drove past TMS to a spot on the BNSF Fort Worth Subdivision between Ponder and Krum. Around the time that my train appeared, I could tell that the race had let out, because northbound traffic on Hwy 156 increased substantially. Luckily, I would be going the other way as I drove back home. It ended up being no big deal... south of TMS, I ended up having to sit in traffic on southbound I-35W for just a few minutes, a small price to pay for a shot at catching a pair of GP30s leading a mainline freight on a Class One railroad in 2004! It could have been a lot worse... anyone who remembers the traffic jams from that first year at TMS back in 1997 could testify to that!


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