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The Railfan Experience - When the train doesn't come - #1

When the Train Doesn't Come - # 1
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all green at Lambert
An all-green consist on the Tulsa-Temple.

One afternoon last summer (2004), my 3-year-old son Matthew had joined me for a drive along the BNSF Fort Worth Subdivision north of Fort Worth on a summer afternoon. We caught the southbound Tulsa-Temple (M TULTPL) at Lambert behind an all-green consist (an SD60M and two SD40-2s) and then drove north to Metro and southeast along the KCS Alliance Subdivision (former Santa Fe Dallas Sub) toward Denton.


  stopped too far back
Stopped too far back for a shot.
Between Metro and Denton we found a westbound KCS stack train (with BNSF power) heading into some really nice, low, late afternoon light at a fairly scenic location (for north Texas). There was just one problem -- the train was stopped. He was a half-mile or so east of us, holding off crossings while awaiting clearance to enter BNSF trackage and head toward Alliance yard. So we waited. And waited. And the sun got lower. And lower. Soon it became obvious that the train wasn't going to move in time for us to get shots of him before it got dark.

But it wasn't a total loss. While we were waiting, Matthew occupied himself by checking out the tracks, and then climbing into the front seat of the truck and pretending to drive; and I occupied myself by snapping a few shots of Matthew playing in the truck, of the landscape, and of the setting sun. When the slides came back, I discovered that it wasn't the train photos that made July 31st a memorable day along the tracks... rather, it was the handful of non-train shots -- shots taken in the absence of a train, that told me that our time that evening was well-spent.


  Matthew at Metro   Matthew driving
  late evening at Metro   sunset at Metro

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