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Friday, June 17, 2016

16-06-17b PHOTOS: Beaumont Bayou

Houston generally marks the halfway point on the second day of the westbound Sunset Limited's journey to New Orleans. After the lengthy detour around the out of service Brazos River bridge, we backed into the Houston Station for a shorter than normal smoke stop and prepared to snake our way out of the Houston Terminal complex before striking out eastward towards Beaumont, TX on Union Pacific's Beaumont Sub.

You can view the entire set of photos right here.

Amtrak P42DC's #77 and #182 at Houston's Amtrak station. An Amshack in every sense of the word, Houston's new station may be on the same site as its old one (I assume), but a small change to the layout of Tower 26 east of the station, eliminated the ability of the Sunset Limited to continue on its way without a costly backup move.

Looking back through the old Tower 26 interlocking plant just prior to the backup move. The Sunset Limited just came through the diamonds crossing on Houston Terminal Sub Main Track #2 and will diverge onto the West Belt Sub via the track heading off to the left. This was actually the reverse of the movement the train had to make to get into the station because of the detour!

Tower 26 diamonds as seen from the UP West Belt Sub.

UP ES44AC's #8122, #7766, #7817 and SD70ACe #8912 waiting for us to clear the junction. If you look closely you can see it just received an Approach Restricting signal to proceed. 

SD70ACe #8586 was pushing on the rear.

EAST BELT JCT is yet another diamond crossing with wye connecting tracks, a common feature in the Houston Are. A UP work truck is on hand, possibly to maintain the new signaling installed at some point during the last year. The Sunset Limited takes a circuitous route out of Houston (north at Tower 26, east at East Belt Junction, Northeast at Gulf Coast Jct, then through Wye Jct) to avoid the congestion associated with Englewood and Settegast Yards. In theory the backup move could be avoided if the yard route were available.

After Gulf Coast Jct we are finally out of the slow terminal area and on the straight and narrow Beaumont Sub. Here we cross the long ballasted trestle over Lake Houston.

Passing a trio of KCS SD70ACe's on the Huffman siding including #4010. 

Almost the entirety of the Beaumont Sub is a causway through a swamp. Not very photogenic and quite a bit monotonous. This picture pretty much sums it up.

 A Trackmobile can be seen inside the gates of this hydrocarbon transloading facility.

Shortline owned UTLX geep switching the Amelia Yard near Beaumont.

Cut of UP power just west of the Beaumont with SD70M #4920, ES44AC #8215 and SD70ACe #8646, just after the Beaumont Sub jointed the Lafayette Sub at Langham Rd interlocking.

GP60 #1027 switches cars in Beaumont Yard.

Searchlight dwarf signals are still in service in the Beaumont Terminal complex.

Pair of NS units, SD70ACe #1109 and ES44AC #8004, sitting in Beaumont Yard. NS has a presence in this area due to its former Southern RR heritage and various trackage rights agreements. Once again I am just a hair off capturing a "famous" unit >:-O

Well that's all for this set. Next week we will proceed on the last leg of my Sunset Limited journey from Beaumont through to New Orleans.

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