Over the 48 hour period starting Tuesday, January 8th we received 6.5 inches of rain at the house southwest of Fort Worth, a welcome relief to the drought. Tuesday evening on the way home from work I caught up with a westbound merchandise train leaving the west end of Davidson Yard. In spite of the gathering darkness and heavy rain I decided to see if I could beat the train to Iona for a mood shot or two. Utilizing all the back streets and I20 to get out of town I made it to the east end of Iona with about four minutes to spare. I cranked my ISO up to 3200 and went with 1/60 at f4 for these two shots out the driver’s window so I could stay a little dry. The rain was falling hard enough that I could not keep my lens clear of drops of water that cause the white reflections you see from the headlights mainly in the first photo.
The train was making maybe 15 mph at this point so I had no problem moving ahead to the private crossing in the middle of the siding for a second sequence. There was an eastbound intermodal train in the siding that helped to give definition to the westbound’s headlight as it cut through the heavy downpour.
Wednesday morning on the way to work I went the back way via Iona, and as I crested the hill at the west end I could see a headlight coming westbound at me in the distance. I doubled back to the overlook just east of the west switch and had time to grab my camera but not an umbrella before snagging this shot of the UP 7349 just after it has crested the grade and started downhill.
I would have preferred to see the nose door closed, but maybe the conductor was taking a bath in there as I was getting soaked with no umbrella. This was probably a “Z” train since it had UPS trailers on it.
With two up front and two on the rear the train was quickly up to track speed as it dropped off the side of the hill on the way to Aledo and Weatherford.
Heading on to work, at the east end of the Iona siding I pulled over for a grab shot of the westbound local with two GP60′s running close behind the intermodal.
The local was only going to Aledo today before returning to Fort Worth, and the dispatcher put him in the siding here at Iona to meet two eastbounds before they could get 30 minutes to switch at the Aledo grain elevator. It would have been fun to stay and watch but it was time to head for the office.