Friday, April 07, 2017

The Santa Fe Railway in New Mexico


Thursday, April 06, 2017

Gordon Stockman HO Scale Layout main line westbound loop


Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Katy Railroad Wardens Shop


Thursday, March 30, 2017

BNSF Rail Train on the SA & AP in Cameron, TX


A BNSF empty welded rail train backs down the old SAAP main in Cameron to find a home for the night and thus freeing up BNSF Galveston sub sidings. It's rare for me to see a train on this line.



Sunday, March 19, 2017

Rotary Snow Plow Returns to Donner Pass


Monday, March 06, 2017





Saturday, March 04, 2017

Texas Birthday Bash - Navasota Texas




Friday, March 03, 2017

The Toughest Town on Earth



Thursday, March 02, 2017


DCC++ website.


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Texas and Pacific East Texas Layout


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

First Bluebonnets of 2017

I've been seeing a few here and there beginning last week or so.  Today I saw better clumps of them along US-77/SH-36 just south of Cameron.  A quick stop in Cameron for a quick bite was in order and it netted a southbound BNSF tank train and a look see over on at the junction of the old San Antonio and Aransas Pass (SA&AP) which is now an industrial lead off the BNSF main in downtown Cameron.

BNSF unit tank train passing Cameron, TX

Afterwords a quick pass of the SA&AP industrial lead found some flowers and some ballast spreading equipment.

Bluebonnets in Cameron

Bluebonnets in Cameron

Work train equipment on a spur off the SA&AP industrial lead


Texas County Flags

I didn't know that counties in Texas had a county flag. Is this flag official? Are there other counties with flags?

Apparently the answer is yes. Here's a site with some shown.

Brazos County Texas Flag
Bosque County Texas Flag

The Brazoria County Flag looks just like the Brazos County flag.  Hmmm.

Brazoria County Texas Flag
Colorado County Texas Flag

Flag of Victoria County Texas


Monday, February 27, 2017

Gulf and Western layout at the Temple Train Show 2016

The Corpus Christi boys setup at Temple last year (2016) and took some cab view video.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

San Antonio and Aransas Pass in Cameron, TX 2017


Visiting Lance Mindheim's HO Scale CSX Downtown Spur Miami Layout! 01.30...

These layouts have done a great job with urban scenery for a switching layout.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Visiting the Taylor Cafe in Taylor TX

Most people hear about and head to Louie Mueller's BBQ joint in Taylor but for a railfan the place is Taylor Cafe.

On a nice warm day you can sit at the lunch counter and get a good meal for under ten bucks, $9 to be exact, and get to hear the Union Pacific right outside the door.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Texas Mexican Railroad Laredo Then and Now

Texas-Mexican Railroad Station, Laredo, Texas, ca. 1925


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Lehigh Hanson (Hanson Aggregates) Switcher at Garden Ridge, TX - 2.2.2017

I got lucky on my pass by and found the plant switcher, a big SD40-2, shoving out a cut of loads adn then we catch him pulling back in with a cut of empties.

Here's Hanson Aggregates website and I'm going to repost their header image. Nice one.

In case you are not familiar with the Servtex Quarry.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hey look - It's CEMEX 81 running loose outside their Balcones Plant in N...


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Let's Ease on Down to Italy ...... Texas

In a previous installment I was poking around Forreston, TX and found the long concrete bridge over Chambers Creek flood plain.  Interesting stuff.  Moving on south you come into Italy.  As you arrive at the north end on US-77 a large concrete item catches your eye due to it being right next to the highway on the east side and then nothing but an open field on the west.

The concrete is even more obvious in the winter when the trees have dropped their leaves. Hmm, what could this be and why is it here? Something that large right next to the highway can be considered a safety hazard. A close inspection finds that it is the northern most abutment for a bridge that went over the abandoned MKT right of way that I have been following in from Forreston. As a sidebar, the MKT line here had another concrete bridge over a small creek (Houston Creek). This time the bridge was much shorter and a person can easily miss it.

Ok, back to the bridge abutment. I suppose this may have been a bridge for the International and Great Northern (I&GN) line up from Valley Junction (along the Brazos River near Hearne) to Fort Worth. There's not much here to find today so let's scratch around online for some maps. First up is a link to the Abandoned Rails webpage for the line to get some historical background and then on to this topographic map from 1965.

Break out the topo map

Full size map as an image

Now let's look at an aerial from about the same time.

This map shows the IGN line and its interchange with the MKT line. If you zoom in it appears that there are a few cars on the interchange track near the IGN end.

Given the routing from the topomap, the aerial and some review of a current sat map one can put together the old right of way of the I&GN through Italy. This is where the I&GN would have crossed Main St which is State Highway 24. This view looks north back toward the MKT line. You can swing it around and look south toward Waco.

Next thing to find is the old Texas Electric. A scan of the internet finds a blog with some information. I've gleaned this map from it.  The map shows the Texas Electric Railway in Italy, TX.  The TE became the third railroad offering service in town in 1913 coming behind both the Dallas and Waco (MKT) in late 1890 and the International and Great Northern (IGN) in 1901.

The map appears to indicate an interchange of some sort with the IGN in downtown Italy at the IGN small yard between Harpoid and Ridge Streets.  Nothing railroad remains today on and around this piece of ground.  A sharp eye can follow the tree line south of this area where the IGN right of way was.

The Houston at San Jacinto Street area is where the TE's stop was with that spur over to the IGN yard.