So from the "I know it's around here somewhere" department... It took me awhile but I finally was able to dig up some very precious photos I took of a train back in 2006 near my hometown in north central Texas. These pictures paint a great story from my perspective, but I won't bury the lede....check out the IC SD70!!! They were fairly rare in the north Texas area (Dallas/Fort Worth) but to catch one in my old stomping grounds was really cool.
And yes, this photo was my justification for buying one of these units on the Black Friday sale. (I split IC and Conrail sets with a friend) It is not my normal m.o. to buy something that's such a one-off. But aside from these photos I do happen to like the IC "Death Star" SD70s so I'm planning to keep this one around. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pics, and I'll come back when I have time and expound on the story and specifics a little more.
Two BNSF trains meet at Fruitland siding in 2006. Brand-spankin'-new SD70ACe #9390 is DPU on a Smithers Lake/UFIX loaded coal train bound for south Texas. The stack train--with a rare visitor in Illinois Central SD70 #1021 trailing BNSF Dash 9 #4388-- is rolling west with California-bound containers. Location is about 80 miles northwest of D/FW at the west end of Fruitland siding on BNSF's Wichita Falls subdivision, just southeast (railroad east) of Bowie, TX. Date is November 1, 2006.
Illinois Central SD70 IC #1021 trails BNSF C44-9W #4388 on a westbound California-bound BNSF stack train.
So I mentioned "my old stomping grounds". Fruitland siding is where I spent countless hundreds of hours watching trains as a youth. About a 150 yards further around the curve is where my grandparents lived, just across the highway from the right-of-way, and my family spent a lot of time out there pretty much until right before I graduated college in the mid-1990's. I still would railfan the area on trips to and from my parents' home nearby...hence this photo op. The line was the former Fort Worth & Denver, a line closely associated with the CB&Q & C&S and eventually rolled into the BN and ultimately BNSF.
So anyway, photos like these bring back lots of memories and provide the essence of what I try to create in my modeling. And I'm thankful that AZL creates an amazing number of models that match up to a lot of what I have in my "photo rolls."