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This is an eastbound Uncle Pete sailing through Marfa on its way to Paisano pass and Alpine, TX where a crew change will take place. I wish I had not cut the video short because it would have shown a mid-train dpu instead of the usual end-of-train location for this area. We know mid-train dpu’s have been a common practice for some time but not for this particular run. 

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Original Post

This is Texas friendliness, done to the max, Rob.  You and your dear wife have gone out into the heat, way out there at Marfa, to allow the rest of us to get an idea of how the railroad looks, without having to make the long drive on the 2-lane.  Mighty nice video.

And don't you just love that elevator?  That's west Texas for you . . . no rust.  Surely, a lot of very interesting T&NO locals have switched cars in and out of that place.  It's a gem.

You are getting me interested in putting miles on the new car.  I have always wanted to photograph trains at Paisano Pass, as well as the high bridge over the Pecos River.  Looking at my maps.

Thanks for posting.

 

@Adriatic posted:

Uncle Pete?   dpu? 

The Union Pacific Railroad is affectionately referred to as "Uncle Pete", i.e. UP.

The term DPU means "Distributed Power Unit", which are placed either in mid-train or at the rear (sometimes both) and are radio controlled by the Engineer on the lead unit.

Just my opinion but, I think you need to get out more.

 Could you help out folks who have never heard either term?  

I'm bad at first round acronyms in general   Did Pete Upchuck?

(seriously never heard or read them)

 

@Adriatic posted:

Uncle Pete?   dpu? 

 Could you help out folks who have never heard either term?  

I'm bad at first round acronyms in general   Did Pete Upchuck?

(seriously never heard or read them)

Uncle Pete is UP/Union Pacific.

DPU is a "Distributed Power Unit", basically a remote-controlled locomotive within or at the tail end of the train.

Later this same day a tardy #1 (two and one half hours) comes through historic Marfa.  At the beginning of the video the pretty Presideo county courthouse can be seen as well as the Paisano hotel. 
Fun fact: when the movie “Giant” was filmed near here in the 1950’s the stars all stayed at the Paisano. James Dean had his subscription to the WSJ moved to the hotel. After filming was completed the subscription was never moved. The hotel has kept the subscription paid up, so to this day James Dean’s WSJ arrives at the hotel daily. 

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On the Sunset Route, you start losing the coastal humidity by Sequin.  Once one gets to Martha, what humidity?  Hence no rust on the elevators... But do not touch ungloved metal in the afternoon this time of year...

The 4449 has been out there this time of year.  How hot did it get in the cab....?

Dry heat inside the cab is NOT the issue. The high heat with humidity, is brutal! I've seen temperatures over 150 degrees F in the cabs of 4449 and 3985, but with nice low humidity (out in the desert), you just have to force yourself to drink water and/or Power-Aid all the time. 

I lived most of my life in El Paso and Las Cruces, N.M.  I always enjoyed going back east to Marfa.  Good town.  Good People.  Ever hear of the Marfa Lights?  A mystery still unsolved.  I've seen them.  Can't explain them.  Lots of good memories of my life in the west.  A great area for railfans.

                                                                                                                     Logan

 

Ever hear of the Marfa Lights?  A mystery still unsolved.  I've seen them.  Can't explain them.  

                                                                                                                     Logan

 

That's why the name seemed familiar.  Just saw a program on that a few months ago. 

Brendan

@Will posted:

Marfa is most famous today probably as the home of Donald Judd and the "Prada Store". Marfa is a modern art destination in West Texas as well as a railroad town.

My wife Alice is a career studio artist, and we are frequent visitors to the region for culture and summer heat relief.  She is accustomed to the idea that our hotel room, B&B, or similar  arrangement faces the train track. 
Also, the link to your art web site did not work. 404 error. 

Last edited by Rob Leese
@Rob Leese posted:

My wife Alice is a career studio artist, and we are frequent visitors to the region for culture and summer heat relief.  She is accustomed to the idea that our hotel room, B&B, or similar  arrangement faces the train track. 
Also, the link to your art web site did not work. 404 error. 

Thanks for the update. I just discovered that my hosting site, Virb, has closed up shop without any warning. Time to build a new website. In the meantime I put my FB art site as a link.

"And don't you just love that elevator?  That's west Texas for you . . . no rust.  Surely, a lot of very interesting T&NO locals have switched cars in and out of that place.  It's a gem."

There is much to say about the feed mill, but it has little to do with railroads, so let’s not tempt the forum administrators. I could say that this company also had a second mill near Slaton, TX and was a steady ATSF customer.   If I said their spur was near the beer warehouses at Posey, #90 would zero in quickly. 

Last edited by Rob Leese

I lived most of my life in El Paso and Las Cruces, N.M.  I always enjoyed going back east to Marfa.  Good town.  Good People.  Ever hear of the Marfa Lights?  A mystery still unsolved.  I've seen them.  Can't explain them.  Lots of good memories of my life in the west.  A great area for railfans.

                                                                                                                     Logan

 

I thought the Marfa Lights had been explained, as reflections of auto lights over the horizon, combined with climatological conditions; i.e. optical temperature inversion issues.

Good to see some more of West Texas.  Born and raised in Midland, before move to Houston and humidity in '67.  Anyone else remember Lake Balmorea?  Good fishing in the '50s and '60s before they drained it, never let refill.  Great place for a kid to catch catfish and buffalo.  Marfa, always a nice town, like so many in Texas.  Great folk and atmosphere, both kind.  Spent several summers attending the BSA camp North and a little West of Marfa, closer to the McDonald Observatory.  The lights....  Have seen them, many moons ago.  And, no, they have not been fully explained.  Native Americans, Apache, and settlers made record of seeing them long before cars and headlights arrived.  And trains....   Watched many a train when traveling Hwy 80, long before        I-10/ I-20 existed.   From Sonora to El Paso... beautiful country, and now many vineyards.  Could go on about seeing Carlsbad caverns,  visiting family in Jal, N.M.     Etc....

Thanks, Robert.....

 

Jesse   TCA

Last edited by texastrain

Fond recollections of old Highway 80...before the interstate.  Trying to pace SP heavy freight engines in my Nash...and having to really  push the speed to keep up.  As Bob Hope would sing:  "Thanks for the memories."

                                                                                                                                                      Logan

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