This is the UP special 844 as it passed by the Mean Eyed Cat this morning. Many of the people waiting to see it left immediately to chase it along MoPac and then follow along all the grade crossings to Taylor, where it was stopped for some time. It’s now on its way to Thrall, according to the on-line GPS. A lot of vehicles halted on the highway overpass to view it. Many had arrived very early to set up tripods for still and video capture. There was a contingent from the Texas Toy Train Collectors who had heard about it at a show in New Braunfels. Bicyclists stopped and waited. Even the transients came out of their camp in the shrubbery, briefly. Several self-employed skilled tradespeople said they were cheating themselves but when they saw people waiting they couldn’t help stopping to see what was going on. At this location is a surprising collection of wildflowers, including some bluebonnets still showing color. Three trains of freight preceded the Special, one made up entirely of open gondolas, and two with too many cars to count full of Dodge pickups, mostly. There were also tankers, some of which were carrying corn syrup and others of which were loaded with mysterious contents.

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