Houston, Texas

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kenw

5th Generation Texian
#1
Location: Houston, Texas

Railroads: UP, BNSF and KCS and KCS de Mexico. PTRA handles most traffic in the port area. NS and CSX power a lot of run-thrus on auto racks and others along with providing power payback. Ferromex is often seen on BNSF and UP on run-thru trains headed to/from the border.

Houston is a major US port (#4) and the largest post for traffic headed to/from South America. Traffic is constant and there are a few key select spots that can maximize your fanning time. Planning is advised as it is much larger and spread out than most expect.

Loads: Heavy with plastics hoppers, grain hoppers during rush season, tankcars at any time. Autoracks, especially in and around Spring and the Port of Houston. Coal usually comes in from the north and west. Scrap metal travels to Mexico, new coil steel stock comes in thru the port. There is a lot of heavy manufacturing in the Houston area, coupled with the port means there is a lot of special high-wide move traffic funneled from all over the USA into and out of the port.

Many locations are very easy to railfan, but as in most cities, tracks are not always in the high-rent district so some personal caution is highly advised. Fanning in groups is always a good idea and fanning at night in the urban areas is never advised. Areas on the outskirts are usually more laid-back altho traffic can be a bit less dense in places such as Rosenberg, Spring, etc. Railroad police while friendly are nonetheless active and always nearby, so just don't trespass. Avoid photos around refineries.

Summer months are hot and very humid. Winters are mild compared to most of the USA.

Rather than regurgitate all the many locations in and around Houston, I will link you to the best Houston-specific site in existance:
http://www.trainweb.org/jssand/Houston/Houston.htm
This site contains maps, cautions, history and just about anything you might need for fanning in and near Houston.

For pics, most of my gallery pics are from in and around the Greater Houston area.
http://www.railroadforums.com/photos/showgallery.php?ppuser=136&cat=500&thumb=1
 





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