If you noticed a freight train passing through town Friday afternoon that seemed unusually long, that’s because it was — 3.5 miles long, in fact. Beginning about 12:30 p.m., a test train carrying 295 rail cars and nine locomotives left Dallas’ intermodal yard and made its way along Arlington’s Division Street and through Fort Worth’s Davidson Yard. The engines weren’t all at the front of the train — instead, they were dispersed at the front, middle and rear, to improve handling.
The Union Pacific train carried the equivalent of 618 truckloads of furniture, clothing and electronical components — bound for the Long Beach, Calif. seaport. From there the goods will be shipped to Asia. The 18,817-foot-long beast was more than twice as long as trains many residents are accustomed to seeing.
“It may have taken three to five minutes for the train to clear crossings,” spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza-Williams said.
UP is testing a distributed power system that, if successful, would allow it to pull more long trains without increasing the risk of derailments. But the test was a one-time thing, so don’t worry about crossings being blocked like that again anytime soon.
— Gordon Dickson