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Hot spot: Fort Worth, Texas (Tower 55)

Forth Worth, Texas, was the hub of the Texas & Pacific. In the August 2002 issue, TRAINS Magazine reports on Union Pacific’s strategic plans for this once dead-end main line, and details the trains the mix of intermodal and manifest freights that currently polish the T&P’s rails.

Tower 55 in Fort Worth, where the T&P crosses UP and BNSF lines, is one of four Texas locations profiled in Kalmbach’s Guide to North American Hot Spots by TRAINS Senior Editor J. David Ingles. Read below for Tower 55 information.


Grade-level crossing of double-track Union Pacific (ex-Texas & Pacific) and single-track Burlington Northern Santa Fe (ex-ATSF) main lines.


Main-line freight action on both lines, including unit and intermodal trains. Passenger trains include Trinity Rail Express commuter trains from Dallas to Fort Worth’s Intermodal Transportation Center and the T&P Passenger Terminal. Amtrak’s Texas Eagle and Heartland Flyer also stop at the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center. BNSF and UP local switchers serve nearby customers.

Typical motive power

On BNSF: GE C44-9Ws and B39s; EMD SD70MACs, SD75M/Is and SD40-2s

On UP: GE C44ACs, C41-8Ws, and B30-7s; EMD SD9043Acs, SD60Ms, SD40-2s and GP38-2s

Amtrak: GE P40s and P42s

Trinity Rail Express: EMD F59PHs and F59PHIs, plus refurbished RDCs.

Peak operating hours

Spread throughout the day.

Approximate daily train frequency

BNSF: 30 freights

UP: 50 freights

TRE: 30 trains on weekdays, 18 on Saturday

Amtrak: 3 trains

Radio frequencies

BNSF: 160.695 (road), 160.920 (road), 160.935 (yard)

Union Pacific: 160.410 (road), 160.470 (road), 160.515 (road), 161.550 (road), 161.280 (terminal), 160.395 (yard), 161.115 (yard), 161.250 (yard)

Amtrak: 160.440 (crew), 160.500 (crew)

Nearby points of interest

The T&P Passenger Terminal and Fort Worth ITC are within a half mile of Tower 55. UP’s Centennial Yard is located less than 3 miles southwest, near I-30 and University Dr.

Saginaw, 9 miles north of downtown, is the northern rail funnel where BNSF’s and UP’s lines cross as they lead into Fort Worth; a few miles farther north is the Alliance Intermodal Terminal and BNSF’s Alliance Yard where the action is constant.


Major interstate highways cross near the tower. Nearby parking is available on a small street off S. Main St. Motels and restaurants are located downtown and along the interstates.

Safety considerations

Caution should be exercised at the I-30 and I-35W interchange. Late-evening train watchers should do so with caution because of the tower’s proximity to high-crime neighborhoods.

Contributor: Mike Harbour