This is the Lockhart Subdivision in all her Texas summertime glory.
A once-embargoed jointed-rail finger of the Katy that served the fertile black-land Granger communities of central Texas, its single-track now laid with 136-lb CWR supports the weight of intermodals, unit trains and merchandise freights alike as they roll in a timetable-southbound fashion down the 51.9 rail-miles between Smithville and San Marcos, Texas.
We're roughly 25 miles due south of Austin in this view looking in a north-northeasterly direction at 1:23 on the gorgeous yet still wickedly hot afternoon of Tuesday, September 10th, 2019, and with her tail-end still stretched out into Lockhart town proper, SD70M 4526 leads a solid block of autoracks south (compass west) past the ABS-controlled south switch of 9,484-foot Lockhart siding located at MP38.5. Since northbound freights are non-existent on this line, Dispatch 36 has found the Lockhart siding a convenient place to store the trackage-rights BNSF train whose crew is dying on hours.
But the bucolic nature of this scene is on borrowed time:
Soon the fields in the foreground will be home to new High-end condos and apartment buildings that reflect the explosive growth of the area. Much to the consternation of the local residents, Lockhart is slowly losing its small-town feel as more and more family farms are succumbing to the developers in droves.