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Due to the low heat value in lignite, it is usually not transported very far from the mine. Most power plants that use lignite are either mine mouth operations or within 50 miles of the lignite mine. The Texas Utilities Electric's Monticello power plant sits between two lignite mines. However, beginning in 1978, a KCS train called the Tidewater Turn shuttled lignite 35 miles from the Thermo mine near Sulphur Springs to Monticello with six modified F7s. The units (3 powered F7A units and 3 slugs, F7B units that receive electric power from the A units) were stored in Sulphur Springs. They would run to Thermo (about six miles east of Sulphur Springs) pick up the loaded hoppers and take them to Monticello. The train would also serve as a local, switching the industries along the way. After exchanging the loaded cars for empties, the train would turn back toward Sulphur Springs and drop off the empty hoppers at Thermo. Any other cars picked up en-route would be set out at Sulphur Springs for a through train.
Today the Tidewater Turn was having problems with the power on its train and stopped in Como on the main track to check things out. This allowed train 53 to run around it through the siding.
Since the Tidewater Turn wouldn't be going anywhere soon, I continued to chase train 53. Disk 95