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Extra 8654 East is at the south end of Rice siding early in the morning of December 15, 1977. Rice is at milepost 221 (measured from Houston) and had semaphore signals at both ends of the siding even at this late date. This southbound train has just met the Dallas connection from the eastbound Merchandise. Since Dallas was not on the route of the hot intermodal trains through Corsicana, the eastbound Merchandise would set out cars for Dallas at Corsicana and then head east on the Cotton Belt to Pine Bluff and East St. Louis. A single engine would then hustle these hot Dallas cars to Miller Yard and the TOFC ramp for unloading. Later in the afternoon a single engine would take hot cars for the West Coast from Miller Yard to Corsicana for a connection with the Blue Streak Merchandise.