Centex to Taylor

The final connector from Track 2 trails in from the south-southwest (i.e. the east side of the line) at the 8,249 ft. east side siding at Centex (MP 208.3, where the speed limit is 30 mph, past a grade crossing and a grade crossing at Pat Road, to MP 206.7, where it is 55-50), as the line heads north-northeast past another grade crossing, and a spur heading east at the north end of the siding, single track, CTC, jogs northeast, and resumes north-northeast again, past a bridge over a river and a road crossing that river on a deck bridge, a road alongside to the east, construction (in 2007) for a new road bridge to pass overhead, a grade crossing, I-35 alongside to the east, a grade crossing, additional track (a spur to the northeast) at Cedar Supply (MP 202.3), two grade crossings within the 7,524 ft. east side siding at Kyle (MP 201.8-200.2), where the speed limit rises to 70-60, a grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, dual road bridges overhead, a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, and a detector (box on the west side) at MP 198.1.

There is south-facing additional track on the east side at Texas Cement (MP 196.1), on the east side, south-facing additional track on the east side at CTX Building Supply (MP 196.0), on the east side, and additional track on the east side at Spectrum Cement (MP 195.6), also on the east side, three grade crossings, Buda (MP 194.2), where the speed limit is 65-60, a bridge over a river below, a grade crossing, a bridge over a river below, a grade crossing, a bridge over a river below, the 7,543 ft. east side siding at Bergstrom (MP 188.1-186.6) where the speed limit falls to 35 mph, a wide road bridge overhead, and a grade crossing with a divided road..

The line turns northeast, past a grade crossing, a wide road bridge overhead, a grade crossing with a divided road, and a bridge over a dry river, to Vinson (MP 183.8), where extra track on the east side becomes the Bergstrom Industrial lead (heading east to the former Bergstrom AFB, now Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and serving a few industries), and north-northeast past quadruple road bridges overhead (Ben White Boulevard), a grade crossing, a detector at MP 182.6, a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing, a bridge over a wide street, and a bridge over a divided street,  before crossing the Colorado River on a through girder bridge and a bridge over a wide street on the north bank, entering the downtown area of Austin, comprising not only the state capital of Texas,  and the home of the state's eponymous university, but also a modern high-technology industry center known as 'silicon gulch'.

The line turns northwest, where an MKT line once trailed in from the east, just west of downtown Austin, bridging over a street below to the Amtrak station in Austin (MP 179.1), where the speed limit is 40-35, the depot is on the south side and there is a platform between tracks, and continues past two grade crossings, Intermediate Signals at MP 176.2, and a bridge over a divided street, and then turns just east of north past a highway ramp overhead, and dual highway bridges overhead, bringing it to the center of the highway (MoPac Freeway or Loop 1), Camp Mabry, three bridges over streets below, a road bridge overhead at 35th Street, a bridge over a street at 45th Street, a road bridge overhead, a highway bridge overhead, a bridge over a street below, the highway passing overhead, a street alongside to the east, and a narrow bridge overhead..

The urban area of Austin continues for awhile, past the 8,494 ft. west side siding at Sneed (MP 174.3-172.6)—the Snead family once owned a quarry at this location, and MP made a mistake in spelling the name of the siding, where the speed limit is 60 mph, past a road bridge overhead just within the siding, a bridge over a street below, additional track on the east side at Steck Paper Company (MP 172.1), on the east side, trailing in, and additional south-facing track heading away on the east side at Stripling Blake/Hooper (MP 171.9), highway ramps and dual highway bridges overhead (interchange between MoPac Freeway and US 183), a road bridge overhead, dual highway bridges overhead, Intermediate Signals at MP 169.9, a detector at MP 168.9, a grade crossing at Clark Street, two road bridges overhead, and Duval, where the line turns north-northeast across the flat crossing with the Austin Area Terminal Railroad (to be used by a new commuter line set to start in early 2008) at McNeil (MP 166.1), where the speed limit is 25 mph and there is a connector in the northeast quadrant, and then the line is back out into the farming countryside, past a rail-served cement plant on the east side, north of the crossing, a grade crossing on a gated road, dual highway bridges and ramps overhead, Intermediate Signals, two grade crossings, a street alongside to the east, a grade crossing, a wide highway bridge overhead (I-35), and a grade crossing (underneath the bridge).

There is a 7,148 ft. west side siding at Round Rock (MP 161.8-160.4), with a grade crossing within the siding and a street alongside to the east, before the line turns east-northeast, the speed limit is 60 mph, and there is a wye on the north side with a UP stub leading to the Georgetown Railroad, past a bridge over a newly-built divided street below, a dirt track grade crossing, a road alongside to the north, a grade crossing, a stadium on the north side, a grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, a divided highway alongside to the north, a grade crossing with a gated road, a bridge over a stream, a grade crossing with a divided road, a dirt track grade crossing, and a grade crossing with a private road.

The topography turns to rolling hills, still covered with lush farms, the line passes a location where it once bridged over an MKT branch (once the mainline between Granger and Austin), and turns east past a grade crossing, a dirt road grade crossing, a bridge overhead, dual highway bridges overhead, a grade crossing and Intermediate Signals at Hutto (MP 153.4), where the speed limit has risen to 70-60, a grade crossing, a street alongside to the south, two grade crossings, the 7,413 ft. south side siding at Hestes (MP 151.5-149.9), two grade crossings, a road alongside to the south, a bridge over a stream, dual highway bridges overhead, and Control Point Q146 (MP 146.2), where the speed limit is 40 mph and the northwest quadrant connector separates from the continuing main line. Here, the Amtrak Texas Eagle changes from the former MP to the former MKT to head north.

There are yard tracks (a one-time classification yard and crew change point on MP) between the continuing ex-MP line heading east and the northwest quadrant connector to the ex-MKT line (on which MP had trackage rights for many years between Taylor and Waco) on the north side, a road bridge overhead with a grade crossing just to its east, the depot at Taylor (MP 144.4.) on the north side of the northwest quadrant connector, before it turns north, the connector turns sharply north, and the flat crossing with a former MKT line at UP Crossing (MP 144.3), with another connector in the southwest quadrant.