Union Pacific Julesburg-La Salle line

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Union Pacific Julesburg-La Salle line
Posted by SPer on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 1:07 PM

Why did Union Pacific stopped using the Julesburg-La Salle line for train traffic. what's the reason.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 8:11 PM

UP still has the Julesburg-Sterling line, but they abandoned most of the rest of the line to LaSalle in favor of BNSF trackage rights to Denver.

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Posted by SPer on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 11:48 AM

why did UP wants to run on somebody else's line instead of using their own line to Denver

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 8:18 PM

IIRC some time ago UP decided to concentrate operations on the mainline thru Cheyenne, and using the line south from there to Denver for that traffic.  And later they upgraded the old KP line east of Denver to KC (at the time of the SP/ex-D&RGW merger), which gave them another option.

I don't know how much UP utilizes the BNSF trackage rights to Denver, but at least they show it on their system map.

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Posted by PennsyBoomer on Thursday, January 11, 2018 11:04 PM

It was a matter of economy and there was scant traffic on the Julesburg Sub with only one scheduled train each way prior to its closing. Plus the DP (Denver & Pacifc) line from Denver to Speer Jct. was CTC and, if a lengthier route to and from North Platte via Cheyenne, it represented sizeable costs savings in maintenance.This change happened about 1993.

UP has run a local out of Sterling to Julesburg and BNSF has long used the portion of the Julesburg Sub between Sterling and Union (24 miles) for its Power River coal traffic. BNSF traffic is all that uses the railroad west of Sterling and BNSF also dispatches it, however, UP (at least until the last decade) has maintained the track. The Julesburg Sub west of Union is gone. 

It might have been fortunate had UP hung on to the Julesburg Sub for awhile as, following the SP merger coal trains off the former D&RGW destined east would run via North Platte rather than over the Hoisington Sub (former MP) from Pueblo. That was another example where DRGW/SP dispatched the railroad but UP maintained ownership although operating virtually nothing.

The sudden influx of coal trains on the single track DP created quite a bit of congestion from Denver through Cheyenne terminal. The KP wasn't up-to-speed yet, so the Julesburg Sub might have had at least a decades lease on life had the SP merger transpired two years earlier. Or the KP might never have needed to be upgraded. 

 

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Posted by SPer on Monday, January 15, 2018 3:41 PM

So why UP built the Julesburg line in the first place.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, January 15, 2018 9:30 PM

In the early days, a short-cut route usually had more of an advantage.  Also the route was built along the South Platte River valley, which had the potential for agricultural traffic.

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