Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, October 09, 2017 11:54 PM

Surprise Trip Found Many Surprises

October 6, 2017

Sunset Route California-Arizona

Part I (of I-X)

LAST trip the partially installed cantilever structure at Ave. 29E in Wellton, AZ and the partially installed heads on the horizontal part while on the ground gave K.P. the logical deduction that CP SP770 WELLTON to the east would be as it has been for years.
.


   PRESENT CP SP770 WELLTON


                     >
                   ------------
                  /   To Roll
                 /
                /
               /
              /
         <   /
----------- Wye
             \
              \    >
              Wye ----------------------
              /
             /
-------------
         <


.

All those signals in the new form would be red over types.  But, that did NOT prove to be the way UP planned.  It is understood that UP hates equilateral (wye) switches.  And, while it cannot be stated with certainty how the CP will be, the new cantilever structure suggests the following layout:at CP SP770 WELLTON to the east:

.


       POSSIBLE FUTURE
       CP SP770 WELLTON


  
                   ------------
                  /   To Roll
              <  /
            -----
           /
          /
         /
     >  /
--------------
              \
               \       
                \   --------------------
                 \ /    <
                  /
------------------
     >   


.

In theory, when the new signals are activated, trains should be left running.  Presently, they are right running.  But old dispatching habits are hard to break, especially since two-tracking is way from being done from the east.  HOWEVER, if a new turnout at CP SP753 DOME favors (straight track) Main 2, then Main 2 will be the predominate track.  Still, old DS habits are hard to overcome.

Continued in Part II

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:05 AM

Surprise Trip Found Many Surprises

October 6, 2017

Sunset Route California-Arizona

Part II (of I-X)

The latter diagram above fits the present covered heads on the newly put up cantilever part:

Southeast side looking westbound:

Northeast side looking westbound:

Above, the THIS SIDE lower heads only have one lamp each, for yellow over yellow indications, when lit as such, the train will crossover at the next CP to the west, CP SP768 WEST WELLTON, which has only 30 M.P.H. crossovers.
 
From the southwest side looking northeastward:

Key points of the last photo:  The LEFT facing background top head only has TWO lamp positions.  The left facing RIGHT signal only has a top head and is absent a lower head.

While K.P. was on site at Ave 29E, trains were constantly passing.  Such a below train was moving westward, photo shot from the east side sidewalk looking north.

Continued in Part III

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:11 AM

Surprise Trip Found Many Surprises

October 6, 2017

Sunset Route California-Arizona

Part III (of I-X)

The present wye switched CP SP770 WELLTON, camera position on the southwest side looking east-northeast:

Continued in Part IV

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:27 AM

Surprise Trip Found Many Surprises

October 6, 2017

Sunset Route California-Arizona

Part IV (of I-X)

The situation at the 30 M.P.H. universal crossovers at CP SP768 WEST WELLTON west of town:

  

A long, long time ago in SP days, this location may (“may’) have been a crossovers arrangement to get eastbound steam helpers onto westbound trains.  In modern times, even under UP, the crossovers are not used much.  K.P. has never seen them used.

Above, the cantilever structure is directly across from the new mast signal.  K.P. has no idea how UP is going to erect another new mast signal where the cantilever structure is at!

Continued in Part V

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:30 AM

Surprise Trip Found Many Surprises

October 6, 2017

Sunset Route California-Arizona

Part V (of I-X)

The situation by (“by,” i.e., outside of the) fenced yard in Welton, AZ:

Continued in Part VI

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:38 AM

Surprise Trip Found Many Surprises

October 6, 2017

Sunset Route California-Arizona

Part VI (of I-X)

More by (but not in) the Wellton railroad fenced area:

Continued in Part VII

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:44 AM

Surprise Trip Found Many Surprises

October 6, 2017

Sunset Route California-Arizona

Part VII (of I-X)

The Blaisdell “half of a CP” was gone by, but, as expected, nothing was new there.  The electrical boxes there remain white.

Lastly, in Arizona, we drove by CP SP743 FORTUNA, and the old target signals are still standing, and no color lights have been brought to the scene.  The west eastbound signal is hardly seen on the right.  This is a quiet zone grade crossing (note the yellow posts that hinders people going around the crossing gates).

Next, going back a few hours in time …

Continued in Part VIII

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:50 AM

Surprise Trip Found Many Surprises

October 6, 2017

Sunset Route California-Arizona

Part VIII (of I-X)

K.P. originally left base about 4:15 A.M., and finally got to the CP SP620 THERMAL area around dawn.  That CP has not seen new color lights yet.  UP trucks had just arrived in a dark but lightening atmosphere.

This location is the old east end of the Thermal siding, and has a speed-spoiler 30 M.P.H. between Main 2 and the Main.

A sure sign something was brewing, though, was seen with burial bases by the highway and NOT at the CP, but about a block to the east.  Will the 30 M.P.H. CP switch give way to a 50 M.P.H. one, maybe a block east to minimize track disruptions during installations?

Continued in Part IX

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:54 AM

Surprise Trip Found Many Surprises

October 6, 2017

Sunset Route California-Arizona

Part IX (of I-X)

Soon after arrival at 62nd Ave. (M.P. 621.65), a westbound came in the lightening sunrise.

Highway 86 is the overpass in the background.

It was unbelievable how many trains were seen during the day.  Is the economy getting super good now?  Is it just the Christmas rush?

Intermediate signals presently maybe a half a mile to the west are being relocated to the grade crossing with the conversion to color lights.

In the third photo up, note the just past full moon by the flashers.

Continued in Part X

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:59 AM

Surprise Trip Found Many Surprises

October 6, 2017

Sunset Route California-Arizona

Part X (of I-X)

At the west end of the Mortmar siding, nothing obviously new was seen.

At the east end of said siding, at CP SP635 MORTMAR, an additional new signal had been erected (background, left).

At CP SP647 BERTRAM, for the second trip in a row now a crewless train was tied down in the siding.

From here east, the next stop planned was in Arizona, which you have already seen. Thus, this will conclude the series.  However, material about the Roll Lead in Arizona and Intermodal (“Intermodal“) activity at a UP customer here in California on the line to Mexico will be posted about in a few days.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 6:45 PM

Rolling along to Oblivion on the …

… Roll Industrial Lead --

The Far Western Part of the Phoenix Sub

Part “A” (of A-C)

Technically, it is no longer part of the Phoenix Subdivision, and is called just a “lead” now.  This posting will briefly show (with October 6, 2017 photos) what is out in Roll, AZ off the Sunset Route

Prominent in getting to Roll is the Gila River Bridge.

We go to the far northeastern area of the Roll Industrial Lead, at the County 4th Street. grade crossing, and right away fine an agricultural piece of equipment moving west across the Roll track.

Looking eastbound:

There may have been a signal here once, or at least a line side electrical box.

Continued in Part B

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 6:52 PM

Rolling along to Oblivion on the …

… Roll Industrial Lead --

The Far Western Part of the Phoenix Sub

Part “B” (of A-C)

From County 4th Street looking westbound with some sand on the dull rails

Years ago a colleague here in the office, when UP’s PET program was available to the public, traced the relatively new UP SD70M No. 4000.  It was out on this Roll Industrial Lead!

Now, at the County 5th Street grade crossing, where a siding is located, looking eastbound:

Looking westbound:

Continued in Part C

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 7:02 PM

Rolling along to Oblivion on the …

… Roll Industrial Lead --

The Far Western Part of the Phoenix Sub

Part “C” (of A-C)

An eastbound telephoto with ABS signals at the east end of the siding:

Above, note the RIGHT ABS signal only has a two-lamp head!

The west end of the Roll siding has ABS signals too.

Can you imagine many decades ago passenger trains meeting here, at lease once and a while?

Finally, the line’s owner was stenciled on the track:

Not everyone is a railroader or railfan, such as police, and such markings can be helpful in police write-ups of a train-vehicle collision …

This will end this series.  A posting about the Intermodal containers at a Calexico Sub customer will be posted in a day or two

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Posted by BNSF6400 on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 8:16 PM

A little story about the Roll Industrial Lead, back when it was the west end of the Phoenix Subdivision.  This occurred in the early 1990's, before Union Pacific purchased the Southern Pacific.

During a particular wet winter, the Gila River reached flood stage and washed out the only road directly connecting the community of Roll to the Wellton, where the kids go to school and most business is done.  Using the only other road, which goes east, turned a moderate distance trip into a very, very long one.

Since it would be a while until the road could be reopened, the Southern Pacific and Amtrak teamed up for a special train.  One F40PH, two Amtrak Amfleet coaches, a SP boxcar and an SP caboose made hourly round trips from early morning to early evening (with a break for lunch).  SP provided the crews.  The trips were free and the boxcar was used to move bulky items that couldn't fix in a passenger car.  The train ran from "downtown" Roll on the east side of the Gila River to the cattle feed lot on the west side.  Westward movements occurred in reverse with the caboose leading.

The operation lasted for a couple of weeks until the flood waters receded and the road could reopen.  It was an interesting little operation that greatly helped a small town in need.  Kudos to the SP and Amtrak for making it happen.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 9:31 PM

Now that's a great story. 

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, October 12, 2017 2:32 PM

Around and Around the Intermodals Go

Part I (of I-IV)

More from the Friday, October 6, 2017 trip:

Down from the connection with the Sunset Route at Niland, CA to the border with Mexico is the dark territory Calexico Sub.  Not too far south of the center of the community of Calipatria is a goof sized circle track.  See aerial:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Calexico,+CA/@33.1074072,-115.5138193,804m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80d765d2aacf9b05:0x5e4e302c616fb897!8m2!3d32.6789476!4d-115.4988834?hl=en

Traditionally, that circle track has been used for agriculture.  Presently, Intermodal from an unknown direction (north or south) has been offloaded there, and containers stacked and soon afterward trucked elsewhere.

Continued in Part II

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, October 12, 2017 2:37 PM

Around and Around the Intermodals Go

Part II (of I-IV)

The operation in photos:

A train was slowly starting and stopping backwards (away from the camera) with Highway 111 on the west side of the property.  On the east side of the property Intermodal containers were being offloaded.

Unloaded well cars were being pushed and stopped, pushed and stopped, and following the engines on the looping track (coming towards the camera).

Continued in Part III

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, October 12, 2017 2:39 PM

Around and Around the Intermodals Go

Part III (of I-IV)

The empty Intermodal cars were passing through a building adjacent some type of grain-like storage cylinders.

As time goes by the power backs farther around the loop:

More and more containers are offloaded.

Then K.P. leaves heading to Arizona …

Continued in Part IV

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, October 12, 2017 2:44 PM

Around and Around the Intermodals Go

Part IV (of I-IV)

Holtville and that Loop Again

On return to California from Arizona in the afternoon, a different way was traversed, through Holtville, to see an old abandoned line that K.P. believes saw the very engines that went by his childhood residence.  An old bridge was found, that looks like had a fire.

Putting nostalgia aside, K.P. now returns past that grain Intermodal place and finds the train parked by the buildings on the northeast side of the property:

That train and power was in that vicinity all day, and now it looked like it would be parked overnight.  It is unknown if the train was crewed by UP trainmen or property personnel took command of the train.  But this train and probably more like it are adding some traffic to the Sunset Route via the connection at Niland, UNLESS it came up from Mexico.

This will conclude the series

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Friday, October 13, 2017 7:45 AM

K. P. Harrier

Rolling along to Oblivion on the …

… Roll Industrial Lead --

The Far Western Part of the Phoenix Sub

Part “C” (of A-C)

Above, note the RIGHT ABS signal only has a two-lamp head!

The west end of the Roll siding has ABS signals too.

Can you imagine many decades ago passenger trains meeting here, at lease once and a while?

K.P.,

A couple of thoughts on this:

On the two-position signals:  This does not surprise me.  Back when the semaphores were in vogue on the line, many of them had only two positions.  I once saw a fascinating article that explained how this worked.  It was an ingenieous system that was intended to prevent two trains from meeting between sidings.

On the trains meeting there on that siding:  Back when the Sunset Limited was still running on this line, Train # 1 was due to leave Phoenix around 11:00pm, if I recall that right.  Train #2 was due to arrive Phoenix around 6 or 7 am.  (I don't have a timetable in front of me anymore).

Anyhow, this was a thrice-weekly operation with train #1 going west on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sat and #2 east on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturday (I think it was, I'm going partly by memory - Amtrak has since changed the days of operation)

So, If tuesdays train #1 was running very late (not unusual) and Wednesdays train #2 was on time, a meet would have to be scheduled somewhere between Welton and Phoenix!

What's really unbelievable, was that in the Second World War days, there were SIX scheduled trains through Phoenix (in each direction) and some of them would often run in multiple sections!  How they managed to keep this line fluid is beyond me.  But they did it!

After around 1971 or so, the SPT Co went through and pulled up a number of sidings on the line and only kept about three or four.

Regards,

Fred M.Cain

 

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Friday, October 13, 2017 8:09 AM

The Imperial Valley

 

 

 

K.P.,

 

I’d like to make some comments about this.

 

First of all, the Niland-Calexico line actually had an automatic block signal system (SP searchlights) right up into the mid 1980s sometime.   I do not know the exact year they were removed and the line went dark.  I can distinctly recall seeing the searchlights off in the distance where old U.S. 80 crossed the line near downtown El Centro.

 

This always puzzled me.  Why would this line have block signals?  Well, onetime I was riding overnight on the Sunset Limited between L.A. and Phoenix (this was still pre-Amtrak) and I got to bee-essing with the conductor who was a really nice guy.  I asked him about the block signals and he told me that old train numbers 39 & 40 once used the line.  That would be the Imperial Limited.  It stopped at Brawley, El Centro and, I think, Calexico.

 

It then entered Mexico and went on east through extreme northeastern Baja California to Algodones where it reentered California and once again entered the main line at what was known as Araz Junction.

 

When I was a kid, in pre-Interstate 8 days, we made many, many trips from Arizona to San Diego along old. U.S. 80.  There was a really rickety looking trestle at Araz where this line passed over U.S. 80.  The bridge and tracks were pulled out in the early 1960s, I think.

 

Further west, U.S. 80 ran right alongside the line to Holtville that you mentioned.  This was also known to some as the “Holton Interurban”.  (I don’t believe it was ever actually electrified, though).  In the 1960s and into the ‘70s this line still saw heavy use with all the big packing houses in the area.  I distinctly recall the bridge you shot.  When we’d drive along there it was not at all unusual to see a train on the branch.

 

Ah yes, those were the days.  The Southern Pacific was still in its glory days!

 

Regards,

 

Fred M. Cain

 

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 1:15 PM

On the Back Burner

K.P. is looking towards around (“around”) the New Year for getting back to the Wellton, AZ area.  Of special interest is a possible revamping of CP SP770 WELLTON with a right hand 50 M.P.H. turnout replacing the present 40 M.P.H. equilateral switch (wye) arrangement from the old SP days.  Also, the Thermal end of two-tracks (M.P. 620 area) old 30 M.P.H. left handled switch is expected to be converted to a 50 M.P.H. switch, but that remains to be seen still.  Outside of such modifications inspired by PTC, nothing seems to be happening two-tracking-wise.

Currently, the Sunset Route line between North Ontario and Fontana (CA) is having the Kinder-Morgan pipeline relocated for two-tracking.  However, it is unknown if UP will two-track that section afterward or put the matter on hold indefinitely, seeing that it has the alternate Sunset Route it can use also.

On K.P.’s current wish list for photos is a view or views of Metrolink’s new F125 diesels, possibly shot in the Pedley (CA) area and / or on the huge Viaduct on the western side of Riverside on the alternate Sunset Route.  Also, K.P. has long wondered if the section between Limonite and the Santa Ana River will be two-tracked, but with the PTC fiasco, that may be put on hold for years.

The putting in service the track in the San Gabriel Trench (CA) assumedly is still delaying.  Also, K.P. has been waiting on the trench in order to get out to the CP AL484 WORTH again, which the forum will recall is the new CP between dark and signaled track, with a single red over a single red mast east side westbound Main 2 signal.

Memo to Fred M. Cain (10-13 / 10-13A):

That TWO-light (position) head at the east end of the Roll siding (far western Phoenix Line) that you commented on is NOT because of a cheap two indication signal system but because the next signal ends the signal system, on out of service track.

You, Fred, are a real old timer if you use to travel U.S. 80 in Holtville (CA) before Interstate 8 was put in!  This old timer is probably younger than you, but he remembers the old highway before Interstate 10, and the nearby what is now CP SP542 LOMA LINDA, and how the nearby Hunts Lane had wigwags where an overpass is now.  Oh, how time keeps marching on.

Take care,

K.P.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, October 30, 2017 11:21 AM

Things got even worse at Loop Ave.!

Loop Ave. over the Sunset Route on the border between Ontario and Fontana, CA, alongside Etiwanda Ave., has even more ‘No Parking’ signals now, basically cutting off any two-tracking photography.

Since there were no ‘No Stopping’ signs present, the above photo was safely taken from K.P.’s stopped vehicle, with an eye for any approaching vehicles, which there was none at the time.

The forum may be interested in the following material about a point just to the west, pertaining to the ex-Milliken Ave. grade crossing.

Was an Illogical ‘No New Track’ Layout Caused …

… by Too Many Things Happening?

When a number of things happen simultaneously, or in close proximity time wise, it is difficult to interpret what is going on or why!  Case in point:

Less than ten years ago CP AL533 SIERRA at the west end of West Colton Yard, which CP is technically in Fontana, began to radically be altered, and a four-track west side eastbound signal bridge was erected.  But, progress on the CP mysteriously stopped.  Then, K.P. got wind of a new, future CP VINA VISTA, but never heard anything further.  Vina Vista is a location timetabled as at M.P. 526.0.  Then the Milliken Ave. Flyover began to be constructed over Milliken Ave. in Ontario, Milliken Ave. being at M.P. 525.4.  At M.P. 524.7 is the east end of the Guasti siding.  Later, the Pomona-North Ontario section was two-tracked.  In all this, a new (“NEW”) CP box labeled CP AL525 GUASTI has been at the Colton Signal Dept. for years, and never put in service.  And now the Kinder-Morgan pipeline in Ontario is being relocated.  The circumstances surrounding the latter event may have been the underlying cause of all the delays.

Before proceeding further, a bit of modern railroad industry history is in order.  The Santa Fe Railway attempted to merge with Southern Pacific in the mid 1980’s, and the assets of both were merged except the SP which was put in a holding trust until government merger approval.  The government eventually denied the merger, which forced the sale of SP to others.  AN ABSOLUTELY STUPID ASPECT OF THAT SALE WAS SANTA FE PACIFIC, AS SANTA FE’S HOLDING COMPANY WAS THEN KNOWN AS, RETAINING THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC PIPELINE COMPANY.  So, SP owned the right-of-way and the tracks, while Santa Fe Pacific owned the pipeline under those tracks.  Things went along fine until Union Pacific merged with SP.  The holding company of both Santa Fe (then BNSF) and the SP Pipeline outfit (renamed, of course) saw the writing on the wall and sold the pipeline to Kinder-Morgan.  Sure enough, UP, as the property owner, exercised its rights and made Kinder-Morgan pay for all the pipeline relocation needed for two-tracking.

Enter the Fontana-Ontario area again.  In theory, that section should have been two-tracked starting a decade ago, but wasn’t because of the fiasco mentioned above.  Enter the Milliken Ave. Flyover.  The plan seems to have been two-tracks, but single-track would have been necessary DURING construction of the Milliken Ave. Flyover.  That is where CP AL526 VINA VISTA (assumedly) and CP AL525 GUASTI would have come in.  With the chaos of the pipeline litigation, there was no two-tracking in the Fontana-Ontario area, so those CP’s weren’t needed.  Since the CP boxes exist, maybe UP will go as planned, and when the area is finally two-tracked there will be a high-speed single crossover at Vina Vista and another one at Guasti, on each end of the Milliken Ave. Flyover.  Mystery solved!  Now, we just have to wait and see if things work out that way.

It should be noted that such single-crossovers are a Missouri Pacific trademark of sorts.  After the “mop-up” with the UP-MP-WP merger in the early 1980’s, in the early 1990’s the LA&SL from Pedley to Ontario was two-tracked, using that Missouri Pacific technique as the premise for crossovers, using just single-crossovers at CP’s.  The concept may have somehow lingered on to the Milliken Ave. Flyover area.

As Noted at the Very Top of this Post …

K.P. was in the vicinity of the present old CP boxed CP AL525 GUASTI with the newer color light signals, plus nearby relevant locations.  He will share some photos in a few days.

By the present CP AL525 GUASTI the railroad isn’t the only one having problems.  It seems the roadway planners and street department is having locked horns problems too with property owners, unbelievably so, and it has been for a long time too.  Does it sound railroadish, though totally unrelated to railroading?  A few photos on that will be included in the next posting in a few days.

Replies

MikeF90 (9-22):

Yes, an “SP” signal system dating from circa 1960 is amazing. However, the present old signal system is somewhat misleading in a way.

I have no idea when it was, perhaps in the late 1980’s, but I followed the SP from Yuma through Maricopa (Highway 347 was a two lane road with very little traffic), to Tucson.  Unfortunately for the railroad, but a massive thunder storm hit out of Yuma, knocking out all the signals.  All the trains east from the Dome-Wellton area were flagging signals.  It was drama at its best, with the DS probably having to lay down once and a while from stress!

The current SP old boxes seem to be better.  So, while the actual signals are from the 1960’s, perhaps the electronics are more contemporary and more reliable.

Shades of the LA&SL, the line out of Yermo, CA to Las Vegas, NV!  Some of those signals until recently dated back to 1942.

billio (9-24):

Thanks for the encouragement.

In the Dome-Wellton, AZ area I’m very curious how the biases will be, whether right running as today, or if they will convert to left bias as with the orientation change of one track going over the other at Cienega Creek east of Tucson. .

desertdog (9-30):

In the case of that unclear operation of unloading double-stack containers in the Calipatria area of California, those containers seem to linger at the site, and later are trucked elsewhere.  Since they linger at the site, my impression was that they are empty and are transported somewhere else, loaded, and return to be loaded on well cars for shipment elsewhere.   But, I wish something would be definitive as to whom is shipping something where.

BNSF6400 (10-10):

Interesting story!  Very interesting …

But it sounded familiar.  I fortunately came up with the right words in a forum word search, and found your February 4, 2012 post on that on page 78 of this thread!

Thanks for sharing on both accounts.

Take care all,

K.P.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 12:20 AM

Update as of Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sunset Route Photos Taken about …

… the Eastern Ontario, CA Area

Part “A” (of A-E)

The Guasti Area

We start across from the present old boxed CP AL525 GUASTI, on the north side of the tracks.

That signal is aligned towards the CENTER of Main 2 on the Milliken Ave. Flyover, but the current Main shifts to the future Main 1 alignment.

An overview looking east, with the “Sand” train coming off the western slope of the Milliken Ave. Flyover.

Above, note the cul-de-sac on the photo bottom, and how Guasti Road just ends.

The west eastbound signals, the farther away left one for the Guasti siding.

Continued in Part B

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 12:32 AM

Update as of Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sunset Route Photos Taken about …

… the Eastern Ontario, CA Area

Part “B” (of A-E)

The Guasti Area

That CP is timetable listed as at M.P. 524.7.  The NEW CP box at or was at the Colton Signal Dept. is of the same placard name, CP AL525 GUASTI.  Thus, a crossover CP cannot extend westward more than M.P. 524.5, close to where the Haven Ave. underpass is located, where the walling sides are as shown below.

Google Maps shows the road just north of the Milliken Ave. Flyover as never been connected, obviously because of a property owner holdout, Hub Group Trucking.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Guasti,+Ontario,+CA+91761/@34.0651704,-117.5726442,796m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80c335078b76f861:0x4e47cf5e87009cff!8m2!3d34.0650112!4d-117.5864414?hl=en

Photos shot just west of Hub Group Trucking show truck trailers blocking the pathway of a would-be through roadway.

So, access to the track area for photos has its challenges.  Those that concocted putting in a through roadway probably found an easy condemnation of property not so easy, nor cheap.  It may be like condemning railroad property and taking it.  Such just can’t be done, and to temp a railroad with money is just too cost prohibitive.

The East Slope

This is the Vina Vista area, by the far eastern slope of the Milliken Ave. Flyover (far photo right).

K.P. is guessing that, above, the far left area is where a single crossover would have been and probably still will be put in at a future CP AL526 VINA VISTA.

Continued in Part C

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 12:39 AM

Update as of Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sunset Route Photos Taken about …

… the Eastern Ontario, CA Area

Part “C” (of A-E)

Setting the Stage for What Likely Should Have Been

Way back (“way back”) on August 8, 2008, nearing a decade ago, this photo was shot of the then newly erected west signal bridge for eastbound trains at CP AL533 SIERRA in Fontana, but few signal heads on the bridge were put in service.

Thus, the Fontana to Pomona section of the Sunset Route was starting to be two-tracked.  Enter the Milliken Ave. grade crossing at M.P. 525.4.  Around 2011 a grade separation there started, which we have called the Milliken Ave. Flyover.  The Main 2 part of the structure was started first.

Because of questionable right-of-way width, the game plan may have been (“may have been”) to not two-track this area until the flyover was finished.

Three November 16, 2012 photos of the Main 1 flyover being constructed after the Main 2 flyover (southern side) was in service.

Continued in Part D

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 1:05 AM

Update as of Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sunset Route Photos Taken about …

… the Eastern Ontario, CA Area

Part “D” (of A-E)

Setting the Stage for What Likely Should Have Been

Diagram-wise, IF nearly a decade ago two-tracking the Fontana-Pomona stretch had been started, circumventing the Milliken Ave. Flyover situation would have been necessary.  As K.P. sees it, the following track diagram probably would have happened.

.


  CP AL525 GUASTI           CP AL526
                           VINA VISTA

Main 1                            Main 1
----------------------------------------
       /                        \
      /                          \
------        Construction        ------
Main 2                            Main 2


.

Once the Main 2 flyover was in operation, the track would be rearranged, and the following would result.

.


  CP AL525 GUASTI           CP AL526
                           VINA VISTA

Main 1                            Main 1
------        Construction        ------
      \                          /
       \                        /
------------ Main 2 Flyover ------------
Main 2                            Main 2


.

Since two-tracking was delayed by the Kinder-Morgan matter, and the circumventing never had to be used during the Milliken Ave. Flyover construction, the two CP boxes never got used and likely still sit at the Colton Signal Dept.   But, when looked at from a great master plan perspective, when two-tracking resumes finally, the CP AL525 GUASTI and CP AL526 VINA VISTA boxes will undoubled be brought to the Ontario sites and be as diagramed  below.

.


  CP AL525 GUASTI           CP AL526
                           VINA VISTA

Main 1                            Main 1
------------ Main 1 Flyover ------------
      \                          /
       \                        /
------------ Main 2 Flyover ------------
Main 2                            Main 2


.

Thus, the Sunset Route two-tracking likely will have a Missouri Pacific type layout in the Guasti-Vina Vista area, a rarity for the Sunset Route.  The LA&SL alternate Sunset Route already has this Missouri Pacific track layout from Pedley to Ontario, and that longer route undoubtedly won’t be used as much, but it may be used more than one would expect.

Continued in Part E

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 1:15 AM

Update as of Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sunset Route Photos Taken about …

… the Eastern Ontario, CA Area

Part “E” (of A-E)

Loop Ave. (Alongside Etiwanda Ave.)

As shown in the teaser photo (reshown here), photos taken from Loop Ave. are on the difficult side now, with ‘No Parking’ signs everywhere.

The below photo taken this visit shows new orange screening was extended eastward (towards the camera), right of the track (photo center, where a wash goes under the track).

Above, on the lower left, a big hole has been dug, probably pipeline related.

Since money was earmarked for two-tracking here some years ago, this area being two-tracked in the near future is the most likely scenario.

Of course, it just so happens that the un-laid Diversion track in Pomona, CA (our Main D) will likely be laid soon and put in service, that project too already having been paid for or money set aside for it.

So, while Arizona is lacking Sunset Route two-tracking currently, a little here in Southern California keeps this thread active, and continuing to be on Page 1 or 2 of the “General Forum.” 

While currently K.P. has nothing planned for the next few months, expect somewhere around the new year for him to visit the Wellton, AZ area.

This will conclude the series.

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Posted by MikeF90 on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 3:45 PM

My own speculation does not rely on two unused signal boxes. IIRC in about 2012 our inactive poster 'Clyde Acolita' noted that plans showed a future universal crossover near Etiwanda Ave. Combined with a second main, this u/c will allow the elimination of two short and not very useful sidings with their four control points.

This makes even more sense today as UP has been driving away business in droves. In addition, one major customer (the wind turbine tower manufacturer) was bought, the facility demolished with a large warehouse being built in its place. Time (and some new bridges) will tell ....

BTW the Hub Group Trucking website no longer shows a facility in Ontario; not sure if the current occupant is 'holding out' for alternate street access. It is also possible that the property owners to the west are objecting to large truck traffic increases in front of their businesses.

Further to the west, we missed the recent groundbreaking of the long awaited Monte Vista Ave grade separation construction start: http://www.gosbcta.com/plans-projects/projects-grade-monte-vista.html

Google Map links ---> Sunset Route overview, SoCal metro, Yuma sub, Gila sub, east of Tucson, BNSF Northern Transcon and Southern Transcon

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, November 02, 2017 6:06 AM

To All … and MikeF90 (10-31):

Guasti-Fontana, a Vanishing Act at …

… Colton, and Thermal-Salton Sea

There have long been questions about the Guasti-Fontana area, and now those questions have been very much intensified by a vanishing act.  I passed by the Colton Signal Dept. yesterday on the way to Salton Sea, and the new CP AL525 GUASTI box could NOT be found, nor about 80% of that big group of crate-boxed switch motors, which were simply gone too!

The fenced Signal Dept. Yard.in Beaumont (CA) has a mast signal in assembly, and those trailers without license plates are still parked there.

The end of two-tracks CP at Thermal had new mast signals up, right by the old ones, so CP SP620 THERMAL will NOT be getting a high speed switch, but things will linger on as before.  And, all the new color light signals from Thermal through Mecca and the Salton Sea are up.  Some of those turned aside new signals were even lit and being tested!

K.P.’s hope is to make an assessment of the trip’s findings, as well as the Guasti-Etiwanda area MikeF90 replied about, and post a report in the next several days.  Stay tuned …

Best,

K.P.

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