Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Thursday, November 02, 2017 6:14 AM

K.P., 

I sure hate to see that classic SP searchlight signals go but, oh well?  What can you do? Times change, I guess.

 

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Thursday, November 02, 2017 6:26 AM

MikeF90

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 ....

 

Group, *WHY* is this happening?  Since I have a substantial amount of UP shares in my IRA, this makes me *REAL* nervous.  Maybe I should dump them NOW while I still can.

Isn't this the same basic corporate philosophy that sank the old SPT Co?  It seems they had a tendency to concentrate on the "cream" and just let everything else go.  In my own, honest, humble opinion that is NOT a good way to grow a business.  You simply cannot cut your way to prosperity.

 

First it was passenger trains.  Just get rid of 'em and everything will be hunky dory.  (That actually started before my time).  Then branch line freight service went out the window along with cattle cars.  Then the perishible business was disposed of.  Finally, most loose box car traffic.

 

Now we're basically down to double stacks that only go between the very largest hubs and long unit trains of bulk commodities.  Maybe Fred Frailey has a point with his joke that they should just remove the tracks and convert their right of ways to privately owned toll roads for trucks.

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, November 02, 2017 4:15 PM

Fred M. Cain (11-2):

Fred M Cain

K.P., 

 

I sure hate to see that classic SP searchlight signals go but, oh well?  What can you do? Times change, I guess.

 

Regards,

 

Fred M. Cain

 

In response to your nostalgia post earlier today, I offer this target signal shot taken yesterday at CP SP624 MECCA, not only of the old target heads, but also an old cantilever signal bridge!

The faraway from the mast heads on the new masts (above left) look strange and still need getting used to.  But, the closer headed ones are STILL being installed as will be seen in the upcoming series and look somewhat strange now too!  But, the close together heads may be a sign about things to come …

Take care,

K.P.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, November 03, 2017 6:41 PM

Situation Update as of Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Colton to Salton, CA

Part I (of I-VI)

Big Disappearances

At the fenced Colton Signal Dept. yard at Colton, CA, probably 80% of the crated switch motors are surprisingly gone…

The placarded CP AL525 GUASTI box that has been at the Colton Signal Dept. for five to six years was nowhere to be found.

The boxes that were visible to varying degrees seemed to be all smaller boxes, except for a few obviously used boxes brought to the site recently.

If the CP box for CP AL525 GUASTI is not at either Colton or in the Guasti area, perhaps neither of Guasti and Etiwanda areas will end up having a CP!

Continued in Part II

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, November 03, 2017 6:46 PM

Situation Update as of Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Colton to Salton, CA

Part II (of I-VI)

The Beaumont, CA Fenced Yard

At Beaumont, around the top of the famed Beaumont Hill that saw helpers for years until the advent of Distributed Power Units (DPU’s), the fenced yard had a mast signal under assembly, on jacks.  A train was going by at photo time.

Old Anschutz era SP tri-light heads were strangely on site next to the mast.

There seemed to be more of those new maintenance-of-way trailers without license plates on site too.

Continued in Part III

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, November 03, 2017 6:56 PM

Situation Update as of Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Colton to Salton, CA

Part III (of I-VI)

The Glorious Frogville Overpass

More commonly known as the Airport Blvd. overpass in Coachella (CA), this trip was the first time K.P. went over the new overpass.  What a sensational eastward view of the former end of two-tracks FROM OF OLD, and WITH THE NEW the tracks get wide apart to go over the Whitewater River, Main 1 on the old bridge, and Main 2 over the new, second-track bridge.  K.P. hopes to spend some time on the bridge in the future to get photos.

The glorious Frogville overpass name was concocted because of the side fencing on both sides of the overpass roadway is a glaring, almost blinding frog-like green!  K.P. has never ever seen such coloring for bridge fencing! 

CP SP620 THERMAL

All the color light signals needed at the CP and the eastward end of two-tracks were now on site and erected, erected right next to the old signals.  So, the old, 30 M.P.H. switch will remain.

A close-up of the southern Main 2 heads:

Now, a view from the east slightly, of the same CP’s west side eastbound signals.  Note the right, Main 1 signal mast has a lower maintainer’s cage but NO signal head!

Is this (above) really an improvised, temporary CP until the area is two-tracked sometime in the future?

That above signal mast has a worn, weather-beaten appearance as seen from the below blown-up view.

  
Continued in Part IV

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, November 03, 2017 7:10 PM

Situation Update as of Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Colton to Salton, CA

Part IV (of I-VI)

CP SP620 THERMAL

The east side westbound turned aside signal was lit, displaying yellow over red.

The mast (background one) for that signal had a worn appearance too!

The heads were close to the mast, unlike the new ones being installed elsewhere.

Interestingly, the intermediate signals to the east (at least the first one) have the heads rather close spacing too.  The below view from October 6, 2017 shot at 62nd Ave. was previously shown.

After the Positive Train Control installation and activation ‘rush’ will this section be two-tracked, hence, the old, temporary masts?  How about extending eastward just to 62nd Ave.

Something to chew on … From 58th Ave., where intermediate mast signals are located, to CP SP620 THERMAL is 1.1 miles.  From CP SP620 THERMAL to 62nd Ave. is 1.4 miles.  From 62nd Ave. to CP SP624 is 2.9 miles.  So, extending two-tracks eastward to just somewhere near 62nd Ave. is feasible.  Or, sometime later CP SP620 could be upgrading to a higher space turnout.

Of interest, previously shown was the 4th Ave. grade crossing in Mecca (CA).  That grade crossing is only single-track, but it has a second-track just through it only..

Continued in Part V

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, November 03, 2017 7:19 PM

Situation Update as of Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Colton to Salton, CA

Part V (of I-VI)

CP SP624 THERMAL

The tease photo in a reply to Fred M. Cain is reshown, of the west end of the Mecca siding.  These new signals are totally new equipment.

CP SP635 MORTMAR

At the east end of the Mortmar siding, as westward seen from Parkside Drive, all the new mast signals are now up, though not activated.

Here too the east westbound signal has been placed a number of feet further east, a longtime characteristic of UP track.  The old SP had signals closer to the switch points.

Above, note the heads having lamps lit.

Above too, note the long, white painted track where the insulated joints are at, across from both old and new signals, the right one having eight sealed bolts.

On the right above joint, on an extreme blow-up, note the weld-wire currently bridging the insulated gap.  Obviously when the new signal is activated, that temporary weld-wire will be removed, and the old insulated joint will also be removed, or at least weld-wired.

A northward overview look:

Continued in Part VI

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, November 03, 2017 7:32 PM

Situation Update as of Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Colton to Salton, CA

Part VI (of I-VI)

CP SP624 THERMAL

The curvy track speed here is 65 M.P.H., once 70 M.P.H. in this hilly area!  View looks eastbound.

Above, if ones looked the other way, westbound, they would see a scene as in the second photo in Part V.

From elevated ground one can see signals of the CP and Salton Sea.

Other track and Salton Sea views:

It would seem unlikely the above area would see two-tracking anytime soon.  Of course, K.P. said that about the hilly Araz, AZ area too (west of Yuma, AZ), and it was two-tracked a year or so later!  But, all that was before the current Positive Train Control ‘for real’ deadline, now just over a year away.

Except for the Fontana-Pomona, CA area, plus possibly a mile or two extension of two-tracks in the Thermal area (CA), K.P. does not perceive any two-tracking, and even those areas are questionable.  But, UP will do what it wants to do, and when it wants.

This will conclude this posting series.

An Important Thought about Posting Photos

In recent times K.P. changed from a super problem plagued photo hosting site that changed its policies towards basically highway robbery to another site, postimage.io.  That latter site has a new extension, “.org,” i.e., postimage.org.  K.P. has used that site now for posting over 300 photos.  TRANSFERRING PHOTOS TO THAT SITE HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY FLAWLESS AND TROUBLE FREE, except for one photo which issue may have been caused by too many computers at one time here in the office overloading the single Internet line.

Thus, K.P. highly, highly recommends postimage.org for posting photos at the TRAINS Magazine website!

One “good to know” tidbit:  You don’t have to be a member to transfer photos to the site, but becoming a member with an account (it is FREE) allows one to remove photos, and find the links again if you wish to repost a photo in another post at a later time.

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Posted by BRUCE ELLEFRITZ on Saturday, November 04, 2017 11:57 PM

Rule #1 for me when I invest (I've owned UNP previously) is no one lost money taking profits.  Railroads are facing rising fuel costs and possible stock market pullback.  I don't own railroads or railcar manufacturers right now, they are all weak.  U.P. had a good quarterly report 10/26, but the stock has only risen slightly, about 1.5%.

Union Pacific profits rise despite impact of hurricane and flooding.  

PTC rollout slows average train speed
 
http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2017/10/26-up-earnings
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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Saturday, November 11, 2017 3:03 AM

Drama in Pomona (CA) with Talking Signals

Reshown June 17, 2017 photo of west eastbound south side LA&SL signals at CP AL514 HAMILTON

Right signal:  Hey Jack.

Left signal:  Yah, what’s up?

Right signal:  You know that K.P. guy?  He was by yesterday (Friday, November 10, 2017).  I’m scared!  Really scared!  He told his associate that he is convinced all us NEW west side mast signals at CP AL514 HAMILTON will be replaced … Ah, with a signal bridge!

Left signal:  No kidding?

Right signal:  And, the photos he took yesterday seem to indicate that is very possible!  And, because of the way we signals are facing (westbound) we can’t see that west box for CP AL514 HAMILTON. K.P. also photographed new glaring security measures there and elsewhere … And, he photographed some new type of concrete ties too that had been offloaded around here and elsewhere.

Left signal:  Hey, Fernando, I’ll check the TRAINS website forum thread “Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates” in a few days.  Every time K.P. comes around here he posts photos a couple of days later …

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Saturday, November 11, 2017 3:16 PM

Oh no. K.P.'s lost it. He's hearing the signals talk to him. Get the white coats ready.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Saturday, November 11, 2017 5:27 PM

Oh, Electroliner1935 (11-11):

The 1935 in your whatever it is called suggests you are way older than my 60 plus years.  You may have forgotten your younger days with kids and sharing stories with them, if you had them.  At my age I still haven’t forgotten those fun story times with my kids.  And bate brings anticipation.  Sometimes that is helpful and sometimes it is not in our ‘I want it now’ society,’ especially in platforms as the forums.

You may be interested to know things are moving quite fast on composition on the next posting series, Colton to Pomona, CA, and will be in four parts.  While by the Colton Signal Dept. yesterday a lone signal was by the junk area, a color light one, and a train at that time made for quick photo composing.

Thus, NOT all color light signals  are new anymore, as hard as that is to believe.  I guess they have the same problem you and I have, that time marches on and we are all getting older.

Think young,

K.P.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:12 AM

November 10, 2017 Report

Colton to Pomona, CA

Part “A” (of A-D)

Colton

The remaining switch motor boxes (there was about twenty, now four or five) are still at the Colton Signal Dept.

An old, non-shiny but modern color light signal was laying in the kind of bone yard junk area.  A westbound (rightward) was passing on the Mt. Vernon Connector

A whole bunch of something the likes of which K.P. has never seen before was within the balloon track at the east end of West Colton Yard.

Initially, above, it was thought a derailment had taken place and everything wias shoved to inside the balloon.  But, whatever is present looks too good of shape to be the leftover of a derailment.

Fontana

Sierra Ave. over CP AL533 SIERRA was gone over, but nothing popped out to K.P.  The same with the west eastbound signal bridge at that CP.  A very noticeable ‘making it hard for photographer’ was seen and K.P. often left sites without photos.

Near CP AL531 SOUTH FONTANA a work-train with concrete ties was present.  Unfortunately, there was no quick way to photograph it

The freeway was taken to Pomona, and thereat immediately new things were seen.

Continued in Part B

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:17 AM

November 10, 2017 Report

Colton to Pomona, CA

Part “B” (of A-D)

Pomona

A key westward looking photo from Hamilton Blvd.:

A blow-up of the above photo:

Above, did you notice our B-Track alignment (presently to the C-Track alignment) has the new mast signal right in the alignment of a future track?

At CP AL513 POMON (first photo above, with the lit red over green signal), the present turnout route is the only route possible, as the track further west in the Diversion is severed.

Continued in Part C

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:21 AM

November 10, 2017 Report

Colton to Pomona, CA

Part “C” (of A-D)

Pomona

The WEST box for CP AL514 HAMILTON is now fenced!

The EAST box is likewise fenced.

Even the grade crossing box at Hamilton Blvd. had thick fencing:

Continued in Part d

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:34 AM

November 10, 2017 Report

Colton to Pomona, CA

Part “D” (of A-D)

Pomona

Concrete ties are selectively being replaced:

East from Palomarez Street in downtown Pomona:

Looking westbound:

What are those above box-like items (possibly with some kind of tarp over them) by the concrete ties?  Are those some of the switch motor crates that were at the Colton Signal Dept. fenced facility?

And, what happened to that leaning over background signal?  Depressed?   Inebriated?  Unfortunately, K.P. didn’t go by it when in Pomona, so it will have to be checked next time he is out that way.

By CP AL519 NORTH MONTCLAIR in Ontario:

This seems to be a possible defective tie replacement project, a replacing with very different designed ties.  Reportedly, concrete ties have a 50-year replacement cycle, but these ties are definitely NOT fifty years old.  In the top photo, notice the end tie slant from the rail to end of the tie, as well as the holes on the tie’s end edge.  Are they breathing holes?

K.P. in his travels went by the Ontario International Airport area, and the pipeline relocation project between Airport Drive and the Sunset Route seems over, at lease on each side of the Vineyard Ave. underpass.  Things and heavy traffic prevented checking out both the Milliken Ave. and Etiwanda Ave. (Loop Ave.) areas.

This will conclude the series.

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Posted by MikeF90 on Sunday, November 12, 2017 3:47 PM

K.P., thanks for the update of the minimal construction activity on the Alhambra sub. The changes to put in the 'new' CP Hamilton are most puzzling.

This and previous photos show that UP chose to reuse the existing low speed turnouts from the 'old' CP Hamilton, very unusual.

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 BaltACD on Sunday, November 12, 2017 5:43 PM

MikeF90
K.P., thanks for the update of the minimal construction activity on the Alhambra sub. The changes to put in the 'new' CP Hamilton are most puzzling.

This and previous photos show that UP chose to reuse the existing low speed turnouts from the 'old' CP Hamilton, very unusual.

Using what you already own, you don't have to buy something else.

         

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Sunday, November 12, 2017 10:01 PM

K. P. Harrier
K. P. Harrier wrote the following post yesterday: Oh, Electroliner1935 (11-11): The 1935 in your whatever it is called suggests you are way older than my 60 plus years.  You may have forgotten your younger days with kids and sharing stories with them, if you had them.  At my age I still haven’t forgotten those fun story times with my kids.  And bate brings anticipation. 

K.P. Your deductive powers are in good shape and, yes, I am old enough to be your father. But I cannot decode what you meant to type instead of bate. Please advise.

I have two children and they each have two children. They have heard many of my stories. I am a long time member and operator at the Fox River Trolley Museum where I have operated ancient trolleys and diesels. They have been there since their early years. I have taken them on many fan trips and Amtrak trips. 

My son-in-law to be was very confused one time when we went to the Wisconsin Dells with him and my daughter and while there, I drove to the train station to watch the Empire Builder come through. To wife & daughter, this was routine but not to him. 

Now for a question. When I worked for the Pennsylvania RR in the late fifties, I helped to wire some signal relay cabinets for new grade crossings. But in your posts, you only discuss signal huts. Is that all the RR's install out there or do they also install signal cabinets?

 

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Posted by Deggesty on Monday, November 13, 2017 8:01 AM

Huts? Cabinets? I thought they were bungalows.Smile

Johnny

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, November 13, 2017 3:20 PM

Surprise!  K.P. had a Totally Unexpected …

… Out of the Blue Sunday Dispatch near Pomona!

Sunday, November 12, 2017’s surprise assignment:  Fontana (CA)!  Afterwards, some time was spend right back in Pomona, and afterward briefly around the Etiwanda Ave. (Loop Ave.) border between Ontario and Fontana.

In Pomona those what looked like “crates” in the distance with a telephoto lens were NOT crates with switch motors in them at all, but something from the Twilight Zone of sorts, simply Amtrak platforms!  What an illusion!

The views from the overhead pedestrian walkway by both the Metrolink stop and the Amtrak stop in Pomona were checked out.

Also checked out was the nearby underpass railroad bridging arrangement at Towne Ave.  K.P. has concluded the long CP C033 WO TOWER will eventually become even longer, and CP AL515 RESEVOUR will be eliminated.

Around Etiwanda Ave., K.P. was surprised with TWO new pipelines, one on each side of the Sunset Route!  At least it appears that way …

Details (and photos) will be forthcoming in a few days.

MikeF90 and BaltACD (11-12):

What is presently seen in the area of CP AL514 HAMILTON in Pomona is somewhat misleading, and is a CP in transition.  Those old 40 M.P.H. crossover switches will eventually be replaced with 50 M.P.H. ones, and put in different locations than what is there now.

Electroliner_1935 (11-12):

There was a reason you couldn’t figure out “bate” in my reply to you.  It was misspelled, and the post composed while exhausted at the end of the day.  Does “bait” make more sense? (Hehehe.)

I guess I can’t use “old age” as my excuse because you are old enough to be my father!  And, you caught my error …

Let’s see. Where did my ‘fountain of youth’ pills go?

Deggesty (11-13):

I just call them boxes.

There are grade crossing boxes, intermediate signal boxes, and CP boxes.

I suppose detector boxes, communication boxes, and whatever.

Most “boxes” are trackside.  In Cajon Pass, on the UP (ex-SP) Palmdale Cutoff that wyes into the Sunset Route at Colton (CA), a trackside CP box communicates with a radio communication box with microwave dishes way up the mountain, with tracks way below.

March 19, 2016 Photo

Most Cajon Pass local people probably have no idea what the microwave box is all about, but some railfans know.  That fencing (plates) is weird in that a person could crawl underneath the metal plates, and get to the locked door of the box itself.  But, I guess that plate fencing is sufficient to ward off wicked people in that very rural area, unlike in Pomona where heavy fencing now protects boxes against thieves and unscrupulous people.

Take care all,

K.P.

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Monday, November 13, 2017 3:54 PM

K. P. Harrier
Let’s see. Where did my ‘fountain of youth’ pills go?

If you find them, I have dibs on some. My brother used to tell me, "Don't get OLD". I asked but he never had any good alternative. So I hope you just keep getting older. But you will never catch up to me.

I am wondering what kind of vandals you have out there that the "boxes" need fencing. Around here (Chicago area) they just sit along the ROW with no fencing. Do they steal the airconditioners? The only thing of pawn value is the copper wire in them. Have you seen any reports of break-ins or other reasons for the fencing? The Cabinets that I referred were just that, metal cabinets that were about five feet high, 2 1/2 feet deep and variable width. See http://www.railroadsignals.us/support/auxequip/relaycab4a.jpg 

Do they have these out there?

Also see https://www.google.com/search?q=railroad+signal+cabinet&tbm=isch&source=iu&pf=m&ictx=1&fir=rc_Nhx8G2R6nUM%253A%252CaAeRuzlED8LOOM%252C_&usg=__vl7fHcEcPZ4mjSJWmf67ZjAxS94%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjz3ZHBw7zXAhUmzoMKHccjDAcQ9QEINDAA#imgrc=rc_Nhx8G2R6nUM:

 

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, November 13, 2017 5:07 PM

Electroliner 1935
Do they have these out there?

Don't see a lot of that sort of cabinet around here any more.  Most newer installations have a building large enough to walk into - a bungalow.  Not all, but most.

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Posted by rdamon on Monday, November 13, 2017 7:46 PM

Looks like this one already had some additional paint applied.   I also would not put it past the signal maintainer to lock themselves in depending on the neighborhood.

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Posted by MikeF90 on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 3:48 PM

K.P., I look forward to more of your recent photos. My plans to visit the SG trench and eastward are continually thwarted.

K. P. Harrier
The views from the overhead pedestrian walkway by both the Metrolink stop and the Amtrak stop in Pomona were checked out.

Looks remarkably clean. Hopefully it wasn't too aromatic. Grumpy

K. P. Harrier
K.P. has concluded the long CP C033 WO TOWER will eventually become even longer, and CP AL515 RESERVOIR will be eliminated.

I wouldn't be surprised if CP WO Tower will be replaced by an electric switch lock, very little traffic on the Chino branch.

K. P. Harrier
Most Cajon Pass local people probably have no idea what the microwave box is all about, but some railfans know. That fencing (plates) is weird in that a person could crawl underneath the metal plates, and get to the locked door of the box itself.

As someone K.P.'s age who has traveled much of the country's rural areas, I've observed that bubbas with weapons often want to 'exercise their freedom' to shoot up any random piece of roadside property. In a few years substantial lead may be recycled from those plates ....

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 Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:38 AM

Bad News … The Borg have Arrived!

You know the Star Trek Borg, and how all the collective think alike!  The photo posting service called postimage.org has seemed to have gone crazy, and joined photobucket.com in massive problems, making posting NEW photos here impossible.  Hopefully, this is only temporary, and within a day or two the posting series on Pomona can be posted.  In the meantime …

Sources Advises …

… that the conversion from target signals to color lights in accord with the Positive Train Control law requirements has been completed in the Thermal-Mortmar stretch east of Indio, CA.

Previously shown views

That conversion was rather quick!

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    July, 2014
  • 104 posts
Posted by Fred M Cain on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:56 AM

K. P. Harrier

Sources Advise …

… that the conversion from target signals to color lights in accord with the Positive Train Control law requirements has been completed in the Thermal-Mortmar stretch east of Indio, CA.

K.P.,

 

I'm not sure about this.  Does it make any difference in what kind of wayside signal hardware is used with PTC?  Doesn't seem to me like it should.  I mean, a stop signal is a stop signal, and approach is approach, etc., whether it gets displayed by a "searchlight" or these new "Darth Vader" signals.

I have wondered whether the railroads are just taking it upon themselves to completely modernize their signals along with the PTC installation.  After all, even though I HATE to see them go,  those SPT Co searchlights are well over 50 years old now.

By the way, and I may have posted this before, I have heard T&E crews complain that these new signals are not quite as easy to read in the desert sun as the old searchlights were.

 

Regards,
Fred M. Cain

  • Member since
    July, 2008
  • From: Marietta, GA
  • 865 posts
Posted by rdamon on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 9:11 AM
I believe the PTC requirements state that signals cannot have moveable parts. This was probably inserted by the signal makers lobby.

 

In addition, the new towers have additional fall protection devices for the maintainers.
  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • 104 posts
Posted by Fred M Cain on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 9:42 AM

rdamon
I believe the PTC requirements state that signals cannot have moveable parts. This was probably inserted by the signal makers lobby.

 

In addition, the new towers have additional fall protection devices for the maintainers.
 

Not sure if this is a fact but it most certainly makes sense.  So called "Searchlight" signals DO, in fact, have moving internal parts.  There have actually been incidents, albeit EXTREMELY rare, where a searchlight has displayed a "false clear".  I think there was a photograph of this in TRAINS Magazine a few years ago.  I don't know if there has ever been an accident that was the result of a false clear or not.

 

The most disturbing part of the PTC mandate, at least to me, is that PTC will NOT prevent most train derailments but only certain types of collisions.  What percentage of all train wrecks are the result of collisions?  Does anybody know?  I would guess it might be small percentage.  In fact, the mandate could actually make railroads MORE dangerous if roads end up taking money out of track maintenence to pay for this.  All bad news.

 

But, there is a sprinkling of good news.  Even if PTC only creates the PERCEPTION that it has made railroading safer, American railroads might be able to negotiate lower insurance rates.  And if that happens, that will be to the benefit of the industry.  But, we'll see.

 

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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