Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 12:42 AM

The Very Opposite to Expectations Arizona Trip

Friday and Saturday, January 5-6, 2018

Part “D” (of A-F)

The new cantilever signal structure at Avenue 29E still had the heads covered with black tarp.

The intermediates (eastbound west side) say a lot.  There is NO lower Main 2 head, and the top has a green.

The Main 1 heads (eastbound west side, left) is fascinating, with a top yellow and red only, and a bottom likely yellow and lunar, the lunar possibly for a Phoenix Line Routing (Roll Industrial Lead).

Heading east, the first intermediates EAST of CP SP771 WELLTON were old, with nothing being erected.  That would be nature if the signals are being respaced.  And, a NEW one further east was found:

Did you notice the 18-wheeler on the I-10 Freeway paralleling the Sunset Route?  Nice traveling on I-10 with the tracks so close!  Of course, Highway 80 (camera location) is even closer, though a bit slower …

K.P. went further east for a while, to the Colfred advance intermediate, but found NO signals whatsoever between the two already mentioned, old targets or new color lights!  A super long signal block?  Was it a new cab signal testing area?  Strange!

Continued in Part E

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 12:46 AM

The Very Opposite to Expectations Arizona Trip

Friday and Saturday, January 5-6, 2018

Part “E” (of A-F)

It was getting dark quickly, but K.P. was determined to find out what type of signaling was at the west switch of the Kinter siding, at CP 749 KINTER.

Above, it was the old Anshutz era tri-lights at the CP!

After a good night’s sleep, it was found that the end of two-tracks at CP SP738 EAST YARD still had the cantilever signals still there with NO new color lights on site, nor a new CP box.

Continued in Part F

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 12:51 AM

The Very Opposite to Expectations Arizona Trip

Friday and Saturday, January 5-6, 2018

Part “F” (of A-F)

Back in California, in the Calipatria area, a train again was on that circle track with the head-end close to the back end.

In the Thermal area, a view of that green fencing on the new overpass there (east sidewalk):

Not only is the green fencing stunning, but the eastbound view from the overpass is stunning as well.  K.P. has never seen the track layout except from ground level, which misrepresents what is there.  From the bridge, it was seen the track layout now has to be redrawn from past imaginations of how it was!

At least we know the truth now!

With that, we will end the series.

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Posted by ORNHOO on Friday, January 12, 2018 5:11 PM

MikeF90
MikeF90 wrote the following post 29 days ago: K. P. Harrier But, as mentioned previously, it amazes me that Metrolink does not attempt to lay a track partially through the Alhambra Trench and fully through the San Gabriel Trench, running the north side of UP’s line all the way east to El Monte, missing their station there. Several huge obstacles to this: a) UP will have to give permission (after it stops raining snowballs in Hades), b) Metrolink would have to have the vision and a viable plan to build a station on the Alhambra sub (very unlikely with their current bonehead CEO) and c) Metrolink would have to raise substantial funds (also unlikely).

 

Noel Braymer recently mentioned that this concept is included in the Metrolink 2015 ten year strategic plan: https://ntbraymer.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/more-on-the-future-of-metrolink/

(the mention is in paragraph 5)

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 11:07 AM

YOU CAN COME TO YOUR ...

... OWN CONCLUSIONS

Two-Tracking in Arizona …

… and Amtrak Nos. 1 & 2

As the forum knows, K.P. had a disappointing visit to the Yuma, AZ area January 5 and 6, 2018, which visit was cut short on purpose (the planned third day, January 7. was eliminated) because of the disappointment of the lack of progress with the new signals in conjunction with Positive Train Control.  At the time it HAD been hoped that new signals at CP SP771 WELLTON would shed light on the things UP might have about two-tracking in the future.

Out of the blue an opportunity to revisit Arizona arose again on January 14, 2018, and within an hour K.P. was on the road.  This time he was alarm with more information and could use his limited time effectively.  And, what surprises he found!  The western Phoenix Line in the Hyder area had a few headless old masts erected and signal boxes, which masts K.P. was most familiar with in California on the Palmdale Cutoff!  Were the California signals transported to Arizona?  And, the flashers on the crossing gates were turned away from vehicle traffic, with posted signs that indicated the track was out of service.

No overpass construction seemed to be taking place in Maricopa.  And, K.P. was able to obtain photos of CP SP952 RED ROCK and that long CP, most likely extra length in anticipated of another crossover being added to the track layout at the CP.

A passing by CP SP935 LA PALMA (M.P. 935.3, in the Picacho area) was made in dawn light darkness, and nothing appears to have changed since May 18, 2012 when the below photo was shot, with the right signal’s heads turned aside.

Interestingly, aerials show NOTHING has progressed there, and the spur has never ever been laid.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Picacho,+AZ/@32.7343723,-111.528221,404m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x872a73453914b71d:0xd68c0ed8df5bd05c!8m2!3d32.7138862!4d-111.4996367?hl=en

Might there be a reason why nothing has happened at CP SP935 LA PALMA?

Only 82 photos were taken on the entire trip over two days, but they are sufficient to kind of draw a picture of the future.  K.P. hopes to put a posting series together within a week, and you can decide what it means for the remaining two-tracking in Arizona and what part Amtrak may play in it.

ORNHOO (1-12):

Thanks for your input.  It brought to light some fascinating points of view.

In response, first though, it is seen you had an encounter with the TRAINS website, and had difficulty trying to use the quote function.  I found that quotes normally have to be quoted from the post of the quote of origin, in your case the December 14, 2017 post of MikeF90.  The pertinent parts are below:

MikeF90
 
K. P. Harrier
But, as mentioned previously, it amazes me that Metrolink does not attempt to lay a track partially through the Alhambra Trench and fully through the San Gabriel Trench, running the north side of UP’s line all the way east to El Monte, missing their station there.

 

Several huge obstacles to this: a) UP will have to give permission (after it stops raining snowballs in Hades), b) Metrolink would have to have the vision and a viable plan to build a station on the Alhambra sub (very unlikely with their current bonehead CEO) and c) Metrolink would have to raise substantial funds (also unlikely).

 

Your post trying to quote that, ORNHOO, is quoted below:

ORNHOO

 
MikeF90
MikeF90 wrote the following post 29 days ago: K. P. Harrier But, as mentioned previously, it amazes me that Metrolink does not attempt to lay a track partially through the Alhambra Trench and fully through the San Gabriel Trench, running the north side of UP’s line all the way east to El Monte, missing their station there. Several huge obstacles to this: a) UP will have to give permission (after it stops raining snowballs in Hades), b) Metrolink would have to have the vision and a viable plan to build a station on the Alhambra sub (very unlikely with their current bonehead CEO) and c) Metrolink would have to raise substantial funds (also unlikely).
 
Noel Braymer recently mentioned that this concept is included in the Metrolink 2015 ten year strategic plan: https://ntbraymer.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/more-on-the-future-of-metrolink/
(the mention is in paragraph 5)
 

Now that we have the posting technicalities and weird quirks out of the way, a reply response:

In my trying to download the referenced to Metrolink’s 10-years plan, or even view it from their site, chronic computer malfunctions take place, so it is difficult to see what Metrolink actually put out.

As far as Noel’s material that you linked, right away I found terminology that rose up a scarlet red flag, namely, the “Alhambra Branch.”  It is not a branch, but officially a mainline subdivision.

But, your reply was one for making us aware that the concept of using the Alhambra Sub by Metrolink (with their laying a second track) to get around the single-track down the I-10 Freeway problem is being circulated by others, and for being made aware of that I thank you.

K.P.

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Posted by ORNHOO on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 5:17 PM
K.P.; you don't have to read these forums very long to realize that the user interface here is less than intuitive. Another question has occurred to me that you might be able to answer: Since there are parallel routes from downtown L.A. to El Monte, once the Alhambra trench is completed and completely double tracked, could Union Pacific move all freight traffic to that route and sell the I-10 route to Metrolink?
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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, January 18, 2018 12:55 AM

ORNHOO (1-17):

Well …

Metrolink ALREADY owns the track down the middle of the I-10 Freeway between Los Angeles and El Monte!  UP only has trackage rights on it, which trackage rights I’ve never personally seen used.  UP trains that might use that track carry bulletins and advisories for it.

The Alhambra Sub, the line through the San Gabriel Trench, from Pomona through El Monte to Los Angeles is a line to sort of nowhere, hence, its sidings are often occupied with Intermodal well cars waiting for busier times of the week.  So, that line simply does not need two-tracks, nor is it likely that it will ever be two-tracked.

The brunt of UP traffic is routed to Los Angeles on the Los Angeles Sub, the ex-LA&SL line through Montebello.  Traffic is routed between the SP Alhambra Sub and LA&SL Los Angeles Sub via the east side of the Los Angeles River, however, but it is mainly local transfer movements.  I’ve only seen ONE between subdivision movement of Intermodal trains in the last seven or so years, so doing that is not a high priority routing.  It also has complications, because the Metrolink dispatcher has to authorize movements, and often UP trains have to wait for a slot of time to pass through the Metrolink trackage.

Since the western Alhambra Sub is not a high priority route, it seems UP would be willing to grant Metrolink authority of lay a track alongside UP’s between Los Angeles and El Monte if the price was right.  

It is hoped the above gives you a better picture of who owns what and the traffic patterns in the Los Angeles area, and how the Sunset Route fits in with those traffic patterns.

To All:

The Arizona material is moving along faster than expected.  At this point, 16 Parts over two postings seems likely, Parts I-VI, and Parts VII-XVI.

K.P.

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