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

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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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

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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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.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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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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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:34 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Schedule:

Thursday, January 18, 2018, Parts I-VII*

          The western Phoenix Line by Hyder, Maricopa

Saturday, January 20, 2018, Parts VIII-XVI* by 7:00 P.M. Pacific Standard Time

          Picacho, Red Rock, Maricopa, the Single-Track in Arizona,

          and the western Phoenix Line again

* Changed slightly from previously announced

Part I (of I-VII, Overall I-XVI)

Reaching Wellton, AZ from southern California, nothing new was seen, so unto Hyder the travel continued.  At reaching the western Phoenix Line, again, noting was seen except old, weed infested and overgrowth unused track that follows power lines.

Westbound, a practically looking into the setting sun:

Eastbound:

Northish and a crossbucks protected dirt road grade crossing:

Further traveling eastbound, K.P. was very surprised at what he came upon next!

Continued in Part II

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:43 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part II (of I-VII, Overall I-XVI)

K.P. was stopped in his tracks by a newly erected mast, just a mast, and an accompanying electrical box.

Continued in Part III

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, January 18, 2018 5:10 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part III (of I-VII, Overall I-XVI)

The headless mast looked strangely familiar, JUST like those that were on the Palmdale Cutoff in Southern California, on the Mojave Sub that traverses both Tehachapi and Cajon Pass, the southern part of that line wyes into the Sunset Route in the Colton. area, which line recently had the short intermediate signals …

July 28, 2016 photos, Johnson Road, Phelan, CA

… replaced by the tall standard masts.

December 2, 2017, same grade crossing

As will be seen in a post in a couple of days, the old type heads (first photo in this post) are OLD, and may (“may”) not be reused, but another OLD type may be used instead.

Unlike the Palmdale area signals in California, however, these newly popping up signals on the western Phoenix Line do not have lower heads.

Continued in Part IV

---------

In posting this post, malfunctions were traced to the TRAINS website.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, January 18, 2018 5:30 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part IV (of I-VII, Overall I-XVI)

About 2.2 miles further east another such mast was encountered, by an OLD insulated joint

Then, further traveling east nothing was seen for several miles.

Continued in Part V

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, January 18, 2018 5:35 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part V (of I-VII, Overall I-XVI)

A grade crossing protected by crossing gates was passed, with the flashers turned aside.

Agua Caliente Road had the same treatment, and K.P. stopped to documents the situation.  Red paint on the device was also present, and a deteriorating base too.

Continued in Part VI

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, January 18, 2018 5:39 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part VI (of I-VII, Overall I-XVI)

From the Agua Caliente Road grade crossing, looking eastbound:

Westbound:

The control box looked gutted.

It was getting dark, and back by Interstate 8 again, the Sunset Route was traveled next to in the dark, virtually unseen.

Continued in Part VII

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, January 18, 2018 5:49 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part VII (of VII-XV, Overall I-XVI)

The Amtrak stop in Maricopa, AZ was stopped at in the darkness, but at least lights lit up the area well.

The relevancy of this to two-tracking will become apparent in the next posting group.

-------------

Continued in Parts VIII-XVI to be presented Saturday, January 20, 2018 by (“by”) 7:00 P.M. Pacific Standard Time

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by rdamon on Friday, January 19, 2018 7:48 AM

K. P. Harrier

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part II (of I-VII, Overall I-XVI)

K.P. was stopped in his tracks by a newly erected mast, just a mast, and an accompanying electrical box.

Continued in Part III

 

 

KP do you have the location for this? 

It looks like the others shown in this 2011 Google streetview.

As discussed here: http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/111/t/265084.aspx?page=3

 

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Friday, January 19, 2018 10:26 AM

"K.P. was stopped in his tracks by a newly erected mast, just a mast, and an accompanying electrical box."

 

K.P.,

Your interesting photos of the signal heads on the Phoenix Line (or “Welton Branch” as the “You Pee” calls it) helps confirm or support my suspicion that the You Pee not only intended to reopen the line but actually undertook some early, preliminary work to do exactly that.  I believe this occurred back around 2013 based on the testimony of that guy from Litchfield Park, AZ.

Something happened that stopped the work and put it on hold indefinitely.  Something, but what?

I personally suspect it was a combination of fall off in coal loadings coupled with the astronomical cost of PTC.  If I’m right, the Wellton Line revival might not be the only victim.  Indeed, back around 2008 or so there’s some evidence that UP intended to eventually restore the double track over the “Hump” on the Donner Pass Line.  That project is also in limbo.  Then, as you have stated, the complete double tracking of the Sunset Route is possibly in jeopardy as well.

 

Well, coal loadings are beginning to recover thanks to a boost in exports to Japan and some other Far East locations and the winding down of the PTC installation is in sight.

So, will this lead to a renewal of track infrastructure projects like Donner Pass & Wellton?  Maybe.  But I’m not holding my breath yet.

But, to reiterate once more, the gentleman from the UP told me they have no plans to dispose of the Wellton Branch so there is hope.

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, January 19, 2018 4:14 PM

rdamon (1-19):

No, I do not have the specific location of the photo you inquired about.  But, it was not too far from Avenue 64E, probably two or three miles east of there.

In reviewing my photos of past Arizona trips, it was noted that I passed through that Hyder area back on March 21, 2012, close to six years ago.  I recall that there were NO signals then, only old electrical housings for them here and there.  And, the fact that date’s photos do not show any signals in them suggests there were no signals physically in place on the line, even though a source contacted indicated an employee timetable of that time listed that track as with automatic block signals.  I’m sure that a signal standing in the weeds would have caught my fancy and that I would have photographed at least one of them, but I have absolutely no photos of signals from that date, nor do I remember there being any on the line through Hyder.

Thus, the photos of the present signals in the weeds must be of relatively newly erected ones.

In reviewing the photos taken earlier this week, it was noted that one erected mast had holes mid-height and clamp markings, so that particular mast had previously been with a lower head, for like a yellow over yellow display wherever it was originally.

Last year in the Beaumont (CA) signal dept. yard, there was one true tri-light head lying therein, which I found odd since that yard has no trackage with those types of signal heads, at least none that I know of.  Maybe such heads are being collected and being farmed out to various signal depts. For whatever they do to them and then being sent to Arizona for makeshift signals on the western Phoenix Line.  If such is occurring as theorized, the circa 1993 tri-light signals in the Palmdale-Lancaster (CA) area should be traded out soon.

But, that is getting away from your specific inquiry.  Nevertheless, it is hoped this post answered your inquiry to your satisfaction.

Fred M. Cain (1-19):

So, so much project-work is on hold, mainly, I believe, because of the expense of Positive Train Control.  Just look at that switching type track in Casa Grande, AZ.

Without that switching track in Casa Grande, using Main 2 for such effectively turns the past investment of two-tracking in Casa Grande into the questionable status.  (What are those freight cars stopped on Main 2 all about in the above picture?  Were they a runaway, or a speaking of the Devil type thing?)

More thoughts will be towards the end of the upcoming posting late tomorrow, Saturday, January 20, 2018, especially about the western Phoenix line.

Best to all,

K.P.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by rdamon on Friday, January 19, 2018 7:32 PM

Thanks K.P.  that helped ...  I think I found it in a 2011 Street View ..

Robert

 

 

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Saturday, January 20, 2018 7:07 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part VIII (of VIII-XVI, Overall I-XVI)

Early the next morning, the ‘three headed monster’ (signal, left) at Picacho (AZ) was photographed lit.

It was lit because of all the auto-racks to the west, being there as transfers to or from the Sunset Route to and from Phoenix.

While at the site, a telephoto of the 30 M.P.H. concrete tied switches was shot.

Continued in Part IX

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Saturday, January 20, 2018 7:12 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part IX (of VIII-XVI, Overall I-XVI)

What is really at Red Rock?

K.P. wanted to photograph that CP SP952 RED ROCK extended CP on the eastbound side of the area, and found it just as aerials had documented.

So, two tracks branching off on the north side westward is feasible, for crew changes and / or humped trains ready to head east.

The west side of the same CP:

Continued in Part X

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Saturday, January 20, 2018 7:19 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part X (of VIII-XVI, Overall I-XVI)

What is really at Red Rock?

The Red Rock siding was occupied with an engineless string of auto-racks too.

Above, note how the siding track goes away from Main 1 for a bit and returns close to Main 1 again.

There were a lot of trains for the Martin Luther King holiday.

Now, and important photo:  The FIRST intermediates WEST of the WEST end the Red Rock siding.

Why important, you may ask?  A photo with the far landscape focused.

So, the topography is NOT as level as we’ve been led to believe, unless the yard will be only a few hundred feet wide, which is very unlikely.  Interesting situation …

Continued in Part XI

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Saturday, January 20, 2018 7:24 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part XI (of VIII-XVI, Overall I-XVI)

Back at Picacho, AZ, K.P. found something more than a passing new SD70AH-T4 in DPU mode.

Above, did you notice all the foreground land has been leveled?

The land south of the tracks has been partially graded.

Something is going in here, but what is unknown.  Possibilities:   The building of an industrial park, an intermodal facility, or something else.

Continued in Part XII

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Saturday, January 20, 2018 7:34 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part XII (of VIII-XVI, Overall I-XVI)

Rotting Away in Casa Grande

As seen from Trekell Road, looking westbound, the new industrial track for access to industries in Casa Grande without fowling the mains still has not been laid on the south side of Mains 1 and 2, and the ties are rotting away, sort of speaking.

Those two freight cars are just sitting on Main 2, with no engine around.  Did they run away and come to a stop near Trekell Road?

After a few minutes, what was going on became obvious.  To the east a switching crew, that had left a mainline switch open, was returning to reconnect to the cars, and process on.

Besides the rotting away ties, a crossing gate stand was very useless too, with the present south side crossing gate never relocated for the additional track.  

It seems like it was five to seven years ago that the switching track started to be installed, but never finished.  The Positive Train Control law has held up more than two-tracking!

Continued in Part XIII

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Saturday, January 20, 2018 7:42 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part XIII (of VIII-XVI, Overall I-XVI)

Back at Maricopa’s Amtrak station, a looking over of CB&Q’s California Zephyr car on display there is made, with Highway 347 in the background, to the west.

The purpose was to gain elevation for a southward view of where Highway 347 will be relocated for the upcoming overpass over the Sunset Route.

Looking north, the buildings are still present, though much of the buildings along Highway 347 have been cleared away.

It seems last time K.P. was by the Amtrak station there was two sidewalks with a space between them for an additional track.  The space has been filled in with cement (photo center and left).
 

When Highway 347 goes over the tracks instead of crossing them, will this platform be extended out so Amtrak Nos. 1 and 2 won’t have to make multiple stops?  Will the Maricopa stop even be here in a few years? (A thought to ponder is in the conclusion of the series.)

Leaving the Maricopa area, a brief stop was made by the Bosque siding along Highway 238.  All the target signals are still in place.

When will they be converted to color lights in conjunction with Positive Train Control regulations?  The railroads only have 11 more months!

Continued in Part XIV

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Saturday, January 20, 2018 7:51 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part XIV (of VIII-XVI, Overall I-XVI)

Leaving the area on Highway 238, we traverse Interstate 8 west, and see very little new color lights erected, very little.  Finally, we get to Avenue 40E, and head north to the out of service western Phoenix Line.  A signal has been  erected there, with a ROUND color light pattern, with FOUR aspects!

Notice the lighter ballast by the signal, possibly an indicator it was very recently put up, though aerials show it present for a while.

All the other signals WESTWARD were as previously reported.

The red flag was interesting at Ave. 39E, obviously the beginning of the out of service track (rightward).

Continued in Part XV

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Saturday, January 20, 2018 8:13 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part XV (of VIII-XVI, Overall I-XVI)

A Runaround by Salton Sea, CA

There was a lot of train traffic when K.P. got back to California, particular by Salton Sea.  This Part XV is devoted to seeing the best of what resulted from two-tracking here about five years ago, a runaround!  The faster train is crossing over from Main 2 back to Main 1.

An eastbound on Main 2 approached from the west, and without stopping, once the westbound had crossed over and was out of the way, the eastbound got a green signal and kept moving east.  A sort of poetry in motion …

Continued in Part XVI

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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  • From: At the Crossroads of the West
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Posted by Deggesty on Saturday, January 20, 2018 8:24 PM

K.P., all you needed was an eastbound passenger train in the mix.

Johnny

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Saturday, January 20, 2018 8:28 PM

Update as of January 14-15, 2018

Second Arizona Trip in less …

… than Two Weeks

And, the Findings

Part XVI (of VIII-XVI, Overall I-XVI)

A Time for Reflection … and Amtrak

The Positive Train Control regulation has very dramatically slowed two-tracking, and may have set it back for years to come.  But, it should be known that the railroads’ very top management, in essence, wear female skirts totally drenched in blood and weep as females do, weeping for stockholders.  Who cares about the countless bloodletting that has occurred for decades and decades and decades with head-on collisions, so often caused by sleep deprivation?  Finally, the government said, “Enough!”  Now, the railroads are paying the price; and the blood yells out, “Rightfully so!”

WITHOUT official word, though, it is difficult to second guess UP.  But, one gets the distinct impression two-tracking may be basically over.  A few areas could see two-tracking still, particularly around Yuma.  The track around Fortuna, you will recall, has very deteriorated-looking ties, and thus Yuma-Fortuna may be two-tracked after Positive Train Control.

January 5, 2018 view previously shown

The replacement signals seemingly (“seemingly”) now showing up on the western Phoenix Line are there as per required by law.

BUT, has UP given up on two-tracking, and the effort will now be recouping the PTC money as quickly as possible?  The western Phoenix Line could be brought up to usable standards for probably $50 million (based on previous statements by UP of, as K.P. recalls, $31 million), verses conjecturally $500 million to finish two-tracking in Arizona.  K.P. envision UP reopening the Phoenix Line for slower traffic that would otherwise get in the way of hotshots

If that western Phoenix Line upgrading happens, would Amtrak leave the Maricopa stop …

… and reuse the Phoenix stop instead?  It would be much more costly for Amtrak to do so, but politicians don’t always take the least costly option.

In the light of what TRAINS Magazine recently said, that Intermodal has been stagnant and without growth for years, it would seem UP would have little incentive for future two-tracking, and the most bang for the buck is reopening the Phoenix Line.  And, NEW (“new”) Sunset Route CP boxes (suggesting the track won’t be changed) now on site but not positioned yet, such as at CP SP771 WELLTON, gives credence to the concept!

Previously shown, shot November 19, 2017

Of course, those new CP boxes are apparently upgradable, just like the ones (plural) at the huge CP AL514 HAMILTON in Pomona, CA, that will have the track and switches rearranged multiple times before everything is finished.

If that reopening the western Phoenix Line occurs, nevertheless, a few places on the Sunset Route would be in UP’s best interest to still two-track, namely, in the Yuma area as previously noted, and somewhere in the Theba area west of Gila Bend.

Thus, so much appears to be up in the air at this point.  And, that includes a possible Red Rock Yard. (Remember the 30 M.P.H. crossovers at CP SP952 RED ROCK and space for another crossover too?  And the crew change relocation plan idea?)  Yes, up in the air indeed, at least for us outsiders!

The super unknown is the effect President’s Trump’s policies and contrivances will have on the economy and railroads within that economy.  Reports that K.P. is getting is that trainmen are being worked almost beyond what is humanly possible, which suggests UP will start hiring on a massive scale, which theoretically is what Trump wants.  That in turn suggests UP management may be rethinking everything again (“again”), and the possibility that UP could decide to do a big two-tracking project.  Time will tell on all this.

K.P. also now wonders if it is about time for TRAINS Magazine to have Fred Frailey do an investigative article on the Sunset Route two-tracking matter … and, the issues that have been mentioned herein.  It now has been over 10 years since Mr. Frailey did his last Sunset Route piece, so it seems we are due for such right now!  Are you listening, TRAINS Magazine?

This will conclude the series.  However, a very thought-provoking “Second Section” follows.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Saturday, January 20, 2018 8:34 PM

Second Section

Presently, on Page 86 of this thread, the following statement by K.P. in the post of April 17, 2012, Part H, is made in reference to a concrete signal BASE that was then present on the western Phoenix Line near Hyder:

“But the signal is NOT present!  Nor was any train signals present in this whole stretch even though official timetables list this trackage as having Automatic Block Signals (ABS)!”

So, if we take that at face value, there were NO signals present.  Hauntingly, though, K.P. remembers early on in following the Hyder area track back then of passing something that he regretted not going back to document, but has no idea what it was.  Was it those headless mast signals?  Aerials consistently suggest it was something else, as nothing that even resembles a mast or even an electrical box has ever been found west of Hyder in the current aerial investigation.

It is presumed no masts were present back then.  If anyone finds a mast in an old aerial, or photo, please speak up!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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    October, 2003
  • 7,901 posts
Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, January 21, 2018 9:13 AM

Deggesty (1-20):

Yah, Johnny, an eastbound passenger train in the mix!

But, Amtrak wasn’t scheduled.

What would have been nice, though, would have been a UP passenger train to come by with a few Astra domes in the makeup!

I rode those domes when I was a kid.  And, never imagined UP would someday own the Sunset Route and a few of those domes would occasionally venture onto it.

About 1965, a friend and I rode the City of Los Angeles from Riverside to San Bernardino (CA).  It was only 49 cents for each of us!  Since the ticket agent was out at the train, we asked the conductor what we should do since we couldn’t buy a ticket.  He said, come onboard!  And, we both got a free ride!

That ride we rode the first dome of the train, which happened to be UP 7013 at the time.  A few years ago I saw photos of THAT very dome car a few months after we rode it in 1965, in Iowa and on the ground, with a bunch of others passengers cars off the rails too.  What memories that brought back.

In 1971, some weeks after Amtrak took over, a friend and I just happened unto a UP freight at night in Colton (CA), and low and behold was that dome car in transit to Alaska, with the domes in that train being 7014, 7013, 7008, and 7004.  Those domes crossed the SP Sunset Route at Colton Tower, by where the Colton Flyover is now.

Yes, Deggesty, it would have been nice to see a passenger train on the Arizona trip, a passenger train special with UP dome cars!  Too bag such didn’t come by.

Now, you were not expecting that type of reply, were you, Deggesty?

K.P.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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