Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6:35 AM

Situation Update as of Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A New Grade Separation Opens and …

… 1.7 Miles of Future Two-Tracking

Part “F” (of A-H)

A Focus on the ‘Up and Over’

The forum may remember the Sunset Ave. grade crossing below the ‘Up and Over,’ with all those flashers!

Looking westbound on the north side from Sunset Ave., and the seven years old now intermediate signal for the future Main 1 that has never been activated:

Westbound from the south side:

Above, that westbound TOP head, if you look real close, only has a two lamb head, capable of a highest display of only yellow over yellow.  The next signal (after a yellow over yellow) should in theory be a red over signal, but since the switch is only a 30 M.P.H. one the next signal is capable of green!

Continued in Part G

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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, April 18, 2018 6:41 AM

Situation Update as of Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A New Grade Separation Opens and …

… 1.7 Miles of Future Two-Tracking

Part “G” (of A-H)

A Focus on the ‘Up and Over’

We remember on the LA&SL, on the line to Las Vegas, at the top of Cima Hill, there is a similar arrangement, but the next signal east is a CP signal, so here at CP C255 CIMA Main 2 (right) it is capable of the not only green over red, but yellow over yellow to go into the next siding ahead (to the east).  Cantilevered center signal is for Main 1, the left signal is the siding.  All photos this Part taken July 30, 2016.

That Cima two-track line has intermediates midway on Main 2 with only two-lamp top heads.  Two views from July 30, 2016:

Continued in Part H

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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, April 18, 2018 6:50 AM

Situation Update as of Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A New Grade Separation Opens and …

… 1.7 Miles of Future Two-Tracking

Part “H” (of A-H)

A Focus on the ‘Up and Over’

Back at the ‘Up and Over,’ the eastern sloping downward Sunset Ave. bridge, looking east.

Now, from some old photo files, from August 14, 2010, the east slope of the ‘Up and Over’ from California Ave., looking westbound:

Above, the old shoofly track was still in place!  That track on BOTH ends had to be taken up and eliminated so the ‘Up and Over’ could be finished.

The Concept of Two-Tracking

Looking east from California Ave., towards CP AL500 NEW SIDING back on August 14, 2010 also:

A similar eastward view from February 15, 2010:

The difference in track configurations is that one has the shoofly connected, the other doesn’t.

So, when a second track is laid over the ‘Up and Over’ both CP AL488 BASSETT (M.P. 498.2) and CP AL500 NEW SIDING (M.P. 499.9) will be eliminated and this section identified as ‘Two-Tracks,’ UNLESS UP will consider the new track a long siding … The then UP timetable will be the definitive authority on the matter.  From the present CP AL500 NEW SIDING all the way to CP AL504 MARNE (M.P. 503.9) the second main is classified as multiple SIDINGS and NOT two-tracks, though it looks like two-tracks!  But, because of the signals about at the top of the ‘Up and Over,’ K.P. is betting it will be classified as two-tracks.

This will end the series.  However, a Second Section follows about a non-Sunset Route but related bridge.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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, April 18, 2018 7:01 AM

Second Section

A Feeder Line and a Possible ‘Big Bridge’

The Mojave Subdivision, that goes over Tehachapi Pass, eventually wyes into the Sunset Route at Colton, CA, which town is on the east side of West Colton Yard.  On that Mojave Sub the line goes over Highway 138 in Cajon Pass. 

Very nearby to the east that highway also goes over the BNSF Transcon tracks on two separate bridges in succession.  From those grade separations recently the two lane Highway 138 for about 15 or 16 miles westward was revamped into a five lane highway.  It is beautiful to drive, instead of the two lane one that was one of the most deadly highways in America in the past.  However, the multilane roadway needs to be finished by the Palmdale Cutoff and the BNSF tracks, and thus remains two lanes only. (See above photo)  Apparently, Caltrans is waiting on the railroads for design approvals. Or information on what the railroads want.

That Palmdale Cutoff Line was built in 1966-67 and the present bridge (again, above) over Highway 138 dates from then.  It has a center support with bridging on each side, with room for two paved traffic lanes on each side.  Caltrans wants to build, however, a new bridge without a center support.  They say they are now waiting for the railroad.  But, the point here is what type of bridge would be built?  Will it be like the present one picture above (unlikely), or maybe a large truss bridge? 

The new LA&SL (alternate Sunset Route) bridges over the 91 Freeway in Riverside, CA: 

You may recall two new bridges were needed in that replacement, with the south one eventually to be removed altogether, or possibly used for Metrolink.

Then, of course, we remember the new BNSF truss bridges over the I-215 Freeway in the Grand Terrace area of California, the alternated Sunset Route.

We remember, too, how those new truss bridges were re-locatable, and once the shoofly route was done with, the supports were chew apart and removed.

A truss bridge on a curve would be huge, and spectacular!  Whatever is decided upon, we will just have to wait and see what happens.  While only near the Sunset Route and not on it, K.P. just thought this little Cajon Pass tidbit might be of interest to some ‘Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates’ thread followers, seeing that so many trains on the present Cajon Pass bridge get onto the Sunset Route, for either West Colton Yard or to get to the Los Angeles area.  Then, too, and this is purely wild speculation, but maybe the hang-up on the 91 Freeway bridge is because the shoofly bridge is awaiting a lawsuit outcome, and once settled, the track with be re-laid on the other new bridge, and the shoofly bridge transported to Cajon Pass and act as a shoofly bridge there!  Like was said, that is just wild speculation, but the lingering on about the Highway 138 widening makes one wonder.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.

mvs
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Posted by mvs on Saturday, April 21, 2018 12:51 PM

K.P., thank you for posting this great photo series.  A few thoughts:

  • Hard to believe the "Up and Over" is seven years old.  Last I drove down Valley Boulevard, the trees were growing well (which is good).
  • Nice to see the Puente/Workman Mill underpass complete.  That was always a tough intersection when driving east on Valley Boulevard in the afternoon/evening hours.
  • With respect to the 138, I didn't realize it was that narrow as you go under the Palmdale Cutoff and over the Cajon Sub.  It sure is a nice drive coming down the hill from the intersection with Angeles Crest Highway (SR-2).
  • These grade separations are a good use of money as they make things safer.
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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:33 AM

Reply with Photos

mvs (4-21):

Industry, CA and Cajon Pass

I’m glad you liked the photos of the new Workman Mill Road / Puente Ave. underpass.  The place has a wondrous atmosphere about it, almost like it is hard to believe such an underpass is actually there!

An absolutely unexpected visual sight in seeing the now open underpass in person was the lack of vehicles now on Workman Mill Road / Puente Ave.  I guess previously, when there was a cross intersection there, vehicles use to back up at red stop lights, and add trains traffic would backup severely.  At seeing the fluidity of traffic now, and the lack of vehicles stopped, one wonders WHY an underpass was even needed in the first place.  If I had not seen it before and the wild traffic jams that had resulted, I would say the underpass was a total waste of taxpayer monies.  I’m sure glad I saw it in person in the past, because like you, mvs, I’m convinced it was taxpayer monies well spent!

About Highway 138 in Cajon Pass, on Sunday, April 22, 2018, I revisited the highway area where the SP Palmdale Cutoff goes over it, and found the bridge bends a bit at the center support area.

On a west side view of the railroad bridge one cannot see that slight bend.  In 1966-67 that bridge was put in with the ability to add two other lanes to Highway 138, with a center support to that railroad bridge.

Near the same spot as where the above photo was shot at, a westbound view of Highway 138, with five lanes, two in each direction plus a center joint left turn lane, with very wide shoulders.

From the unpaved future lanes area of Highway 138, and a southbound on the Palmdale Cutoff:

A railroad bridge over Highway 138 without a center support would have to be at least seven vehicle lanes wide.  The new LA&SL temporary bridge over the widened 91 Freeway in Riverside (CA) as a shoofly looks to be six traffic lanes wide in EACH direction.  But, in theory (“in theory”) that temporary bridge could act as a shoofly in order to replace the current Palmdale Cutoff bridge in Cajon Pass, until a seven lanes wide Highway 138 permanent railroad bridge could be put in, either a pony girder or a truss type. .

Continued …

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:42 AM

Reply with Photos (Continued)

mvs (4-21):

Industry, CA and Cajon Pass

Two views of both new pony girder bridges over the 91 Freeway in Riverside while the freeway was being widened some three years back.

The present two new bridges over the 91 Freeway just lingers on and on and on, possibly because of litigation regarding the collapse of the original bridge and a fatality that resulted to a dismantling worker.  That might explain the delay in Cajon Pass.  Of course, if that second 91 Freeway bridge will be used where it is at, the speculation herein has been for nothing.  I guess we will just have to be patient and wait for something concrete to develop.

HOWEVER, mvs and the forum, when on site last Sunday, a southbound photo by CP SP469 CANYON (very close to that bridge that needs to be replaced) was taken, that may be more significant than first realized.

Those background mast signals remain short ones!  Is it possible that the curve will be relocated slightly with a more swooping curve; hence, CP SP469 CANYON would need to be relocated too?

Most interestingly, CP SP469 CANYON is the NORTH end of the Canyon siding.  The SOUTH end, CP SP471 CANYON, when the signals were converted to color lights from targets, they had tall, contemporary masts erected.  See right signals on the below linked photo from railpictures.net:

http://railpictures.net/photo/646385/

Ironically, the north CP nearly 2 years ago suffered the Blue Cut fire and the CP boxes there got charred up something fierce. 

The forum may remember my assessment of CP SP620 THERMAL (with a 30 M.P.H. switch) near Indio, CA on the Sunset Route, and the OLD new color light signals erected there, and how K.P. thinks the two-tracks will be extended eastward only one mile sometime in the future, and that may be the end of two-tracking in that area for some time to come.

So, the old signals at CP SP469 CANYON may (“may”) be a sign of an upcoming track alternation there.

OK, now that I’ve bent your ear off, mvs, I’ll move on …

Continued in “Replies without Photos”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8:53 AM

Replies without Photos

kgbw49 (4-12):

Thanks for the kind words and comparison to great sports teams.  Sometime I get excited about a sports team, sometimes not.  My wife is more of a sports follower than I am, but she always watches big events like the World Series or the Super Bowl, and on those usually I’m there with her too.

MikeF90 (4-13):

What actually happened with postimage.org isn’t clear, but I got the distinct impression they were using an extension (.org) that didn’t meet their classification or location.  Their first extension, “.io,” was about the British Indian Ocean.  Their present extension, “cc,” is Cocos (Keeling) Islands northwest of Australia.  Such exotic places, however, make me uncomfortable in some ways because our avocation and hobby interest, i.e. railroading, does have a certain national security aspect to it, which I’m sure the forum might have certain uncomfortableness about those extensions too.

In light of the current fiasco at trainsmag.com, my posting has dramatically been reduced.  Hence, I hope to have time to investigate exactly who that photo hosting outfit is, and make adjusts if prudently necessary.  But, it has to be said their website is virtually flawless and trouble free, which is quite refreshing in itself.

ed375 (4-16):

Yes, I too would be disappointed if Kalmbach did away with these forums.  But, you know, ed375, EVERY coin has a flipside.  And, that flipside here at the forums is that Kalmbach would stand to lose revenue from advertisers if the viewer counts lowered dramatically.  Even their own sales of books and videos could be jeopardized. So, immature, kneejerk reactions from any short sighted, overworked staffers may have way more consequences than any may have realized, and those consequences would be tremendously difficult to trace and nail down as to the actual cause of reduced sales revenue.

Anyway, ed375, great getting your thoughts and feelings!

To All:

I’ve pretty much gotten things covered, with little presently happening on the Sunset Route, so will go into hibernation for a while.  Any that sees something, please speak up.

Take care 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 K. P. Harrier on Monday, May 14, 2018 8:35 AM

Hey!  Is the Unbelievable Coming True?

Evidence that an Indio Passenger Train …

… May NOT be so ludicrous after all!

For a number of years now rather ludicrous reports have been circulating from time to time that a commuter passenger train service would be started between the Indio area and Los Angeles on the Sunset Route in Southern California.  Two westbound passenger trains in the morning and two eastbound trains in the evening have been projected, operated by Amtrak. Union Pacific reportedly opposed this as it’s rather slow, busy ‘freight’ line over ‘Beaumont Hill’ is totally incompatible with swift commuter trains.  K.P. had conjectured in the past such would be possible IF commuter interests (NOT the railroad) paid for a third track over Beaumont Hill, which seemed hugely improbable because of the prohibitively high cost of doing so.

However, K.P. passed through Beaumont (CA) twice on Friday, May 11, 2018, the return dispatch trip with a little time to focus on the UP’s fenced yard with signals and switch motors in it.

For months now there have been an increasing number of stored, NEW, utility trailers in that fenced yard (top background of above photo), WITHOUT LICENSE PLATES!  Buses, trucks, trailers, etc. can move on the roadways without plates under a special provision of the law.  Apparently, UP’s new utility trailers were delivered under that provision, or were hauled on flatbed trailers, and once in possession of them the railroad is under no requirement to vehicle-register those utility trailers if unused on UP property and not on public roadways.  So, those utility trailers are seemingly trapped now in the UP fenced yard UNTIL registered and equipped with license plates.  That situation could go on indefinitely.  But, the NEWS point in this is that more and more and more new, unlicensed utility trailers are accumulating in the Beaumont Signal Dept. yard!  Why, though?

Is a future triple-tracking blitz of Beaumont Hill in the cards?  With a blitz Beaumont Hill could be triple-tracked in only a year or two, and commuter trains zooming up and down that hill, WITHOUT hindering UP’s congested “two-track” freight line.  In non-commuter train hours UP freights could use that third-track however it wanted.  At the discretion of the UP dispatcher a commuter train could be routed through the maze of tracks in any way the DS wanted to swiftly get the commuter trains from Point A to Point B.  Of course, maybe the commuter agency would demand freight and computer trains run on separated tracks, but that seems highly unlikely in K.P.’s opinion.

In that possible triple-tracking, we are talking about Indio to Colton.  From Colton to Los Angeles the new commuter trains would be routed via the BNSF through Riverside, Corona, and Fullerton

https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/2015/11/12/coachella-valley-train-los-angeles-stations/75651492/

Another possible way of looking at matters is that UP might (“might”) be thinking about forgoing additional two-tracking in Arizona, and using the LA&SL via Salt Lake City instead for its Los Angeles-Chicago traffic, inspired by a possible (“possible”) bad rail environment in Arizona.  Not two-tracking the remaining very long stretches of the Sunset Route in Arizona, and adding commuter trains to the Sunset Route in Southern California might make Arizona think of all the high paying railroad jobs they are not getting because of some unknown, weird, rather deranged mentality it may have.

So, in light of this unofficial, speculative ‘utility trailers’ conjecturing, can you think of any other reason why the fenced Beaumont Signal Dept. yard would have more and more and more and more un-license-plated new utility trailers being stored therein?
 
A ‘time issue’ of sorts contradicts the utility trailers concept, however.  Further official studies suggest by their duration A FEW MORE YEARS will be needed, just for the studying the matter, such as Environmental Impact Reports and the like, by the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC).

http://www.rctcdev.info/uploads/media_items/cvr-factsheet-dec2017-eng.original.pdf

So, utility trailers being in Beaumont NOW seems illogical in a way, unless UP knows something that we all don’t …

Other RCTC information for reading:

http://www.rctcdev.info/rail/coachella-valley-rail-service

This will end the posting.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 ccltrains on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 5:17 PM

Another potential reason for the unlicensed vehicles. Arizona has very high registering fees ($1,000+/-) for new cars.  This reduces as the vehicle ages.  If the same holds true for trucks/buses and they are to be used in Arizona in in future years UP may be holding off on registering until they age a little and have lower fees.

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