Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates

1596847 views
8208 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    October, 2003
  • 7,917 posts
Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, July 06, 2018 8:29 AM

Update as of Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The SP-side of the Diversion is Open!

… but there is a Very, Very Bad Omen to it!

Pomona, CA

Part I (of I-IV)

We start at the far western part of the Diversion, where the SP track gets rerouted over to the LA&SL alignment.  The lower left track is the OLD SP line, now severed.

Above, note the LA&SL double-stack train in the background.

Even though it was a Fourth of July Holiday, workers and utility trucks were all over the SP track in Pomona.

This is the old line that was severed, looking eastbound at Pomona Ave.

Note that because of the severed track and broken circuits, the target signals are lit and display red.

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.

  • Member since
    October, 2003
  • 7,917 posts
Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, July 06, 2018 8:35 AM

Update as of Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The SP-side of the Diversion is Open!

… but there is a Very, Very Bad Omen to it!

Pomona, CA

Part II (of I-IV)

At Temple Ave. on the joint LA&SL-SP now, a few blown up views:

Just above, the now headless stems are just right of center on both horizon structure bars.

On the old SP-side at Humane Way, an eastbound view of the old west end of the Pomona siding, with the signals now turned aside.

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.

  • Member since
    October, 2003
  • 7,917 posts
Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, July 06, 2018 8:39 AM

Update as of Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The SP-side of the Diversion is Open!

… but there is a Very, Very Bad Omen to it!

Pomona, CA

Part III (of I-IV)

South on Humane Way, over the LA&SL and now the new SP, westward views:

Just above, note the stem that once held up a signal head on the right.  The wire cabling is still present.

Looking east, the now headless Track D stems, with a utility truck on the never laid Track D alignment:

The once old LA&SL Spada siding (left), now the SP main track in the Diversion reroute, the trackless Main D alignment, and the now SP milepost sign number 512.

Continued in Part IV

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

  • Member since
    October, 2003
  • 7,917 posts
Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, July 06, 2018 8:53 AM

Update as of Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The SP-side of the Diversion is Open!

… but there is a Very, Very Bad Omen to it!

Pomona, CA

Part IV (of I-IV)

The old CP AL513 POMONA west eastbound signal still stood while all the other old area signals had been taken down.

From Hamilton Blvd., looking west, a telephoto.  Note the SP-track (foreground right) still jogs in the background right.

The present old SP Alhambra Sub 40 M.P.H. half of the universal crossovers, looking west:

The other old half, looking east:

All these switches in the above photo are wood tied, even the 50 M.P.H. far background new one, and likely are all temporary.  This CP, when finished, should look very different from what is presently there now.

And, that bad omen, those sudden headless stems … K.P. is uncertain if things have turned for the worse, or another track got delayed, whether on the SP-side or LA&SL-side.

This will conclude 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.

  • Member since
    July, 2009
  • From: SW Los Angeles county
  • 1,008 posts
Posted by MikeF90 on Friday, July 06, 2018 9:46 PM

I want to thank K.P. for posting the above preview of the Al sub diversion status; it diverted Big Smile me from traveling to Pomona tomorrow where the forecast temp is >110 degrees F !!! (but it's a dry heat ......). I look forward to seeing the new (?) track layout at CP Hamilton.

K. P. Harrier
But, alarmingly, THE RIGHTMOST SIGNAL, for the FOURTH track (our Track D, un-laid), HAS BEEN REMOVED! Thus, there are NO Track D signals anymore, suggesting there won’t be a Track D.

I kinda expected the deferral of installing the fourth track, since the need was forecast over 15 years ago when UP traffic was growing by leaps and bounds; the Great Recession put an end to that. Arguably the taxpayer share spent via the ACE project was wasted, as the benefit of the now closed grade crossings near Cal Poly Pomona is now available.

K. P. Harrier
In investigating other forum outlets, a rather abhorrent posting process at railroad.net was found, where the posting of photos was generally by links. Links? Yes, by links!

No savings whatsoever to end user bandwidth consumption. Only the forum benefits by not resizing and displaying the picture inline. I say continue with the usual forum image 'preview' link, where possible.

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

  • Member since
    October, 2016
  • 11 posts
Posted by jmonier on Saturday, July 07, 2018 7:21 AM

Note that the "taxpayer share" was for the original project which was strictly to eliminate the grade crossings at Pomona Blvd and Temple Ave.  The fourth track was added during construction at the request of (and paid for by) the UP.

So the "taxpayer share" was not wasted, although they had to wait 8 years to get the benefits due to the complications that arose due to the fourth track.

  • Member since
    October, 2003
  • 7,917 posts
Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, July 09, 2018 8:40 AM

ccltrains and Answers about the Trusses!

In response to ccltrain’s inquiry about the truss bridges’ tops on the BNSF Line in the Grand Terrance, CA area (the alternate Sunset Route), on Saturday, July 7, 2018 K.P. had a dispatch deep into Riverside County, and passed those trusses twice while on the I-215 Freeway, the second time he actually sought out a photo area and took photos.  Those trusses now have thin wire-like railings, so presumably the railings are for walkways for personnel.  The only logical reason K.P. envisions for personnel being on such walkways would be for inspection of a derailment, or to check the structural status of the bridge itself.  But, yet there are so many wires seemingly going every which way.

Thanks, ccltrains, for bringing the matter up.  Now we all have a photo of what is actually there.

jmonier (7-8):  I Don’t Know about That!

Your post, jmonier, was a mouthful, with all kinds of implications.  You said:  “The fourth track was added during construction at the request of (and paid for by) UP.”  “During” suggests that construction stopped for redrawing the blue prints.  Did it?   The Diversion wasn’t originally three-tracks wide, was it?  What you may be saying is that UP decided to add a second-track to the Alhambra Sub during the Diversion’s construction because it was constructed four-tracks wide.  Through the passage of time, UP may have come to other construction conclusions, hence, is forgoing a fourth track, at least for now.

UP’s financial contribution to projects seems (“seems”) to be signals and other electrical matters, so if they take contributed signals down, they own them anyway and can do such.

At the Metrolink station stop to the west on the LA&SL, underpass bridging supports are for a north side additional track.  That has confused this contributor, because ANOTHER track could be laid in the Spadra area on either the Los Angeles Sub (LA&SL) or the Alhambra Sub (SP).  Personally, I think UP is gravitating away from the Alhambra Sub, and will eventually triple-track the Los Angeles Sub.  Do you, jmonier, know anything about these possibilities?  Curious minds want to know …

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.

  • Member since
    July, 2009
  • From: SW Los Angeles county
  • 1,008 posts
Posted by MikeF90 on Monday, July 09, 2018 2:50 PM

K. P. Harrier
Personally, I think UP is gravitating away from the Alhambra Sub, and will eventually triple-track the Los Angeles Sub.

IMO they have 'gravitated' away from the Alhambra sub since the SP merger. However, since UP still originates and terminates freights at COI and LATC yards they have incentive to keep the Al sub in good shape. With all of the grade crossings adding a second main in some areas would work better than the current runt sidings.

In the 'more bang for the buck' category I agree that more high speed turnouts for CP Hamilton are long overdue. Likewise, adding a second MT between CP North Ontario and CP Sierra would be near the top of my list. We'll see .....

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

  • Member since
    October, 2016
  • 11 posts
Posted by jmonier on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 9:18 AM

KP: As a result of your reply, I realized that what I wrote was confusing and sent a somewhat different message than what I was intending.

Changes (sometimes major changes) are made to contracts such as this during construction without requiring the stoppage of construction or complete redrawing of the plans.  But, I realize that I had no basis for saying that this change DID occur during actual construction (although it may have).

What I do know is that the project was initially drawn up as strictly a grade crossing elimination project. As such, the railroad operational benefit was minor and no different than any other project of the sort.  This would be reflected in the railroad financial participation which would be minimal (typically 10% for projects of this sort). 

Basically, in the original concept, the track arrangement did not change operationally at all. The Alhambra Sub track would simply be adjacent to the 2 LA Sub tracks rather than a little north of them.  The ACE project was never justified on the basis of any railroad operational benefit.

Sometime while or after the original project went into detailed design the UP must have realized that it would provide an opportunity for them to get a fourth track in this area for only the incremental cost of adding it to the project, and that it was worthwhile for them to spend that money now, rather spending quite a bit more money in the future.  So that was not part of any immediate plan for the area, just some intelligent forethought (and I realize that the railroads are not known for doing this normally).

The original concept for the project was to put in a roadbed for the Alhambra Sub track next to the 2 LA Sub tracks.  There was no provision for the 4th track in the original project.  That was only added (and paid for by) the UP and consisted of the roadbed construction and trackwork, not just "signals and other electrical matters".  I must emphasize this since you seem to be assuming that it was a 4 track project from the beginning and that is simply not true.

So, I think that in speculating what this project means in terms of UP near and far term planning you're reading too much into it .

I also believe that the Alhambra Sub has a place in the future, not only for traffic from LATC, but from local traffic off the Coast going to West Colton and beyond.

  • Member since
    October, 2003
  • 7,917 posts
Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 8:35 AM

jmonier (7-10):

Thanks for getting back to me quickly, but that getting back left me just as confused as before.

Let me convey a scenario and perhaps you could tell me if I interpreted correctly what you were trying to say.

The Pomona Diversion was originally designed to be structurally WIDE enough for four tracks, though only three tracks would actually be laid in it, two for the Los Angeles Sub (LA&SL) and one for the Alhambra Sub (SP).

Then, a light came on in someone’s head at UP, and they figured they would lay a fourth track.  UNFORTUNATELY, while the Diversion was built wide enough for four tracks, if UP laid a fourth track they would have NO access road for maintenance-of-way type vehicles.  So, in recent times they went back to the original idea, and went with three tracks.

IF (“if”) that is what happened, someone really screwed up big time, because the Diversion should have been built FIVE tracks wide, for four tracks and a maintenance-of-way road!

Was that the scenario you were trying to say, jmonier?

For your information, jmonier, the little train traffic there is on the Coast has TWO routes east (like to West Colton Yard), the Alhambra Sub and the Los Angeles Sub to Pomona.  UP NO LONGER OWNS the short section in Los Angeles between the Alhambra Sub and the Los Angeles Sub, SO, there is little incentive to improve the Alhambra Sub.  And, what is seen visually bares that out:  The Alhambra Sub sidings are often stuffed with stored intermodal cars for days at a time.  Metrolink down the 10 Freeway between El Monte and Los Angeles (that UP has trackage rights on) can’t realistically two-track its line, so K.P. envision Metrolink buying part of the Alhamba Sub someday and laying another track, like through the San Gabriel trench.  Time will tell, though

Since the beginning of the Pomona Diversion, there have been FOUR assembled turnouts sitting trackside, by CP C028 SPADRA.  Two wood tied, two concrete tied.  The two wood tied ones are in service now with the reroute in effect.  The two concrete tied ones are still uninstalled trackside.  Maybe they will just replace the two wood tied ones when the Alhambra Sub in the Pomona area is converted to concrete ties (in the Diversion). OR, as MikeF90 brought up previously, the Los Angeles Sub might be triple-tracked, and a fourth branching off track will shoot off the “C” Track as the “D” track on the Alhambra Sub.  Now, that would be a radical departure from what we have expected for years now.

The CP to watch now is CP AL514 HAMILTON at the east end of the Diversion, in downtown Pomona.  The present NEW arrangement there will have yet super radical changes to it in the future.  Things surely will become much clearer as those super radical changes present themselves!

To All:

For the followers of this thread, except for replying to a few loose ends (like this post), I’ve basically gone elsewhere on the Internet.  I’ll probably be back every once and a while, though.  Searching the Internet for “Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates” and the word “railroad” one might come across this Sunset Route two-tracking updater … Otherwise, I hope everyone stays safe and healthy!

Best,

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.

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • 158 posts
Posted by Fred M Cain on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 1:23 PM
I guess right now (July/2018) Arizona is having serious issues of flash flooding on the Sunset Route.
 
Has everyone seen this?:
 
 
Regards,
Fred M. Cain

 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • 1,173 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 8:53 PM

It looks from the photo like there were containers in the middle of trailers before and behind the trailers.

Not sure if that means anything. Just an observation.

  • Member since
    October, 2016
  • 11 posts
Posted by jmonier on Thursday, July 12, 2018 10:05 AM

KP:  I'm sorry, but you seem to have missed the point completely.  My original post was in response to a post that implied that taxpayer money was wasted because the 4th track is not being put in.  I was attempting to point out that there was no connection between the 4th track and the taxpayer involvement.

I don't know exactly how the design process proceeded and how the 4th track fit into that, but I DO know that there was no thought of a 4th track as the project was initially conceived.

I was trying to make the point that, as originally conceived, this was NOT a multi-tracking project.  It was a GRADE CROSSING ELIMINATION project to eliminate a grade crossing at Temple Ave on the Alhambra Sub.

Normally this would have been done by building a bridge over (or under) the tracks at Temple Ave.  But, someone figured out that the Alhambra Sub was quite close to the LA Sub where there was already a bridge at Temple Ave, and that the same objective could be achieved, at a lower cost, by moving the Alhambra Sub track to be adjacent to the LA Sub.  Note that this really not a 3rd track for the LA Sub because it is actually still the Alhambra Sub.  So far the taxpayers are getting what they paid for and the only thing that the UP gets is one less grade crossing to maintain.

Now, when the UP decides that it wants an additional track (over and above those adready mentioned) that is really a separate project paid for by the UP and is only combined with the original project because of the cost savings.  So, even though construction of the two projects was integrated, financially they are separate, with the taxpayers paying for one roadbed and the UP paying for the other.  Thus, if the UP decides not to lay the additional (4th) track, it's their money and the taxpayers do not lose (or gain) anything by that decision.

As far as routing Coast traffic (which is actually fairly substantial), I found your response to be condescending, in that you gave no thought to the idea that I might already know that it was possible to route via the East Bank.  If you are familiar with that area, you will know that it can be quite congested (especially with the Metrolink SB Line crossing it many times every day) and thus there are considerable advantages to going via the Alhambra Sub.

  • Member since
    October, 2003
  • 7,917 posts
Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, July 13, 2018 8:34 AM

jmonier (7-12):

Now, that was a good explanation, and it made so much sense.  Thanks.  I more or less agree with you.

About “Coast” traffic, I sense we might be thinking about two different things.  My reference to Coast traffic was the UP LINE up through Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and up to the Bay Area, traditionally understood among western railroaders and railfans as the Coast Line.  There is very, very little freight traffic on it.  That traffic is inconsequential to activity in downtown Los Angeles.  I suspect you were thinking of traffic on the southern corridor, or the Sunset Route, like through El Paso, Tucson, Los Angeles and its ports, and not as described in the paragraph above.

My intention was NOT in any way meant to be condescending, but when things don’t make sense to me I’ve found so often that people are seeing things under different definitions and meanings.  It is amazing how unity comes when everyone is thinking alike and has the same definitions.

Take care,

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.

  • Member since
    July, 2008
  • From: Marietta, GA
  • 1,064 posts
Posted by rdamon on Friday, July 13, 2018 3:51 PM

Looks like the bridge has been decorated ...

 

  • Member since
    October, 2016
  • 11 posts
Posted by jmonier on Sunday, July 15, 2018 8:48 AM

KP: Well, you're certainly right about people seeing things differently.  I'm really at a loss to understand how you could possibly think that ANYONE who frequents this forum could confuse the Sunset Route with the Coast Line.  Actually, I don't even understand the context in which the Sunset Route is applicable to this discussion (other than the fact that the Alhambra Sub is part of the historical Sunset Route).

As far as traffic on the Coast Route, you might be surprised.  Certainly through traffic is mostly limited to the Oil Cans and auto rack repos (both of which would not use the Alhambra Sub).  But, I said LOCAL traffic.

There is actually quite a bit of local traffic, especially from the Port Hueneme/Oxnard area with a daily local (it might surprise you to know that Port Hueneme is a major port-of-entry for automobiles from both Europe and Asia).  There is also a 3 times-a-week local that goes as far as Guadalupe.

I did not mean to imply that this traffic is a major part of the Alhambra Sub traffic, but even one train a day that has to wait for long periods at CP Main St (Yuma Jct) for access to the East Bank (if the Alhambra Sub is not available) can add significantly to the congestion in the area.  (Note that 50 Metrolink trains a day either cross the East Bank line or use it for its' entire length.)

  • Member since
    October, 2003
  • 7,917 posts
Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 8:24 AM

jmonier (7-15):

What you were trying to say is becoming clearer and clearer.

Just a thought on the Pomona Diversion and Temple Ave.:  Temple Ave. was not the only grade crossing eliminated.  The one at Pomona Ave. was eliminated too, though the vehicle traffic flow thereon is much, much less, two lanes vs. six.  

One of the things I encourage is for posters to be theme conscious.  In other words, what is brought up should, in this thread’s case, be related to two-tracking of the Sunset Route in some way.  Admittedly, I stretch things sometimes, but when I do I try to explain or make a connection to the theme.  Such was the case in reviewing the signals off the Sunset Route on the Mojave Sub, and the new and old type masts recently installed thereon and what they may mean.  In Arizona, the new type signals are likewise being installed.  But, in that case, equilateral switches seem (“seem”) to be being replaced with standard turnouts, switch types more to UP’s liking.  The connection to the overall theme of two-tracking is that that does not bode well for further two-tracking in Arizona, but we will have to see what develops, if anything.

From Pomona to Los Angeles on the Alhambra Sub, CTC sidings are often occupied with Intermodal cars or whatever.  So, it seems UP would have little interest in that line, especially now.  This past Sunday I was trackside in the Bassett-City of Industry area.  Below is a photo of the Basset siding occupied with engineless freight cars, those freight cars were cut for a grade crossing or two way in the background.

(More of this past Sunday K.P. photos of the City of Industry area, the “Up and Over,” and the San Gabriel Trench are elsewhere on the Internet.)

The Walnut siding likewise had engineless cars in it, this time Intermodal well-cars.  I did not see the El Monte siding, so am unaware if it too was occupied or not.

Whatever we post, theme consciousness goes a long way towards promoting peace and harmony at the forum.

MikeF90:

I think it was you that brought up perhaps making the abandoned shoofly right-of-way for the San Gabriel Trench a walkway-bike path.  When I was there Sunday, I photographed the shootfly right-of-way west of Walnut Grove Ave., and it was blocked with fencing or made impractical with slanted dirt so it could not be used as a walkway-bike path. 

Hibernation

I’m going into hibernation for a while at this forum.

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.

  • Member since
    October, 2015
  • 68 posts
Posted by longhorn1969 on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 12:26 PM

Just finished a road trip from Texas to Arizona rountrip, and I notice a number of UP stack and manifest trains from El Paso to just north of Tuscon. What is the speed limit for stacks and manifests on the UP on this stretch?

I know this UP's transcon route, and the number trains moving right behind each other was impressive. Looked to be a three or four mile separation. 

Interesting to see UP run a unit or two on the rear of even lowly manifest trains.

 

  • Member since
    October, 2003
  • 7,917 posts
Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, July 19, 2018 8:33 AM

longhorn1969 (7-17):

It is hibernation time for me, and I don’t like being woke up!  GROWL!

Kidding aside, it is super questionable that anyone will answer your question here at the forum, at least not authoritatively.  Top speeds are 79 M.P.H. for passenger, and 70 M.P.H. for freight, at least from Los Angeles, CA to El Paso, TX.  The problem is that there are all kinds of speed restrictions in between.  Take for example the going over the Colorado River Bridge between Arizona and California.  That stretch is limited to 25 M.P.H. for both passenger and freight.  So, while your question is a good one, it is almost impossible to answer.

You may want to get a ‘Railfan Timetable,’ as what you want is often in such.  Old employee timetables sometimes can be purchased, or maybe a railroad employee that you might know can be of help.

Glad you had a safe trip,

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.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy