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Watching Trains at the Tehachapi Loop

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  • Member since
    September, 2007
  • 19 posts
Watching Trains at the Tehachapi Loop
Posted by MGAcoal on Monday, March 12, 2012 9:28 AM

Hi there!!!

My wife and I are planning a trip to Califormia (from PA) and we are going to dedicate a day to train watching at the Tehachapi Loop.  My question is this:  is any particular day better than others for maiximum train frequency?  Is there a rough train schedule out there somewhere?

We did a quick stop by The Loop a few years ago, but was only able to stay for an hour.  I am planning the entire afternoon and am taking my video camera. 

I appreiate any advise, hints, or any other helpful information. 

Thanks  --  Mike 

  • Member since
    July, 2012
  • 1 posts
Posted by seth0606 on Friday, July 20, 2012 11:50 AM

I'm sitting at the monuments above the Loop as I write this. We've been here an hour and a half, and nothing yet. Now, the last time we were here, we saw seven trains in two hours. There's really nothing in the way of a schedule at all these days: railroads call crews and run trains as needed. The fishing analogy I've heard others use is apt. Now, that's easy for me to say and accept: I live just 90 minutes from the Loop and can jump up here on a whim whenever I feel the itch. Coming from PA... Harder to stomach, I know. :-)

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Sunny (mostly) San Diego
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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Saturday, July 21, 2012 12:21 AM

Traffic is somewhat unpredictable, as noted.  Some days, I have seen a parade in the middle of the day and others have been pretty lonesome.  One trip through there last year saw nothing all day due to a MOW window, but when the Plasser equipment tied up in town late in the day, WB BNSF started coming through at 15-minute intervals for a couple of hours, then at about 30-minute intervals until about 11 pm, when I stopped listening.

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Allentown, PA
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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Monday, July 23, 2012 2:42 PM

First: Welcome, seth0606 Welcome 

Next: You might want to try the "ATCS Monitor" to get a view of train movements on that line segment.  It appears from the map at this link that there is some ATCS coverage thru and beyond the Loop, from around "N Marcel, MP 352.9" through "S Cliff, MP 343.34", the Loop is just past "N Walong, MP 351.1": 

  http://www.codeline-telemetry.com/maps/ca.htm 

Here are a couple links with more info on the ATCS Monitor:

http://www.atcsmon.com/ 

http://www.fwarailfan.net/atcs.htm 

- Paul North. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
  • Member since
    July, 2009
  • From: SW Los Angeles county
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Posted by MikeF90 on Monday, July 23, 2012 3:29 PM

Please note - the original post was in March! OopsBang HeadOops - Sign

Just in case the OP hasn't visited, you can also get a feel for traffic patterns by listening to the East Tehachapi scanner on railroadradio.net.

Sig ----> Sunset Route overview, SoCal metro, Yuma sub, Gila sub links.

  • Member since
    September, 2007
  • 19 posts
Posted by MGAcoal on Thursday, July 26, 2012 8:03 PM

HI Guys!!  Thanks for info and tips.  We are leaving for LA on Saturday and driving to Tehachapi on Sunday.  Hopefully we'll get lucky.  I am taking the video camera and a scanner.

 

Seth...I know what you mean about train frequency.  I live close enough to Norfolk Southern's Horseshoe Curve to drive up for the day.  Sometimes, we'll see 12 trains in two hours, other times, nothing for 2 hours.  Again, hopefully we'll get lucky at the Loop!!

 

Thanks again for all the advice!!

 

Mike

  • Member since
    September, 2012
  • 1 posts
Posted by TrainOwl on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 4:54 PM

Definitely worth the trip. Saw 4 super long trains in the  hour we were there. Highly recommend stopping at the RR museum at the old station in down town Tehachapi.  They advised that Monday has the least train  traffic as that's the designated minor maintenance day. Also there's a great "local Color" train store across the street that has a wealth of info on the local area.  We stayed in our motor home at the Kmart ( use the SW corner away from the store ).  a good info site on the loop is >>>  http://www.trainweb.org/brettrw/maps/loop.html        Two YouTube Videos I posted on this loop are:   >>>>     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J9yiT0R7Go&feature=plcp      and    this one as I was contemplating taking a short cut through the tunnel...not so fast there son!!!!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl_np6ySj5M&feature=endscreen&NR=1   It's a great trip...enjoy  Paul

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Allentown, PA
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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Thursday, September 27, 2012 8:44 PM

Just 'activated' and spaced out those links a little bit. 

TrainOwl
Definitely worth the trip. Saw 4 super long trains in the  hour we were there. Highly recommend stopping at the RR museum at the old station in down town Tehachapi.  They advised that Monday has the least train  traffic as that's the designated minor maintenance day. Also there's a great "local Color" train store across the street that has a wealth of info on the local area.  We stayed in our motor home at the Kmart ( use the SW corner away from the store ).  a good info site on the loop is >>> 

http://www.trainweb.org/brettrw/maps/loop.html

        Two YouTube Videos I posted on this loop are:   >>>>    

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J9yiT0R7Go&feature=plcp

      and    this one as I was contemplating taking a short cut through the tunnel...not so fast there son!!!! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl_np6ySj5M&feature=endscreen&NR=1

   It's a great trip...enjoy  Paul

First video is about 2:28 long - looks like it was shot from just ouside the western portal of Tunnel 10, looking westerly towards the Loop's tunnel.  It shows a BNSF train circling behind the center peak - the locomotives appear from behind it at about 0:55 - then down to the left and away into the tunnel.  It was taken from pretty far away, so not much detail of the train can be seen.

Second video is about 0:34 long, looks like the photographer merely turned around and caught another WB BNSF train just as it was exiting Tunnel 10, on the curve to the right (from the camera's perspective). Good close-up sound on that one, in my opinion. 

Thanks for sharing !

- Paul North.        

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)

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