TEHACHAPI: Two-Tracking Updates

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, September 12, 2016 3:54 PM

The Wednesday, September 7, 2016 Visit

Part “H” (of A-H)

In Bakersfield, the new signals and interlockings (plural) still have not been activated yet, such as this future CP most closely associated with the Quantico Ave. area and the Oswell Street overpass.

It is unknown if UP is holding off activating these Bakersfield area interlockings for economic reasons or waiting their turn in a whole bunch of area signal activations.

This will end the series.

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Posted by ccltrains on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 7:42 AM

KP- Really enjoy your three threads.  The two tracks on Tehachapi have one black and one white appearance.  Think this is old vs new trackage.  It reminded me of Pennsylvania's horseshoe curve.  Two tracks were black and two white.  This resulted from sanding on the uphill tracks and brake shoe dust on the down hill tracks.

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Posted by BarstowRick on Sunday, September 25, 2016 10:43 AM

Here we have new quarried gravel/ballast versus old ballast. A interesting contrast that will in time take on the same appearance as the older ballast.

Yep, I've seen pictures of the track back east and you can tell a distinct difference between the tracks used to go up hill as opposed to down hill.

They sure are taking their time getting anything done while double tracking Tehachapi Pass. Anyway, it is what it is.

RickH

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:47 PM

Not sure what is going on to the west of Tehachapi but long string of green flatcars on the siding just at the east end of town with some track equipment still on the cars.  Later, somewhat after sundown, a ballast regulator and a tamper came through town towards the siding.  I did see some equipment working near Woodford siding just before Thanksgiving, but at that time the long string of MOW flats was not in town.

Looks serious.

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Posted by rdamon on Thursday, January 12, 2017 2:20 PM

Lots of rain and flooding in NorCal .. may be staging for repair work

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Thursday, January 12, 2017 6:48 PM

rdamon

Lots of rain and flooding in NorCal .. may be staging for repair work

 
Probably not staging because almost all of the equipment that would be on the flatcars was elsewhere.  This morning, I saw one crew working the west end of Walong siding as I drove by on 58.  There was also a crew with a hi-rail truck working on a switch, it looked like, in the center of town just west of Green Street. I didn't notice how many UP trucks were parked in the Fairfield Inn parking lot last night as I was more interested in getting some rest in the evening.
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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 3:04 AM

Coming back up Highway 58 from Bakersfield on Sunday, a passel of track machinery sitting in Woodford siding area, two tampers (looked like Dyna-Cats), two regulators, two spreaders, other misc stuff.  Monday morning, I noticed east of Cameron that it looked like some rail replacement had been going on in that area on the south track, it would appear.

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Posted by BarstowRick on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 1:16 PM
It's been awhile since anyone has reported any news with regard to the longer sidings UP and BNSF is putting in. Anyone have any updates? Oh and thanks Chuck, for the updates.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, May 11, 2017 10:59 AM

BarstowRick (5-10):  Good or Bad Sign?

Hi, Rick!

I haven’t been up Tehachapi way in some time, so it is unknown the status of things up that way.  HOWEVER, a new development has taken place very, very recently involving detectors.  For years they were ‘No Defects’ based, i.e., they would rattle off everything about the train after it passed.  That often interfered with dispatcher-train communications.  Suddenly, a new approach is being used.  A train starts passing a detector and it merely announces the location and that it is working.  Sweet and simple!  It never says anything else, unless a defect is detected, like a hotbox, dragging equipment, etc.  Personally, as with so many people, I don’t like change per se.  So, it is now harder to mentally follow a train and visualize where it is at.  But, there is less competition in the airwaves for the DS to worry about.

Take care,

K.P.

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Posted by BarstowRick on Friday, May 26, 2017 8:03 PM

K.P., Thanks for the heads up.

Regarding the detectors, I always thought is was annoying to here the original or longer version.   Possibly interfering with the dispatchers and crew members tuned in.   

It's almost summer in the mountains so news of new track placement should be forth coming.

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Posted by MikeF90 on Saturday, May 27, 2017 3:22 PM

BarstowRick
t's almost summer in the mountains so news of new track placement should be forth coming.

I'll be surprised to see evidence of that. UP still seems to be in 'maintenance mode', and BNSF is spending its capital elsewhere. BTW the last stretch of CTC conversion between Sandcut and Bakerspatch needs to be completed. Unfortunately I have to stick close to home for a while due to medical issues, or I'd make the drive.

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

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Sunday, May 28, 2017 8:17 PM

A good article on the preparation of the subgrade portion of this project is in the May 2017 edition of Railway Track and Structures magazine.  It won the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association's (NRC) award for "Small Project of the Year (only $8.1 million).  One of the challenges was an unexpected land slip which necessitated removal of an additional 12,000 cubic yards.  The article is on pages 28-32 (inclusive), and should be accessible in the digital edition at this link:

https://issuu.com/railwaytrackstructures/docs/rts_may_digital_edition/1?e=5257055/48681823 

- PDN. 

"This Fascinating Railroad Business" (title of 1943 book by Robert Selph Henry of the AAR)
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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, June 11, 2017 7:37 PM

The Trains Mustn’t Like K.P.

On Saturday, June 10, 2017 K.P. visited the Loop area, intent on photographing uphill southbound trains on Main 2 IN THE CUT alongside Tunnel 10.  EVERY train, both southbound and northbound, both UP and BNSF used Main 1 through the tunnel!

Does K.P. have a curse on him?

After several hours, K.P. gave up and headed back to base.

In Mojave, as he was arriving back in that town, a UP was spotted NORTHBOUND on Main 1 (!!!!), the old southbound (eastbound) track.  As usual, there was no time to park and get set up. (“No Parking” signs are everywhere!)  Moments later, a BNSF northbound on Main 2 passed!  TWO trains now missed in rapid order!

Apparently, a light engine move DID like K.P. (finally), and he paced it at speed for a while.  On the downward curve southbound approaching Rosamond it was thought a shot of the desert floor would be cool.  The light engine move is barely seen way in the distance going away.  An auto just happened to be crossing the tracks in Rosamond itself at shuttle release time!

It is unknown if the old Tehachapi grades (west and east slopes) have “UP” type operating signals, but it was observed while pacing that light engine move that intermediate signals had the UP-type delay in going from green to red.  The CP signals south of Mojave did NOT act as UP signals, but AS SOON as the engine wheels shunted the circuit the green signals would drop to red.  Undoubtedly the new signals on the new Tehachapi two-tracking have that UP characteristic of a severe delay in changing to red.  That is a long standing UP (not SP) characteristic.  Fifty years ago K.P. remembers on the Los Angeles & Salt Lake line a string of five E’s would go past a green mast signal at speed, the baggage cars, and just as the dome car(s) was about to pass the signal it finally turned to red.  UP must have it that way to avoid false green to reds.

Anyway, it is hoped a few trains on the track around the tunnel (and not through it) can be photographed sometime in the future …

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Posted by MikeF90 on Monday, June 19, 2017 2:08 PM

For those of you not familiar with the territory, I came across this very high quality video of the Mojave sub recently posted:

At about 7:00 minutes is a fly-by of the Caliente curve, less well known than the famous Walong loop.

It is well worth 36 minutes of your time!

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Posted by rdamon on Monday, June 19, 2017 3:35 PM

Good look at the tunnel bypass work (or lack of) at 33:00

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Monday, June 19, 2017 8:49 PM

Wow. Thanks for the posting. I had seen photographs and some video but the views shown in this one really show what mountain railroading looks like. Great camera and drone work. Very impressive. 

MikeF90
It is well worth 36 minutes of your time!

Mike, I totally agree.

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Posted by ccltrains on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 6:59 PM

A little off the subject but I have a question.  While at lunch at a very upscale restaurant (Railway Cafe) in Athens TX today an Amtrak train came through going west at noon.  There has not been a passenger on the former Cotton Belt line between Tyler and Corsicana for about 50 years.  Think it was the the Eagle but to get to Dallas it has to go north from Corsicana to Dallas to get on its normal route. Anyone know what caused this detour?

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 7:52 PM

ccltrains

A little off the subject but I have a question.  While at lunch at a very upscale restaurant (Railway Cafe) in Athens TX today an Amtrak train came through going west at noon.  There has not been a passenger on the former Cotton Belt line between Tyler and Corsicana for about 50 years.  Think it was the the Eagle but to get to Dallas it has to go north from Corsicana to Dallas to get on its normal route. Anyone know what caused this detour?

.

 

Trackwork between Longview and Dallas. Dallas is entirely bypassed, in both directions, by the Texas Eagle during the work period. Buses are provided for the passengers between Longview and Austin.

I would have loved to have made a roundtrip from Chicago to Austin and back during this period , butI could not work it.

Southbound, the routing is former Cotton Belt from Big Sandy to Corsicana, former T&NO to Hearne, and thence former MP to Opal (just below Taylor). Northbound the route is former MP through Opal to Longview.

This routing is scheduled to end after 21 June.

There was also a week of detouring over the C&EI route between Chicago and St. Louis for trackwork on the former Alton.

 

Johnny

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Posted by BarstowRick on Monday, July 03, 2017 2:22 PM

Not sure why but the photo's from Photo bucket aren't showing up on my screen.   Something about update photobucket account.    Seems strange we'd have to do that.

K.P.  Keep the news coming.    Looking forward to real news.  Zip it!

RickH

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, July 04, 2017 6:26 PM

BarstowRick (7-3):

Bad news, Rick!  Photobucket.com, which all those previous photos are at, has changed their policy, saying because of my usage I’ve exceeded my “third party” allotment (which I believe is a new term), and to unlock the photos I would have to send them nearly $400 a year, which won’t happen.  Unless they change their policy, the photos are not coming back.

I’m using an alternative site now, but the Tehachapi area hasn’t been gone to nor does it look like it will be anytime soon.

Take care,

K.P.

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Posted by worksforme on Tuesday, July 04, 2017 9:35 PM

K. P. Harrier

BarstowRick (7-3):

Bad news, Rick!  ... Unless [Photobucket.com] change their policy, the photos are not coming back.

Many-year lurker and appreciator of K.P.'s wonderful railroad photo-journalism: I have stumbled across, installed and successfully tested on Windows and Chrome OS (chromebook) a free Chrome browser extension that unblocks photobucket embedded linked photos.  Creator's github project page.  Note the caveat about the possible need to clear your browser cache (in the course of my testing this was unnecessary, but YMMV).

I am not associated with the development of this extension, merely a happy user sharing what appears to be a relatively painless, low-effort way for individual users to workaround this disaster.

WFM

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, July 05, 2017 11:41 AM

worksforme (7-4):

Thanks for the suggestion on how to ‘work around’ the photobucket.com ‘disaster.’

Unfortunately, I’m confined to Internet Explorer, so the suggestion is not applicable to me.  If I could come across an actual ‘official’ Chrome browser disc it might be worth installing and trying what you suggested.

What you mentioned seems rather simple, so as word gets around, it is wondered if photobucket.com will escalate its thwarting efforts, and whether it will become a tug of war of wits.

For now I think I will just lay low and see what happens.  From what I can gather, the stage is setting for a warzone play of sorts, and it may be fun to watch.  But, I think Denver based photobucket.com has underestimated the force of the will of the people, and that force is one of the scariest known to man!

Your joining in, worksforme, was most welcome,

K.P.

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, July 05, 2017 11:56 AM

In re Photobucket: I just thought of the proprietory medicine makers who have fairly recently increased the price of certain producst to what seem to be absolutely unreasonable.

Johnny

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Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, July 05, 2017 5:16 PM

KP,

The view from my perspective for what it's worth.

Many of those photo hosting sites originally granted free rein to pictures posted on them. It was OK then to link to your photos in other sites such as Trains Magazine. IMO, their retraction of that privilege was a breach of contract.

Norm


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Posted by BrushKestrel on Thursday, July 06, 2017 3:39 AM

K. P. Harrier
If I could come across an actual ‘official’ Chrome browser disc



Browsers don't come on disks any more. You'd need to go to Google's website and download it:

https://www.google.com/chrome/index.html

Norm48327
Many of those photo hosting sites originally granted free rein to pictures posted on them. It was OK then to link to your photos in other sites such as Trains Magazine. IMO, their retraction of that privilege was a breach of contract.


And you'd be entitled to a full refund. As you didn't pay them anything in the first place, that's a whole lot of nothing.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, December 04, 2017 11:30 PM

Frustrated Again!  Your Dog would Love …

… it (and kids too).  Why the Frustration …

… and New Mast Signals

Part I (of I-IV)

That Frustrated Again!

Finally arriving at the Tunnel 10 area from the east, a train right away was heard approaching!  It’s about to become visible.  Oh, no!  It is on Track 2, the track through Tunnel 10.

The sole purpose was to get a photo of a train on Track 1, the track through the new cut around Tunnel 10.  The forum may remember the last visit ALL trains were on the Track 2 tunnel route.  Was it happening all over again?  IT WAS!  All trains were going through the tunnel.  It made one wonder if BNSF and California had spent millions of dollars for nothing, as again no trains were seen on Main 1.

Leaving the area, heading back to the town of Tehachapi, a couple of pieces of track equipment was seen at the end of two-tracks at Marcel.  Hmm … What is the chance of visiting TWO times six months apart and the track (Main 1) being worked on both times?

Continued in Part II

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, December 04, 2017 11:36 PM

Frustrated Again!  Your Dog would Love …

… it (and kids too).  Why the Frustration …

… and New Mast Signals

Part II (of I-IV)

About Pet Dogs (and Kids)

On the way to Tunnel 10 K.P. saw a park.  Upon returning, that park was stopped at.  What a park!  The sign has ground floodlights, so it must be lit up at night.

The purpose of showing a park in a railroad thread is that it could be helpful in your travels, especially with the wife and kids, who traditionally don’t share our thrill of trains.

When they say ‘Dog Park’ they mean Dog Park!

As seen above, separate fencing is for small and large dog areas.

So, if you travel with kids and a dog, Tehachapi may be the place to stop!  The whole family can unwind and stretch … and if you follow the back roads everyone can see the historic Tehachapi Loop and monuments.  It has a narrow dirt area to park your vehicle.

Continued in Part III

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, December 04, 2017 11:44 PM

Frustrated Again!  Your Dog would Love …

… it (and kids too).  Why the Frustration …

… and New Mast Signals

Part III (of I-IV)

The Cause of the Frustration Found

Now following the tracks out of the town of Tehachapi, by the old siding east of town, a bunch of maintenance equipment was seen and photographed, with the town’s surroundings massively road torn up!

Old timers that visited Tehachapi now would be shocked at all the stoplights and widened roadway by the tracks by that siding!

There seems to be a bunch of maintenance here and on the Sunset Route.  Since such was just done in this area, the impression one gets is that it was a mild replace of defective concrete ties program, but please don’t quote me on that, as no official word is available.

New Signals

Eastward past the east slopes of Tehachapi, from Mojave southward, the target signals at CP’s were changed out to color light types not to terribly long ago.  Now, intermediates are being changed out.

The above is the first intermediate south of Mojave, and it is of the NEW STYLE now being installed by UP.

Continued in Part IV

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, December 05, 2017 12:13 AM

Frustrated Again!  Your Dog would Love …

… it (and kids too).  Why the Frustration …

… and New Mast Signals

Part IV (of I-IV)

New Signals

The next day, Saturday, December 2, 2017 K.P. had to take care of a dispatch to Victorville, which afforded him an opportunity to photograph another new signal change out.  But, this one was not one of the new wide stemmed ones.  At the Johnson Road grade crossing:

Two July 28, 2016 views of the short, OLD mast signals once at Johnson Road.:

While at Johnson Road shooting the first two photos in this post, a horn was heard in the distance.  And, the new replacement signal lit.

(Above, and as before, K.P. is always reluctant to show UP’s hotline phone number because it may inspire maybe a kid to play prankster.  But, prankster should know all toll free 800 number owners know WHO calls them!  Stupidity is being a prankster …)

As the train that lit up the signal came, K.P. positioned himself by his vehicle, and lined up an incredible shot.  It was one of those pictures one just dreams of.  Everything photographically was in perfect balanced.  The train came into view, the camera button was pressed, and the camera jammed!  How can a reliable camera just jam?  K.P. gives up …

From Palmdale (the junction switch, M.P. 414.4) southward (eastward) the spacing of signals is about three miles apart, a variant from the common two miles apart.  That was Southern Pacific’s doings.  K.P. wonders if UP will redo the space sometime in the future.  Three miles is a long way when traveling at 15 M.P.H. account of an unexplained red signal!

As for the subject of this thread, Tehachapi two-tracking, K.P. is unaware of any two-tracking plans on Tehachapi Pass.  But, surely BNSF has its concepts in mind, but the Positive Train Control matter is consuming both UP’s and BNSF’s resources, so it is unlikely any further two-tracking will come in the near future.  However, BNSF is running a rather packed lineup of trains over UP’s Tehachapi Line, and it is hard to believe BNSF would do nothing further to make that line more fluid.

This will conclude the series.

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Tuesday, December 05, 2017 6:34 PM

K. P. Harrier
What is the chance of visiting TWO times six months apart and the track (Main 1) being worked on both times?

For me, the answer would have to be, "pretty good."  I seem to have the magic ability to arrive in Tehachapi for a one- or three-night stay just in time to find a bunch of UP MOW vehicles parked at the Fairfield Inn and then seeing no daylight trains at all.  The MOW folks get going at sunrise in the winter (as evidenced by the short horn sequences as the last trains are coming through town) and knock off about an hour before sunset which kicks of the evening parade of trains.  That's my usual train watching experience in Tehachapi.

I've not actually been into Meadowbrook Park on the west side of town but I've driven by it a couple of times on Red Apple Ave (which Tehachapi Blvd becomes at Tucker Road) and turning onto Westwood Ave to wind around to Woodford-Tehachapi Road.

I think that my last three-night stay involved seeing the string of green MOW flats mostly empty because the equipment was deployed in various places on both sides of town.

My theory about Tehachapi is that January is a good time for MOW work because a lot of the other parts of UP are not particularly hospitable for large-scale operations.  Or, maybe UP just has it in for me and somehow knows when I'm going to head to town.

One final thought about the monuments at the overlook of the loop: I've run into more friendly folks there, even a local or two, stopping to look over the loop.  It is an interesting phenomenon.  Uh, oh, I'm starting to think about Kohnen's bakery; I need to change my mental subject now.

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