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Metrolink – New Happenings in San Bernardino, CA Area

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Metrolink – New Happenings in San Bernardino, CA Area
Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, March 07, 2016 2:43 PM

Metrolink – New Happenings in San Bernardino, CA Area

This thread is intended for updates and happenings about the San Bernardino, CA area (“area”).

A visit to the old Santa Fe Railway downtown San Bernardino depot area was made on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 with the hopes of seeing a BNSF unit being used on a Metrolink commuter train.  No Metrolink trains were even at their stop area.  However, a structure was being erected, likely an overhead walkway.

On departure from the facility, a Metrolink from Los Angeles was seen arriving.  Time to get the camera out again …

This was the first BNSF unit actually seen on a Metrolink train for this forum contributor.  It is not known if this was a rare find, or if it is the norm now, or in between.  BNSF 5641 will lead cabcar 639 westbound to Los Angeles.

The area warrants more investigation, as the old area west of the Mt. Vernon Ave. viaduct had construction thereat, and road closed signage insinuated the 3rd Street access EAST of the depot will be permanently closed, if it was interpreted correctly or even if the signs were correct!  And, of course, the new future stop to the east by “E” Street is taking shape.  The relatively new overnight facility EAST of the depot is gone now too, with trains overnighting at the new Colton maintenance facility instead.  So, a lot of things are happening at and nearby, and is the inspiration for this new updates thread.

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Monday, March 07, 2016 7:58 PM

Are there through tracks between the larger frame and the two smaller ones ?

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, March 08, 2016 2:17 AM

Paul_D_North_Jr

Are there through tracks between the larger frame and the two smaller ones ?

 

 

According to Google Maps, one through track and one terminating track....

M636C

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, March 08, 2016 2:46 AM

Paul D. North Jr. (3-7):

Yes, there will be through tracks between those tower frames.  By “through tracks” Metrolink tracks (closest to the depot) are meant and NOT the BNSF mainline Tracks 1-3.

Presently, by the old depot (right, first photo, original post) there is much construction taking place, and it is extremely difficult to get near the tracks at either the west side or east side of the depot.  But, from a cursory glimpse, a straight through track to the Redlands Loop (which the new terminal is on about a mile to the east) apparently is active, but the second track sort of east of the depot hasn’t been laid yet.  It is hoped some photos near the tracks can be had next time San Bernardino is visited.

Best,

K.P.

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Posted by MikeF90 on Tuesday, March 08, 2016 2:06 PM

Per a SANBAG alert 3rd Street was permanently closed East of the depot about February 4. The ROW does not appear wide enough for a second track, so I'm not clear on where any new trackage will go. Look forward to those photos!

This questionable project will run (for now) to the downtown San Bernardino 'transit center' for connecting with OmniTrans bus routes. Nearby is a minor league baseball stadium, a county courthouse and a dead shopping mall.

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Tuesday, March 08, 2016 9:31 PM

M636C

 

 
Paul_D_North_Jr

Are there through tracks between the larger frame and the two smaller ones ?

 

 

According to Google Maps, one through track and one terminating track....

M636C

 

 

When I look at Google maps, I see four tracks terminating on the West side of the Amtrak depot and two through tracks with a platform between them and a universal crossover east of the depot. The new bridge would allow access to the North thru track without having to cross over the South thru track. The choke point is the single track under the Mt. Vernon Ave bridge. 

K.P. Does Metrolink use it's station at 1704 3rd and not the old Santa Fe station?  It looks like the passengers have walkways across five tracks to get to the North track.

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Posted by MikeF90 on Saturday, March 12, 2016 2:54 PM

Looks like K.P. is on vacation so I'll take a shot.

AFAIK Metrolink does not use the depot building itself, except perhaps for rest rooms. There are ticket machines near / on the platforms.

Amtrak Southwest Chief passengers may check luggage inside but I can't say for sure (haven't ridden in forever).

 

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Saturday, March 12, 2016 3:40 PM

Looks like it may be for Amtrak ' s use when the near track is occupied by a freight.

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Posted by MikeF90 on Saturday, March 12, 2016 9:04 PM

Electroliner 1935
Looks like it may be for Amtrak's use when the near track is occupied by a freight.

Question

Just noticed something strange, the top (north) most passenger track does not connect to BNSF main 3 at the east end!  Most likely a westbound SW Chief has to back through that RH crossover onto the north most track and then pull forward to the platform - very wierd!  Alternatively, they could use the LH crossover to CP Vernon and back up as well.

Exiting the platform they go through CP Vernon and head onto the Metrolink dispatched 'Short Way' sub toward Riverside. Eastbounds must have to do the reverse.

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Posted by erikem on Sunday, March 13, 2016 5:36 PM

K. P. Harrier

A visit to the old Santa Fe Railway downtown San Bernardino depot area was made on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 with the hopes of seeing a BNSF unit being used on a Metrolink commuter train.  No Metrolink trains were even at their stop area.  However, a structure was being erected, likely an overhead walkway.

That reminds me of the walkway at the Irvine station, so your guess is probably correct.

 - Erik

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, March 13, 2016 10:22 PM

Partial Answers … Some Dazzling Too!

Was in San Bernardino a few (“few”) times yesterday, Saturday, March 12, 2016, and took a stash of photos, many of which will answer some of the questions raised by recent questioners.

The below photo is a never posted before October 7, 2009 photo looking west under the Mt, Vernon Ave. viaduct bridge.  The tracks are at a WEST servicing facility.

Above, by the locomotive nose and rightward is a background fence.  That fence is south of the “short way” track, now BNSF’s Main 4, which reported Metrolink dispatches.  That track that the Metrolink is on in the above photo is no longer there, nor the servicing facility.  The upcoming series will show that.  Matter of fact, the east servicing facility is not used anymore either.

The new trackage (some not laid yet) just north of and also EAST of the San Bernardino Depot is for two-tracks!  For old timers familiar with the “Redlands Loop” what is taking place is stunning, almost unbelievable, but the upcoming post photos don’t lie.

While K.P. did NOT have time for photos at the Tippecanoe Ave. grade crossing in southeastern San Bernardino, it can be said that that grade crossing is now history!  And, the tracks are all gone too!  In a super timely fashion forum contributor NorthWest hours before this post posted that that San Bernardino-Redlands section was in the final design stages, so that line is NOT abandoned, just presently trackless.  We should see something new in the relatively not too distant future.

Anyway, a post series is planned on happenings in the downtown San Bernardino area, and should be ready for posting by next weekend, but hopefully much, much earlier.

Take care all,

K.P.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:07 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part I (of I-XIV)

An investigative visit to this thread’s subject area was made on the above date.  The findings will be presented on a west to east basis.

From the Mt. Vernon Ave. viaduct overpass, there is a storage facility west of the overpass and south of BNSF’s triple-track mainline.

One of the containers therein had PVL on it.  It is unknown if it is purely coincidence or if the letters stand for the nearby Metrolink Perris Valley Line (PVL) from Riverside to Perris that will start operations soon.

Westward overview with the “Short Way” curving southward (leftward) in the upper background:

Continued in Part II

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:12 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part II (of I-XIV)

A similar westward view, but showing the now cleared, curved land area that had the WEST overnight servicing facility, like vacuuming out commuter cars, etc.

From the Mt. Vernon Ave. viaduct overpass an eastbound Metrolink from Los Angeles is seen arriving.  Note the tail end (right) does NOT have a BNSFlocomotive on it.

Continued in Part III

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:18 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part III (of I-XIV)

The Metrolink commuter train goes over a complicated, key multi-motored slit switch.

From the west sidewalk of the Mt. Vernon Ave. viaduct bridge, an eastward view, with the NEW Metrolink ‘towards the end of the depot’ tracks partially in.

Photo center, the EAST Metrolink serving area is now empty and unused.

Continued in Part IV

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:23 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part IV (of I-XIV)

A westbound BNSF shows up on Main 3 (Tracks 1, 2, and 3 on the left).  The Metrolink tracks are completely separate on the right.

The San Bernardino Depot with Metrolink tracks just west of the depot.

Metrolink has a south side parking facility.  As it is a Saturday, it is empty.  But, during the week, it is usually full.

That parking facility is at the site of the old Viaduct Park, where steamer Santa Fe 4-8-4 No. 3751 was on display for years and years before being restored to operating condition.  Wow, it was moved out of there 30 years ago!  And, K.P. witnessed it on panel track being inched on top of 3rd Street to get to the then Santa Fe’s mainline tracks!

Continued in Part V

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:27 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part V (of I-XIV)

Now on the east side of the depot, a westward view including a crossover switch (lower left), to an as yet not laid second track:

The in-use depot old platforms area is presently pretty much all tore up.

Out front at the depot, from the southwest side, looking east, the tore up parking lot:

Continued in Part VI

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:32 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part VI (of I-XIV)

On the north side again, the depot has a familiar look.

Metrolink does not use the depot, but Amtrak and San Bernardino [County] Association of Governments (SANBAG) does.

From the east side of the depot, a view looking eastbound:

Above, key tracks are the foreground one that curves rightward in the distance and the switch by the red flag sign.  Two-tracks will eventually go east from here on the old ‘Redlands Loop’ track.

A telephoto of that area with the old EAST servicing area in the background, with BNSF Main 3 on the far left.

Continued in Part VII

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:52 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part VII (of I-XIV)

We diverge now momentarily, and show the “Redlands Loop” 3rd Street grade crossing, with gates and cantilever flashers, the way things looked back on May 28, 2011, nearly five years ago.  Note the Metrolink cab car and string of cars in the background, at the EAST serving facility then in use.

Now, back to the present, March 2016 …

Continued in Part VIII

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:57 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part VIII (of I-XIV)

From an almost alley-like road south of 3rd Street, a northward view of the ex-grade crossing, and now not used serving facility area (background).  The grade crossing gates and flasher are gone.

Looking south from that alleyway-like road.

There are many ties stacked up here.

The present single-track concrete tied line here will be two-tracked soon, and is the reason for all the ties.
 
Continued in Part IX

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:05 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part IX (of I-XIV)

A northward view from 2nd Street:  Note how the track curves WITHIN the grade crossing!

Years ago this was a 90 degree grade crossing, but now angles slightly.  The second-track will be laid on the background right, and both tracks will cross 2nd Street even in a more angled way.

How so?  A southward view shows a new track on a new alignment, with a future track (background left) on the likely original alignment.

There are also a whole bunch of concrete ties stacked up in the southwest quadrant of the 2nd Street grade crossing.

Electrical boxes:

Continued in Part X

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:09 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part X (of I-XIV)

Another southward view:  The houses in the background are on Rialto Ave., an east-west street.

Above, up until 1941, Pacific Electric “Red Cars” ran down the middle of Rialto Ave. on their Los Angeles (right) to the down San Bernardino stop (left) run.

Around the corner (above, upper left) we find the old, odd grade crossing, an interesting of two main streets, with the track diagonally across everything.  But, that has all changed, with the north-south “I” Street NOT going straight through anymore, but a single grade crossing is present on Rialto Ave.

Continued in Part XI

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:15 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part XI (of I-XIV)

Two-tracks diagonally cross Rialto Ave. (at the former intersecting I Street).

Looking west down Rialto Ave. that once had a single street-run Pacific Electric Los Angeles-San Bernardino line on it.  (The barricades are tempory.)

Looking east:

Another eastbound (outbound) view:

Continued in Part XII

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:19 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part XII (of I-XIV)

Now we arrive at the north-south G Street grade crossing of the east-west Metrolink commuter lines, assumedly plural.

In the photo above, the tree on the right kind of blocks the view of motorists of the flashers on the cantilever mast.

Looking west (inbound) from G Street:

Continued in Part XIII

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:30 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part XIII (of I-XIV)

A more telephoto westward view:

An eastward telephoto:

Above, in the far background, the original track is seen.  Its alignment is between the foreground tracks (or right track to be).

A broader eastward view:

Continued in Part XIV

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:38 PM

Situation Update as of Saturday, March 12, 2016

Part XIV (of I-XIV)

The third-track in the G Street grade crossing angles off.

Above, in theory, a south side parking of commuter trains could exist here with several not laid yet tracks.

An ironic overview shot, with the angled walling on the right, and a well-known Pep Boys auto parts supply and car servicing business in view.

Above, in theory, a commuter could leave their car with them, and pick it up with a fresh oil change later that evening.  But, the Pep Boys parking lot would become overloaded with autos waiting their owners picking them up after a commuter train ride in the evening.  Interesting situation!

A heavy eastward telephoto:  The grade crossing towards the photo middle is E Street that has express bus lanes.

So, this should give the forum a more rounded out view of the construction happenings in San Bernardino.

This will conclude the series.

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

While on site and area, K.P. happened unto a diagram of the construction effort, how things supposedly will be when it is all done.  It appeared semi-accurate, ‘semi’ because things in construction are slightly different than the diagram.  Views of that poster-diagram will be posted in a few days.

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 10:41 PM

Wow1 I ask about San Bernadino and Walla, My cup runneth over. Thanks K.P. 

By the way, what I like to call "infinite curiosity" (sounds better than noseyness) make me wonder what K.P. stands for. The old military kitchen duty or Kenneth Paul or what?

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, March 21, 2016 4:04 PM

An Official Poster Board

Part “A” (of A-C)

While on site and the area of San Bernardino (CA), specifically in the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum, K.P. happened unto a SANBAG diagram of the construction effort, how things supposedly will be when it is all done.  Admittedly, it is so radically different from what has been in the area it is difficult to interpret, but things become more comprehendible the more one studies it.

The overall board:

At the eastern end, between “G” and “E” Streets, the diagram showed four passenger boarding and alighting tracks, the end of the line terminal.

West of “G” Street all the tracks eventually funnel into a CP called MORRIS.

All of the associated CP’s, previous and new, are named after streets that pretty much align with the CP’s, except MORRIS, which appears to be named after a former mayor of San Bernardino, Patrick (Pat) Morris.  He is a Stanford educated judge that took a leave of absence to be mayor in 2006.  Under his mayorship the city filed for bankruptcy, and is still in bankruptcy, but he seems to have been instrumental in getting federal funds for this project.  A new mayor was elected and has taken over.

Continued in Part B

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, March 21, 2016 4:08 PM

An Official Poster Board

Part “B” (of A-C)

At the Rialto Ave. grade crossing (at “I” Street), the tracks are shown as a straight section, with curves before and after the grade crossing.

When the track was owned by Santa Fe, it was a slow speed big curve, curving through the grade crossing.

At 2nd Street, a slight angling is prominent.

On 3rd Street, the ex-grade crossing (right) is gone and the tracks curve into a new CP called KENDALL (left).  KENDALL is NOT to be confused with the northwest-southeast Kendal Drive in the northern part of San Bernardino.  Rather, CP KENDALL is named for a north-south street just south the tracks, near the depot.

Continued in Part C

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, March 21, 2016 4:24 PM

An Official Poster Board

Part “C” (of A-C)

The EAST servicing area’s tracks are shown, so apparently they will be used after construction of this extension is finished.

The northernmost track of the two new tracks, by the depot, under that to-be overhead bridge walkway, seems incredibly unsafe.  On the north side of the platform will be BNSF Main 3, on the south side the new, to be highly used Metrolink track.  Passengers boarding or alighting with a freight train whizzing by ten to fifteen feet away just doesn’t sound right. But how else can one interpret the diagram?

It appears CP VERNON will be radically altered and different, with NO slit switch, and Amtrak Nos. 3 and 4, plus any BNSF trains, will be UNABLE to use the short way.

Three tracks start to head south on the short way route, one ends, and another turns into the center, remaining track.

In comparing the above photos, especially the last several ones, it appears the present San Bernardino stop boarding and alighting area will be downgraded, as any train thereon will not have direct access to the San Bernardino Line to Los Angeles

Also, there is something on the short way (that north-south track just under mention) that looks (“looks”) super radically different from when K.P. was a kid many decades ago, or even from last year, but it looks similar, but he will reserve further comment on it until he is able to field check it in depth.  In hindsight, though, it is a wonder he didn’t slam on his brakes in traffic when it was first seen.  It is that radical!  But, were his eyes playing tricks on him?  K.P. doesn't think so, nevertheless will check the matter out another time.

This will end the series.

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