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Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 4:47 AM

Update:  Arizona-New Mexico

Part V of VI:  The Cienega Creek Track Identification Issue

In Tucson, there are four-tracks to change crews and take care of other necessities and inspections

Out of Tucson, the first double-crossover is [CP] VAIL.  It is a visually wonderful location, very pleasing to the eyes.  Unfortunately, it is NOT photographically easy to take a picture of it, because of roadway restrictions.  Auto drivers and pedestrians are prohibited from stopping on the bridge-way looking down onto the control point a block east.   Apparently, too many items were dropped onto passing trains below.  So, a hike-in photo will have to suffice.  View looks westward.

The tracks follow separate rights-of-way eastward.  At Colossal Cave Road., this IS Main 2, looking westward.  Note the signal is on the LEFT.  It is not on the usual right for Main 2.  This is because the track identification designations are reversed here.

Looking eastward:  The signal in the background is NOT for this main, but an old side track barely visible of the right

Looking westward down Main 1 from Colossal Cave Road.  Note the signal is on the left.

Looking eastward, Main 1

Main 1 crosses OVER Main 2 (out of sight, near side) at the Cienega Creek Bridge.  As with the roadway by [CP] VAIL, roadway signs prohibit standing on the roadway bridge itself, so a photograph of the winding curvature sharpness of Main 2 below, unfortunately, can not be provided here

The longer, sharper, and very much slower Main 2 has just come out from underneath the I-10 Freeway and winds its way eastward (to the right)

The separated tracks meet up again at [CP] MESCAL, photographed looking westbound form Mescal Road, at M.P. 1023.6.  Note the signals’ circular signal head discs, made famous after Anschutz and his Denver & Rio Grade Western railroad purchased Southern Pacific

Looking eastward

What BNSF (AT&SF) Did

Now that two-tracking is heading to California, will Union Pacific eventually adopt what BNSF Railway’s predecessor, the Santa Fe Railway, did at their FROST vicinity “Natural Crossover” near Victorville, CA?  At the point of that crossing, at M.P. 39.1, track identifications reverse.  Main 1 on the photo top left becomes Main 2 on the right, top and bottom.  Main 2, the lower track through the bridge tunnel-way background becomes Main 1 on the center left.

Diagram #1:  BNSF’s approach, the “Natural Crossover” near Victorville, CA

Diagram #2:  UP’s approach, between Tucson and Cienega Creek, AZ

This forumist finds the UP track designations in the Tucson-Cienega Creek area somewhat confusing, because those track designations west of the bridge crossing are in reverse.  In Tucson, Track 1 on the west becomes Track 2 on the east, and likewise Track 2 becomes Track 1.  Each railroad (BNSF and UP) has its own reasons for the track designations it has and uses; but what BNSF does at its FROST area Natural Crossover seems, at least to me, more clear-cut and less subject to misinterpretation

Part VI, “Eastward into New Mexico,” is scheduled for Friday, May 12, and briefly examines the already FINISHED two-tracking

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 desertdog on Thursday, June 11, 2009 12:30 PM

K.P.

You have done a good job of explaining (and illustrating) the confusing Track 1 vs. Track 2 situation around Tucson.  On another topic, I always wondered about those round signals at Tucson as they are unlike anything else I have seen along the UP.  Atlas makes them (or a close equivalent, at least) and they have been tempting my wallet for some time now.

John Timm

 

 

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Posted by billio on Thursday, June 11, 2009 1:30 PM

Thanks once more, K.P.  I'm looking forward to the last installment because I'm really interested in what UP has done to transform the Sunset Route, and get some sense of what lies in store for the remainder of the route.

Two brief comments:  it appears that Colossal Cave Road is the demarcation between where the old (SP) roadway ends and the new, improved UP roadway begins.  More accurately, the stretch between Colossal Cave Road and somewhere beyond (east of) Mescal is still old SP.  The Track Renewal Train has yet to visit this stretch.  Given that there must be loads of stretches that UP would like to relay with concrete ties and 141# CWR, perhaps UP is scheduling its visit for when the older rail or ties need replacing -- and not tearing out an otherwise OK track structure.

Second, if I were UP, my long term solution to the Track 1 and Track 2 conundrum, Vail to Mescal, would be eventually to double-track the more direct, less circuitous, straighter, faster Track 1 and abandon Track 2.  

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, June 12, 2009 6:02 AM

Update:  Arizona-New Mexico

Part VI of VI:  Eastward into New Mexico

A few photos of the completed two-tracking through Arizona and New Mexico

At Bowie, AZ. (Central Ave.):  Looking west.  From left to right:  Mains 2 and 1, the Bowie siding.  In the distance is another control point, the other end of the Bowie siding

Looking east:  Note the dual direction signals on top right of the cantilever structure.  Because of the track on the far left, a typical mast could not be used

At Lordsburg, NM (Depot Street):  Looking west.  From left to right: Tracks 2 and 1, plus a siding.  Aligning new track was from side to side in this community

Main 2 has its own signal arrangement here.  Main 1 has no signal in this immediate area

Looking east

On the east side of Lordsburg, looking west

Looking east:  Poled signals, an absolute on the left, an intermediates set on the right

El Paso, TX is now only about 145 miles more to the east

Many control points have sidings associated with them, such as the above assessable views.  However, there are many other control points on the newly two-tracked line where only crossovers exist, and no siding, and often those are not easily photographable.  One is prohibited by law from stopping on a freeway to take photos of such new control points, trains, or other scenic views showing the new second-track.  So, this day’s presentation has been somewhat limited.  Nevertheless, it is hoped what was shown today, as well as in this series, has at least giving those that haven’t seen the new Sunset Route from end to end a better vision of what has actually transpired on it …

K.P.

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Posted by john_edwards on Friday, June 12, 2009 6:20 AM

 Thank you for these many informative posts.  For those of us not able to see these happenings in person you have not only enlightened us but have given us the itch to go there ourselves.

 

John

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Posted by cacole on Friday, June 12, 2009 10:08 AM

 Thanks for your outstanding photo essays and commentary.

Since the Sunset Route is now double track all the way from El Paso to Tucson, is Lordsburg, New Mexico still a crew change point, or has its use been negated?   I sometimes see crew changes being performed near Mescal, which would tend to indicate that the outgoing crew has been on board since El Paso instead of Lordsburg.

 

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Posted by Railway Man on Friday, June 12, 2009 7:24 PM


I am having trouble seeing what might be confusing or wrong about the numbering of main tracks on the Gila and Lordsburg Subdivisions.  I re-reviewed the track charts and employee timetables to see if I missed something from when I worked on that territory last.  I see the way the tracks are numbered as consistent with normal railway operating practice for more than a century.  The numbering is designed to make things normal from the perspective of the operating department, and to make operations as safe as possible.

Typical railway practice on all but a few U.S. railways in double-track, current-of-traffic territory, is right-hand:  the eastward track is on the right-hand side if one is moving east.  Similarly, the typical U.S. practice in double-track or multiple-main track territory is to number the main tracks from north to south on an east-west (timetable) line, and west to east on a north-south (timetable) line.  Accordingly, in double-track territory on an east-west railway such as the Sunset Route between Tuscon and Mescal, the #1 track should be the westward track and on the north side, and the #2 the eastward on the south side.  This convention holds even in CTC (bi-directional) territory, in order to create consistency.  Also, even though CTC has bi-directional capability, in typical operating practice freight trains will run right-hand unless there are maintenance windows on one of the tracks, or overtakes, or there are junctions that are wrong-hand.  (Passenger trains run wrong-hand more often because of station stops -- depends which side the platform is on.)

Tucson to Mescal consists of the original SP main, built to 1870s standards, and the SD&AE line, built to the standards of 30 years later, when traffic volumes were much greater, construction costs much less, and the economic equation much more in favor of straighter, faster railways than they had been in the Big 4's era.  Thus the SP line runs up the wash on a least-cost alignment and accepted heavy curvature and a less consistent grade, while the SD&AE line entered the drainage further down and took a higher line in order to reduce curvature, reduce risk of washouts, and reduce operating and maintenance costs, but at the debit of much higher construction costs.  In order to obtain this alighment, the SD&AE ine lies is to the south of the SP at the Tuscon end, and concludes to the north of the SP at the Mescal end, because in between it flies over to maintain its ruling grade and higher position in the wash.  

When SP combined the two railways into one, it chose to make each track normally one-way, to obtain the highest capacity and least operating costs, selecting the SP as the eastward line and the SD&AE as the westward line.  To make this double-track consistent with SP's right-hand, current-of-traffic practice, the westward track became the #1 and the eastward the #2.  Thus, if you are standing at Mescal and looking west at the turnout where single-track becomes double track, the #2 track is correctly to the south side and the #1 to the north side, and westward trains normally diverge to the right-hand track, just as they would at about 10,000 other locations on right-hand railways in North America where single-track becomes double-track. 

At the Tuscon end, conversely, the tracks are now reversed from proper order, with #1 entering Tuscon from the east on the south side, and the #2 on the north side, because of the flyover.  Two main tracks continues through Tuscon, a crew change and yard limits, to Stockham.  Had SP continued the numbering scheme from East Tucson to West, though, when one was looking east Stockham at the turnout where single becomes double, the main tracks would be backward, with the #1 on the right-hand side and the #2 on the left, and instead of trains diverging right-hand moving east they would diverge left-hand moving east, which make it unlike the other 10,000 places in the U.S. right-hand world where this occurs.

Aha, but you say, but where #2 and #1 change places at the universal crossover at CP 36th Street in Tucson, there it's backward.  Yes, but there trains are moving at very slow speeds because they are entering or leaving the crew change, and if someone makes a mistake, the changes of a catastrophic collision, or any collision at all, is very low.  Also, in terminals, trains regularly, everyday, run wrong main to make their crew change or do pickups or setouts, so people expect this and don't fall into habit because there isn't any "regular way."

As I look at this situation, SP took the safe, normal, expected course of affairs.  Extending the #1 and #2 out to Stockham on the wrong side would have been unsafe, abnormal, and unexpected.

This "handing" convention is really important, because people get into habits and then when something is different, forget where they are and get themselves killed or someone else killed.  At one Class 1 I worked for, we went through an episode where we were running over a hi-rail truck about once a month that had set onto the wrong track.   Safety is all about reducing the possibilities where people have to be super-aware, because humans are humans and when they get tired, or preoccupied with their jobs, or the light is bad, or into patterns of habit, it's the exceptions that trip them up and get them killed. 

P.S. -- the US&S tri-lights at Vail, which we have always called "monkey-face" signals, were an SP standard long before the D&RGW merger.  They were rampant on the Golden State and also seen on the Overland, the Coast Line, the Siskiyou, and other lines.  They appeared in the 1970s, as I recall, as the standard replacement for semaphores and searchlights.  This style of signal head was common on Rock Island and NYC, too.

RWM

 

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Posted by Railway Man on Friday, June 12, 2009 11:56 PM

billio

Thanks once more, K.P.  I'm looking forward to the last installment because I'm really interested in what UP has done to transform the Sunset Route, and get some sense of what lies in store for the remainder of the route.

Two brief comments:  it appears that Colossal Cave Road is the demarcation between where the old (SP) roadway ends and the new, improved UP roadway begins.  More accurately, the stretch between Colossal Cave Road and somewhere beyond (east of) Mescal is still old SP.  The Track Renewal Train has yet to visit this stretch.  Given that there must be loads of stretches that UP would like to relay with concrete ties and 141# CWR, perhaps UP is scheduling its visit for when the older rail or ties need replacing -- and not tearing out an otherwise OK track structure.

Second, if I were UP, my long term solution to the Track 1 and Track 2 conundrum, Vail to Mescal, would be eventually to double-track the more direct, less circuitous, straighter, faster Track 1 and abandon Track 2.  

 

I doubt we will see the wood tie sections replaced with concrete in our remaining lifetimes; I can't think of any reason to do so.  The rail will be relaid with 141 when the 136 is worn out, since they use the same 6" plates.

RWM

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Posted by Bruce Kelly on Saturday, June 13, 2009 12:43 AM

The signals at Mescal were single-lens searchlights at the time of the SP/DRGW merger and remained as such into the early 1990s, if not longer. More notable were the many lower-quadrant semaphores that could still be found along the No.2 Track at that time.

Major sections of the 1870s SP alignment on No.2 Track were realigned in 1888 and 1892 in the wake of washouts along Cienega Creek and Mescal Arroyo. The 1888 realignment created a new horseshoe curve about 2 miles east of the Cienega Creek high bridge. The 1892 realignment created a new horseshoe curve south of the present day Exit 292 off I-10.

I'm sure the reference to SD&AE was meant to be EP&SW.

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Posted by Railway Man on Saturday, June 13, 2009 12:47 AM

Bruce Kelly

I'm sure the reference to SD&AE was meant to be EP&SW.

 

Yeah.  18-hour workdays at the railroad do that to me.  I guess it proves my own point about safety.

RWM

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Posted by cacole on Saturday, June 13, 2009 10:03 AM

Railway Man

  I doubt we will see the wood tie sections replaced with concrete in our remaining lifetimes; I can't think of any reason to do so.

RWM

 

Just this past Spring, work crews replaced many old ties on track 2 with wood instead of converting the entire line to concrete ties.  In the dry Arizona climate wood will last 50 to 100 years without significant rot.

The old ties that were taken up are appearing for sale in garden centers around the area, with hundreds more piled up near Tucson, Mescal, and Benson.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, June 15, 2009 9:27 AM

Making [CP] RANCHO (Colton, CA) Clearer to Understand

In reporting to the forum the revamping of the mains at West Colton Yard, the following photo looking westward at the west end of [CP] RANCHO was posted.  At the time the picture was snapped, this forumist was somewhat perplexed by the scene and apparent track layout

The following diagram depicts the actual track layout thereat.  Note the two un-signaled tracks on the far left bottom.  Also, it is very rare to have two poled signals BETWEEN TWO MAINS (left topmost tracks).  Usually they are on the outsides of two parallel mains, AS IN the diagram’s east end (right).

In the first photo above, the actual southernmost track is unseen.  But, the reinvestigation photo below clearly shows the two southernmost yard track extensions, which merge into one track just WEST of (or before) the absolute signal

The overall track situation was made easier to see during the reinvestigation by the old, now out of service track having sections of uprooted track stacked onto it.  Eventually, once the uprooted tracks area is cleaned, it will be just trackless land BETWEEN the below two mains and two signals

The merged track (two photos above) extends to and turns into Main 2 (top far right in the photo below).  A derail (bottom far right) is set to sidetrack any runaway cars before they reach Main 2.  The old track stacked above between the two mains has been removed here.  Also, though slightly wider BEHIND the camera, this view illustrates just how narrow of an area that the TWO mainline west facing signals above must fit into

The two southernmost yard tracks that merged just west of CP RANCHO in the third photo from the top above (with the red disk on a switch stand) are the two upper rightmost tracks in the previously posted below shot looking eastward from Pepper Ave.

It is hoped the above diagram / photographic assisted explanation makes it easier to comprehend the west end of [CP] RANCHO.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 16:  A New Signal Bridge in Downtown Pomona, CA

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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, June 16, 2009 4:15 AM

Update as of June 16, 2009:

A New Signal Bridge in Downtown Pomona, CA

The new signal bridge, erected recently, has a five-track width, but signal heads are present only for four-tracks.  The bridge is for the east end of a control point.  At this time, it is unknown where the west end of the CP will be.  Camera position is east of the new structure

West of the signal bridge new track grading and orange markers are present on the LA&SL (south, right) side in the telephoto shot.  However, the signal bridge has signal heads positioned for a new track on the SP (north, left) side.  A new track laid in the foreground right may alignment shift to the background left to get around underpass railings

Yet, less than a mile east of the above photos, at San Antonia Ave. (not to be confused with the street with the SAME name five miles eastward), where there is a transition track between the SP and LA&SL sides.  Note that there is no underpass railing room (left) for a third-track on this SP (north) side.

There is no room either on the LA&SL side (right)!

So, there are more questions than answers.  But, the project reportedly is scheduled for completion this fall, not that far away!  So, answers should be surfacing relatively soon!

It should be noted that all four signal bridge signal positions have TWO full 3-light heads, indicating a full flexibility, any track to any opposite track routing possibility.  At least six crossovers would be needed for such an arrangement

Tomorrow, Wednesday June 17:  A look at the new control point west of the Temple Ave. overpass, where the routing flexibility will be considerably less than at downtown Pomona

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 passengerfan on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 5:55 AM

Thanks once again KP. This years tax clients on extension are keeping my nose to the grindstone. I keep saying for over a year now I am coming to southern Cal to take pictures with new camera. You have provided massive amonts of photos on the triple tracking of Cajon and double tracking of the Sunset route, From your photos and descriptions I have gained a much better understanding of the overall picture. Even though there are still some blanks to fill in. Have you considered a book!

Al - in - Stockton

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 2:34 PM

passengerfan (6-16):

Not really.  I shoot photos in low quality VGA (640 x 480) for use of the Internet.  A book would demand more than VGA quality.  Maybe in the future I will regret that.  Of course, I don't use a Hasselblad either.  At last look, one of their models goes up to 29 megapixels, and costs an arm and a leg.  640x 480 is far from 29 megapixels!  Anyway, thanks for your kind words ...

Take care.

K.P.

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Posted by john_edwards on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 4:03 PM

 A good 12mp camera, either Canon or Nikon, would give you all the quality you need for a book.  The latest Hassy is up to 60mp IIRC and about 45 Grand.  The aforementioned 12mp cameras can be had used for about 8-900 bucks.

 

But we love what you are doing just fine.Bow

 

John

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 6:18 PM

K.P.  Can't wait until I get 4 or 5 free days in the LAX area and take your pictures with me!!!!!!

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 3:26 AM

A Look at the New Control Point West of the Temple Ave. Overpass, Pomona, CA

Some new photographic views are presented herein.

This west of the new control point (CP) view shows old and new signals:  The Temple Ave. overpass is in the background

Looking westward, the west signal bridge.  Note that the two outside signals only have one head each

Looking eastward, the east signal bridge.  The four-track mainline is right next to a parking lot.  The third track from the left has only a two-lamp bottom head; the fourth only has a top head

A westward view from the Temple Ave. overpass:  The two tracks in the BACKGROUND will alignment shift and connect to the two tracks on the FOREGROUND left.

A revealing close-up view:  There are four uninstalled switches lying between signal bridges.  Two have concrete ties; the other two have wood ties!  The line back over to the original SP Sunset Route branches off in the background top right.

Between Temple Ave and the new control point:  Grading for the fourth-track has begun

A schematic of what the CP west of Temple Ave. is believed to eventually look like.  Los Angeles is to the diagram left (west); El Paso on the SP Sunset Route (top two tracks) and Salt Lake City on the LA&SL (lower two tracks) is to the diagram right.  About two miles to the diagram left on the lower LA&SL line is a double crossover called [CP] GRAND, which operationally enhances the below track diagram’s rather skimpy layout

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 mvs on Saturday, June 20, 2009 12:12 PM

K.P., thanks for all these updates!  It looks like the Temple Avenue project is making progress.

Do you know if the UP Los Angeles Subdivision will be double-tracked for the 0.3 miles between Roselawn and Oak?

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, June 21, 2009 2:02 PM

mvs (6-20):

This forumist possesses NO official information on your inquiry about a second LA&SL track between [CP] ROSELAWN and [CP] OAK in Pomona, CA.  However, in my opinion, both of those control points will be eliminated, and a second track will be laid.  That conclusion is based on the fact that grading for a second LA&SL track exists west and east of Hamilton Ave., as the previously posted westward view photo below shows.  Also, note the uninstalled turnout that is present on the photo’s middle-ground just right of the present single-track main.  I’m inclined to believing that is for the as yet unlade second main

To jog your memory, mvs, the following photo is re-shown also.  It is of the new downtown Pomona east facing signal bridge.  Camera position is east of the bridge, looking west.

The NEW control point will likely be close to a mile long, and probably encompass what is now [CP] OAK.

In the next few weeks, mvs, I hope to photographically address some revealing signal issues that have a definite connection to your inquiry.  Tuesday morning, however, watch for:  “Beaumont Hill (CA) … and Arizona.”  Things are really changing for railfans in San Timoteo Canyon!

K. P.

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Posted by mvs on Sunday, June 21, 2009 2:54 PM

Thank you, K.P., for the answer.  One would think that the small section between CP Oak and CP Roselawn will be double-tracked, and it probably will.  We'll know in a few months, likely.

Looking forward to your series about Beaumont Hill.

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Posted by desertdog on Monday, June 22, 2009 10:47 PM
A couple of mysteries from a recent visit to the east end of the Casa Grande siding at Thornton Road... First, the target signal on the right was installed at least six years ago, long before the two-tracking project got underway. It has never been activated. It sits on the opposite side of the current main from the siding and the storage tracks. [img]Photobucket[\img] Looking east from Thornton Road and away from the signals, note that a gravel base has been prepared on both sides of the existing track, which begs the question as to the purpose of three tracks in that particular area. [img]Photobucket[\img] Finally, while not directly related to the two-tracking project, a picture of the ruins of the Casa Grande depot, built in 1939 and destroyed by fire a couple of weeks ago. Listed on the National Register of Historic Sites, it was a great example of the architectural style of the period. The depot was no longer in use and the radio tower was out of service, most likely replaced by a new tower at the west end of the Casa Grande siding. For railfans and students of historic architecture, this was a real loss. [img]Photobucket[\img] My apologies for the image markers and the lack of line breaks. I don't really want to change browsers for the sake of one particular website. John Timm
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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 5:46 AM

Beaumont Hill (CA) … and Arizona

In the early 2000’s, Union Pacific, a few years after its acquisition of Southern Pacific, began upgrading the already two-tracked western slope of Beaumont Hill in California, and relocated double-crossover control points in conjunction with replacing the old signal system.  The purpose of this post is to make those that haven’t visit Beaumont Hill of late aware of the dramatic physical changes therein, and make a possible connection to two-tracking in Arizona …

Old timers, in some ways, would hardly recognize Beaumont Hill now.  The famous curve by I-10 in the City of Beaumont has a proliferation of new housing in the area.  Between the houses in the photo background and newer signals (near milepost 560), is the San Timoteo Canyon Road that generally follows the right-of-way through the canyon

The eastern end portion of San Timoteo Canyon Road has very recently been upgraded to a separated four-lane roadway.  Just beyond the track curve where the line straightens in this view, is the site of the now abandoned, old, slow-speed crossovers of [CP] HINDA

Up until the early 1950’s, east of M.P. 557 there was a south side siding going east.  West of M.P. 557 there was a north side siding going west.  They were eventually connected together.  The Main on the east was connected to the north side siding on the west, and the Main on the west was connected to the south side siding on the east.   Thus, today there is a slight shift in track alignment WITHIN the control point there.

This is the relatively new [CP] HINDA, SP557 at M.P. 556.9.  View looks eastward.

These views look westward.  It is hard to photographically see, but one can barely perceive the alignment shift if one looks closely

Now, the Arizona connection … West of Casa Grande, the newly graded right-of-way for the second main alignment shifts from the south side (in the east) to the north side (in the west), and the Ethington Rd. grade crossing goes through the alignment shift.

Looking east

A last year's view looking west

Will a double-crossover be put into that alignment shift similar to what was done around M.P. 557 in California’s San Timoteo Canyon?

While we are considering Arizona …

Before posting the above, it was noted that forumist desertdog had submitted some thoughts about matters in the vicinity of Thorton Rd., M.P. 917.4, just a few miles east of the conjectured control point in the alignment shift at M.P. 915.  He posted a photograph of a shorter signal that still had NOT been put in service after six years!  Also, he posted a second photo of grading on BOTH sides of the track immediately east of Thornton Rd.  Here is my assessment of this:

Looking west:  The mysterious signal was put up years ago in anticipation of two-tracking, but such was delayed by issues peculiar to Arizona that are only now nearing resolution.  It will temporarily replace the tall mast signal on the left, and that will allow the current siding, the future Main 2, to be alignment straightened.  Notice how the siding currently goes around the mast signal.  The storage tracks on the far right have worked well being attached to the siding.

But, since the siding will become Main 2 soon, the storage tracks are being relocated to the more convenient north side (left) and east of Thorton Rd.

So, that is my unofficial opinion.  Thanks, desertdog, for bringing the matter up, which allowed this post to include more on Arizona.

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
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  • From: Somewhere in North Texas
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Posted by desertdog on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 1:46 PM

K.P.,

Your explanation for the dormant target signal makes perfect sense.  As to the reason for adding another siding east of Thornton Rd., the storage tracks west of there were only installed in 2006-2007, so I have my doubts about removing them to another location.  My guess--and it is only that-- is that the siding on the north side will replace the siding that you can see divirging on the right and that occupies what will be the alignment for the second track.  The present siding is used to build the Casa Grande Hauler and store grain cars for the Arizona Grain unit trains.  Access to Arizona Grain will come via a new, shorter siding that will start somewhere in the vicinity of the depot.

John Timm 

 

 

 

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Posted by desertdog on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 2:02 PM

I meant "diverging."

JT 

 

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, June 25, 2009 2:15 PM

desertdog (6-23):

In reviewing photos from my end-of-May trip to Arizona, TWO photos stood out relative to your above posts …

But, first, the setting:  This is a west facing view of the east end of the present  CASA GRANDE siding, taken from Thorton Rd. at M.P. 917.4.  Note the signal box on the left

Now, the two photos …

A new signal box was being prepared to be installed

The box, while not facing the correct way yet, had a revealing CP nameplate

In light of all the industrial trackage in the area, I find it difficult to believe a double-crossover would be placed here.  However, placing holding signals at this location would make sense … That would prevent trains from stopping in the downtown Casa Grande area and tying up grade crossings.  It will be fascinated to find out what the new CP installation is actually for …

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 Thursday, July 2, 2009 5:35 PM

Update as of July 2, 2009

The Pomona, CA Area:

From Temple Ave. overpass looking eastbound toward the 57 Freeway:  The way the bridge alteration looked May 1

The way it looked yesterday, July 1:  The retaining wall under the freeway was now well developed

Looking west from LA&SL M.P. 31, about a mile west from downtown Pomona:  Workers and a crane-like boom were active.   A ballast train was in the background.

From Hamilton Ave. in the downtown area:  Looking west on the old SP side.  Workers and equipment are present here too

In roving about Pomona, this contributor passed a number of moving UP vehicles.  Work is clearly intensifying after months of inactivity. 

Mystery Trivia

At Humane Way, as previous shown in this topic, there is an eastside four-track signal bridge (not in service yet) for westward movements.  Note the southernmost lower head thereon (far background)

The next westbound signal bridge to the west, the new one west of Temple Ave., has NO southernmost lower head at all, though it has a support stem for one

Another view:  The signal in question is on the left.  The right lower head has two positions, likely yellow and red as part of an absolute signal.  The signal bridge in the foreground is the east side bridge, whereas the signal bridge in the background is the west side bridge.  The background mast signal (lower right) is part of the current signaling that will be removed

One can see in the far, far top center background the LA&SL [CP] GRAND double-crossover signals just a few miles further west. (Click picture to enlarge.)  This view was taken only two months ago before the signal bridges were erected west of Temple Ave.

Thus, the left signal two and three photos above should have a head for at least yellow over yellow, but it doesn’t.

Further, in attempting to solve this mystery trivia, RELATED to this MAY BE new two-track signaling in the Indio, CA area.  In Indio proper, the BELOW previously shown intermediate signals exist.  Note they have eastward (rightward) lower single lamp heads.  A few miles further east are two more like signals.  Even two miles further east finally is the [CP] COACHELLA double-crossovers.
 

Someone may want to come forward and confirm whether or not yellow over yellow is REPEATED for a crossover move at [CP] COACHELLA.  A similar mystery situation exists west of [CP] MYOMA.  A person coming forward on this might shed light on the in-place future signaling at Temple Ave. in Pomona.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Saturday, July 4, 2009 7:21 AM

Lunar and Flashing Red Signals at West Colton Yard, CA

Part I of II:

West Colton Yard has long used just flashing red to authorize movement though a control point into uncontrolled trackage, such as into the yard itself.  A newer standard seems to be red over flashing red.  Likely, the coming yard at Red Rock, AZ will have that standard also.  On the Central Corridor, the relatively new J. R. Davis Yard up in Roseville, CA reportedly uses red over lunar.

The following details lunar and flashing red aspect use surrounding West Colton Yard.  It is related on an east to west basis.  If things seem confusing at first, fear not.  By the fourth photo, it should all make sense …

PHOTOS #1 & #2:

At the east side of [CP] RANCHO (in the City of Colton) looking west, note that the lower signal head on the left (for Main 2) has four bulb colors whereas its counterpart on the right (for Main 1) only has three.

Photo #3:

Looking westward at the west side of [CP] RANCHO.  This photo depicts the ‘not used much’ far eastern entrance to West Colton Yard.  Note that on the mast there is the placard “END CTC,” meaning there is NO track circuitry on this particular track beyond (westward of) the CP itself

Thus, in the first photo above, the signals for both Main 1 and 2 display red over flashing red for a routing toward that ‘not used much’ track’ for entering the yard.  Those tracks (that merge into one) are mainly used to pull out and shove back long cuts of cars in the Pepper Ave. area.

PHOTO #4:

The Main 2 LUNAR (Photo #2) is used in conjunction with a top head yellow, for yellow over lunar.  (In crossover mode, Main 1 would have to show red over yellow over lunar, but since UP doesn’t utilize three heads in this area, a red over yellow has to suffice.)  When the Main 2 signal above displays yellow over lunar, the NEXT signal west on Main 2 at [CP] PEPPER has a red over flashing red for entrance into the yard.  That signal is the far right one in the below photo, which looks EAST from the Pepper Ave. overpass.  The signal on the far left governs exiting the Balloon; the center signal is for the track off the Palmdale Cutoff and that track is known as the “West Leg of the Wye.”  Both of those signals likewise display red over flashing red for entrance into the yard, just out of photo view on the lower left

The steep, center track above uses a red over something aspect because it is now considered a mainline track that TURNS INTO the Sunset Route’s Main 2 on the south side of the Balloon.  (Main 1 is not visible here, but is on the north side of the Balloon.)

PHOTO #5:

Another view a tad west of the above:  The track by the mast signal is the new primary Departure Yard access to the main (rightward).  Occasionally, westbound trains are routed through the switch (leftward) for a south side routing to the Receiving Yard entrance at Cedar Ave. a few miles to the west.  It is generally under such a condition that the red over flashing red is used in Photo #4.  The two tracks on the lower right are those pulling and shoving tracks highlighted under Photo #3 above

Part II is scheduled for Monday, July 6

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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, July 4, 2009 12:26 PM

K.P., thank you as always for the picture update of Pomona.  As the project is supposed to be finished this year, it is good to see that progress is being made.

The two new four-track signal bridges just west of Temple Avenue are probably going to be some big control point.  I have a feeling there will be crossovers at least between the UP Los Angeles Sub main track and its adjacent UP Alhambra Sub main track.

I am perplexed by the single signal head for the L.A. Sub main track.  I thought perhaps they might replace CP Grand with this new control point, but I doubt that would happen.

Well, I'm sure we will find out sometime soon.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Monday, July 6, 2009 3:26 AM

Lunar and Flashing Red Signals at West Colton Yard, CA

Part II of II:

Photo #6:

The next signal group west is at and called [CP] RIVERSIDE AVE. in the City of Rialto, and displays yellow over lunar for a yard routing at [CP] CEDAR in the community of Bloomington, even further west.  The [CP] RIVERSIDE AVE. Main 1 signal (left) does not use a lower red bulb because it is an intermediate signal.  The Main 2 signal on the right HAS a red lower bulb because it is an absolute signal. (Click photo bar to enlarge)

Location-wise, this CP should theoretically be identified as AL535, but is designated AL935 instead to set it apart from the rest because TWO types of signals are here, intermediates and absolutes

Oddly, there are now TWO “35” CP’s.:  AL935 (at Riverside Ave.) and SP535 (by Pepper Ave.)

Photo #7:

In Bloomington, the east facing view below shows [CP] CEDAR in transition last year.  The old signals are in the foreground, the new signals are in the background.  The three new background signals in this view now displays red over flashing red for the PRIMARY entrance into the Receiving Yard (behind the camera).  Notice that the new background signals each have lower heads with FOUR bulbs.  Lit lunar aspects here are NOT used for [CP] CEDAR yard entrances, but indicate a condition at [CP] SIERRA about two miles further west

More timeline information about the photo above:  For three decades Main 1 (left) was the only main, when the now Main 2 (right) was identified as Track 112 with movements on it at restricted speed.  BEHIND the camera Track 112 was identified as Receiving Yard Track 201.

Photo #8:

Looking west, at the Receiving Yard entrance (lower center) last year before the second main was fully cut in

Photo #9:

In the City of Fontana, an eastward view at [CP] SIERRA:  Neither main uses a westward lunar aspect here

Photo #10:

A westward view:  With the advent of the LEFT side foreground crossover installation, the 100 Track on the left foreground now goes west also as a south side siding.  The Main (center track) will become Main 2 when the future track on the right is laid and identified as Main 1.  During this rather lengthy installation transition period, ANY westbound routing (from behind the camera) to the 100-Track / south-side siding (in this view) must be flagged into!  The wiring is just too incomplete yet.

Now, the [CP] CEDAR / [CD] SIERRA signal display interpretations:  When the new east side signals at [CP] CEDAR display yellow over lunar (Photo #7), [CP] SIERRA (Photo #9) would display red over yellow for a routing to the south side siding (Photo #10, left.  That siding will eventually be within CTC limits, as the top two-bulb signal head is capable of displaying red, yellow, or flashing yellow).  When a [CP] CEDAR signal (Photo #7) displays yellow over yellow, [CP] SIERRA (Photo #9) will likely display red over green (if the line ahead is sufficiently clear) indicating a crossover between the two mains will be utilized, as with Main 1 to Main 2 (Photo #10, the crossover is out of view on the bottom right)

This two-part series has emphasized westbound signaling; however, eastbound signals follow the same principles.

Because the signaling at West Colton Yard is all new, up till now some may have been baffled trying to figure out how the system worked.  It is hoped this two-part series has taken any confusion out of Union Pacific’s very practical and logical signal system at West Colton Yard.

 

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