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Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates

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Posted by ccltrains on Sunday, October 13, 2019 10:03 AM

MikeF90

 

 
PeteMthree
Currently, a contractor is installing a siding on the south side of the UP main. It starts just east of the crossing diamond and goes about 2 miles to just short of the Collins Rd. crossing.

 

Good eye @PeteMthree and welcome to the forum!

Since there is a grade crossing at Richwood Lane this may go in as a second MT (no parking Wink). They will probably connect to the BNSF at their CP just west of the southward curve.

Back to the Alhambra sub in Etiwanda where I haven't been in a few years, the Mar 2019 Google street view shows a clean ROW and no prep for a second MT Sad. We're UPRR, P.S.R. will solve everything ......... except traffic growth.

 

Are the extended sidings in the single track area being built to a standard so they could become a second main?  Can someone provide me with the mile posts for the sidings, both operational and under construction?

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Posted by MikeF90 on Sunday, October 13, 2019 3:19 PM

ccltrains
Are the extended sidings in the single track area being built to a standard so they could become a second main?

Probably. Maybe. UP doesn't tell us.

ccltrains
Can someone provide me with the mile posts for the sidings, both operational and under construction?

For what I have, check out the 'SR points east of Tucson' map in my .sig and do some measuring in Google Maps. Most ATCSMon layouts don't have mileposts. For operational CPs, perhaps someone vacationing in the area could note what's on the equipment bungalows.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, October 13, 2019 4:00 PM

For what it is worth, Big Boy will be running the Sunset Route over the next few weeks from West Colton to the greater Houston area.

Perhaps with all the various photos being taken of Big Boy as it traverses the route we may be able to glean some clues as to the status of the construction of the extended sidings in CA and AZ. 

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Posted by ccltrains on Sunday, October 13, 2019 6:00 PM
Does anyone know when the Big Boy will be in Tucson or can someone direct me to its schedule? Don’t think it will come through my home town of Phoenix.
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Posted by denveroutlaws06 on Sunday, October 13, 2019 6:08 PM
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Posted by MikeF90 on Friday, February 21, 2020 2:50 PM

Pretty quiet on the railroad front, but I just found a news update with photos on the mud pot mitigation near Niland CA:

https://www.desertusa.com/desert-california/niland-geyser.html

Caltrans has their own page on the project:

https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-11/current-projects/sr111-nilandgeyser/

.

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Posted by MikeF90 on Sunday, April 12, 2020 8:25 PM

Just noticed the Google Maps aerials confirm that Mecca siding (Yuma sub) has been lengthened to 3.0 miles. OTOH Clyde siding shows no change but that could be just older photos.

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Posted by David1005 on Monday, April 13, 2020 2:29 AM

The new west end of the three mile long Mecca siding is only three miles from the end of the two main track at Thermal.  The east end of the extended Mecca siding required a new bridge.  I have to wonder if a new 3 mile long siding that close to the end of the 2MT was worth the effort. Maybe it has to do with where they have 3 miles between grade crossings?

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Posted by MikeF90 on Monday, April 13, 2020 7:15 PM

David1005
I have to wonder if a new 3 mile long siding that close to the end of the 2MT was worth the effort.

I had that exact thought last year when this project surfaced. The short bridges aren't a huge deal as they have made dozens of similar ones for the Yuma and Gila sub 2MT expansions. Extending up to grade crossings might have been a lucky coincidence as they need at least 3 miles for those monster trains.

To me it looks like 'PSR math', possibly related to management incentive bonuses or the usual silo budgeting. Previously they would have built that second track to Thermal and eliminated two control points, job done. Maybe we'll see that other 'shoe drop' soon.

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Posted by BRUCE ELLEFRITZ on Monday, May 25, 2020 6:00 PM

My apologies to this forum group for my long silence. On 5/2/2019 I had visited Bosque, Piedra, and Aztec sidings to see the construction there. I did not return to see the projects through, so I am interested in posting some of the photos I had taken then. I next want to revisit those locations this week, and the western area of the Phoenix Sub west of Buckeye to see if there is any appearent activity. How is the best way to get photos into this forum now?  I am very active with ATCS for monitoring train activity on the UP Gila Sub and the BNSF Seligman Sub to come up to speed on tracking trains. I'm also trying to monitor radio traffic where I can.

Comments or suggestions?

 

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Posted by MikeF90 on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 4:39 PM

Hi Bruce!

I just tried my previously used method of uploading photos to postimage.cc then linking, and it worked! See testing forum for proof :) and experiment with it there to learn how.

The terms of service for postimage.cc may have changed since my last visit - my previous uploads have disappeared!  The site will resize for you which is convenient, or you can use software like XnView or Irfanview with a batch image resize feature. Look out for the image expiration selection.

If you have info and pics about the status of the UP Phoenix sub, that may deserve a new topic unless there is an old one hiding out there. Look forward to your Gila sub pics here as the Google aerials are not up-to-date in that area. TIA, Mike  BTW the reported 103F temp here at my SFBA home is the same as Gila Bend right now, very unusual.

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Posted by A Penguin on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 8:47 PM

MikeF90

If you have info and pics about the status of the UP Phoenix sub, that may deserve a new topic unless there is an old one hiding out there.

 

Its an old thread. Look forward to an update though.

http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/111/t/265084.aspx?page=1

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, May 28, 2020 6:29 AM

About two tracking the Southern California Sunset Route’s Thermal-Mecca section (not 3 miles but closure to 4 miles) vs. the recent extending of the Mecca siding to 3 miles as mentioned by David1005 on April 13, 2020 and elaborated further on by MikeF90 on the same date:  It was better to extend the Mecca siding to 3 miles because that siding could be used to PARK a long train for a day or two (which is often done) vs. parking it on the many miles long two-tracks between CP’s.  Of course, that is my opinion, but it seems the most logical.

Bruce Ellefritz is cautioned about spending a whole lot of time posting pictures.  I learned the hard way that picture hosters can change rules that in essence make all one’s hard work go down the drain in an instant.  Also, you are cautioned against innocently getting the ire of those with the money that can ruin your efforts here too.  If you do photo posting, as I recall copy and paste the ‘Direct’ link (from where your post-able photos are at) into your post composition at the forum (and, of course, test before posting and make sure it looks right).

I wish everyone well.  Retirement is wonderful here in Hemet (CA), but with the COVID-19 situation I hardly get out anymore, and miss the very nearby Metrolink trains on the Perris Valley Line and the new F125’s (which some hate and others love).  My ex-boss (I still fill in once and a while) informs me manned helpers (!!!) are now being used on the Sunset Route’s Beaumont Hill!  Can you believe that?  Two-tracking the west section many years ago and the east part some time ago is now paying off with the free movement of helpers!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 MikeF90 on Thursday, May 28, 2020 2:28 PM

Hey, K.P., good to hear from you and welcome 'A Penguin'.

Here's the Phoenix line topic link activated: https://cs.trains.com/trn/f/111/t/265084.aspx

As far as uploading pics, my only caution is to have multiple backup copies of your photos and not rely on one of these (possibly transient) hosting providers to be your only copy. Besides the copy on my main desktop computer, I have a 'backup' system (turn on as necessary) and a external hard drive that occasionally visits from my safe deposit box Geeked. I will use cloud backup when my cable provider increases their upload speed to something not pathetic.

Note to self - there are many 'DIY' hosting providers where, theoretically, you could build your own digital picture host server cheaply - another retirement project added to the list. Now back to topic ....

Using the Mecca siding for 'staging' storage is certain possible given its location. However, isn't the idea of PSR to be more efficient in getting goods from point A to B?  If a receiving point (yard) can't be expanded I understand the need for some longer sidings, but Mecca is a *long* way from UP's intermodal yards in LA county.  Hmmm.... 

EDIT: thinking out loud, is UP using the new sidings at Montclair yard for 'staging' - IIRC that's what they were built for. Another option might be to lengthen Loma Linda or Salvia sidings.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, May 29, 2020 7:47 AM

What you are saying sounds logical, but …

MikeF90

Using the Mecca siding for 'staging' storage is certain possible given its location. However, isn't the idea of PSR to be more efficient in getting goods from point A to B?  If a receiving point (yard) can't be expanded I understand the need for some longer sidings, but Mecca is a *long* way from UP's intermodal yards in LA county.  Hmmm.... 

… you are forgetting that UP doesn’t always have trainmen available.  When a crew is going to go on the law that train has to be parked somewhere, and parking it on a siding is much better than blocking a single-track mainline for a day or two!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 JPS1 on Friday, May 29, 2020 7:34 PM
I don't have time to read through all of the postings to this thread.  But I have several questions.
 
Is two tracking this route still a good investment?  Coal traffic is headed into the toilet; most of it it will eventually dry up.  So too will oil traffic. 
 
Moreover, if the U.S., along with other countries, decides as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that cross border logistics is not such a good idea, and brings a lot of manufacturing home, what happens to the container traffic?
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Posted by tree68 on Friday, May 29, 2020 7:38 PM

JPS1
Moreover, if the U.S., along with other countries, decides as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that cross border logistics is not such a good idea, and brings a lot of manufacturing home, what happens to the container traffic?

I would opine that your new refrigerator may come from Dayton in a container, just as it now comes from the port of Los Angeles...

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Posted by JPS1 on Friday, May 29, 2020 10:29 PM

tree68
JPS1 Moreover, if the U.S., along with other countries, decides as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that cross border logistics is not such a good idea, and brings a lot of manufacturing home, what happens to the container traffic?

I would opine that your new refrigerator may come from Dayton in a container, just as it now comes from the port of Los Angeles...

Good point.

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Posted by David1005 on Saturday, May 30, 2020 5:20 AM

Traffic comes and goes, you just never know.  But as a condition of the approval of the Union Pacific Southern Pacific merger approval, Union Pacific agreed to double track the Sunset Route.  There was no timetable. So I would expect UP to keep chipping away at it.  

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Posted by JPS1 on Saturday, May 30, 2020 9:47 AM

David1005
 Traffic comes and goes, you just never know.  But as a condition of the approval of the Union Pacific Southern Pacific merger approval, Union Pacific agreed to double track the Sunset Route.  There was no timetable. So I would expect UP to keep chipping away at it.  

Was UP's agreement voluntary or was it imposed by a regulator(s) as a condition for approving the merger?

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Posted by jeffhergert on Sunday, May 31, 2020 1:37 PM

tree68

 

 
JPS1
Moreover, if the U.S., along with other countries, decides as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that cross border logistics is not such a good idea, and brings a lot of manufacturing home, what happens to the container traffic?

 

I would opine that your new refrigerator may come from Dayton in a container, just as it now comes from the port of Los Angeles...

 

Possibly it might even travel in a box car.  At least to a distribution center.  

Twice now I've seen a few box cars loaded with appliances.  They were going east and the receiver was a Chinese appliance manufacturer.  However I expect they were domestic products, because I think the company listed was the one that I believe bought the appliance manufacturing division of a large diversified US corporation.

I don't think the loss of coal affects the Sunset Route all that much.  It's the central corridor that feels the loss worse.

Jeff   

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, July 2, 2020 1:27 PM

Did Star Trek Scotty Transport “Cement

Mountain” Away from the Sunset Route?

As some of you know the well-known Cement Mountain, AKA Slover Mountain, in Colton, CA has long been a landmark adjacent to the Sunset Route, and a number of forum contributors have mentioned it in this thread over the years.  Would you believe practically overnight it is unbelievably way, way lower now?

My colleague in the office (who took the above picture and donated it to the forum) was in Colton to see the train wreck on UP’s Palmdale Cutoff nearly right at the Sunset Route several days ago, and was shocked the mountain had so greatly disappeared!

I thought you all would want to know that!  There may be NO two-tracking news, but very significant mountains are literally being moved …

(That train wreck tore out all the wires from one of two CP boxes at CP SP492 SLOVER, the CP trackage over the 10 Freeway that wyes into the Sunset Route.  The CTC there has totally been suspended with the switches spiked and signals turned aside, and the east leg of the wye NOT being used.)

OK.  K.P. is going back into hibernation for a long, long time …

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 BRUCE ELLEFRITZ on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 9:23 AM

One end of the Union Pacific bridge in Tempe Arizona over the Tempe Town Lake has collapsed. The train on the bridge derailed and caught fire. Unknown if the derailment caused the bridge to collapse, or vice versa.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 8:01 PM

The Swami of the Sunset Route is back!

K.P., it is just incredibly awesome and uplifting to hear from you again, even if just for a short snippet!

Keep running one step in front of the bug and when you decide the time is right we will all be glad to hear from you again!

You're the best, K.P.!

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Friday, July 31, 2020 10:59 AM
 

JPS1
I don't have time to read through all of the postings to this thread.  But I have several questions.
 
Is two tracking this route still a good investment?  Coal traffic is headed into the toilet; most of it it will eventually dry up.  So too will oil traffic. 
 
Moreover, if the U.S., along with other countries, decides as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that cross border logistics is not such a good idea, and brings a lot of manufacturing home, what happens to the container traffic?
 

Stepping back into history here. Southern Pacific pre-Rio Grande acquistion, and eventual merger with UP. Was not a siginificant coal hauler by any means. The sunset routes traffic mix tended to be: petro-chemical, manifest, automotive, intermodal traffic. The sunset route had very few if any coal trains at all that I can recall. I'm sure those who live in the general vicinty can verify, or correct my statement. I'll step back in time here for my last statement. When RGI purchased SP a nice addition to the party would have been the now defunct Chicago Missouri & Western. Purchasing it in whole, not just the STL CHI line which went on to become SPCSL. Combining with the ex-RI golden state route. Such a line would have gave ATSF a run for their money, or better with the proper plant rehab, and modernization. The Sunset route has the advantage when it comes to grade, vs ATSF's line that huggs the edge of the Colorado Plateau. 

 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 1:19 AM

I do not think anything is happening on the

… Sunset Route two-tracking-wise, BUT …

… as the deadline for the conversion of target signals to the color light type is just a couple weeks away, the few remaining target signals on the BNSF as it pertains to this thread, namely, at 7th Street in San Bernardino (Sunset Route LA&SL feeder line from Salt Lake City, UT) and both Highgrove and Riverside on the BNSF portion of the alternate Sunset Route through Riverside have been or MIGHT BE in the process of being converted.

At BNSF CP 7th Street in San Bernardino, the EAST target signals were traded out to color lights AND the modern cantilever structure was changed out too!  The WEST color lights AND modern cantilever structure was also traded out!  Those new color light heads have full shade hoods as is common in Southern California and western Arizona on the BNSF. (More in a minute …)

A SUPER WORD OF CAUTION!  IF you will be visiting the old 1936 Barton Road bridge over the BNSF by Grand Terrace, VISIT NOW ONLY FROM the La Cadena Drive side (west) and NOT from the I-215 Freeway side (east)!  Since K.P. last visited the area, construction people built a Barton Road roundy-round at the west side of I-215 Freeway RAMPS!  SUPER DANGEROUS!  K.P.’s teenage grandson in the Midwest had his driver’s license only a week and totaled his car at one of those roundy-rounds!  It was not his fault, still what an experience for a new driver!  BE CAREFUL AT THOSE ROUNDY-ROUNDS AND AVOID THEM AT ALL COSTS!

At BNSF CP HIGHGROVE (on the alternate Sunset Route on the BNSF portion), the poor layout of the track has NOT been altered and remains the same.  HOWEVER, the WEST side four-track signal bridge was traded out for a shiny new one with color light heads on it!  The EAST side target signals and masts were traded out for new color light heads and new masts.  THOSE NEW SIGNAL HEADS ARE LIKE THE ONES IN EASTERN ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO, WITHOUT FULL SHADE HOODS!

The remaining followers of this thread may remember how poorly the track arrange is at that BNSF CP HIGHGROVE, with three-tracks funneling into two-tracks in such a way that, under certain conditions that is more common that one would think, makes for a bottle-neck single-track section!  K.P. suspects BNSF is playing hardball with both UP and locals about the 1936 roadway bridge over the BNSF at Barton Road.

The BNSF three-track signal bridge midway between Highgrove and Riverside has been changed out to a cantilever structure with color lights on it.

The BNSF WEST RIVERSIDE and related CP’s in downtowner Riverside have NOT had the target signals replaced.  HOWEVER, there is a bunch of UP concrete ties sitting on the ground just west of the BNSF CP, suggesting the track-work may be modified in the very near future.

The very nearby LA&SL shoofly bridge over the 91 Freeway is still in service while the new bridge (old, original alignment) is still not in service, likely because of possibly ongoing litigation concerning the fatal original bridge’s collapse during welding in the revamping of the 91 Freeway several years ago.

OK, I am done.  Probably will not be back here at the forum to post anything for a couple of years …

Take care all,

K.P.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- K.P.’s absolute “theorem” from early, early childhood that he has seen over and over and over again: Those that CAUSE a problem in the first place will act the most violently if questioned or exposed.

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 10:31 AM

K. P. Harrier
  Since K.P. last visited the area, construction people built a Barton Road roundy-round at the west side of I-215 Freeway RAMPS! 

An advantage of living in the northeast and occasional visits to New England.  Experience with traffic circles/roundabouts.  As they say, though - watch out for the other guy.

Those aren't the place to encounter someone who thinks they always have the right-of-way....

LarryWhistling
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Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 7:48 PM

Thank you, K.P.! Great to hear from you again! Stay healthy and keep the faith. One of these days something will pop about the Sunset Route related to how the long sidings either are or are not handling the traffic. Time will tell. Fair seas and following winds, K.P.!

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 8:11 PM

tree68
As they say, though - watch out for the other guy. Those aren't the place to encounter someone who thinks they always have the right-of-way....

Amen. Stress points.Be alert, be very alert. And its good to hear from you again K.P.

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Posted by MikeF90 on Thursday, December 17, 2020 4:29 PM

tree68
Experience with traffic circles/roundabouts. As they say, though - watch out for the other guy.

I've encountered a few out here like this one in Long Beach - no problems. In recent years one was retrofitted near me as a 'traffic calmer' and it does work; railfans would note the location is on the former Sacramento Northern ROW. Now back to topic.

The only Sunset Route opportunity I get these days is 'remote control'. The recent ATCSMon Yuma sub chart shows the Clyde siding as been lengthened, very puzzling to me as it is within a short single track section; Google aerial photos have not been updated. Also, a few sidings on the Valentine sub east of Sierra Blanca have been extended; by comparison UP went crazy on the ex-T&P to Fort Worth.

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