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Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates

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Posted by desertdog on Sunday, August 31, 2008 8:43 PM

On the way down to Tucson yesterday, I noted that the transition point for the second main from the south to north side of the the existing main at Casa Grande appears to be just west of the I-10 bridge over Jimmy Kerr Blvd.

There was not a lot of train action, but one notable exception was a ballast train with five units moving quickly westward at Picacho.

John Timm 

 

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Posted by ilikeplanes on Tuesday, September 2, 2008 12:08 PM
 desertdog wrote:

On the way down to Tucson yesterday, I noted that the transition point for the second main from the south to north side of the the existing main at Casa Grande appears to be just west of the I-10 bridge over Jimmy Kerr Blvd.

There was not a lot of train action, but one notable exception was a ballast train with five units moving quickly westward at Picacho.

John Timm 

 

 

all together there should be a total of 5 conversions.  Maricopa, Casa Grande/Bon, Casa Grande/Toltec (I10), Picacho, and Naviska/Rillito.  i hate conversions cause at night when you aren't familiar with where they're at you would bet your life savings the approaching train is on your tracks.  After a while though you get used to them.

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Posted by desertdog on Tuesday, September 2, 2008 12:23 PM
 ilikeplanes wrote:
 desertdog wrote:

On the way down to Tucson yesterday, I noted that the transition point for the second main from the south to north side of the the existing main at Casa Grande appears to be just west of the I-10 bridge over Jimmy Kerr Blvd.

There was not a lot of train action, but one notable exception was a ballast train with five units moving quickly westward at Picacho.

John Timm 

 

 

all together there should be a total of 5 conversions.  Maricopa, Casa Grande/Bon, Casa Grande/Toltec (I10), Picacho, and Naviska/Rillito.  i hate conversions cause at night when you aren't familiar with where they're at you would bet your life savings the approaching train is on your tracks.  After a while though you get used to them.

Ilikeplanes,

 I did not realize the transitions / conversions would be so abrupt as to cause the problem you describe, but I can understand your concern.  I've experienced the same thing on the highway at night.  It has to be a lot scarier in a locomotive.

John Timm

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 8:23 PM

As of Monday, September 1, 2008:

Indio-Thermal Area, CA

Track equipment just east of the out of service MYOMA siding and west of WEST INDIO.  The new track shifts from the north side to the south side in this vicinity

Sign with unknown friend or foe connotation towards the railroad

The old Indio Yard area of years ago is a staging area, and includes bridge sections and ties.  Another large staging area is now also at Coachella (shown here), by Bagdad Ave. and Grapefruit Ave. (Highway 111).

At yet another area further east, a large pile of ballast is present.  The old double-track's ballast has been trimmed away.  Might this be the location of a new siding?

This nine mile or so section of Automatic Block Signal (ABS) "Double Track" (one track for each direction) between WEST INDIO and THERMAL is probably the only remaining such on the Sunset Route in California.  NO evidence of any new bidirectional "Two-Track" signals was observed.  Thus, completion of the WEST INDIO to THERMAL section may be several months away yet

Bridge construction at THERMAL:  Looking east.  Temporary wood railing is now on top of the piers.

Looking westward

The THERMAL siding (SOUTH side, photo left) now has new welded rail and concrete ties

Photo looks east from 62nd Ave. and Highway 111, an intersection a short distance from THERMAL.  The overpass in background has room for the second track to go underneath on left or NORTH side of present main.  Thus somewhere between THERMAL and this location the new track will have to alignment shift from the south to the north side

Furthers About West Colton Yard, CA

An unassembled switch and ties are east of the Pepper Ave. overpass from which these two photos were taken.   Pepper Ave. is the boarder between Colton and Rialto

An elevated construction related water tank has been stationed west of Pepper Ave.  In the background is parked heavy grading equipment

CP SIERRA, looking west from the Sierra Ave., Fontana, overpass.  Foreground left is track 100.  A set of power will be able to fit between Arrival Yard Tracks 201-209 behind the camera and the new unconnected absolute signal on the foreground left.  The new four-track signal bridge is in the background.  The billboard signs in the background right are too close to the future Track 1 and will need to be relocated or remove altogether.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Modelcar on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 8:34 PM

....More good photos.  Some really nice tangent track views.

Quentin

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, September 4, 2008 2:59 AM

At THERMAL, the east side of the under construction bridge DOES have the abutment in place, though in a previous post, ground dirt blocked its view.  To enlarge, mouse click on the photo.  See the far right side.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 billio on Thursday, September 4, 2008 12:54 PM

Thanks K.P. for taking the time and energy to record in such painstaking detail the work on the Sunset (and Cajon Pass).  To an interested onlooker far away in Florida, the work you've chronicled fills multiple voids in interests, and is much appreciated.  My only complaint lies in having seen in pictures all this work going on, I only wish I were there to view it all first hand.   

One abbreviated comment:  the absence of track renewal work over the past five months may be due to the deployment of the track renewal trains along UP's Red X lines, which the company seems determined to upgrade to the same standards as the Sunset Route -- concrete ties, 141# CRW, CTC, etc.  I suspect that when winter weather ends the work season up north, the Sunset will experince a six-month burst of track reconstruction activity.  Wait till late October - November.

Anyhow, thanks again.  --billio

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, September 4, 2008 1:19 PM

billio:

As much as I know about UP, I'm not familiar with the "Red X lines" terminology.  What is that about?

In California, reportedly the track from GARNET to NILAND will be two-tracked this year.  But, I haven't been able to see how that could happen.  The pace has just been too slow.  Your idea about after the Red X lines are completed a mass migration to the INDIO-NILAND area could take place makes so much sense.

I'll be watching in October-November.

Thanks.

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 mvs on Thursday, September 4, 2008 1:32 PM

 K. P. Harrier wrote:
CP SIERRA, looking west from the Sierra Ave., Fontana, overpass.  Foreground left is track 100.  A set of power will be able to fit between Arrival Yard Tracks 201-209 behind the camera and the new unconnected absolute signal on the foreground left.  The new four-track signal bridge is in the background.  The billboard signs in the background right are too close to the future Track 1 and will need to be relocated or remove altogether.

 

Neat pictures as always K.P.! Thank you for sharing them! Do you think they will get rid of that jog in the new main track in the picture above? I would think maybe another signal bridge could be installed, too.

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Posted by CShaveRR on Thursday, September 4, 2008 3:31 PM

UP's "Red X" is the core of the system--from roughly Granger, Wyoming, and Denver on the west, joining together west of North Platte, and going through there and splitting up at Gibbon Junction for Kansas City and Chicago.  "Central Corridor" also covers a lot of this.  It's a bit of a stretch to call it an "X".

The other possibility is that instead of Granger (on the Overland Route), the upper left portion of the X is the Powder River Basin line.

Carl

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Posted by billio on Thursday, September 4, 2008 11:03 PM
 K. P. Harrier wrote:

KP asks:

As much as I know about UP, I'm not familiar with the "Red X lines" terminology.  What is that about?

UP front office planners (the lads and lassies who occupy upper floors in the Omaha HQ) use the term "Red X" to denote lines comprising the (now extended) heart and aorta of the UP.   One line extends from the Powder River Basin down through North Platte to Gibbon Jct,. thence sweeps southeast to Kansas City and St Louis.  The other line, or half of the X, extends west from Chicago past Omaha/Council Bluffs/Fremont through Gibbon Jct,. through North Platte to Granger WY where it forks, one fork to Pocatello,ID, the other to Ogden.  Depending on the map you see, the two western endpoints (Pocatello and Ogden) may be truncated at Granger, but that's a minor issue.  The lines run along a common set of tracks between O'Fallons (a few miles west of North Platte) to Gibbon, Jct, and the true heart of this railway complex is the North Platte terminal: the lines leading to it can be thought of as the aorta of the carrier.  Huge tonnages, lots of trains, big-time revenues -- through this trackage passes something like 45 percent of UP's revenue, and a glance at a map showing the pre-merger UP (C. 1970) and today's monster shows little change:  this was and remains the heart of of the Union Pacific Railroad.

Increasing tonnages in coal and grain have forced UP to upgrade these lines to the standard to which they are building and rebuilding the Sunset Route.  UP's capital program over the past few years has seen almost as much money poured into the Red X as into the Sunset Route -- witness third and fouth main track construction in the Powder River Basin (a cost shared 50-50 with BNSF), the new replacement Kate Shelley Bridge along the ex-CNW main line in Iowa, capacity additions between St. Louis and Kansas City, yard improvements in St. Louis, Kansas City and Chicago, CTC installation from Chicago to (maybe-I'm not sure) Granger; new locomotive shop at North Platte -- you get the picture.

UP's future investment in the Red X seems about equal to that in the Sunset Route  (see UP's response to STB re:  plans for the fall rush recently posted in its website).

 I hope this helps.  --billio

By the way...upgrading work on the Red X won't be completed this year; like work along the Sunset Corridor, it will take years...

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Friday, September 5, 2008 2:04 PM

Billion:

About your above November 4 explanation of the "Red-X lines" ... Got it!  Thanks for the info.

While I have you ... The November 2007 TRAINS, page 38, column 3, par. 2 indicates the Sunset Route two-tracking crossovers use 50 M.P.H. No. 24 switches.  BNSF's No. 24 turnouts, such as used on Cajon Pass in Southern California, have ONE switch motor and a fix frog.  However, all the new switches I've seen on the Sunset Route have, I believe, TWO switch motors AND a motor for a movable point frog, leading me to wonder if UP's new Sunset Route turnouts are really 60 M.P.H. No. 26's or 28's.  Do you, or anyone else, know for sure?

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 billio on Friday, September 5, 2008 3:30 PM
 K. P. Harrier wrote:

KP asks billio: 

"...(t)he November 2007 TRAINS, page 38, column 3, par. 2 indicates the Sunset Route two-tracking crossovers use 50 M.P.H. No. 24 switches.  BNSF's No. 24 turnouts, such as used on Cajon Pass in Southern California, have ONE switch motor and a fix frog.  However, all the new switches I've seen on the Sunset Route have, I believe, TWO switch motors AND a motor for a movable point frog, leading me to wonder if UP's new Sunset Route turnouts are really 60 M.P.H. No. 26's or 28's.  Do you, or anyone else, know for sure?

K.P., I wish I could help you but I am a spectator from far-away Cape Coral, Florida (a railroad desert, by the way, unless you think the Seminole Gulf is something special), and on this question I am both ignorant and unknowing.

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Posted by sandiego on Friday, September 5, 2008 7:14 PM
K.P.

The following excerpt from my transcribed notes should answer your questions about turnouts used on this project:

"11-25-07 YUMA:

NOTE: UP has installed new crossovers at Pacific Ave. overpass and established
a new control point named CP SP736 PACIFIC. West crossover to go west from
Main 1 (old westbound) to Main 2 (old eastbound) begins at the Pacific overpass;
east crossover to go east from Main 1 to Main 2 is located east of overpass at the
existing crossover from Main 2 to west end of East Yard. Turnouts are number
24 with moveable point frog on concrete ties, and rest of main line track through
control point is also on concrete ties now. All rail through control point is 141AB.
Main 1 has been shifted to the north to give 20’ track centers in this area. Main 1
has a slight reverse curve to return to normal centers east of control point and a
compound curve in the big curve west of the control point to return to normal
centers there. Crossover from Main 2 to East Yard not in control point, still hand
throw switches."

Kurt Hayek


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Posted by cabcar on Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:29 PM

Big thanks to ilikeplanes for sending these pics.

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Posted by silicon212 on Friday, September 12, 2008 1:40 AM
Thank you for the pics, but where is this?
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Posted by cabcar on Friday, September 12, 2008 8:40 AM

 silicon212 wrote:
Thank you for the pics, but where is this?

He didn't say.

Somewhere between Estrella and Maricopa, I assume.

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Posted by desertdog on Friday, September 12, 2008 11:12 AM
 cabcar wrote:

 silicon212 wrote:
Thank you for the pics, but where is this?

He didn't say.

Somewhere between Estrella and Maricopa, I assume.

On another site it's being reported that the track is being laid from MP875 and was approaching the siding at Mobile (west of Maricopa) as of earlier in the week. I have to make a trip down to the border on Saturday and will try to check things out if time permits.

 

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Posted by Modelcar on Friday, September 12, 2008 12:00 PM

.....Now that's neat....A train making it's own track as it advances.

Quentin

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Posted by ilikeplanes on Sunday, September 14, 2008 12:55 PM
sorry i spaced out on the photo descriptions.  the first picture is inbetween maricopa and enid.  the second (if you look to the right of the mainline) is the new cpsp enid switch ready to be cut in.  the next two show the track progress between mobile and estrella and the last tw show the new crossovers at the east end of estrella.    the new track now goes as far as east of mobile.  i will take some updated ones if i can catch another daylight run.   thanks cabcar for posting these for me.
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Posted by ilikeplanes on Sunday, September 14, 2008 1:00 PM
 K. P. Harrier wrote:

Billion:

About your above November 4 explanation of the "Red-X lines" ... Got it!  Thanks for the info.

While I have you ... The November 2007 TRAINS, page 38, column 3, par. 2 indicates the Sunset Route two-tracking crossovers use 50 M.P.H. No. 24 switches.  BNSF's No. 24 turnouts, such as used on Cajon Pass in Southern California, have ONE switch motor and a fix frog.  However, all the new switches I've seen on the Sunset Route have, I believe, TWO switch motors AND a motor for a movable point frog, leading me to wonder if UP's new Sunset Route turnouts are really 60 M.P.H. No. 26's or 28's.  Do you, or anyone else, know for sure?

K.P.

 

all the new switches are (as per our rules) 50mph.  although a track guy once told me they are rated for higher speeds than 50.  there was a switch at strauss (just west of el paso) that was good for 60 but it was too high wear and tear on the switch so they are all now 50

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, September 14, 2008 1:45 PM

To ilikeplanes and cabcar:

Thanks for the Arizona update photos.

To MVS:

 mvs wrote:

Neat pictures as always K.P.! Thank you for sharing them! Do you think they will get rid of that jog in the new main track in the picture above? I would think maybe another signal bridge could be installed, too.

Thanks for the kind words.  Yes, I anticipate UP will get rid of the jog you mentioned.

You may have asked about "another signal bridge" because of my frustration with the clock and not being able to shoot photos the same day showing views from both sides of Sierra Ave. in Fontana.  However, ALL photos in THIS post were previously posted in this topic, but now are all grouped together for the benefit of those unfamiliar with West Colton Yard.

Facing west, the new CP AL533 SIERRA signal bridge on the far WEST side of Sierra Ave

Facing west, the same signal bridge is in the distance.  All poled signals in this view, EXCEPT the new poled signal on the lower left, will be deleted.  That lower left poled signal is new, when activated, will face EAST, toward the camera, and govern trains on yard Track 100 (the lower left).

View looking EAST.  The two signal sets on the cantilevered structure will face EAST, away from the camera, and are part of CP AL533 SIERRA.  The mast signal on the photo bottom will be removed

Thus, CP SIERRA will be comprised of ONE four-track signal bridge, ONE two-track cantilevered structure, and ONE poled signal

Hopefully, the above will clarify matters.

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.

mvs
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Posted by mvs on Sunday, September 14, 2008 3:51 PM

Thank you, K.P., for the clarification! I did not read hard enough into your post the first time, and now I know what will happen there at CP AL533 Sierra.

Also, thanks to Robert for posting ilikeplanes' pictures and to ilikeplanesfortaking the pictures west of Maricopa!

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Posted by desertdog on Sunday, September 14, 2008 10:32 PM

As of Saturday, gravel has been spread all the way east to the siding at Naviska, MP 958.4.  Grading continues east in various stages of completion almost to Rillito, MP 966.9.

John Timm

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 9:00 AM

Update as of Tuesday, September 23, 2008:

West Colton Yard

View looks west from the Cedar Ave. overpass in Bloomington, CA.  The expected realignment has finally taken place, and Mains 2 and 1 are now in service (center, left to right).  The leftmost, top cantilevered signal light is for a yard track. 

The above yard track, on the eastside of CEDAR, only has a red light signal unit, and displays either red or flashing red

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Thursday, September 25, 2008 10:08 AM
K.P.: Thank you again for this pictorial update! Do you have any indication of how far west they are extending the second main track for now? (I know they are not yet going all the way to Pomona).
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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Saturday, September 27, 2008 8:33 AM

As of Friday, September 26, 2008:

West Colton Yard

Riverside Ave. Overpass, Rialto, CA

Looking east:  The new signals have become operational

This control point has an unorthodox identification:  CP AL935.  As seen by the signal pole number plate, this is in the M.P. 536 area.  CP CEDAR is AL534, and CP SIERRA is AL533.  Why this box is in a 900 series is a mystery!

Another maverick situation:  The signal for Track 1 was on a pole so it could be seen under the underpass by trains approaching from the west.  But, yet the advisory temporary plate for Track 2 is visually blocked by the overpass

Sierra Ave. Overpass, Fontana, CA

Likewise, the new signals here have become operational also

A local led by SD70ACes was routed through one of the new control point crossovers and is on Track 100.  On the other side of the overpass, the train will be routed onto one the Arrival Yard Tracks, 201 through 209.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Saturday, September 27, 2008 1:23 PM

Along the Gila Sub it appears that some sidings will be connected together before others. As of this week, tie and rail crews were working east from the siding at Mobile, MP 888, to fill that gap.

On a somewhat related topic, I may have the answer as to how the new main will connect up at Maricopa.  Then again, I may not.

According to a railroad employee on the scene and as mentioned above in other postings, the Maricopa siding, which is on the south side of the present main, will be extended eastward.  The apparent provision for a second track on the north side of the main in front of the Amtrak depot was actually intended to be the site of the Silver Horizon which served as a temporary "depot" for a couple of years. However, as they were putting the car in place, the UP got into the act and put to halt to it, citing the proximity of the car to a busy main track as well as the grade crossing just to the west.  In the event of a derailment or a vehicle-train collision, the Silver Horizon would have been a sitting duck.  For that reason, it was moved a couple of hundred feet back from the track, but the concrete platform that was to be alongside it remains.

All that said, a new relay box for the Maricopa Rd. crossing signals, along with a power pole, have been planted smack dab in the path of the projected extension of the siding on the south side of the main.  If anyone is confused by all this, be comforted by the fact that I am, too.

John Timm

 

mvs
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Posted by mvs on Saturday, September 27, 2008 4:55 PM

Thank you desertdog for the info. I thought they would switch the new main to the north side at Maricopa, but I could definitely be wrong.

Thank you also to K.P. for another picture update! It looks like the billboards' days are numbered.

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Posted by CShaveRR on Saturday, September 27, 2008 5:37 PM
On my home subdivision, a former CNW property, we had a couple of control points added or modified; they were given numbers in the 900 series.  I really don't know why, because the last two digits were still based (roughly) on the mileposts.  But I mentioned this to show that the strange numbering for your new control point is not without precedent.

Carl

Railroader Emeritus (practiced railroading for 46 years--and in 2010 I finally got it right!)

CAACSCOCOM--I don't want to behave improperly, so I just won't behave at all. (SM)

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