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Updates on Multi-Tracking the Two BNSF Transcons

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Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 8:22 AM

Read an article in another trade publication related to MOW budgets of various railroad and transit agencies for 2022.

The two big BNSF projects for multi-track included the continuing double track project in Kansas, and approximately 30 miles of triple track from the current end of triple track west of Needles to Goff in California.

https://www.bnsf.com/news-media/railtalk/service/emporia.html

The second bridge over Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho also continues, which will extend double track over the lake and through the town to the junction between the ex-GN and ex-NP.

https://keepsandpointrolling.com/

 

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Posted by kgbw49 on Friday, June 10, 2022 7:28 AM

BNSF is adding 4.3 miles of fourth main track near the San Bernardino Intermodal Facility to relieve congestion.

From the news release it sounds like it all is in the City of San Bernardino proper.

https://www.bnsf.com/news-media/news-releases/newsrelease.page?relId=bnsf-railway-advances-track-efficiency-improvements-in-san-bernardino

From the looks of it they are really going to be shoe-horning the track in there from this overpass all the way down to the San Bernardino Intermodal Facility

https://www.google.com/maps/place/N+State+St,+San+Bernardino,+CA/@34.1261037,-117.3033996,186m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x80c3523f3ce6f94f:0xee70c673a312aa8d!8m2!3d34.1514907!4d-117.3354683

 

 

 

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Posted by rdamon on Friday, June 10, 2022 1:36 PM

In searching the SB City Council site for more information, I found this item from the 6/1/2022 regular meeting.

8. Resolution Approving Street Vacation of a Portion of I Street (Ward 3) p. 277

Recommendation

Adopt Resolution 2022-103 of the Mayor and City Council of the City of San Bernardino, California, certifying the Final Environmental Impact Report (State Clearinghouse No. 2021030193), adopting the findings of fact and Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program under the California Environmental Quality Act, and approving the vacation of a portion of “I” Street between Spruce Street and Olive Street, and a portion of “J” Street at its intersection with 17th Street and 21st Street and reservation of utilities therein.

 

 

Found this document as well.

https://sbcity.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=30184

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Posted by croteaudd on Friday, June 10, 2022 2:05 PM
San Bernardino Fourth-Track Peculiarity
 
Hi, guys (and the few gals here too)!
 
About the new fourth-track in San Bernardino … here is my UNOFFICIAL assessment, an assessment that may or may not be the way it will be.
 
It should be realized that IT IS SAID the project starts on the east side by State Street / University Parkway.  I DISAGREE!  That insinuates a new CP would be put in near there (ONO).  I believe CP VERDEMONT will be radically altered, with the thru-tracks (1, 2, and 3) will shift to the north side (railroad south), so the siding or Main 4 will become Main 3. (Make sense?)  So, the present Main 1 (railroad north side) will become the North Track. (Thus, North Track, Main 1, 2, and 3.)  A physically north side track will be extended westbound to around Mt. Vernon Ave., where alignment shifts will take place so the new ‘North’ track will be next to Main 1, which will go to CP SEVENTH STREET in the downtown San Bernardino area.  IF IT WON’T BE THIS WAY, the railroad will simply be working against itself and everything will slow down!
 
WHAT IT AMOUNTS TO is that the new track will combine with the current siding so that TWO trains can be parked instead of one.  THAT IS ALL IT AMOUNTS TO.  It should be noted that eastbound and westbound Intermodal trains pick up and drop off on the north side, so they all must vie for a north side pickup or drop off position. 
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Posted by diningcar on Friday, June 10, 2022 4:00 PM

As I read the 1869 N J Street photo it appears to be unrelated to BNSF but is part of the modification for the passenger station along the Redlands line tracks.

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Posted by rdamon on Friday, June 10, 2022 4:14 PM

If you look in the document on page 22 you can see the blue ROW expanded limit and the red line is the c/l of the new track.

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Posted by croteaudd on Saturday, June 11, 2022 7:42 AM
San Bernardino Update Assessment
After examining environmental track material linked above, this forum contributor has concluded that insufficient material is available to make judgment calls, as things just don’t jive and are contradictory!  Further material, including future Control Point (CP) material is needed.  It is unusual that incomplete material is supplied, unless things are being looked at just from a legal environmental report aspect.  Since things are so contradictory it has to be wondered if the forum was NOT supplied the final material on the project.  Thus. I retract my previous, above post.
diningcar:
 
Posted by diningcar on Friday, June 10, 2022 4:00 PM
As I read the 1869 N J Street photo it appears to be unrelated to BNSF but is part of the modification for the passenger station along the Redlands line tracks.
It is very related, unlike your confusion about the Arrow line to Redlands that is a mile away!
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Posted by kgbw49 on Saturday, June 11, 2022 7:51 AM

There is a heck of a lot of property acquisition going on for this project per the City of San Bernardino document.

if you look at the BNSF strategy as a whole, they really invest big bucks on an annual basis to improving traffic flow, well above and beyond just long sidings liike the rest of the PSR universe seems to be doing.

Major examples include but are not limited to:

Reopening Stampede Pass

Double tracking The Funnel

Second bridge over Lake Pend O'Reille

Double tracking much of the Great Northern route in North Dakota

Buyng back the Northern Pacific across Montana

Triple track on Cajon and much of the route to Hobart Yard in Southern CA.

Much of the double track on Tehachapi where they run the majority of trains as tenant

Double tracking Abo Canyon

Triple or quadruple track into and out of Belen NM

Triple or quadruple track into and out of Needles CA

Truxton Flyover

Triple tracking at Amarillo

Double tracking major bridges on the Southern Transcon to close single track gaps

Double tracking the Flint Hills

Again, not a comprehensive list.

But they make steady investments to try - try - to keep trains moving.

(If, in this period of history, they have the crews to run them.)

 

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Posted by rdamon on Saturday, June 11, 2022 2:10 PM

kgbw49

There is a heck of a lot of property acquisition going on for this project per the City of San Bernardino document.

I was thinking the same thing.  

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Posted by MikeF90 on Thursday, August 11, 2022 5:40 PM

Per a KS local frequent poster on The Other railfan site, BNSF contractors are actually grading near El Dorado for the 2MT project. No word on the Augusta to Mulvane single track section yet.

Meanwhile they seem to be working all along the ROW between Bazaar and Aikman including both highway and RR bridges.  Hard to tell when specific blocks will be completed and cut over.

On the nearby Wichita railcam traffic patterns look pretty wild to me. I've seen both northbound (RR east) and southbound trains held and passed by higher priority ones in the same direction!

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Posted by samfp1943 on Friday, August 12, 2022 4:53 PM

MikeF90

Per a KS local frequent poster on The Other railfan site, BNSF contractors are actually grading near El Dorado for the 2MT project. No word on the Augusta to Mulvane single track section yet.

Meanwhile they seem to be working all along the ROW between Bazaar and Aikman including both highway and RR bridges.  Hard to tell when specific blocks will be completed and cut over.

On the nearby Wichita railcam traffic patterns look pretty wild to me. I've seen both northbound (RR east) and southbound trains held and passed by higher priority ones in the same direction!

 

 
            Mike F90:  Just to note: I live about MP126.8 (?) on what seems to be labeled as the Main #3 of the Eldorado Sub (N.side of Mulvane,Ks)
....As to the line between Augusta and here.  It has several(long?) passing tracks,East of here; bewtween Augusta and Rose Hill (Ks)...Some previously places graded along the ROW...
   From the area of the switch (NE of Mulvane area to a track that runs along the East side of town and intersects the line from the Southeast-Yard outside of Ark City via Winfield and Udall, to its intersection on SW side of Mulvane, with the Southern T con (*From Wellington, and West) to North to Wichita via Derby) . Seems to be a normal amount of traffic; but many trains are much longer with multi DPUs in consist ( would appear to be made with adding anolther train to another... possibly, in an area ilke Amarillo, or farther west(?)  

Traffic onto Mulvane (East)  is mostly, Double stacks, with a couple of daily TOFC and mixed COPFC's ... Along with one, maybe two(?) mixed merchandisers, and solid grain trains, and an occasional soild tank train, (Empty or loaded?)  These can run in either direction, and seem to be fleeted' by direction; again in either direction ... Makes for some interesting watching, at times.   

 

 


 

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Posted by PeteM3 on Sunday, August 14, 2022 10:00 PM

MikeF90:

The link to your Southern Transcon map does not appear to be working. I keep getting "Invalid Dynamic Link - Blocked" and "We could not match param 'http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=216728125071071537994.0004a8eb6afe6797ac375&msa=0&ll=38.891033,-97.250977&spn=24.111771,35.595703' with whitelisted URL patterns in this Google project". There is a logo at the bottom of the page that says "Firebase". I tried it with Firefox and Chrome. No luck. All the other maps are workng.

BTW, have always appreciated your maps,certainly a lot of work.

Pete

 

 

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Posted by MikeF90 on Monday, August 15, 2022 6:26 PM

PeteM3
The link to your Southern Transcon map does not appear to be working.

Looks like the Google child devs have finally turned off the g.co shortcut service. Now need to check all my other links. Gaahh.

Here's the long mymaps link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/view?mid=1VRnODytoJvQobOqykJUwAH2FU4w&ll=36.368083242851135%2C-102.51324895000002&z=5

Maintaining the map markers isn't bad at all if you build it a little at a time ....

samfp1943: I haven't noticed what I call 'fleeting' through Wichita yet. However the UP 'land barges' look like doubled up shorter trains so that kinda counts Wink. The BNSF DS sometimes holds off multiple UP trains on the Enid sub and then at a break in traffic lets them rip; looks like higher speeds than they would be allowed on UP trackage ....

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Posted by PeteMthree on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 8:20 PM

Mike, 

AOK with the new link. 

Thanks,

Pete

 

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Posted by samfp1943 on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 9:51 PM

MikeF90 I really can't  speak to much traffic on the UPRRR's North- South line into Wichita [former RI (OKT sub) ]; it is approx 9/10 miles West of this area. I do get into Wellinmgton/Hayuesville areas occasionally, seems about all I've gotten to see on  (UPR) there, has been grain trains.   

Here, aty the house, we are starting to notice some of the Westbnd 'Land Barges' seem to be regularly compliations of JBH's stackers and Import/Export TOFCs; origin might be Garner, Kansas(?)  (surprising the amount of growth that has sprung up around the big yard there; from the highway, it would seem to be about 4-5 miles in length(?).. Not sure how much traffic  origins at KCK or KCM0 (?). Comes via Mulvane.(?) 

Even the traffic running via Arkansas City thru Winfield, can go several directions; ArkCity Yard north via Augusta into Flint Hills and on to KC area. West via Udall to Mulvane and on to Wichita, or West to Wellngton, and onto the S. Tcon.

Or Mulvane and Derby and into Wichita; or take the Mulvane(East) line, and turn back to Agusta and ENE. Or take the lower line(E-W) at Mullvane arcoss from the East line to a connection on the West side of Mulvane to the S,T-con.  There are plenty of trains to watch around here, going in a number of directions.  I was told by one of the BNSF supevisors, the traffic amounted , at time to around 60.or so, trains; onto, and off of, the lines thru here. 

 

 


 

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Posted by MikeF90 on Saturday, August 20, 2022 6:01 PM

samfp1943
Here, aty the house, we are starting to notice some of the Westbnd 'Land Barges' seem to be regularly compliations of JBH's stackers and Import/Export TOFCs; origin might be Garner, Kansas(?) (surprising the amount of growth that has sprung up around the big yard there; from the highway, it would seem to be about 4-5 miles in length(?).. Not sure how much traffic origins at KCK or KCM0 (?). Comes via Mulvane.(?)

I agree that much of the IM traffic originates or ends at the Logistics Park Kansas City (LPKC) yard in Gardner. It was built recently as better functioning, longer yard than the old Argentine yard in downtown KC. Looks like westward or eastward traffic can use the yard. I see many fast Z or Q 'shorties' on the La Plata cam that probably terminate there.

BTW the VR Hesperia/Cajon cam has returned to active status - yay! The Cajon sub is extremely busy, probably second only to Barstow - Belen.

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Posted by samfp1943 on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 2:18 PM

[quote user="MikeF90"]

Per a KS local frequent poster on The Other railfan site, BNSF contractors are actually grading near El Dorado for the 2MT project. No word on the Augusta to Mulvane single track section yet.

Meanwhile they seem to be working all along the ROW between Bazaar and Aikman including both highway and RR bridges.  Hard to tell when specific blocks will be completed and cut over.

On the nearby Wichita railcam traffic patterns look pretty wild to me. I've seen both northbound (RR east) and southbound trains held and passed by higher priority ones in the same direction!

 [quote]
 
 
Monday: 10/04/2022
 
Mike F90: 
 
I hope this will appear in the right order in this THREAD !!      Seems to be getting so many responses that the TRAINS Computer system is starting to loose its' mind as to the order in its 'mind'??
 
Sunday: 10/03/2022:  We were returning from SE Kansas. and as we crossed over the BNSF tracks at Santa Fe Lake Road; [ RR East of Rose Hill,Ks.] I noticed  a number of heavy earth movers parked East of the crossing. adjacent to the ROW. Appeared to have been used to build up the grade for another adjacent track on the south side of the existing single track(?).  Right to mthe west of that road crossing there appeared to be preperatioon to add a third track on the soputh side of existing trackwork.  For some time the BNSF has used a gravel lot to 'stage' a large amount of what looks to be 'signal' type(?) supplies...
  Not sure how far the track work is proceeding to the East of the Rose Hill(Ks,) area ; my guess is, at least three miles(?), and I have no idea how far to the East of Santa Fe Lake Rd it continues. The next road crossing is, maybe, four to five miles, and then it picks up an existing double tracked area just West of the Augsta, Ks area(?)...  Augsta is where the line splits towards Mulvane/Wellington (*BNSF's Southern T- Con], and then one track turns souith towards Winfield and Arkansas City; and South towards Oklahoma.  :[Large Yard in Ark City].
 
Sorry for this verbal description...Google Map was unhelpful Sigh... Hope this will show-up,  where it is readable, in the Thread Zip it!  ..
 

 

 


 

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Posted by MikeF90 on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 4:17 PM

Good eye, samfp1943 !

That seems to match my speculation that a universal crossover may be built to the west which would make a lengthened Salter siding about three miles long - good for monster train staging. Yes, a new second main track will built extending west to East Jct and east to West Augusta. We'll wait and see ....

Location on southern transcon Google map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/view?mid=1VRnODytoJvQobOqykJUwAH2FU4w&ll=37.60000000000059%2C-96.99999999999999&z=11

EDIT: fixed references to siding

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Posted by MikeF90 on Thursday, October 13, 2022 9:25 PM

Just checked updated ATCSMon Emporia East layout, confirmed that Aikman to Matfield Green new 2MT was cut in at the end of September.  There is 9 miles of single track left from CP E Matfield Green to CP Flint (former E Bazar), 2MT probably to be completed in 2023.

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Posted by PeteM3 on Saturday, October 15, 2022 11:22 AM

Mike,

Problem with the Southern Transcon link again. Please fix.

So, how many 2MT projects (Southern Transcon) are as yet undone? From what I remember, the Missouri River bridge at Sibley is still undone (even planned?). What about the Salt River bridge at Alva, OK? The last I remember reading was that some grading was done, but nothing after that.

Pete

 

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Posted by MikeF90 on Sunday, October 16, 2022 2:30 AM

PeteM3
So, how many 2MT projects (Southern Transcon) are as yet undone? From what I remember, the Missouri River bridge at Sibley is still undone (even planned?). What about the Salt River bridge at Alva, OK? The last I remember reading was that some grading was done, but nothing after that.

Hey PeteM3, that's pretty much what i know. I think a 'railfan rumor' post somewhere said that the Sibley bridge project would be started when the Sandpoint, ID bridge and Emporia 2MT projects are winding down. Cash flow is cash flow.... 

Fixed my Southern Transcon link in my sig, discovered that Firefox was blocking some fields but Brave worked. Browser diversity is good Yes.

I was watching the RfAz Kingman camera but it just went down again, oh well. The AZ/NM small towns the cameras are in seem to have frequent ISP or power issues.

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Posted by samfp1943 on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 10:51 PM

"....Likewise, the Emporia sub 2MT upgrade seems to be going quite slowly given the 'relative' flatness of eastern Kansas. I often see stopped eastbound traffic on the Wichita VR webcam just waiting for that new MT Smile.Likewise, the Emporia sub 2MT upgrade seems to be going quite slowly given the 'relative' flatness of eastern Kansas. I often see stopped eastbound traffic on the Wichita VR webcam just waiting for that new MT Smile...."

MikeF90...[ period of Fri. 10/14 to Mon.10/17/2022]  [North of Mulvane, RREast?}  seemed as if there was so little traffic it was nreal; whattraffic there was was odd MOW moves, several of those 'angled,switch carrier' cars(?) were seen moving East.  Their pre-fabbed assembleys seemed to  be rather large(?). Not sure if they were for the 'roject between Rose Hill (Ks.) and the area West of Augusta, Ks ? Where there is an existing long siding, and second track paralel to the passing siding... Isuspect that may be the oint thatthe 'new' construction will 'tie' into (?). That line from the construction oint at the Santa Fe Lake Road, is a  single track (not much of it is straight, but seems to be wide enough to double up(?).  There has been some large drainage tube run under the existing line, whochwould seem to indicate preps for a parallel line(?).  Hopefully, I'll be abe tgeto olver t theat area and scope it out, soon(?)...  Out on the East side of Augusta, there are several (4?) long tracks, where they seem to stage trains at times, that seem to be awaiting power(?)... Unfortunately, have not been able to get out towards the Matfield Green or (Bazaar Cattle Pens area) on I-35 to see progress in that area.   

As to that VR camera (?) for the Wichita area, can you post a URL for it... Thanks!

 

 


 

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Posted by rdamon on Friday, October 21, 2022 7:20 AM
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Posted by samfp1943 on Sunday, October 23, 2022 10:18 AM

rdamon

   THANKS!  [rdamon]  Was unaware of this 'new' camera site...  According to the site info'; started in July of this year and went 'live' 07/24/2022...   The BNSF's Arkcity sub rosses the Southern T-con at Mulvane. Eldorado sub (Main3)  whch junctions with the Arkcity sub just north of the old Mulvane Santa Fe station (now museum), and proceeds {east?} via Rose Hill and Augusta.]    The line between Mulvane and Wellington s double tracked and with the traffic coming down from KC and via Wichita from the (east?) [puts the count at around 60 trains a day?]..  So the new VR Camera sure sheds some more light on the traffic BNSF/ BNG RR & SKOL RR around here, that would ormally, not get seen.

* [ BNG RR is Blackwell Northern Gateway- Between Blackwell, OK (and intermediate points) to connection with BNSF at Welington, Ks., and then trackage rights to BNSF Wichita Yard for interchange(?).]*

 

 


 

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Posted by samfp1943 on Thursday, November 3, 2022 6:49 PM

UPDATE: Rose Hill,Ks to RR East(?)  As opf this date 11/03/2022[Thurs] Judging by the 'traffic flow' and the 'timing' it would seem that the major part of the double tracking from Rose Hill(At the crossing for dwntn Rose Hill out to approx, just west of the crossing for Thunder Hill Rd.)  Distance is approx 4 mies (?). Wednesday, after a low level of traffic in the morning; it picked up to a train about every 15 to 20 min.  Thursday AM was similar until about 6 PM..  At the storage site just west of Santa Fe Lake Rd;  all the staged materials were gone(Sunday10/30/20220).  Seems like current line construction has been accomplshed, for now?  

Added[ 11/11/2022@0800AM]   To put a period on the recent construction from Rose ill,Ks. to the point towards Auigusta(West).  As I metioned earlier, the double tracking construction from Rose Hill towards Augusta(West) deems tohave ended at thepont about 100yrds West of the crossing at Thunder Hill Rd. That point has a 'new' mlti-headed signal stand, in place. That track distance from ther to the end of the current end of the Augusta West (passing siding) seems to be less than 3 miles(?).  

note,P.S. on Thurs 11/10/2022 an eastbnd, work train passed here with two (possibly , L&R pre-fabbed single track switches(?), and a dozen  Ballast cars (BNSF Company(?), all the cars are still lettered UPRR). Also, there has been a ecently installed culvert just east mof the crossing on Thunder Rd; approx a mile(?) west of the current end of the Augusta West passing sidings(?) ....So some 'construction' seems to be still in the planning stages to close another 'gap'  ???  

     

 

 


 

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Posted by MikeF90 on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 6:57 PM

As I mentioned above it seems strange that the Sandpoint, ID new bridge project has been moving right along compared to the land-bound Emporia sub 2MT upgrade. Per the local newspaper/BNSF PR the new bridge should open this month. When the project wraps up (early?) next year the old bridge will be refurbished and then they will finally have 2MT.

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Posted by MikeF90 on Sunday, November 20, 2022 4:48 PM

Per a local rail(fan) posting on The Other site, BNSF is cutting over the new Lake Pend Oreille bridge on the northern transcon as we write.

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Posted by dpeltier on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 9:01 PM

MikeF90

Per a local rail(fan) posting on The Other site, BNSF is cutting over the new Lake Pend Oreille bridge on the northern transcon as we write.

 

BNSF article: https://www.bnsf.com/news-media/railtalk/heritage/sandpoint.html

This article links to a video with some drone footage and with some commentary from the project leaders (from BNSF, Ames Construction, and Hanson Engineering). Ryan and Max have done a fantastic job managing the construction for BNSF.

Trains also had an article on the opening: https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/bnsf-opens-new-bridge-at-sandpoint-idaho/.

And Railway Age actually has a detailed and accurate description of the work planned for the old bridge before it goes back in service: https://www.railwayage.com/mw/bnsfs-new-sandpoint-bridge-opens-for-business/

Dan

 

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Saturday, December 3, 2022 11:52 AM
 

PeteM3

Mike,

From what I remember, the Missouri River bridge at Sibley is still undone (even planned?). 

 

I don't know if BNSF will even need a new bridge at Sibley, MO. BNSF could very well upgrade the connection at Bucklin, MO in the NW corner between the Marceline and Brookfield Sub's. Since the Brookfield and Marceline Sub's parrallel each other between Bucklin and KCMO.

 

 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by kgbw49 on Saturday, December 3, 2022 4:23 PM

https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/api/collection/p16021coll11/id/2117/download

See page 13. I know these big projects take a long time to get through the permitting stage.

I recall Matt Rose said something to the effect that Warren Buffett had told him to build the railroad for the next 100 years or something of that nature.

BNSF has steadily hacked away at bottleneck after bottleneck under Berkshire Hathaway ownership.

So, to paraphrase Lloyd Christmas, "I'm sayin' there's a chance!"

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