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Updates on Multi-Tracking the Two BNSF Transcons

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, April 24, 2016 11:15 AM

Apparently, BNSF doesn’t see a Complication …

… as a Complication

Winslow, AZ … and a Thought about up North

Part “B” (of A-D)

K.P. had somehow envisioned BNSF possibly moving the west side interlocking and crossovers west a bit to solve that now ‘too short’ of tracks problem.  But, the present plant has presumably new replacement crossovers switches waiting to be installed, even with attached silver switch motors and all.

An overview looking eastbound (and the overpass the photos were taken from):

A westbound comes (from Main 3, background) to Main 1 (foreground, left).

Above, trains make crew relief in Winslow (out of view in the far background), and whatever track is free and / or convenient to use the dispatcher uses.

Continued in Part C

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Sunday, April 24, 2016 11:25 AM

Apparently, BNSF doesn’t see a Complication …

… as a Complication

Winslow, AZ … and a Thought about up North

Part “C” (of A-D)

Looking west, that westbound scoots away:

Do you see anything odd about that above photo?  I mean really odd?  It is hard to see, especially at the above photo’s angle, but if you know anything about the history of the line and after pondering things, something odd just jumps out at one!

Check this photo out, at a better angle.

Trains normally going away from the camera down the grade on the westbound RIGHT track have a less gradient than trains elevating on the steeper LEFT track, totally opposite to and contradictory to normal industry practice!  (Absent technical track profile data, K.P. is going by the obvious visual look of things.)  Our forum contributor diningcar undoubtedly knew this!  He was involved in the big 40 miles or so line relocation effort quite a few miles to the west back in 1959-60.  Before that relocation, this line here (in Winslow) was LEFT biased and Automatic Block Signals (ABS) governed, often on cantilevered signal bridging, which means westbound trains normally went down the LEFT steep track, and eastbound trains came UPWARD on the less gradient RIGHT track in the just above photo!  The forum can decide whether AT&SF management (“management”) back then was smart or dumb on this.  But, with today’s high volume of traffic, it would seem a flyover would be more sensible, and a pay for itself idea.  Otherwise, it seems to be a straining the gnat but pound foolish situation, i.e., trying almost everything to cut costs while having on ear deafening gear so they won’t hear a situation yelling at the top of its voice about a waste of money situation!

Whatever … Winslow, AZ is a cool (neat) place to visit, and one can spend time there, even a day or more in a very much enjoyable state of mind just watching all the trains go by.

In a similar situation to the west of the Winslow area is Seligman, AZ (a once crew change point) , where the eastbound track (top) is on a different level than the westbound track (bottom) …

… but the biases in Seligman itself never changed as it did in Winslow, because Seligman was WEST of the once biases change point that was eliminated in the 1959-60 line change reroute.  Photos of that are in the next part. 

Continued in Part D

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Sunday, April 24, 2016 11:30 AM

Apparently, BNSF doesn’t see a Complication …

… as a Complication

Winslow, AZ … and a Thought about up North

Part “D” (of A-D)

The northern Transcon K.P. knows little about, but he envisions a great portion of it is single-track.  Anytime a second track is laid, layers (probably more accurately designers) are confronted with which side should the new track be laid on, to the right or to the left?  In many cases the current side dictates.  Occasionally, though, the new track would be better off on the other side, such as right biased running reaching a point where left biased running would be more beneficial.  In that case what should those designers do?

Early double-trackers (like a century ago) so often used a flyover of some sort to change sides.  BNSF calls some flyover arrangements a ‘natural crossover.’  Again, we go back to Arizona and Santa Fe’s 1959-60 line relocation.  The now gone Santa Fe eastbound track went over the now gone westbound track maybe 10 miles west of Ash Fork, AZ and east of Seligman.

But, as discussed above, in the last 70 years or so railroads seemed to think avoiding such bridges was the better way to go, hence, situations like in Winslow, AZ developed.  Undoubtedly, in the back offices of BNSF all the two-tracking on the northern Transcon they pretty much know what they want to do, and where (if any) places flyovers or CTC bias change arrangement would get one side’s normal orientation over to the other side’s orientation.

That is one issue probably most railroaders and railfans haven’t thought much about.

This will end this planned series.  However, K.P. hopes to put together a short series on an apparently (“apparently”) recent development with signals, and Winslow, AZ is where K.P. noticed a semi-transition point.  More details as soon as K.P. can get to it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 diningcar on Sunday, April 24, 2016 12:38 PM

KP, there is no "permanent" bias running on the southern Transcon between Barstow and Belen although as you have noted there was in the past. Yes, on a given day at a location an occasional observer will see all EB's on one track and all WB's on the other; that same observer on a different day may see just the opposite.

The wonderful observation location on the old Route 66 overpass at West Winlow which you and many others choose can be deceiving unless one knows the history of the second main construction now approaching 100 years ago. The second main was constructed with modern (at that time) equipment and methods with the objective, in addition to obvious objective, to reduce grades and curviture from that which was built with 'state of the art methods and tools' in the 1880's.

The prevailing grade west from Winslow is accending all the way to the Arizona Divide west of Flasgstaff even though in the photos you have furnished indicate a decending grade, but just for a short distance. Actually with today's operations that accending eastward grade approaching West Winslow is an asset as the 70 MPH trains must decellatate for the crew change location about one mile east.

But the EB's may approach West Winslow on either track as fits the dispatchers then current needs to expedite the priority trains. That is also true at East Winslow where (now a different dispatcher) EB and WB trains may enter or leave East Winslow on either track to satisfy that dispatchers current priorities. This is how CTC works and why a dispatcher may cross any train from one track to the other and then back again; and is why an observer may see a train holding short of a control point so the dispatcher may accomplish his priorities.

 

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, April 24, 2016 8:39 PM

diningcar (4-24):  Biases Roulette

Say a third trick dispatcher has had a relatively good day, and the 15 trains on his territory are all right running.  The first trick dispatcher takes over, and a few trains are made to be left running to get around slower ones.  The DS sees he has to get those left running trains back to right running ones because a fleet of right running trains are coming the other way.  So, on and on it goes.  Even the next dispatcher takes over, but sees he has 30 trains to deal with.  He has no time to make all the trains left running just to flex the circuits.  So, observers see most of the trains run right handed most of the time, and then SOMEONE coins the expression the line is right biased …

Hey, diningcar, I passed through Kingman, AZ this past trip, which to me is a right biased territory, as most of the trains I’ve seen over the years run on the right track in both directions.  I got stopped by a westbound on the west side of town, and of all things, it was LEFT running!  As the train kept and kept passing, a track machine zipped by eastbound on the other track, it also being left running.  I immediately concluded there was track work to the west on Main 1 so that was why the westward train passing was on Main 2. I finally got across the grade crossing, and eastwardly paralleled the tracks a bit, and saw another westbound on Main 2 was coming to a stop at the red intermediate signal.

The signal went yellow, but the train didn’t budge, and waited for a flashing yellow …

… and then headed west.

Except for that day and one on a previous trip, all the trains I’ve ever seen in the Kingman area have been right running.  If all tracks are open and operative, I think dispatchers just don’t have time to flip a coin to decide if the day should be left running or right running.  They just tend of follow the seemingly eternal flow of traffic that tends to be on a traditional side.

It was NOT mentioned in the ‘Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates’ thread, but when I was very near El Paso, TX this trip, I stopped right by the border with Mexico and talked with a border patrol officer.  And, a westbound UP came (right to left photo travel).

That westbound train was unbelievably on Main 2.  Of the numerous years that I’ve been to El Paso and photograph trains on the great river crossing bridges, every westbound train has been on the Main 1 bridge, and all eastbound trains were on the Main 2 bridge.  But, obviously, the Main 2 bridge saw the above westbound boxcar train!  I wish I could have been by those bridges and seen and photographed that!

This past trip I had numerous trying times with the clock and lodging, the likes of which has never been seen before.  I missed Abo Canyon, so would like to get back that way and see the super limited spot where that two-tracking can be seen.

What you say, diningcar, is in principle true, but the reality is, at least from my repeated observations, there tends to be what I call biases.

This last trip gave me a bug for travel, and I’m itching to get back to Arizona and New Mexico and the southern Transcon.  But, the debate that is raging in me now is possibly going all the way up to North Dakota and nearby states to see the two-tracking of the northern Transcon for myself.  The Pacific Northwest is tempting too.  There is a need to reason everything out very carefully on my part …

Take care,

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 kgbw49 on Sunday, April 24, 2016 9:12 PM

K.P., you can get a one-stop ticket from ONT to MSP on Southwest. Then head to St. Paul and visit Dayton's Bluff to photo-shoot the BNSF, CP and UP yards. Then head west and stop at Minneapolis Junction to check out 261. After that, head north and stop at Northtown Yard in North Minneapolis. Then take US Highway 10 all the way to Fargo pretty much alongside the BNSF two track main. In North Dakota the paired track is a little more challenging to follow but generally can be followed on main roads.

Another option is to follow BNSF down the Mississippi to Illinois all the way to Galesburg. There is some awesome scenery, and some great places right on the river to get a great burger, watch the tow boats on the Mississippi and the CP across the river, and literally be within yards of the BNSF twin mains as the BNSF trains roll by. And roll they do - this is the former route of the Twin Cities Zephyrs and you will be up close to rolling thunder, pedal to the metal railroading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by PNWRMNM on Monday, April 25, 2016 7:06 AM

KP,

May I suggest that you are spending a lot more effort than necessary on "biased running", April 24 A-D.

The modern dispatcher seeks to move his trains as quickly as possible given today's traffic and today's maintenance of way activities. That is the only hard and fast rule.

The former ATSF across Arizona was originally single track, then double track, and is now generally two main tracks. The double tracking was done ca. 1901-1920 as I recall. By definition, double track features movements with "the current of traffic". Block signals were installed to protect trains movine in only one direction on each track and trains normally ran with the current of traffic, that is, in the direction that the engineer could see the signals. Operating against the current of traffic was possible, but generally involved train orders and either the crew threw its own switches, or a trainman called off the extra board specifically called to handle the switches did so under the dispatcher's direction. This was slow and awkward. After the ICC imposed speed limits related to signals, operating against the current of traffic was slower than with the current.

Today, with two main tracks both main tracks are signalled for movement in both directions. In general, the only penalty for using the former "wrong main" is delay caused by movement through the crossovers at less than main track speed, that is, not much. 2 MT provides greater capacity than DT since it elimiated the cost and time penatly imposed by operating against the current of traffic under DT. 

When the line was double tracked, the opportunity to seek out less steep routes was presented. Where a significant improvement could be made at a "low enough" marginal cost, a new line would be built. If the new line had to pass over the old, and then pass back, it was done. Remember this is in DT days with current of traffic and the new line was intended to handle ascending trains, increasing train size over the subdivision for any given power in the process.

Where such low grade lines are still in service they introduce a directional bias ONLY IF trains are not adequately powered to ascend on the old line. Some low grade lines may limit some trains, but I suspect most do not, since trains today tend to be powered for the worst climb they will see, and this particular grade may or may not be the worst, or all trains are powered sufficiently to make the grade on the old line to avoid dispatching constraints. 

There may be factors that tend to enforce a bias at terminals, that is the yard is on one side of the main tracks. Odds are however that there is a set of universal crossovers just beyond each end of the yard.

My point is that today there are no longer many physical factors to enforce a bias. As a matter of routine I suspect the dispatchers prefer right hand running, tempered by the effort and delay required to enforce it if the railroad happens to be running left handed for some reason. It is certainly best to keep all west trains on one track and all east on the other to avoid the constant crossover moves that random dispatch would create. That said, trains get crossed over all the time for overtakes and becuase one of the main tracks is out of service. If a main track is out of service for a 8 hours or more, some low priority trains may be held out of the work area, or trains may be fleeted, that is all run in one direction for an extended period of time.

Mac

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Posted by diningcar on Monday, April 25, 2016 8:00 AM

KP & others: Your observations at Kingman are similar to mine because of the very steep (short) grade WB on track 1, while the more moderate ascending grade on track 2 is much longer for reasons explained by PNWRMNM. On Cajon there is one alinement (track ?) that has a lessor EB ascending grade and that is the logical choice for EB trains although the two other tracks may be used but probably for lighter trains.  

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 10:47 AM

Question about bias running.  Seem to recall there was a bridge over the Mississippi river that had just bias running.  Read somewhere that rail on the bridge would creep and would have to remove some rail at one end and place some on  other end. 

Does this occurr on regular rail now that rail anchors are used ?

 

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 10:27 PM

diningcar (4-25):  The 100 Years Bias Plan

First off, there is no 100 years bias plan, at least as far as I know.  But, historical events and circumstances have to make one wonder.

For clarification, in Cajon Pass in Southern California, the line is left biased.  Eastbound trains tend to be routed on Main 1 (of 3 tracks).

(So, between Cajon and Summit, Main 1 is generally used for eastbound trains, while Main 2 is used for westbound trains.  Mains 1 and 2 are on a 2.2% grade.  Main 3 is the shorter, original 3.0% line.)

Near Frost (or Victorville), the biases change from left running to right running because of the “natural crossover” at M.P. 39.1.

In Steinheimer’s great 1970’s Cajon Pass feature article in TRAINS, because of the way the then new Barstow Classification Yard was oddly built, the west side eastbound access to the yard was via Main 1, the westbound track.  Steinheimer theorized that the “natural crossover” (at M.P. 39.1) near Frost would be eliminated.  That would be a smashing success IF (“if”) the three areas of paired track had a track built alongside them, including in the Kingman, AZ area.  That would make the BNSF line completely left biased from Los Angeles to beyond Belen, NM, and I don’t know how much farther east it would go.  Somehow I wonder if that is the great master plan.  It might take a hundred years to do, but maybe that is the plan …

In other matters, diningcar, do you (or anyone else) know on the southern Transcon what the biases are all the way to Chicago, now that it is all almost two-tracks all the way?

Best,

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 diningcar on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 7:44 AM

KP, I have never heard of a "100 year plan" until you introduced it. Regarding the Southern Transcon I feel confident that there is, and has been for some time, a plan to expedite trains as each dispatcher sees that need at a given time. With CTC in place and 50 MPH crossovers between Main 1 and Main 2 this is accomplished. I have witnessed it between Seligman and Belen over several years with many days having 100 plus trains, including Amtrak #'s 3 and 4.

 

The Transcon east from Belen operates the same way albeit constrained by several problems that are gradually being solved (Abo Canyon, Vaughn, Pecos River crossing, etc. This has been the "Plan" which I have observed since we put Williams-Crookton into operation on 12-19-1960.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, May 1, 2016 12:36 AM

What is happening to the Signals?

Part I (of I-V)

This past trip K.P. noticed upon reaching the southern Transcon at Vaughn, NM from El Paso, TX that the signals in Vaughn were different than in California …

… in that the hoods were not full, as with the below west side of CP DAGGETT signal bridge in Daggett, CA.

Continued in Part II

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Sunday, May 1, 2016 12:43 AM

What is happening to the Signals?

Part II (of I-V)

The signals along the I-40 Freeway were basically the same as at Vaughn, NM.  At Winslow, AZ, however, there were partially the old type and some converted types.  The below views are from July 12, 2014.

Above, ALL those 2014 signals at CP WEST WINSLOW the three lamps have one hood-like covering.

Continued in Part III

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Sunday, May 1, 2016 12:48 AM

What is happening to the Signals?

Part III (of I-V)

This trip, in Winslow, AZ, those two mast signals at CP WEST WINSLOW had been changed, so they no longer had a large SINGLE hood, but THREE small shade covers.

In the above first photo, note the switch heater.  Also, in the above photos, the ladders go different ways.  Odd tidbit!

The signal bridge on the east side of that same CP still have the large hoods:

Continued in Part IV

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Sunday, May 1, 2016 12:51 AM

What is happening to the Signals?

Part IV (of I-V)

West looking overviews at West Winslow:

East facing ground level overview:

We leave now for parts west.

Continued in Part V

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Sunday, May 1, 2016 1:02 AM

What is happening to the Signals?

Part V (of I-V)

Traveling the old Highway 66, such as at Peach Springs, AZ, all the signals seen were un-large hooded.

In Southern California, signals seen were all hooded ones, such as by Hidden Springs Road near Daggett.

At Daggett itself, at the junction with the LA&SL (UP), heads were all the hooded type.

Where the transition point is is unknown, but it probably is somewhere between Kingman, AZ and Daggett, CA.

It is unknown and unclear why BNSF is taking such changing-the-head-coverings approach, but I did notice one non-hooded signal from a semi-side view angle moderately in the distance, and it blending in with its surroundings, kind of like an incognito type signal.  Hooded signals stand out like a sore thumb.  Maybe BNSF finds their incognito-type signals are safer with crazy type people like graffiti idiots.  Union Pacific where hooded signals are the standard, has been having a ferrous time with graffiti.  K.P. personally likes the hoods and is saddened by their demise on BNSF, but maybe they’re absence is the secret to keeping graffiti fools away from their signals.

Perhaps someone on the northern Transcon can convey if a similar situation is transpiring there, and how extensive it is.  Of course, the northern Transcon may or may not have color light signals yet.  Most of the northern tier signals K.P. have ever seen in photos from various sources over the decades  typically show target signals, so BNSF may be faced with a predicament like on UP’s two-tracking of the Sunset Route with the PTC law bearing down on them:  Should they convert the old signals during the two-tracking, or change all the signals and rearrange everything later.

Anyone have details or thoughts on all this?

This will conclude the series.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Sunday, May 22, 2016 8:46 AM

While surfing the web, came across a couple of interesting and recent construction pics of BNSF second track bringing the Pecos River at Ft. Sumner, NM. Check our the SEMAConstruction website and look among their railroad projects.  The new span will cross the river north of the existing one.

Thanks to KP, for his pics, interesting as always.  Also to Harold Jr for squaring me away on Southern Transcon second track work remaining, and to PNWNMRM (Mac) for his insights.

Cheers to all!!

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Posted by billio on Friday, June 24, 2016 10:44 AM

Ft. Sumner, NM Track Construction -- An Update and Query:

Update:  While surfing the web last night to combat insomnia (maybe a nightcap will help!?), I stumbled across a Facebook post by SEMA Construction, the contractor for BNSF's Ft. Sumner, NM second track and bridge over the Pecos River.  Pictures of a completed bridge adorned the post, along with words implying the project is done.  Which leads to my

Query:  Can any BNSF'ers in the know conform or deny whether the project is done?

Thanks and Cheers!!

 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, June 24, 2016 11:35 AM

Strange that after BNSF made so much of this in their $4.3B capital-improvement program last year, and did the 'golden tie' thing, there is no report other than SEMA's of the project completion (nominally open to traffic June 16th).

Some construction details of the new structure can be found in this PDF presentation on BNSF track structure.

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Posted by billio on Friday, June 24, 2016 9:56 PM

Agree.

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Posted by billio on Saturday, July 30, 2016 11:22 AM

A follow-up regarding the Ft. Sumner, NM bridge and second track.   From another website (RailPictures.Net) come reports the project was completed 25 July.   Probably so; this allows easier passage for the holiday traffic surge, which starts to ramp up in late August/September, and less wear and tear on the neurological and digestive systems of BNSF dispatchers and corridor managers.

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Posted by billio on Friday, September 2, 2016 9:39 PM

For construction geeks (like me) who like to look down from above on railway lines, there appeared a day or so ago a newly posted overhead on Google Earth of the remaing stretch of single track on the Southern transcon at Alva, OK.  Imagery date is quite recent:  6 July 2016.  The change from the previous overhead image is on the east side of the single track, which shows it ending two miles from the little yard in Alva.  BNSF added a goodly amount of shiny new second track since the prior overhead date (30 November 2013), 7.7 miles worth by my fuzzy reckoning.

And from what we've heard, the remaining 2.5 miles of single track will disappear by about this time next year -- unless the economy really goes to hell. Wow!

Alas, Google Earth has not published/released new overhead imagery showing the second BNSF track at Ft. Sumner, NM.

Cheers!! 

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Posted by kgbw49 on Saturday, September 3, 2016 11:37 AM

When Alva is completed, will that just leave the bridge and approaches over the Missouri river as the last single track on the Southern Transcon?

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Posted by billio on Saturday, September 3, 2016 12:27 PM

Yup.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, September 3, 2016 9:32 PM

Has the line over the Flint Hills been double tracked, or do they consider the line thru Newton part of a paired track arrangement?

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, September 4, 2016 7:16 AM

Everything I have seen on the BNSF web site or in various publications is that they consider that section pretty much two track main line paired track.

Another way to look at it is really wide track centers!

However, others may have better information.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, September 4, 2016 7:24 AM

Here is the Google Maps link to the single track bridge over the Missouri River at Sibley, MO:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sibley,+MO/@39.182626,-94.1838894,2881m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x87c108de915a9d67:0xe01def2fa9ae375b!8m2!3d39.1786169!4d-94.1932796

Not a long distance, but it looks to be expensive distance with a long approach over a flood plain on the north side of the river in addition to the bridging over the actual river itself, which lends solid evidence as to why it is the last stretch remaining as single track.

The angle of the sun gives a great "shadow view" of the bridge structure if one zooms in.

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Sunday, September 4, 2016 9:20 AM

billio (9-2):

Is this the site of the Alva, OK presently single-track bridge?

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Alva,+OK+73717/@36.8132334,-98.6627543,384m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x87af6fe53e8e4b29:0x5507c579d3a68a71!8m2!3d36.8050308!4d-98.6664737

If so, it looks like access to the site is very limited, with a public dirt road going under the bridge from the northeast.

Apparently the bridge over the Missouri River at Sibley, MO (that kgbw49 very recently posted about) has a similar access problem.  Such bridges are so few and old does anyone in America know how to bid and build such a bridge anymore?

Take care,

K.P.

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Posted by diningcar on Sunday, September 4, 2016 9:28 AM

If indeed BNSF wishes to eliminate this short segment of single track they must coordinate with whomever in government regulates the Missouri River, plus many other Gov't agencies.

Just looking at the maps furnished by kghw49 it would appear that an alinement connecting to the south bank of the river at/near E Atherton Sibley road would be the logical and shortest distance which would then aline with the long tangent track going eastward.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Sunday, September 4, 2016 7:08 PM

The north side of the river appears to be flood plain in this area, while the south side looks to be more bluff or palisade.

From the overhead photos it appears that the track from the south side (eastbound) goes from terra firma right over a footing in the rock and on to the deck of the bridge directly over the river channel.

On the north side (westbound) it appears the track comes west on a large man-made earthen fill that keeps the track at the same elevation as the bridge structure over the channel, and then crosses the flood plain over additional bridge sections to connect with the bridge spans that are over the channel.

This terrain looks like an area where the big 3400 class Pacifics and 3450 and 3460 class Hudsons could really make time with the varnish. I can imagine the hoggers making the brakes smoke as they slowed for the bridge and then yanking back on the throttle to open 'er up once the drumhead had cleared the bridge.

Santa Fe all the way!

Blue Goose leaving Chicago...

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3460 Class Hudson...

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3400 Class Pacifics...

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