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Updates on Multi-Tracking the Two BNSF Transcons

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Posted by diningcar on Friday, August 21, 2020 3:00 PM

SD60MAC9500 asks,  What’s the gradient from Ash Fork to Williams? 

Ash Fork has not been on the 'transcon' since 1960. The 44 mile Williams - Crookton line change moved the 'transcon' north away from the 1880(s) line.

The 44 mile new line has only 1% or less grades and 1 degree curves or less. Passenger trains - Amtrak - can and does operate at 90 MPH over this 44 miles.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Friday, August 21, 2020 5:17 PM
 

Ok thanks for the correction. I worded my question wrong. Another item. Is BNSF still using asphalt for subgrade? I remebmer seeing this when they were doing work in the panhandle back in the early to mid 2000’s.

P.S. Came across this on youtube

 

 
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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Monday, September 21, 2020 4:56 PM
 

Update of progress at Truxton, AZ. 

 
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Posted by diningcar on Friday, October 9, 2020 11:02 AM

Any news about the Truxton flyover progress??

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Friday, October 9, 2020 12:14 PM
 

diningcar

Any news about the Truxton flyover progress??

 

Track construction is in progress across the flyover. Looks like possibly next month or Dec the flyover will be open.

 
 
 
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Posted by MikeF90 on Friday, October 9, 2020 2:45 PM

SD60MAC9500
Another item. Is BNSF still using asphalt for subgrade?

I've only see them use it in wetter climates with marginal drainage - see Alva OK for instance.

BTW here is the latest video on the Truxton flyover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z05vyaWPGWA

Per posts on The Other site, pile driving for the second bridge over Lake Pend Oreille has begun. Just to the RR east the siding upgrades to full CTC are complete.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 10, 2020 12:23 AM

Last I heard was that asphalt in the upper subgrade (the one place the mid-'70s competition on asphalt for railroading appeared to have borne potential fruit) had been somewhat deprecated due to increased lateral instability and sun kink in very hot weather.  I suspect it was supplanted by some form of roller-compacted concrete with less thermoplastic binder...

It would be interesting to see accounts or video of how it is still used, perhaps in conjunction with geotextile material.

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, October 11, 2020 8:53 AM

Overmod
Last I heard was that asphalt in the upper subgrade (the one place the mid-'70s competition on asphalt for railroading appeared to have borne potential fruit) had been somewhat deprecated due to increased lateral instability and sun kink in very hot weather.  I suspect it was supplanted by some form of roller-compacted concrete with less thermoplastic binder...

It would be interesting to see accounts or video of how it is still used, perhaps in conjunction with geotextile material.

Welded rail is a technology that still has not been fully mastered by the industry to be able to adapt to wide temperature swings without creating either the failure mode of sun kinks or broken rail/rail separations.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 12, 2020 9:45 AM

BaltACD
Welded rail is a technology that still has not been fully mastered by the industry to be able to adapt to wide temperature swings without creating either the failure mode of sun kinks or broken rail/rail separations.

I would argue that the Class 9 slab track tested by the FRA neatly does this with little difficulty, and can be optimized for top-down maintenance with minimal equipment expense if properly built and installed.  

Whether that is worth the additional cost is a different matter entirely.  But there is no doubt that if you want high speed and heavy axle load together, there is at present no better solution, certainly not one that involves individual lateral elements with a suddenly fluidizable shear layer in the subgrade...

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Posted by rdamon on Monday, October 12, 2020 11:28 AM

Had to google this...

https://ntlrepository.blob.core.windows.net/lib/42000/42800/42879/rr0803.pdf

 

Always learning something new from everyone here.

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Posted by rdamon on Monday, October 19, 2020 4:56 PM

New Truxton Video.

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Posted by diningcar on Monday, October 19, 2020 6:22 PM

Thanks for this later video. My judgment tells me this is to solve a drainage -erosion situation where the original 1882 single track can no longer withstand the almost 140 years of infrequent but occasional flash flooding. 

The soon to be former south track will be stabilized with riprap or other deterents to protect the north track which was built in the 1920's I think. Anyone with further info will be welcome.

 

 

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Posted by rdamon on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 8:22 AM

That is an impressive switch being assembled.

Looks like movable point frogs.

The way it is sitting it almost appears equilateral or they will be having the diverging route go under the bridge.

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Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 8:38 AM

rdamon, I think you are right. If they are trying to switch running direction of tracks, if the flyover is moving one direction of movement over going one way, say "right to left" facing in one direction, there needs to be another pair of switches to move the other direction of movement over "left to right" at ground level if they want to keep traffic moving non-stop in both directions.

I would assume this flyover is being done for some type of fuel and time savings?

Any enlightenment on the economics of building the flyover would be greatly appreciated!

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 10:05 AM
 

People who were saying this was to be built closer to Belen setting up trains for the fuel racks doesn't make sense to me.. BNSF is adding or has added a 4th track in the Belen terminal to keep traffic fluid..  

 
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Posted by diningcar on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 1:22 PM

One additional consideration - this location is on the Hualapai Indian Reservation. We do not know what constraints or trade offs were involved here - but relocation of the historic waterway may have rejected. Perhaps other factors too.

Saying once more: this location is 477 miles west from Belen which eliminates Belen as a factor.

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Posted by rdamon on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 1:29 PM

Does that location eliminate any enviromental hurdles?

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Posted by diningcar on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 1:48 PM

rdamon,

your question will not likely be answered by anyone on this thread. I just wanted to portray the posibility that there maybe issues specific to this site which have been very privately addressed; and of which we will probably never learn.

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Posted by rdamon on Monday, October 26, 2020 5:25 PM

Newest video shows some progress.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Monday, October 26, 2020 11:14 PM
 

As of yesterday the Truxton Flyover is officially open. 

 
 
 
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Posted by kgbw49 on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 7:07 AM

It will be interesting to see what the final track configuration looks like at each end of the flyover.

That is a mighty big turnout in those videos so it must be rated for a fairly high speed.

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Posted by diningcar on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 8:32 AM

much of the track between Needles and Winslow is 90 MPH for Amtrak and 70 MPH for freight. There are reductions for curves in certain locations and the crossovers are 50 MPH.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Thursday, October 29, 2020 12:14 AM
 

kgbw49

It will be interesting to see what the final track configuration looks like at each end of the flyover.

That is a mighty big turnout in those videos so it must be rated for a fairly high speed.

 

Here's the layout per BNSF Seligmen Sub facebook group

 
 
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Posted by kgbw49 on Thursday, October 29, 2020 8:10 AM

Thanks, 9500!

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Posted by timz on Thursday, October 29, 2020 10:31 AM

The earlier video

rdamon

New Truxton Video

 

shows a right-hand turnout in the present south main, at the west end of the flyover track, with a longer left-hand turnout on the ground nearby. The longer turnout has replaced the other one, so the straight route is now to the flyover?
 
Is the north main going to be Main 1 east and west of the flyover?
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Posted by MikeF90 on Thursday, October 29, 2020 2:43 PM

SD60MAC9500
Here's the layout per BNSF Seligmen Sub facebook group

That clarifies what I've been reading elsewhere - thank you!

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Posted by rdamon on Thursday, October 29, 2020 3:21 PM

Seems like a large high-speed switch for a small siding.

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Posted by MikeF90 on Thursday, October 29, 2020 4:10 PM

rdamon
Seems like a large high-speed switch for a small siding.

This new siding is ~2.3 miles long and several setout sidings west to Needles are only about 9100 feet. Time will tell if they remove some of the shorter ones. As for the turnout, perhaps they prefer to maintain that variety. Whistling

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Posted by diningcar on Friday, October 30, 2020 7:46 PM

I have been attempting to analyze what would motivate BNSF to spend these $$$ as I had some former experience with such justifications. Previously, I mentioned Crozier Creek which is subject to seasonal flash flooding and it appears these modifications may mitigate that issue, but that alone would not likely justify this major modification. 

Attempting to find operational modifications W/O any current info I used the old track charts in my possession to see if there were eastbound grades or curves that would benefit this with change. The ruling grades for both tracks is 1.42% compensated so that is not a factor, however the south track ( last one constructed) has fewer sharp curves and is thus not parallel from MP 457+ to MP 460+, so this could be a small factor.

Having looked at the above items it appears to my 88 year old judgement that there must be operational advantages that only those with current info can use to justify this expenditure. It was mentioned earlir that a 2.4 mile (CP to CP) siding was created which would allow longer and slower trains to park while the 70MPH Z and Q trains to keep their schedule. This may also aid the Needles conjestion which necessitated the creation of four main tracks as the DS'S can hold out slow trains for the Z's and Q's. Any info to support or dismiss what I have presented would be welcomed. 

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Posted by rdamon on Friday, October 30, 2020 8:27 PM

Found the parcel information.  Looks like there is a large parcel that is under ATSF to the south only requiring 2 new BNSF owned parcels.

https://mcgis2.mohavecounty.us/html5/?viewer=moh&layerTheme=null&scale=4513.988705&basemap=&center=-12645293.753747217%2C4226288.142601424&layers=

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