• Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates

  • Discussion about the Union Pacific operations past and present. Official site can be found here: UPRR.COM.
Discussion about the Union Pacific operations past and present. Official site can be found here: UPRR.COM.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

  by K P Harrier
Sunset Route Two-Tracking Updates

For about ten years now a thread of the above same name at another forum outfit had acquired a whopping viewer tally close to 1.6 million views. Use of that forum outfit has been turbulent at best, with chronic malfunctioning use having to be dealt with. The last straw was their seemingly ‘moderated status’ being without end, and posters and viewers have departed in droves. K.P. thought THIS forum seemed to be operated more professionally, and so figured he would give it a try and see what happens.

That other Sunset Route thread was notorious for the use of photos, and many viewers were enlightened about news happenings through those photos, all with an underlying THEME of Sunset Route two-tracking. Sometimes related rail lines were brought into the discussion to give viewers a better pictures of happenings, but an effort was made to always relate the material to the Sunset Route two-tracking theme in some way.

K.P. is rather new to this railroad.net site and must learn its ways, but has been impressed at what he perceives in its management and their style.

At this railroad.net there appears to be TWO ways of insert photos into posts, namely (1) by actually inserting them and (2) by linking. The problem with inserting them is all photos on a forum page load, and consumes time. Linking, on the other hand, lets the viewer select what photos they want to see. The owners of this site seem to be sensitive to the first because of its consumption of bandwidth. Thus, K.P. feels linking may be a better way to go. Site owners and forum viewers’ input on this will ultimately govern.

A few linked photo examples (Click the links to view individual photos, and then close after viewing):

“The Diversion” SP Sunset Route reroute in Pomona, CA was opened July 1, 2018, with K.P. on scene July 4:

https://s26.postimg.cc/p3gyvwa4p/2018-0704-04.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Four signals (with two heads each) on the above signal bridge were reduced to three signals, making it questionable whether the Diversion will ever have four-tracks through it as it was originally designed for. The CP is CP C028 SPADRA, a LA&SL designation. The new SP track is the one that curves in on the photo right.

Sunset Route target heads being re-signaling to color lights at Wellton, AZ, on a visit June 9, 2018:

https://s26.postimg.cc/cqjnp2imx/2018-0609.01.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/rmi6wo1rd/2018-0609-02.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Above, the planned conversion from equilateral (wye) turnouts to standard switches at CP SP771 WELLTON made a ‘red over’ indication prudent. It also puts in question further two-tracking in Arizona, where most of the remaining single-track between Los Angeles, CA and El Paso, TX strangely seems to be at.

The three above examples of linking are for viewers to form an opinion on the photo showing / viewing process, and options.

It is anticipated that thread viewers here may be scarce at first at this forum outlet, but as word gets around, they may (“may”) become widespread, which should enhance Railfan & Railroad Magazine’s subscription totals. (K.P. has no connection or financial interest in said magazine.) Time will tell, though, if subscribers will increase. Update news and feedback (through reply posts) from thread viewers is welcome.

Best to all,

  by Backshophoss
Most of UP's southern transconn is double tracked to Tucson AZ by now,the last known "push on" construction was Tucson to Yuma,
then the single track along the Salton sea to Coachella Ca.
Beaumont Hill has been double tracked and then triple tracked.
There're are 3 "feeders" to UP'southern Transconn,the former SP mainline from New Orleans,the former Mo Pac from the DFW metroplex,
at the Jct in Sierra Blanca Tx,and the "Cotton Rock",nee RI/SP golden state that ties in at Tower 47 in El Paso Tx.
  by John_Perkowski

We have size limits...length/width and pixel count.

Links are welcome, also, you can set an image hyperlink.

Now, what is the status of UP double tracking the route?
  by K P Harrier
John Perkins (7-8):

Thanks, John!

The status of the Sunset Route two-tracking is pretty much dormant right now. Activity in Arizona is pretty much upgrading the target signals to the color light type because of the Positive Train Control regulations. That re-signaling often includes respacing of the signals.

The Diversion in Pomona, CA has linger on for 10 or 11 years, and got bogged down in litigation that can be traced back to the ill-fated SPSF merger attempt of over 30 years ago. That Diversion is now in place and trains are running on it, a reroute that eliminated two grade crossings

In the City of Industry, CA, there is about a mile or two section to be two-tracked related to the “Up and Over” flyover type construction this is now maybe seven years old. And, in San Gabriel, CA, there is a trench that needs finishing, particularly the ends that had a shoofly in the way previously.

There was about ten miles of two-tracking west of Houston, TX, but that was finish a year or so ago and the Positive Train Control issue probably has stalled any other such two-tracking in Texas.

There seems (“seems”) to be some problem in Arizona and UP lacks zeal there for two-tracking.

That is a basic rundown of the matter, and it is hoped that answers your inquiry sufficiently.

To All:

A UP employee I haven’t seen for a while dropped by the office here and showed me his printout of the new Diversion track layout in Pomona, CA.

It had the new track diagram, where the signals are, and control points. There are also photos of the signals and CP points, so a train crew can relate to the new arrangement. Most trainmen have seen these locations for some time, so can relate to the signals and limits involved.

Just thought I would pass that along to everybody …

  by K P Harrier
Train Wreck!

Forumist desertdog (John Timm) advised me that a UP UPS eastbound Intermodal train derailed on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 10, 2018 just west of the relatively new Twin Peaks Road overpass over the I-10 Freeway and the Sunset Route on the west side of Tucson, AZ, in the Marana area. Reportedly, some forty cars left the rails. Press photos indicate the train was on Main 2, the old, original Main before two-tracking. Aerials suggest that the washed out culvert bridge was a wooden one that had never been replaced with a steel and cement one when the line was two-tracked about five to six years ago. Apparently, the flash flood was just that, and so massive that the old bridge was overwhelmed and collapsed. Intermodal cars and containers ended up southwest of the tracks, showing how powerful and the force the sudden floodwaters had.

As this was about to be posted, another thread was started, Monsoon Mayhem. Between this two-tracking thread and that one, we all should get good coverage of the incident.
  by K P Harrier
Sometime in the next three days I should be dispatched to within the Pomona-Los Angeles, CA area. Afterward, focus will be on the western San Gabriel Trench area where the trench is being finished, and the western part of the New Siding area by the eastern side of the ‘Up and Over’ in the City of Industry. Should have photo-links to post by at least next Monday or Tuesday, possibly earlier …
  by Backshophoss
Marana is irrigated farmland north (RR west) of Tucson,is crisscrossed with ditches and canals directing the water to the fields.
That monsoon storm may have overwhelmed that system.
Only active industry in that area is a gravel operation at Rillito.
  by K P Harrier
Update as of Sunday, July 15, 2018

Western Alhambra Sub

Status of the Up and Over Area

City of Industry, CA

Now that the Diversion in Pomona is in service, this date the status of the ‘Up and Over’ area was investigated, particularly the California Ave. grade crossing on the east side of said flyover. If was found that nothing new had developed, i.e., NO new track had been laid for bridging the short gap between the Bassett siding and the New Siding, but an incredible idea popped into K.P.’s head that has to make one wonder about any further two-tracking in the area!

But first, photos from California Ave.: Looking eastbound at CP AL500 NEW SIDING, the western end of the so called “new,” which is old after many years. Press link to view photo, then close on top.

https://s26.postimg.cc/8aabek86x/2018-0715-01.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Looking westbound, the ‘Up and Over’ with the planned second track not laid.

https://s26.postimg.cc/4dwzil2mx/2018-0715-02.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Above, note the un-activated signals at the top of the flyover.

The second main’s track is laid through the California Ave. grade crossing (bottom of photo), and was used for the shoofly when the flyover was being built.

https://s26.postimg.cc/uyzie5zvd/2018-0715-03.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The ‘Up and Over’ flyover has an industrial track on its north side to access rail customers.

https://s26.postimg.cc/9pbw3agzt/2018-0715-04.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

On the other side of the flyover, on its WEST side, is the Bassett siding, and CP AL498 BASSETT, now difficult to photograph because of the new Workman Mill Road / Puente Ave. underpass put in very recently.

Now, reference that incredible idea: While in the area documenting the scene, an engineless train was parked in the Bassett siding, with ‘Up and Over’ and CP AL498 BASSETT on the far left background left.

https://s26.postimg.cc/jzeb2jmax/2018-0715-05.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

IF (“if”) UP completed the two-tracking between Bassett and the New Siding, it no longer would be practical to park railcars in that stretch! Has the railroad figured that out and that is why a second-track has never been laid, or are those cars in the Bassett siding (photo just above) in preparation for track laying? K.P. questions that, but at this point, who knows …

While we are at the west end of the Bassett siding, that siding’s west signal:

https://s26.postimg.cc/bh4uy6kx5/2018-0715-06.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

That siding’s west signal, Main, and Metrolink track:

https://s26.postimg.cc/fq9l0dqrd/2018-0715-07.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Metrolink flyover, and the ex-SP Main:

https://s26.postimg.cc/rs4yuj7pl/2018-0715-08.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/5g7616b6h/2018-0715-09.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

To the west we go …

The San Gabriel Trench

San Gabriel, CA

As seen from Ramona Street, the trench is almost finished, with the west end no longer having vertical I-beams necessary where the orange pylons are at.

https://s26.postimg.cc/tjxxpglxl/2018-0715-11.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/s4wd0qd4p/2018-0715-12.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/yilg40kll/2018-0715-13.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/oy1th3kyx/2018-0715-14.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The construction area to the south has been paved over, with the narrow access road to the wash area seen in the background. The trench track is seen on the right.

https://s26.postimg.cc/9pbw3cm5l/2018-0715-15.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The east end of the trench, by Walnut Grove Ave., the construction looks complete.

https://s26.postimg.cc/7krj29s8p/2018-0715-16.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fencing and angled dirt prevents access to the old shoofly.

https://s26.postimg.cc/ikcqdvy3d/2018-0715-17.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sidewalks and railings look good.

https://s26.postimg.cc/f0qso333d/2018-0715-18.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Fairway Drive Underpass Construction

Los Angeles Sub

City of Industry, CA

To the east, at Fairway Drive, the area (“area”) tools a disaster, with roadway chunks piled up in great quantity.

https://s26.postimg.cc/5syk7ej6h/2018-0715-31.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/btw94gy2x/2018-0715-32.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/o8j14shvd/2018-0715-33.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/65pydl961/2018-0715-34.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

While the LA&SL is two-tracks wide here, the bridge under construction is four-tracks wide.

This section, once single-track, was two-tracked in the 1992-93 period. This LA&SL line (the Los Angeles Sub) is the primary route now on the far western Sunset Route.

This will conclude the trip’s findings report to the forum.
  by K P Harrier
A Series of Mini Posts

To those unfamiliar with the Sunset Route two-tracking, a series of posts with just a few photos (or maybe more) will be presented every couple of days for about a week and a half.

Familiarity Series

Post #1

In the Ferrum, CA area, a single-track higher bridge is being converted to a two-track bridging, November 4, 2011. (Press the link to see the photo, close photo on photo top)

https://s26.postimg.cc/kcc4sb58p/2011-1104-01.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/53m7ek6fd/2011-1104-02.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Post #2 is scheduled by 7 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time the morning of Monday, July 23, 2018.
  by K P Harrier
Familiarity Series

Post #2

By Salton Sea in California, the un-ballasted laid second track by CP SP648 BERTRAM, August 24, 2012.

https://s26.postimg.cc/homohmrjd/2012-0824-01.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

In Picacho, AZ, November 5, 2011:

https://s26.postimg.cc/6ca2zxivd/2011-1105-01.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/vv2fcya55/2011-1105-02.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Just above, the track laying machine had progressed westward to CP SP938 EAST PICACHO, and everybody was going to call it quits for the day.

Post #3 is scheduled by 7 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time the morning of Wednesday, July 25, 2018.
  by K P Harrier
Familiarity Series

Post #3

While the western Phoenix Line sees no trains presently because of being mothballed (official out of service), some years ago an early start to reopening the line took place, but the Positive Train Control effort more or less stopped that.

https://s26.postimg.cc/l34uxk4vt/2018-0114-01.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/pc9kzqfux/2018-0114-02.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The above photos were taken January 14, 2018.

Post #4 is scheduled by 7 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time the morning of Friday, July 27, 2018 … There will be four photos, including Amtrak No. 2 (eastbound) before dawn at Maricopa, AZ.
  by Backshophoss
The Phoenix sub was split apart at MP 802.8 near Kofa,the main line east of Kofa is OOS till MP 851 Gillespie
The Stub west of Kofa to the Jct at Wellton is called the Roll industrial Lead and is active till MP 782.3,just east of Roll,
the rest is OOS to the break point at MP 802.8.
This was back in 09/05/2004 per the Alamont Press SW Region TT # 5
  by K P Harrier
Familiarity Series

Post #4

Amtrak No. 2 with a private car at Maricopa, AZ at dawn, October 1, 2016:

https://s26.postimg.cc/l34uxjpg9/2016-1001-01.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/q0ifj8rll/2016-1001-02.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

On January 14, 2018 in the darkness, the Maricopa Amtrak stop and California Zephyr tail car Silver Horizon on display.

https://s26.postimg.cc/mi6fm9itl/2018-0114-03.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/vpyo2zsgp/2018-0114-04.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This area was two-tracked some time ago within this decade. The two-tracking track layout is NOT conducive to Amtrak service, and consistently follows a UP “freight” orientation. If one thinks about it, UP is NOT in the business of ‘donating’ track arrangements for the benefit of OTHERS …

Post #5 is scheduled by 7 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time the morning of Sunday, July 29, 2018.
  by K P Harrier
Familiarity Series

Post #5

At Picacho, AZ at dawn, January 15, 2018, and the new signals, including a very rare three headed one.

https://s26.postimg.cc/s6cqd6xgp/2018-0115-01.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/frpycub3d/2018-0115-02.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

At Red Rock, AZ May 18, 2012 and new two-tracking signals.

https://s26.postimg.cc/8n854clzt/2012-0518-01.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; 6959

Post #6 is scheduled by 7 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time the morning of Tuesday, July 31, 2018.
  by K P Harrier
This post is being moved forward in time, as K.P. a few hours ago received an unexpected dispatch and he envisions being tied up on it for hours, possibly beyond midnight.

Familiarity Series

Post #6

By Salton Sea, CA June 22, 2012, and drainage updating for two-tracking, and a tie laying machine with many concrete ties on it:

https://s26.postimg.cc/b4jwbmdm1/2012-0622-01.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/ebefv95rt/2012-0622-02.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Extra Treat … El Paso, TX

Two long and big bridges cross the Rio Grande River in El Paso, on pared tracks (NOT next to each other), with the BNSF going underneath both. The Sunset Route here has been two-tracks for ages, originally two different railroads, with the SP surviving, now UP of course.

https://s26.postimg.cc/ndplg2ncp/2012-1005-01.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://s26.postimg.cc/q7sqtt7m1/2012-1006-01.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This Thread …

… primarily focuses on the remaining two-tracking between Los Angeles and El Paso (Estrella, AZ west). However, west of Houston, TX a section has been two-tracked in recent times. At this point in time, it is unlikely that K.P. can get out to the Houston area for any photos of that recent two-tracking. Nor nearby, west of Houston, the Brazos River Bridge that partially sank, inspiring UP to emergency contract to fix the bridge. A little off topic but related, the Brazos Classification Yard in the Hearn, TX area, between Dallas and Houston, is currently under construction. So, there are a lot of potential for this thread, but, much depends on viewer counts and replies if this thread will continue.

Reference replies, K.P. has been getting undesirable reports that railroad.net is NOT clearing new posters to post, at least in a timely manner. That very much puts in question the practicality of further posting here.

This will conclude the “Familiarity Series” posting.