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Western Railroad Discussion > U.S. Navy railroads

Date: 05/17/02 21:13
U.S. Navy railroads
Author: rms492

Upon studying the Thomas Bros Maps (great for showing rail linesand names), I;ve noticed that when a rail line is on u.s. navy property, it says "U.S. Navy RR" -- Two examples, are the one down in Seal Beach and the one out in Ventura COunty at Port Huneme -- so do these tracks belong to the U.S. Navy? What I mean, is will I see locomotives painted in U.S. Navy? In these cases, would the Union Pacific be allowed to enter these properties?
Who does the switching within the "Navy property?"

(Even in the ALtamont Press timetables, if you look closely at the Ventura COunty Railroad, it says that "trackage between Wilds and Mazda Loading Facility is property of the U.S. Navy" -- page 75 of issue 13.)

Any other ideas about this would help, I am puzzled by this.

Date: 05/17/02 21:29
Re: U.S. Navy railroads
Author: john1082

The trackage at Seal Beach is likely the trackage in and around the Naval Weapons Station. Don't know what kind of power they use, but the last time I heard, it was a government operation. Same for the trackage at the old Concord Weapons Station up north. Don't know about the trackage up in Ventura. The Navy would use it's own power and crews while shifting explosives around the weapons bunkers.

The UP very likely drops off what ever they have to deliver and then departs the area.

Date: 05/18/02 04:24
Re: U.S. Navy railroads

If you remember Concord Weapons Station is where the protestor had his legs removed by the Navy' ammo train about 1989-90?..
San Diego's 32nd St. Navsta has it's trackage also but the San Diego Railroad Museum got the 65 tonner that used to run there ... The Naval operating base [ N.O.B. ] at Norfolk , Virginia { NORVA ] has interchange tracks and their own 20 ton switchers and I think a MRS-1 ... These tracks were laid down by the U.S. Maritime Administration mostly during WW II .Of course with the cutbacks and just lousy mis-management ,The Naval Bases across the U.S. are not even a shadow of their former selves.....

Date: 05/18/02 07:30
Re: U.S. Navy railroads
Author: UPRRPR

Back when I was in the Navy in the 60s we had a scheduled overhaul at Hunter's Point in San Francisco and our destroyer was in drydock there. My roommate, George, was the supply officer, and the butt of a lot of practical jokes. While we we there, George had a lot of material, parts, etc on the ship off-loaded and stored in two ancient Navy boxcars on the pier next to the ship to get the stuff out of the way. The two gray cars, I think they were wooden in fact, and stayed there for weeks. One day we found someone who ran the base railroad to "hide" the cars. The next morning George came out and saw his boxcars were gone. He went absolutely nuts. It was great.

Date: 05/18/02 08:07
Seal Beach
Author: SteveD

On base trackage and connector to S.P. Huntington Beach branch at Westminster all built by Navy during WWII and originally operated by them (see photo of Navy center cab at "Ammo Junction" in my RTTOG. On base switching(between bunkers etc. now performed by contractor using Navy equipment(little tellow locos and numerous silver box cars), but U.P. delivers commercial loads over connector into base, armed Marines meeting them at gate to protect opening during such deliveries.
This per my recollection when I left O.C. a few years ago and believed still current.
OC Register ran a nice full page spread on layout once which may still be accessible on its website.

Date: 05/18/02 08:20
Re: U.S. Navy railroads
Author: chuchubob

The Earle Naval Weapons Station in New Jersey has its own railroad. They host a railfan trip every twenty years or so. The railroad hauls ammunition from inland storage to ships at the end of their two-mile pier, constructed after a ship blew up the neighborhood during WWI.
The photos are from the fantrip on June 25, 2000, sponsored by the URHS (United Railroad Hostorical Societies of NJ).

Date: 05/18/02 08:59
Re: U.S. Navy railroads
Author: Hoegjohn

The largest rail facility is at Crane, IN at the Crane NWS. Most of the remaining Naval railroads serve Naval weapons facilities. They are used to transfer ammunition around those facilities.
Locomotives consist of transfer swithcers, in yellow color, with box cars and flat cars painted grey or white.
The facility at Port Hueneme is not an ammunition site and used to support the SEABEE logistics, but primary use is by the civilian automotive transfer facility on the base.

Date: 05/18/02 10:21
Re: U.S. Navy railroads
Author: arlazil

Another Navy railroad is in Maryland in Charles County about 10 miles down the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. It serves the Indian Head Naval Base (I cannot remember the official name.) The base used to be a testing place for the large cannons on Navy Ships. The Navy Gun Factory was in D.C. The railroad was needed to move large very heavy objects, supplies and coal. The railroad connected with the PRR at White Plains, MD.

The railroad still connects with CSX at the same place. The railroad has a GE 80 tonner. The Base command would like to have the railroad haul in coal. Trucks have taken over that business since the '80's. The primary mission of the base is now research and testing of munitions and propellants. But, the power plant uses coal and the coal trucks are a nuisance.

The base had a caboose but they recently donated it to the town of La Plata, MD to be part of the town's railroad museum. They were nice enough to let me ride along on the movement of the caboose to White Plains. The photo is the train stopped just outside the gate of the Indian Head base. The railroad's eguipment is kept very clean. They have a very nice speeder.

La Plata, MD suffered through a terrible tornado recently. It passed very close to the railroad museum, which is the old PRR Station and the caboose. The town is still being rebuilt. The musuem suffered just a little damage. The museum is next to CSX's Popes Creek Sub, home of some Conrail's SD80MACs.


Date: 05/18/02 11:00
Re: U.S. Navy railroads
Author: bnsf_boy

Altough not Navy, Camp Pendleton had a RR at one time that ran from Camp Delmar to the Fallbrook Naval Weapon Station. The tracks now end just off the end of the wye with the BNSF but on base past the Marine Corp Air Station they start up agine and run out to Mainside before they are removed out to Fallbrook. Does anyone know when this line was deactivated? I know it had to have been a while ago. Bye the way, at the end of the wye off of BNSF there is a Scarlet chopprd nose GP7 or GP9 and a yellow 80T sitting there.

Date: 05/18/02 11:16
Re: U.S. Navy railroads
Author: Michael_SD40-2

I have inquired about this since I absolutely enjoy railroading however, I think the switching might be done by DOD civilian personnel. In El Paso, Texas where I am from the UP delivers flats of tanks, rovers, and other Army equipment. I know the Army has it's own switch engine and they use their own people to make the moves. While stationed in Oceana, VA the last couple of years, I noticed a very old and beat up locomotive. It came from nowhere. They discovered it rotting away in the woods on the base so they brought it out. A friend and I climbed on it and it was unlike anything I had ever seen. I did see however, "US NAVY" barely visible on the locomotive's port and starboard sides (left and right respectively). Perhaps the Naval installations whith more RR action do have some sort of organized rail car handling. Other than that, the track is owned by the USN since it is on federal property.

BNSF Southwest Division

Date: 05/18/02 13:15
Re: US ARMY Railroads
Author: tmengineman

I wish I could attach pics... Last week (Monday eve) when flying into El Paso and landing to the east (that's never happened since I've been flying in here weekly since November last) I saw 3 engines on Fort Bliss. (or would that be Biggs Airfield at that point? west of Airport Rd, south of Fred Wilson) They were largely red and blue (with some white of course!) and looked to be GP35's. Can anyone elaborate? Michael? Thanks!!

Date: 05/18/02 14:02
32nd St Navy
Author: Big John

Last remnants of tracks got pulled probably about 2 years ago (if not longer) on the shore side.

Navy has been getting rid of tracks on all but WepStas for years. Pt Hueneme still has some because it not only is used for commercial traffic using the port facilities (VC Ry supports??) but is a load out point for SeaBees and USMC in the event of a deployment. Seal Beach uses USN Public Works personnel for shifting ammo and Coast Rail Services (I believe) use the tracks for the Rebuild the Beach sand trains. Marines are pretty much gone ever since the reasons they were there left for other parts. There aren't too many places where delivery isn't made by truck now.

You will see rr where there is a strong possibility of heavy armor being loaded but other than that it's gone.

Date: 05/18/02 14:16
Re: 32nd St Navy
Author: daved

A couple interesting sites to check out, are the 1205th Transportation Ry. Operating Batt.

And the military rails online site.

Dave D.
Los Angeles, CA

-Rail Radio Online-Home of the "TrainTenna" RR Monitoring Antenna-
-The Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Photo Archive & E-Mail List-
-The Ashley, Drew & Northern Railfan Page-
-Southern California Trains-

Date: 05/18/02 19:25
Re: U.S. Navy railroads
Author: Odie

At the US Navel Weapons Station in Colts Neck,NJ
Conrail would drop off all of the cars a the entrance point.From that point on the Navy would move all cargo on thier tracks with there own motive power.The Earle Naval Weapons Station has it's own RR.As they say "it's the safest way to Sandy Hook Bay" where they load the ships.

Date: 05/18/02 19:31
What About At Port Chicago?
Author: LocoBil

Did they ever have any rail facilities up at Port Chicago, in the San Francisco area? Just got to wondering as I remembered that was an important munitions transfer location during World War 2.

Loco Bil

Date: 05/18/02 19:37
Re: Seal Beach
Author: David.Curlee

The Navy railroad operations in Seal Beach are alive and well moving ammo over the base, as they have done for years. Seal Beach has (4) GE 80-tonners, 2 of which are used on a rotating basis.
These are 65-00259 and 65-00618, and were rebuilt with Caterpillar engines by Chrome Crankshaft back 10-15 years ago. The other two, although stored serviceable, are un-rebuilt and in fair to poor shape. They are kept inside (or just outside) of the shop in Seal Beach. If absolutely necessary, I suppose they can be used if the other two regular units go belly up.

Date: 05/18/02 21:16
Re: What About At Port Chicago?
Author: Big John

Thats Nav Wep Sta Concord now.

Date: 05/20/02 07:43
Re: What About At Port Chicago?
Author: Pullman

Currently at Port Chicago, the Tidal area is under the control of the Army and is handled by a contractor for operations. The Inland area is shut down.

Current status of the entire facility is "Caretaker" under DOD Review.

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