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Western Railroad Discussion > Chasing MRVWS with BART (California)

Date: 04/18/17 18:49
Chasing MRVWS with BART (California)
Author: cchan006

MRVWS = Union Pacific's Roseville to Warm Springs manifest train.

BART = Bay Area Rapid Transit, a third-rail powered 5' 6" gauge rail transit system in the San Francisco Bay Area.

When BART announced the opening of the Warm Springs BART station last month, I immediately had ideas of riding BART to chase a freight train. I've chased the now-discontinued MRVSJ (Roseville to San Jose manifest) with Amtrak Capitol Corridor so this was the next logical step. BART's Warm Springs/South Fremont Station overlooks the north end of UP's Warm Springs Yard, so it was an ideal location to end the chase.

I was listening to radio feeds Sunday morning, trying to pinpoint the whereabouts of the MRVWS. Even with timely help from a friend on Yahoo! group headsupnorcal, I guessed wrong on the routing. I was about to shelve the BART chase idea, when I overheard on the radio feed UP 4877 calling "CP Bridge" which meant the train was ready to cross the Benicia-Martinez Bridge on the "Cal-P" or UP's Martinez Sub.

I scrambled out of the house on a windy and rainy day, to try my idea...

First clip is at the Oakland Coliseum. I rode BART from Warm Springs to the Coliseum Station, one way fare of $4.40. Southbound BART train is visible in the distance before the MRVWS shows up. Entire train is shown.

Based on the ETA posted at the station, MRVWS was going to get a ~10 minute head start ahead of the BART train I wanted to hop on. In the second clip, a Dublin/Pleasanton bound BART showed up ahead of the Warm Springs-bound train, so I did a little "BART foaming" and the operator gave me a toot-toot (or beep beep?) and highballed this foamer.

In the third clip, happy Golden State Warriors fans are walking toward the station (beat the Portland Trailblazers, Game 1) when the Warm Springs-bound train shows up. There was only about a 3 minute headway between this and the Dublin/Pleasanton bound train running ahead.

The BART train races ahead of MRVWS near the Washington Blvd. overpass in Fremont in the fourth clip. Entire train is shown again - it should be the same train, no cars missing, right? This is along UP's Warm Springs Sub and BART's new extension between Fremont and Warm Springs.

The crew and Dispatcher 58 are releasing the track warrant in the fifth clip.

I end the video with the train arriving along side the BART station and Warm Springs Yard, sixth and seventh clip.

The roundtrip cost of $8.80 is about 3 gallons of unleaded regular gasoline at the current market price. That covers 75-80 miles in my car, and roundtrip driving distance between Coliseum and Warm Springs is about 50 mies.

- Ditch lights on, still on the main.
- Ditch lights off, taking the crossover into Warm Springs Yard.
- Video as described above.

That's all folks.

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Date: 04/18/17 19:30
Re: Chasing MRVWS with BART (California)
Author: RailFanAZ


Mesa, AZ

Date: 04/18/17 23:00
Re: Chasing MRVWS with BART (California)
Author: jmf1910

Excellent video, Charles! I think you won the prize of "first person to chase a train to Warm Springs using BART." Thanks for testing out this chase and new angles--we'll definitely have to use method this soon.

Date: 04/19/17 13:01
Re: Chasing MRVWS with BART (California)
Author: SCUfoamer

Love that pacing shot while on BART. I see some searchlights that need some love!

Date: 04/19/17 22:08
Re: Chasing MRVWS with BART (California)
Author: Coalca

That's pretty sweet

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