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Western Railroad Discussion > EC-4 and SD70Ms (Southern California)


Date: 08/09/17 18:55
EC-4 and SD70Ms (Southern California)
Author: cchan006

I made a quick visit to SoCal last weekend, had some free time on Monday, so I roamed around looking for something to chase. "UP 5203 North" was talking with Dispatcher 250 and the PTC "help desk." I headed north on I-215 right away to see if the train was somewhere on UP's Mojave Sub (ex-SP Palmdale Cutoff).

Just then, hotbox detector went off at MP 545.3 on the Yuma Sub (Sunset Route, near Redlands) and reported a defect (total axles: 14). Dispatcher was curious about the defect, but the crew calling itself "UP 4689 West" reassured him that their work train was supposed to trigger the defect.

I got curious, so I took the next exit on I-215, and headed south back to where I came from (West Colton), took I-10, and spotted the SD70M towing a flatcar and the EC-4 climbing the Colton Flyover just past Mt. Vernon. I spotted a westbound manifest crossing over from the BNSF connector to the UP in front of the EC-4, and guessed (correctly) that the UP 4689 might stop behind it, so instead of going to Pepper, I exited one before at Rancho to document the work train.

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Date: 08/09/17 19:08
Re: EC-4 and SD70Ms (Southern California)
Author: electromac

NICE........Thanks for sharing.......



Date: 08/09/17 19:16
Re: EC-4 and SD70Ms (Southern California)
Author: cchan006

After I recorded video of UP 4689 and EC-4, I confirmed that the work train took the east leg of the wye to the Palmdale Cutoff, so I drove onto the Rialto UP/Metrolink flyover to wait for it to show up.

As I got there, I saw a northbound stack train already taking the flyover, what looked like the ZLCBRB (wrong guess) based on time of day and the train makeup. There was a good possibility this was the UP 5203 North, so I went to Devore to eyewitness the leader. As I was doing so, I overheard UP 4689 shoving back to Pepper and planning to tie down (on my scanner).

I beat the northbound stacker by about a minute to Devore, and got a good look at the leader (rare 52xx series SD70M, UP 5203), so I planned a quick chase. Locations in the video are Swarthout Canyon Rd., entrance to Mormon Rocks, and a location with decent light nearby Hivolt. Entire train is shown in the 3rd and final clip.

I was told the symbol of this train was the ILCTMX (LATC to Tacoma, WA, Extra). Thanks for the info - you know who you are. I did hear that symbol being mentioned by DS 250 later on, but didn't think much of it since I was wrongly convinced this was the ZLCBRB.

It wasn't my intent, but due to Monday commute traffic, UP 5203 ended up being my "last train before the flight home." That's it for the quick report.

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Date: 08/09/17 20:40
Re: EC-4 and SD70Ms (Southern California)
Author: MojaveBill

I seem to recall that thing running under its own power when it was new....

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA



Date: 08/09/17 21:07
Re: EC-4 and SD70Ms (Southern California)
Author: cchan006

MojaveBill Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I seem to recall that thing running under its own
> power when it was new....

Last time I caught it running self-propelled was in 2011. Video of that was posted on YouTube, but I'll have to look for the clips to see if I can re-edit it and post it here.

EC-4 supposedly broke a drive shaft soon after that, and next time I saw it (2012), it was being towed by a locomotive. There have been many reasons posted here on TO why EC-4's alleged broken shaft was never fixed, but it seems rail detecting is easier when towed, instead of being self-propelled.

That theory was somewhat confirmed when the newer EC-5 was seen being towed. No reports of EC-5 ever having a broken shaft, but there was another report later where EC-5 WAS travelling self-propelled.

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,4133332



Date: 08/09/17 21:25
Re: EC-4 and SD70Ms (Southern California)
Author: oyw

Great job my friend, thanks for sharing with us.



Date: 08/09/17 23:00
Re: EC-4 and SD70Ms (Southern California)
Author: jmf1910

Very nicely done, Charles! Your video of 5203 on the "fake Z" is exceptional, definitely video of the day material. I really enjoyed the sights and sounds from the locations you chose.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 08/10/17 14:56
Re: EC-4 and SD70Ms (Southern California)
Author: MojaveBill

Thanks for the video AND the information!!

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA



Date: 08/10/17 17:56
Re: EC-4 and SD70Ms (Southern California)
Author: Boomer92

Very cool videos!
Did you notice the recently re-worked and widened overpasses, on-off ramps and freeway areas along both the I-10 and 215 In Colton and San Berdoo? (Not sure last time you may have been down here, but sounds like you know your way around!).

Jim Baker
Riverside, CA



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