Home Open Account Help 231 users online

Western Railroad Discussion > Needles 4th Main Track


Date: 06/11/19 10:35
Needles 4th Main Track
Author: BNSF6400

Trains Magazine is reporting that BNSF has completed four (4) miles of fourth main track at Needles.  I saw in the background of a unrelated photo a new multi-track signal bridge just west of the old depot.  Anybody have details on where they added the fourth main track and any changes to the crossover arrangement at West Needles, Needles or East Needles?  I greatly appreciate any information anyone has to share.  Thanks in advance.

For those that don't know, this is in Needles, CA which is on the California/Arizona border.  Its a crew change point on the BNSF Transcon, about 170 miles east of Barstow.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/19 10:36 by BNSF6400.



Date: 06/11/19 12:59
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: Hookdragkick

I think they just upgraded and lengthened the former yard lead track. 



Date: 06/11/19 13:38
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: chiefds

That is correct.  They eventually want to add a third MT between West Needles and Ibis, but the article said that they are still in the permitting and environmental review stage.



Date: 06/11/19 16:22
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: ProAmtrak

Smart move on BNSF's part, they can't get a good run leaving the yard westbound because the grade's like right underneath I40 heading west, gonna make it easir for trains getting in and out of Needles!



Date: 06/11/19 17:24
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: slug96

Still a bottleneck at Needles...No matter how many tracks you add. 



Date: 06/11/19 17:55
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: mapboy

Here’s what BNSF Needles looks like, with the new crossovers in bold.  Must have been fun when the new east xover was being put in and thus single-tracked the east end entry/exit. 
mapboy                                                
                                                    ___ Yard   ____                                       
                                             ___/____Main 1____\_______
                      ___________/_______Main 2_______ _ __ __\__
                  /                  _/_       /___   Main 3_ __            ___ _\____                  
____\__/_________  __/__ _/____   Main 4___            ___\__    __/___\________     
 West Needles              Needles                    CP 5763         East Needles     
 MP 580.4                     578.4                        576.3               574.7

Edit: what a pain drawing this, even using "Preview", it is not the same view!



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/19 18:03 by mapboy.



Date: 06/11/19 17:56
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: TAW

slug96 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Still a bottleneck at Needles...No matter how many
> tracks you add. 

That can be fixed with flow management. In so many places on so many railroads I have seen trains own the railroad for hundreds of miles with gandys and other trains standing at attention, just to get somewhere to drop anchor because there is no place to go. If a train is destined to anchor for some period of time, that time should be given to gandys and other trains. Arrivals should be timed to be as close to ready for the train as possible. That requires a completely different form of thinking than has been taught in the US in many decades.

TAW



Date: 06/11/19 17:58
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: atsf121

slug96 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Still a bottleneck at Needles...No matter how many
> tracks you add. 

Haven’t been to Needles since a Boy Scout trip to Philmont many years ago. Other than the Santa Fe the only thing I remember was how hot Needles was - but I loved it. Why is it such a bottleneck? Didn’t think it was a junction or that there were any major industries in the area. But again, I don’t remember much about Needles.

Nathan

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/11/19 18:00
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: goneon66

i would think "long pools" and now 15K' trains have something to do with the congestion at needles.......

66
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/19 18:01 by goneon66.



Date: 06/11/19 18:21
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: callum_out

The grade to Ibis doesn't help either, those 15K trains don't exactly fly up the hill. The 95 crossing on a 115 deg day seems like
it takes a train an hour to clear.

Out



Date: 06/11/19 19:00
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: slug96

Needles becomes a bottle neck cause trains are running so close together and it becomes a stop and go process from Franconia or Ibis. Plus, with long pool trains, they'll hold everything so they can go around. One of my last Barstow runs, we did Barstow to Goffs in less than four hours and then did Goffs to Needles in 4 hours. Same thing coming from the east, usually took me two hours to go Franconia to Needles. 

There's are a lot of factors that go into back up in Needles, or almost any crew changing point, but it'll take too long to explain. 



Date: 06/11/19 22:19
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: zchcsse

Only about a half mile or so of "new" track was actually built (and that is yard lead trackage).  The rest of the track had been in place for years and was used like a Main Track.  

It's still an improvement overall, with the new crossovers and the cool 5-track signal bridge, but since trains can't leave town any faster in either direction than they could before, it doesn't do much for the overall flow, it just helps to sort priority trains.   When they build a new Main up Goffs Hill, that'll help the flow for westbounds at least. 



Date: 06/12/19 00:26
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: Chico43

ProAmtrak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Smart move on BNSF's part, they can't get a good
> run leaving the yard westbound because the grade's
> like right underneath I40 heading west, gonna make
> it easir for trains getting in and out of Needles!


So when you leave town following a funeral procession west of West Needles, what difference does a run at the hill make?



Date: 06/12/19 07:14
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: Milw_E70

Nearly every crew change terminal on the transcon has been having issues processing trains through them in a timely fashion for months now. Poor planning by terminal management, inexperienced dispatchers, 12-16k trains double spotting to sign the daily cards, PTC issues, and whatever else you can think of all contribute in some way. I've seen trains backed up 100 miles on either side of Argentine Yard in KC waiting to get through and it's essentially a triple track mainline on the west side for those 100 miles.



Date: 06/12/19 08:39
Re: Needles 4th Main Track
Author: mapboy

Milw_E70 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nearly every crew change terminal on the transcon
> has been having issues processing trains through
> them in a timely fashion for months now. Poor
> planning by terminal management, inexperienced
> dispatchers, 12-16k trains double spotting to sign
> the daily cards
, PTC issues, and whatever else you
> can think of all contribute in some way. I've seen
> trains backed up 100 miles on either side of
> Argentine Yard in KC waiting to get through and
> it's essentially a triple track mainline on the
> west side for those 100 miles.

I've heard the DS tell a crew at Needles to highball signing the DPU loco's card.  Then it becomes Barstow's problem.  Most crews don't like to leave on a yellow, because they might have to stop and restart on the 1.4% grade at West Needles.  That slows down the flow, too.

mapboy



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0643 seconds