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Western Railroad Discussion > Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!


Date: 08/12/19 15:53
Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: 2720

Just found out today that the west end of Tunnel 4 on the SD&AE
has collapsed. A couple of days ago, late afternoon!

This is the south end of the international tunnel between Mexico
and the United States.

Another hurdle for this line to overcome!

First photo, Looking south into Mexico. Partial roof collapse just
inside portal.

Photographer Jarod Black in the photo. Posted with permission.

Made many runs through this tunnel with SDIV, CZRY and PSRM,
the museum in Campo, CA.

Mike

 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/19 16:11 by 2720.






Date: 08/12/19 15:57
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: Railbaron

What would cause it to simply "collapse"? Is the lining so bad it is literally caving in, was there a fire, or even sabotage to keep people from crossing the border (if they even try that route). 



Date: 08/12/19 16:25
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: CZ10

With the collapse right at the portal, it looks like it might be easier
just to "daylight" the collapsed portion, and do some reinforcement,
as well as a new portal.



Date: 08/12/19 18:38
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: Milwaukee

Looks like that section of the tunnel has simply been "daylighted".   It may be a relatively easy solve if so especially if it is on the Mexican side.   



Date: 08/12/19 19:54
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: up833

There are a number of verticle supports that look to be kicked inward at the bottom. That causes loss or support allowing the roof to collapse.
RB



Date: 08/12/19 21:44
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: Misfit138

Well that sucks. Another memory gone. I've come to the conclusion this line has been cursed from the beginning. Between early derailments, a Hurricane, decades of neglect, fires, multiple shady operators and I'll throw in the murders at the Spreckles Coronado mansion. It really is the "Impossible Railroad". -Matt

BTW: I have confidence that BJRR is on this problem ASAP...........(Crickets)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/19 21:49 by Misfit138.



Date: 08/12/19 22:16
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: webmaster

If that end fell, what about the rest of the tunnel? 

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com



Date: 08/12/19 22:56
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: nedzarp

Most of the tunnel is through solid granite.



Date: 08/13/19 00:03
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: 2720

The timbers lining this tunnel are original to it's construction in 1913/14! The vertical timbers are
8"x14" and upwards of 18 feet tall and old growth redwood.

You can see some of these vertical timbers have shifted inwards possibly indicating the earth behind the
lining has shifted due to earthquake, erosion, lack of maintenance and years of trains rumbling through 
the tunnel. The timbers get closer together towards the portal indicating looser material needing more
support. These shifted timbers have altered the support of the roof timbers and the cribbing above them,
thus weakened the roof finally couldn't support the load above any longer.

About a days worth of work with a loader to clear away the debris and remove some of the failed roof supports
would open this up for more extensive work to shore up the vertical timbers. Another option would be to daylight
this tunnel. There is not an excessive amount of material above it. It would alter the unique history of the tunnel due
to it being an international tunnel!

I have cleared 5 tunnels on the SD&AE while I worked with Carrizo Gorge Railway, including the east end of this
very tunnel, after a brush fire burned all the lumber off the bridge just north of Tunnel 4 and the East Portal back in
2004. This one shouldn't take too long to reopen but time will tell!

Mike
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/19 00:07 by 2720.



Date: 08/13/19 00:25
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: Misfit138

2720 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The timbers lining this tunnel are original to
> it's construction in 1913/14! The vertical timbers
> are
> 8"x14" and upwards of 18 feet tall and old growth
> redwood.
>
> You can see some of these vertical timbers have
> shifted inwards possibly indicating the earth
> behind the
> lining has shifted due to earthquake, erosion,
> lack of maintenance and years of trains rumbling
> through 
> the tunnel. The timbers get closer together
> towards the portal indicating looser material
> needing more
> support. These shifted timbers have altered the
> support of the roof timbers and the cribbing above
> them,
> thus weakened the roof finally couldn't support
> the load above any longer.
>
> About a days worth of work with a loader to clear
> away the debris and remove some of the failed roof
> supports
> would open this up for more extensive work to
> shore up the vertical timbers. Another option
> would be to daylight
> this tunnel. There is not an excessive amount of
> material above it. It would alter the unique
> history of the tunnel due
> to it being an international tunnel!
>
> I have cleared 5 tunnels on the SD&AE while I
> worked with Carrizo Gorge Railway, including the
> east end of this
> very tunnel, after a brush fire burned all the
> lumber off the bridge just north of Tunnel 4 and
> the East Portal back in
> 2004. This one shouldn't take too long to reopen
> but time will tell!
>
> Mike
>  
Mike, much respect. However as long as this end of the line will be under lease from a government agency, no company with invest in the endless game of wack-o-mole repairs until its sold to a private ownership that would invest to make the line reliable  and profit viable. -Matt

And yeah, still cursed.
 



Date: 08/13/19 06:58
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: BAB

Railbaron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What would cause it to simply "collapse"? Is the
> lining so bad it is literally caving in, was there
> a fire, or even sabotage to keep people from
> crossing the border (if they even try that
> route). 

Um lining failed is the usual problem due to age, lack of maintenance, earth quake or water damage to the supports....................long and short of it something broke. Just like airplane crashes wait for the experts to tell you.



Date: 08/13/19 07:11
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: Railbaron

BAB Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ... Just like airplane crashes wait for the experts to tell you.


First, my post / question was done before that photo was posted so there was nothing for me to base my question on. After the photo I could see a couple of bents were kicked inward indicating lack of maintenance. 

Second, I made absolutely no statement about cause; I simply asked for insight since I am not familiar with the area; was there a previous fire or was it lack of maintence, etc. Evidently you are not familiar between asking a question versus making a supposition about cause. Excuse me for being interested!!!

As a note, since there was no "crash" I doubt you'll see any official investigation, other than a possible internal one by the organization that holds title to this route. As such I doubt you'll see a public report from "experts".



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/19 07:29 by Railbaron.



Date: 08/13/19 07:35
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: CPRR

Who do I contact to purchase the vertical beams that are going to be removed?



Date: 08/13/19 18:59
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: the_expediter

As that famous U.S. General exclaimed during the Battle of the Bulge, when asked by the Germans to surrender, he replied with one word...

NUTS



Date: 08/13/19 22:03
Re: Another tunnel collapse on the SD&AE!
Author: 2720

Misfit138 Wrote:

> Mike, much respect. However as long as this end of
> the line will be under lease from a government
> agency, no company with invest in the endless game
> of wack-o-mole repairs until its sold to a private
> ownership that would invest to make the line
> reliable  and profit viable. -Matt
>
> And yeah, still cursed.
>  

Matt, I agree with you 100%! MTS as the owner will not put one cent into this railroad and expects
the operator to foot the bill 100% for any and all track, bridge and tunnel repairs and maintenance
and on top of that, they expect to be paid $1,000,000.00 per year just for granting of the operating
rights!

When CZRY was operating the line, we were paying about 1.5% of our Gross Revenue to MTS and that
money went into a fund to go back into the railroad!
Then with the granting of the operating rights to Pacific Imperial Railroad, they changed the agreement
to the $1,000,000.00 per year payment and they could use that money anywhere they wanted to!

The original CZRY made an offer to buy the line and was turned down. Tried a second time, same answer.

MTS paid $18.1 Million dollars to SP in 1979, and wanted the same or more to purchase the line.

Who knows if the SD&AE will ever be reopened, but as Matt said, as long as MTS owns and controls
the SD&AE, that possibility remains an unknown!

Mike
 



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