Home Open Account Help 268 users online

Western Railroad Discussion > The only freight that polishes this steel.


Pages:  [ 1 ][ 2 ] [ Next ]
Current Page:1 of 2


Date: 11/06/19 19:02
The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: SPgoletablock

The Coastline has had a rollercoaster ride regarding freight traffic volumes in the last 40 yrs. There was a huge dip in the mid to late 80's when I was in High School but nothing compared to whats going on now, with no thru freights.
-Seen here is UP 2680 East leading the twice weekly Guadalupe Turn (LOF-66) just West of Jalama Beach Campground.  




Date: 11/06/19 19:27
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: pdt

I heard..many times...that the SP "closed down the coast line" in the late 80's or 90's.   So i guess this low amount of freight traffic is not new.

And back then, there were no Amtrak surfliners to SLO...at least we have 2 RT per day, plus the starlights.

Part of the problem is the decline of carload traffic, whcih the UP (arguably) has been chasing away as "low yield business"  15 years ago there were 4 manifests a day on the coast, contract coke trains, the oil cans, baretables, autos....

Todays great short term pullback in ops just to increase margin...is long tern foolhearty., imho   I guess we'll see how it all plays out.
Talk has been that the UP doesnt want to sell the coast...but i wish they would sell it to someone interested in growing local carload traffic....It isnt like there's no industry out here...



Date: 11/06/19 19:44
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: shortlineboss

Is there any intermodel business between Oakland/Lathrop and LA?

Mike Root
Chandler, AZ



Date: 11/06/19 20:09
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: The-late-EMD

shortlineboss Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Is there any intermodel business between
> Oakland/Lathrop and LA?

A little but it's routed down the valley.

Posted from Android



Date: 11/06/19 20:55
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: JGFuller

The Coast between Salinas and Santa Margarita, and SLO and Goleta, is state-of-the-art-1948-railroad: Hand-throw switches, short sidings, and a signal system appropriate for the era. If sufficient freights are operated to have reasonable crew turns without excessive deadheading or held-away time, the route isn't capable of handling the traffic in an environment with two-man crews and no cabooses. And there are major psgr operations on both ends that wreak havoc on any manner of scheduled operation. And the San Joaquin Valley is ctc and long sidings. The days of Oakland-Taylor Yard trains are long gone.

However, UP is loath to dispose of major line segments that offer alternate routes in case of major M/W work, or disasters. SP sold the LA Basin routes to Metrolink because of shortages of cash. UP doesn't have that problem.

Jack Fuller
Lafayette, CA



Date: 11/06/19 21:03
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: webmaster

pdt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> isnt like there's no industry out here...

What potential carload business is there?  Lately, I have been making a number of trips out to Oxnard and except for auto carriers there is nothing in the yard.  The yard could be torn up and the railroad would not miss it.  Perhaps once a month the UP drags a pellet car on the Santa Paula Branch Line.  Not a lot of potential there.  I took a Google Earth coast line tour recently and I could not find the potential for anything leaving Los Angeles until perhaps Salinas.  The real estate is too expensive to justify any kind of industry along the coast. Except for an occasional lumber yard, there isn't anything.  Plus, Metrolink to the south and Caltrain to the north, combined with the indirect slow line limits its usefulness as a through line.   I am surprised UP has not made the state a good offer before the bridges need replacement.

Really too bad UP could not be cost effective in capturing Tesla's business.  Instead dozens of their trucks carrying new Model 3s head down I-5 every day.

 

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com



Date: 11/06/19 21:07
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: railstiesballast

The 2%+ grade over Cuesta near San Luis Obispo requires either excess power over most of the run or a helper district at SLO, adding to the poor economics of routing through freight.
As said above, both the north and south end points are saturated with passenger operations morning and evening.  A hot freight on a midnight to noon schedule might make it but.....



Date: 11/06/19 22:32
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: pdt

webmaster Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> pdt Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
> > isnt like there's no industry out here...
>
> What potential carload business is there? 
> Lately, I have been making a number of trips out
> to Oxnard and except for auto carriers there is
> nothing in the yard.  The yard could be torn up
> and the railroad would not miss it.  Perhaps once
> a month the UP drags a pellet car on the Santa
> Paula Branch Line.  Not a lot of potential
> there.  I took a Google Earth coast line tour
> recently and I could not find the potential for
> anything leaving Los Angeles until perhaps
> Salinas.  The real estate is too expensive to
> justify any kind of industry along the coast.
> Except for an occasional lumber yard, there isn't
> anything.  Plus, Metrolink to the south and
> Caltrain to the north, combined with the indirect
> slow line limits its usefulness as a through
> line.   I am surprised UP has not made the state
> a good offer before the bridges need replacement.
>
> Really too bad UP could not be cost effective in
> capturing Tesla's business.  Instead dozens of
> their trucks carrying new Model 3s head down I-5
> every day.
>
Well...I guess I gotta reply to the webmaster....
There isnt much between goleta and surf.....altho South Vandenberg used to get a lot of cars once upon a time. Obviously everything at Vendenberg is trucked in these days...IDK if there is any chance of them going back to rail.   FWIW...Everyone gave up on camp roberts/east garrison....and then about 6 years ago (?) they army chnged their minds on exercises or something...and all the track was rebuilt and we've had at least 50 military unit trains in/out of the  east garrison/camp roberts complex since them.  The point is...never say never...

Otherwise...
Lumber yard in Lompoc i believe still has their siding intact.
Possibility of fertilizer transload at lompoc yard.  Lots of ag in Lompoc.
Guadalupe....theres a lumber yard and simplot fertilizer, and the SMVRR keeps increasing business

Conoco phillips  still shipping out pet coke,,,but not nearly as much as they used to.   There use to be oubound loads to the pacific NW..idk if UP killed that with the 2 day increase in transit time with circuitous routing. Export contracts for coke...IDK if its the economy/politics, or UP doesnt want the short haul to stockton or another port.
There was a proposal to build a rail yard for inbound crude oil trains.  The idiots here managed to kill the project politically, and unbekownst to the morons who live out here...the crude is trucked in now. 
Oceano....Team track used to receive lumber
SLO...same story
Santa Margarita....2 sidings in town, but neither has been used for revenue in 20+ years.  IDK
Also large quarry near tracks north of town.  Ive been told all the rock from there is used locally. IDK. I just know it all goes out by truck.

Atascadero...Team track used to get lumber and sheetrock.  UP stopped serving, as margarita crew was outlawing a lot (mostly due to other causes) , but it was blamed on Atascadero.

Templeton...Templeton Feed has LARGE mill there....formerly used tracks are burried in the weeds.  All inbound grain handled by trucks.

Paso Robles....2 hot mix/cement plants south of town  next to tracks.  I remember when every concrete plant had a siding for inbound loads of portland cement
Team Track and Big Creek lumber tracks still active for inbounf lumber.

San Miguel...
Large wine processing plant next to tracks north of town

Camp robers/east garrison previously discussed

Bradley....Lartge quarry along tracks south of town.  All trucked out.

San Ardo....We all know about the Oil Cans. Im sure theres a lot to the story which none of us know....but what I do know is that there are trucks of crude on the 101 and 46East constantly, and truck is the most expensive way to move crude.

King city...Team track inactive.  Lots of big plants next to tracks, sidings inactive

San Lucas...Fertilizer plant track active

Soledad....Team Track inactive

Camphora...Fertilizer plant active track.    Concrete plant also right at tracks.  Looks like they had active track use at one time.

Gonzales....Abandoned siding south side of town....dont know who it was for.

Spence road...Pallet place active siding

Firestone....There are several sidings off the Firestone lead.  Some appear to be active....

Next stop...Salinas....there's been talk of building a transload for outbound ag loads.  It all goes by truck right now, afaik...

For some reason...the SMVRR has been able to grow traffic on the central coast, and, for my money, it seems pretty obvious that the UP has little interest in growing their business.  I know for a fact that Hayward Lumber in Paso Robles talked to UP about getting their own siding, and they were told $300,000 up front, for a rail siding and the "privilege" of having UP rail service.    Somehow, I dont thing the SMVRR treats potential customers that way. 

Im just sayin   :)


 



Date: 11/06/19 22:55
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: JGFuller

RRs generally build only to the r/w clearance point for industry spurs, as that is the limit of their liabilit. I'd be surprised if SMV is any different.

Jack Fuller
Lafayette, CA



Date: 11/06/19 23:24
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: pdt

JGFuller Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> RRs generally build only to the r/w clearance
> point for industry spurs, as that is the limit of
> their liabilit. I'd be surprised if SMV is any
> different.

Im just saying that I expect that the  SMVRR is more helpful than the UP when a potential customer comes to their door.  In fact, I'll be that the SMVRR gioes to potential customers' doors. 



Date: 11/07/19 02:12
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: OTG

The track at South Vandenberg was torn out over a year ago now, except for a small stub which is sometimes used for MOW storage.  The adjacent roadway was washed out during the storms a while back and the track was removed so the damaged section of road could be shifted over and rebuilt on the Railroad ROW, rather than rebuilding the hillside beneath the road.  I doubt any of that will be undone anytime soon.

The UP has no aspirations to run carload freight, as mentioned above.  ESPECIALLY on the Coast.  Best thing that can happen to the line at this point is if it's sold to the State for use as a passenger line, or to a short line that is interested in actually running carload service.



Date: 11/07/19 03:37
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: coach

Doesn't Oxnard still grow lots of produce?  Didn't Oxnard, as recently as a decade ago, still generate reefer loads??



Date: 11/07/19 09:39
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: pdt

AFAIK, the smvrr are the only ppl generating outbound reefers of ag products on the coast anymore. 

From what I hear...the SP played the "oh, just truck ur products to one of our convenient TOFC ramps in OAK or LA"  and the traffic just seems to have gone all truck now. 

UP seems to have some interest in getting back ag business out of Salinas...there's talk about building a transfer facility near the station.  Lompoc and south...UP apparantly could care less..and the long transit times with pickups only 2-3 days per week doesnt help...



Date: 11/07/19 09:55
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: BCHellman

SPgoletablock Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Coastline has had a rollercoaster ride
> regarding freight traffic volumes in the last 40
> yrs. There was a huge dip in the mid to late 80's
> when I was in High School but nothing compared to
> whats going on now, with no thru freights.
> -Seen here is UP 2680 East leading the twice
> weekly Guadalupe Turn (LOF-66) just West of
> Jalama Beach Campground.  

What's the story on the boat wreck in the foreground?



Date: 11/07/19 10:28
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: PHall

coach Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Doesn't Oxnard still grow lots of produce?
>  Didn't Oxnard, as recently as a decade ago,
> still generate reefer loads??

Trucks have it all and have had this business for decades now. With very little chance of it coming back. The business has changed.



Date: 11/07/19 12:10
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: pdt

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> coach Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Doesn't Oxnard still grow lots of produce?
> >  Didn't Oxnard, as recently as a decade ago,
> > still generate reefer loads??
>
> Trucks have it all and have had this business for
> decades now. With very little chance of it coming
> back. The business has changed.

So that means the business cant change again?   You cant build a better mouse trap?



Date: 11/07/19 15:18
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: PHall

pdt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> PHall Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > coach Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Doesn't Oxnard still grow lots of produce?
> > >  Didn't Oxnard, as recently as a decade ago,
> > > still generate reefer loads??
> >
> > Trucks have it all and have had this business
> for
> > decades now. With very little chance of it
> coming
> > back. The business has changed.
>
> So that means the business cant change again?  
> You cant build a better mouse trap?

When melting ice was the only way keep stuff cool, rail had the business because ice cooled trucks just wasn't practical.
But when mechanical refrigeration units that could be mounted on a truck came along it was game over for rail service in the produce industry. 
If you can find a way today for rail to match or exceed the speed and flexibility of trucks you might have a chance to get some of the business back.
But I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.



Date: 11/07/19 15:48
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: JGFuller

Perishable - especiallyu Fresh - suffers from two large problems:
  • a high claims ratio - averaging about 10% of revenue
  • Difficulty in securing a backhaul, yielding 100% empty return.

Jack Fuller
Lafayette, CA



Date: 11/07/19 16:12
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

I worked The Coast pool for nearly 16 years from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo.I worked it in the heyday when there were 5 to 6 trains a day each direction. As the years went by the ratio of trains reduced to 5 westbounds to 3 eastbounds. Which meant the crews were out of balance therefore there were many cross deaheading.
I was on the last westbound into SLO in 1989. The outbound crew that relieved me reported a fire in tunnel on the Cuesta Grade. The coast was shutdown do to this fire. All freight was diverted via Bakersfield. The coast was shutdown to through freight for 2 years. The decision was made to down grade the coast to a secondary mainline. Larry Leroy Phipps made the comment to put a spike in the switch at Burbank Jct. And Watsonville to prevent any freight train movements. To this day miss running on the Coast.

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/07/19 18:28 by SanJoaquinEngr.



Date: 11/07/19 17:00
Re: The only freight that polishes this steel.
Author: webmaster

The infrastructure to handle reefers is gone. An earlier post by a logistics professional shared that none of the new developments are built around rail.  Even if you put them in reefers there is nowhere to unload them.  Plus, trucking is cheaper than rail and more reliable.

 

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com



Pages:  [ 1 ][ 2 ] [ Next ]
Current Page:1 of 2


[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.1222 seconds