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Western Railroad Discussion > Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass


Date: 06/24/20 08:39
Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: broken_link

As mentioned in my thread a couple of days ago, https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,5049839, most (all?) of the remaining SP signal bridges will be falling on Donner Pass this summer. With this in mind, I'm going to try to grab photos of them when I'm out on the hill this summer. The searchlight signals, SP signal bridge, and Norden snow sheds aren't the only vestige of the SP in this shot. The clean looking UP 6355 started its life as an SP AC4400CW.

The chairlift towers seen above the Norden snowshed are for Sugar Bowl Resort's Mt. Judah Express Quad. You can bet that both of my kids know where the run "Tunnel 41" on Mt. Judah got its name from, as well as where Mt. Judah got its name!

Finally, the video features a cameo by donner_dude1, who was up at Norden to shoot the 6355 and then follow it down the hill. There were also a couple other railfans from Carson City up there. (Who would have thought that instead of social distancing there'd be a crowd at West Norden?)

Sean

PS - I believe this is the MOGRV. Feel free to correct if this is inaccurate.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/20 08:41 by broken_link.



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Date: 06/24/20 11:25
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: DocJones

VERY nice work! I have a lot of great memories of creeping around Norden in the mid-1960's. 
Thanks for sharing.

Have fun, be safe,
Bruce "Doc" Jones   Sierra Madre CA



Date: 06/24/20 11:46
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: DynamicBrake

Sean, nice video and thanks sharing it.  I'm trying to figure out what the flickering lights are inside the west portal.  A great camping spot used to be had on top of the east portal.  Don't know about these days.

Kent in CArmel Valley



Date: 06/24/20 12:03
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: Ritzville

Very NICE series!

Larry



Date: 06/24/20 13:25
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: 4451Puff

DynamicBrake Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sean, nice video and thanks sharing it.  I'm
> trying to figure out what the flickering lights
> are inside the west portal.  A great camping spot
> used to be had on top of the east portal.  Don't
> know about these days.
>
> Kent in CArmel Valley

Those are the worklights inside the Norden shed, not T-41 west portal.



Date: 06/24/20 14:33
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: WAF

To be clear, we are at the west end of the Norden sheds. Last search lights on Donner, I understand



Date: 06/24/20 14:36
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: 3rdswitch

I'm trying to figure out how there is a red over yellow with a train passing on adjacent track? On BNSF, red over yellow was diverging approach. Can't be lined across with a train passing, either UP former SP signals are different OR there is a third track beyond the signal? Inquiring mind would like to know. Nice shots by the way.
JB



Date: 06/24/20 15:53
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: donner_dude1

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To be clear, we are at the west end of the Norden
> sheds. Last search lights on Donner, I understand

There are search lights at the East end of Norden as well although not on a signal bridge.



Date: 06/24/20 15:57
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: ns1000

I like Pic 1!!



Date: 06/24/20 16:03
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: donner_dude1

3rdswitch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm trying to figure out how there is a red over
> yellow with a train passing on adjacent track? On
> BNSF, red over yellow was diverging approach.
> Can't be lined across with a train passing, either
> UP former SP signals are different OR there is a
> third track beyond the signal? Inquiring mind
> would like to know. Nice shots by the way.
> JB

I was there when this was shot and was wondering the same. The red over yellow appeared about 15 minutes prior to the arrival of the train and then the signals went dark until the MOGRV popped out of the Norden Snow Shed and the signals lit again with the same configuration. Prior to the MOGRV arriving I though maybe there was an Eastbound coming and would crossover at Norden onto the main and the MOGRV would take the siding at Tunnel 41.

UP has some strange signal configurations especially with their newer approach signals in the Sacramento Valley.



Date: 06/24/20 16:06
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: donner_dude1

Broken -Link -

Good seeing you at Norden. Looks like your photos and video turned out nice.



Date: 06/24/20 17:05
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: broken_link

Likewise, good to meet you too. Did you end up following this down the hill to Sac?

donner_dude1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Broken -Link -
>
> Good seeing you at Norden. Looks like your photos
> and video turned out nice.



Date: 06/24/20 17:30
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: Railbaron

3rdswitch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm trying to figure out how there is a red over yellow with a train passing on adjacent track? On
> BNSF, red over yellow was diverging approach. Can't be lined across with a train passing, either
> UP former SP signals are different OR there is a third track beyond the signal? Inquiring mind
> would like to know. Nice shots by the way.
> JB

Let's see if I can make this make sense. 

That signal is an eastward signal on Track 1. Track 1 would have originally continued through the shed and over the original summit. Inside the shed there is a switch that creates a diverging route to the "siding" at Norden. Although Track 1 is gone east of the shed, perhaps there is a stub track that goes straight for a short distance that would still require a train to take a "diverging route" from Track 1 to the siding. In other words, the signals are correctly displayed for what could be a confusing arrangement unless you were familiar with the original layout. 

For that matter, and I have absolutely no idea if I am right or wrong, since the original Track 1 was removed as a through route, perhaps the siding is now referred to as Track 1 all the way to Tunnel 41. 

 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/20 19:46 by Railbaron.



Date: 06/24/20 22:41
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: donner_dude1

broken_link Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Likewise, good to meet you too. Did you end up
> following this down the hill to Sac?
>

I did not. I saw the 1st E/B Manifest train stopped at Shed 10 hanging out over on the single track (in the process of chaniging crews) and Headed for Switch 9 and saw the 2nd E/B manfest roll up the hill. At that point I figured it would another 20-30 minutes before he came done the hill and I was craving Chick Fil A so the stomach won. 



Date: 06/24/20 22:54
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: ble692

Railbaron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Let's see if I can make this make sense. 
>
> That signal is an eastward signal on Track 1.
> Track 1 would have originally continued through
> the shed and over the original summit. Inside the
> shed there is a switch that creates a diverging
> route to the "siding" at Norden. Although Track 1
> is gone east of the shed, perhaps there is a stub
> track that goes straight for a short distance that
> would still require a train to take a "diverging
> route" from Track 1 to the siding. In other words,
> the signals are correctly displayed for what could
> be a confusing arrangement unless you were
> familiar with the original layout. 
>
> For that matter, and I have absolutely no idea if
> I am right or wrong, since the original Track 1
> was removed as a through route, perhaps the siding
> is now referred to as Track 1 all the way to
> Tunnel 41. 

Correct on the signals. The original now removed #1 track would have been a high green on the left signal. The original #2 track would have been a high green on the right signal. Between them was what was considered a siding that ran from West Norden to East Norden. Movements to that siding track would receive the diverging approach as pictured. After the SP took out the original #1 track over the summit, the siding then became the #1 track to the west portal of tunnel 41 where things went to single track. However, the signal system logic on the siding and #2 track at Norden was not changed, so to this day movements going either direction via the #1 track at Norden receive diverging approach signals, both going east at West Norden as pictured and going west at East Norden when you come out of tunnel 41. This will all go away when the signal project is done, and trains will longer be working on approach signals when lined through Norden on the #1 track.



Date: 06/25/20 12:19
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: donner_dude1

ble692 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Correct on the signals. The original now removed
> #1 track would have been a high green on the left
> signal. The original #2 track would have been a
> high green on the right signal. Between them was
> what was considered a siding that ran from West
> Norden to East Norden. Movements to that siding
> track would receive the diverging approach as
> pictured. After the SP took out the original #1
> track over the summit, the siding then became the
> #1 track to the west portal of tunnel 41 where
> things went to single track. However, the signal
> system logic on the siding and #2 track at Norden
> was not changed, so to this day movements going
> either direction via the #1 track at Norden
> receive diverging approach signals, both going
> east at West Norden as pictured and going west at
> East Norden when you come out of tunnel 41. This
> will all go away when the signal project is done,
> and trains will longer be working on approach
> signals when lined through Norden on the #1 track.

Thanks for the clarification - interesting that they never corrected the signal system.

It's been a while since I poked my head inside the Norden Shed. I seem to recall there were crossovers between the 1 & 2 and 2 &1 tracks (my assumption). If that is the  case what would the signal setup be a West Norden for an E/B on the #1 Track crossing over to the #2 track @ West Norden?



Date: 06/25/20 19:40
Re: Vestiges of the SP at Norden on Donner Pass
Author: MP683

We have similar signals on Sherman Hill for Hermosa - but that was a semi recent change. If going east 2 to 1 to 2, and following someone - you use to get at least a diverging advanced approach.

Now the best you get (unless the train ahead is ahead enough blocks) is a red over yellow (even if Dale is red over flashing yellow).

The older relay based signal systems are not being messed with due to the work involved. As they are switched over to the newer computer based cards it’s much easier to be programmed/reprogrammed for track/signal modifications (so I’m told).

I’m also told that the old relay stuff survived everything out there but a derailment and if something failed it was usually a 5min relay change vs new cards, programming etc etc.



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