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Western Railroad Discussion > How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?


Date: 10/14/20 18:05
How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: SCUfoamer

About 3 hours...

The Ex-SP Coast Subdivision doesn't get much action these days. So whenever anything beyond the scheduled local moves, I try to catch it! UP sporadically operates these storage dumps and pulls, but lately they have been pulling stuff out. Such as these 3 cuts of 40-foot well-cars, broken-up to clear the crossings of Downtown Gonzales, destined for Oakland. 

The Oakland based crew was on duty in Milpitas at 10am. Supplied with two south facing 6-axle locomotives, they'd have to wye one of the locomotives at the Coast wye in San Jose before heading south to Gonzales. The crew arrived at the siding around 4:30pm and didn't depart the siding with a road worthy train until 7:30pm. The crew was relieved in Watsonville, and the train continued to Oakland and ultimately Long Beach. Here's some shots of them trying to get the train ready to roll. 

1. Light power rolling down the Warm Springs Subdivision @Gish Road

2. The crew slow rolled the line and attached their Freddy before positioning themselves at the North end of the siding. 

3. The track foreman had to come and unlock the switch and play cabbie for the conductor about to earn his steps for the day. They strategiezed for quite some time before getting the show on the road. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/20 19:14 by SCUfoamer.








Date: 10/14/20 18:21
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: SCUfoamer

4. "Holy sh*t! She's taking air!" - After their first reverse move to the first cut, string number 1 is ready to be walked by the conductor.

5. Slowly making their way to the last cut of cars nearing sunset in the Salinas Valley

6. It was pretty funny seeing all of the foliage that had grown under the shade of the well-cars. The power is seen here bush whacking back to the siding's north end.








Date: 10/14/20 18:25
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: SCUfoamer

7. Eight + months in storage will generate its fair share of new art.

8. As the engineer builds air, the conductor gets a ride back to the head end. The little town of Gonzales will have at least one grade crossing fouled for at least two hours. Just another day on the sleepy Coast Sub. 






Date: 10/14/20 18:50
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: ble692

The train ended up swinging around the horn via Sacramento and then headed south destined to the Port of Long Beach. No Coast crews to move the train so it takes the scenic route. And that would probably be a track foreman unlocking the switch. A road foreman is in change of engineers. Or used to be when we still had them on the UP...



Date: 10/14/20 18:56
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: ATSF5669

GREAT use of selective focusing!  Your artistic eye made these pics really pop!
Jerry



Date: 10/14/20 19:15
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: SCUfoamer

ble692 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The train ended up swinging around the horn via
> Sacramento and then headed south destined to the
> Port of Long Beach. No Coast crews to move the
> train so it takes the scenic route. And that would
> probably be a track foreman unlocking the switch.
> A road foreman is in change of engineers. Or used
> to be when we still had them on the UP...


Thank you for the corrections. I just assumed Oakland was the destination, quite the round-about way to reposition cars.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 10/14/20 19:47
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: 3rdswitch

Three hours is not bad. To do a "terminal air test", which is what the conductor had to do, requires walking both sides of the complete train twice. Both sides to check for brakes set on each wheel, and both sides for brake release on each wheel, unless something has changed since I retired in '09. This takes time. At least he didn't have to deal with an active main line as BNSF crews must out at Esperanza, CA,where both loaded and empty trains are staged daily, most needing a terminal air test. The conductor got his exercise for the day.
JB



Date: 10/14/20 21:28
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: grahamline

Sounds like a fairly straightforward move. In Washington State a couple of years ago, the railroad had to send out a crew with chainsaws to lop off the saplings that had started growing up into the wells.



Date: 10/14/20 22:28
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: weather

Excellent pics and great story!



Date: 10/14/20 23:27
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: coach

The train was already 1/3 of the way to Los Angeles, being where they were, yet they had to go to SACRAMENTO, then  head south !?!!

For a RR that wants to pinch pennies and nickels, that is a highly inefficent way to route a train.  It makes no sense (and yes, I read there are no Coast crews...).  Point being:  keep some Coast crews active so you can use the Coast line!!!

Crazy.



Date: 10/15/20 08:13
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: SCUfoamer

coach Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The train was already 1/3 of the way to Los
> Angeles, being where they were, yet they had to go
> to SACRAMENTO, then  head south !?!!
>
> For a RR that wants to pinch pennies and nickels,
> that is a highly inefficent way to route a train.
>  It makes no sense (and yes, I read there are no
> Coast crews...).  Point being:  keep some Coast
> crews active so you can use the Coast line!!!
>
> Crazy.

Couldn't agree with you more! Would love to see UPRR use the coast for an occasional through freight and keep a few qualified crews out of SLO. Amtrak has just done the same crew slashing this last week I believe. Furloughing most of the SLO crew base because of the shift to 3x weekly runs instead of daily runs. 



Date: 10/15/20 10:39
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: PHall

SCUfoamer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> coach Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The train was already 1/3 of the way to Los
> > Angeles, being where they were, yet they had to
> go
> > to SACRAMENTO, then  head south !?!!
> >
> > For a RR that wants to pinch pennies and
> nickels,
> > that is a highly inefficent way to route a
> train.
> >  It makes no sense (and yes, I read there are
> no
> > Coast crews...).  Point being:  keep some
> Coast
> > crews active so you can use the Coast line!!!
> >
> > Crazy.
>
> Couldn't agree with you more! Would love to see
> UPRR use the coast for an occasional through
> freight and keep a few qualified crews out of SLO.
> Amtrak has just done the same crew slashing this
> last week I believe. Furloughing most of the SLO
> crew base because of the shift to 3x weekly runs
> instead of daily runs. 

Still have a Surfliner set that spends the night in SLO.



Date: 10/15/20 11:03
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: SCUfoamer

> Still have a Surfliner set that spends the night
> in SLO.

I was referencing the Starlight



Date: 10/15/20 11:11
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: goneon66

3rdswitch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Three hours is not bad. To do a "terminal air
> test", which is what the conductor had to do,
> requires walking both sides of the complete train
> twice. Both sides to check for brakes set on each
> wheel, and both sides for brake release on each
> wheel, unless something has changed since I
> retired in '09. This takes time. At least he
> didn't have to deal with an active main line as
> BNSF crews must out at Esperanza, CA,where both
> loaded and empty trains are staged daily, most
> needing a terminal air test. The conductor got his
> exercise for the day.
> JB

well stated.  pulling a cut of stored baretables out the n/siding of cadiz on a hot august night was no picnic too.  you had to be alert with the "hot rail" on main 1 and rattlesnakes on the ground.

good times.........

66 



Date: 10/15/20 12:28
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: PasadenaSub

Great set of photos from the Salinas Valley!

Rich



Date: 10/15/20 15:51
Re: How Long Does it Take to Pull Out Stored Well-Cars?
Author: The-late-EMD

Gonzalez to Oakland then u-turn to long Beach. PSR at its best.

Posted from Android



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