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Western Railroad Discussion > UP 1996 in SoCal Last Saturday

Date: 09/14/22 18:37
UP 1996 in SoCal Last Saturday
Author: cchan006

I guess this might be a "prequel" to SP8595's great report few days ago:


I happened to be in SoCal last weekend to visit friends, with no real foaming plans. I had problems with Internet connection at the hotel, and chose heritageunits.com to troubleshoot it. The nearest WiFi router went down for some reason, but there was a distance router that my laptop could connect off and on.

There was a post 2 hours old, that a coal train with UP 1996 leading was departing Long Beach. My thanks go to the heritageunits.com contributors.

I was about 1.5 hours away from a possible intercept point, in the area of West Colton Yard. So I was risking  being 1.5 - 3.5 hours late to meet the train.

I've been chasing trains in SoCal for about 15 years now, with plenty of experience under my belt. So I wasn't too anxious. That meant I expected a coal train leaving Long Beach to be empties, and would eventually head to LA&SL (Cima Sub) via BNSF Cajon Sub. It could go either Los Angees Sub (join BNSF at Riverside), or Alhambra Sub (join BNSF at the Colton "Diamonds"), so I chose a logical spot where I wouldn't miss the train (if I wasn't late).

From chasing the UP 1989 many years ago, I expected trains to crawl out of Long Beach before reaching Colton, and I was right. After I arrived in the Colton area, I went to a nearby Starbucks (for WiFi), and saw an update on heritageunits.com that the train had just passed Pomona.

I went to grab a sandwich, and ate in the restaurant, confident that I was going to nab the UP 1996 after the meal.

(Video will be described in the next post)

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Date: 09/14/22 19:01
Re: UP 1996 in SoCal Last Saturday
Author: MrChew

That was a Heavy Duty video... Thanks for the effort!

Date: 09/14/22 19:05
Re: UP 1996 in SoCal Last Saturday
Author: cchan006

First location I met the UP 1996 (symbol posted on heritageunits.com was CLBWE9) was at the Colton "Diamonds." It's in quotes, because the ex-SP two track main has become single track, as the UP trains now run above on the double-track flyover. I have great memories of catching trains here at the Diamonds, including BNSF's MJACBAR.

I drove toward Baseline for the next intercept, found a location, but got blocked by a westbound. I drove north (railroad east) and I found a gap between the train congestion and got the UP 1996 between 2 parked trains. This is the area where I met SP8595 and his dad few years ago, while chasing GE Tier 4 leaders up and down Cajon Pass.

I went to another "past" railfan spot, Devore. The crossing there used to be a popular spot to catch trains, but the new Glen Helen Parkway overpass eliminated the need for the crossing, and the area is now fenced off... so I used the overpass to nab the UP 1996 there. Overcast skies meant lighting wasn't too critical, as the shadows didn't ruin the video.

I chose to drive on Cajon Blvd. (Route 66) to try my luck, instead of taking the freeway for an intercept at Sullivans Curve. Luck presented itself as a faded Warbonnet near Blue Cut, and UP 1996 meets it there.

I was unlikely going to make it to Sullivans Curve, so I went to Hill 582 to nab UP 1996 one more time. A westbound BNSF stacker was descending on Track 3, so I documented that in the video - all the horns you hear are from the BNSF, not UP 1996.

That's it for a wordy, but quick report.

Date: 09/14/22 21:36
Re: UP 1996 in SoCal Last Saturday
Author: oyw

Great job, you certainly haven't lost your touch!

Date: 09/15/22 07:59
Re: UP 1996 in SoCal Last Saturday
Author: Red_over_Yellow

Thanks for the effort, great series. 

Date: 09/16/22 10:53
Re: UP 1996 in SoCal Last Saturday
Author: ProAmtrak

Awesome job and seeing that overpass from no.4 back in 07 I knew Devore was on the history list, that ruined that spot!

Posted from Android

Date: 09/16/22 21:46
Re: UP 1996 in SoCal Last Saturday
Author: MacBeau

Amazing scenes of places that have changed so much over the years. Thanks for the look.

Date: 09/17/22 11:02
Re: UP 1996 in SoCal Last Saturday
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

Thank you for sharing the great coverage of Cajon.

Posted from Android

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