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Western Railroad Discussion > Tehachapi has two loops


Date: 01/21/23 10:59
Tehachapi has two loops
Author: BobB

When I was at Tehachapi in early December I found a new-to-me (definitely not new-to-others) location above Woodford siding that gave a view that I haven't seen in other pictures of the loop area.  I always knew that the track from Woodford goes east and then curls around the bottom of the official loop to get to the tunnel that takes it into the loop area proper.  However, I hadn't realized that that situation actually seems to create two loops, one before the tunnel and one afterwards.  In the first picture you can see the rear end of a doublestack southbound still in the siding while the head end is below the official loop, heading for the tunnel.  The second and third pictures show the head end of the train, which has gone through the tunnel, directly above the rest of the train, which has not yet reached the tunnel. Thus, the train appears to be doing doing not one but two loops as it climbs. 








Date: 01/21/23 11:40
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: atsf121

Nice angle Bob.  Reminds me of the HO layout that used to be at a restaurant in Tehachapi when I was a kid.  It's easy to lose track of where the tracks are as they wind around the mountains there.  Really hope to take a ride through there someday, would be fun to see what it looks like from the tracks instead of the highway or side roads.

Nathan



Date: 01/21/23 11:55
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: gobbl3gook

The loop and approach track + exit track are 630 degrees of curvature.  Or a 3/4 full circles.  the loop itself (over crossing to undercrossing) is 300 degrees, or 5/6 of a circle.  

So outside the loop itself there is 330 degrees of curvature, or 11/12 of a circle.  Meaning that there is almost a full circle of trackage around the loop itself, so from almost any vantage point looking at the loop, you will see parallel trackage outside the loop.  (Gap is in the ne, where the view from highway 58 is). 

Map link here 
https://opentopomap.org/#map=15/35.20188/-118.53737

Other loops are generally much less than 630 degrees.  So they don't have parallel track outside of the loop.  

Williams Loop in the Feather River Canyon is a little over 360 degrees.  
https://opentopomap.org/#map=15/39.91067/-120.80794

Kicking Horse Pass tunnel loops are about 270 degrees each. 
https://opentopomap.org/#map=14/51.42707/-116.40882

Georgetown Loop is 360 degrees. 
https://opentopomap.org/#map=15/39.70040/-105.70998

Anyway, just an observation about your observation.  

Ted in OR

 



Date: 01/21/23 12:00
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: BobB

Thanks for the calculations; I knew there was a lot of curvature but not exactly how much.

gobbl3gook Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The loop and approach track + exit track are 630
> degrees of curvature.  Or a 3/4 full circles.
>  the loop itself (over crossing to undercrossing)
> is 300 degrees, or 5/6 of a circle.  
>
> So outside the loop itself there is 330 degrees of
> curvature, or 11/12 of a circle.  Meaning that
> there is almost a full circle of trackage around
> the loop itself, so from almost any vantage point
> looking at the loop, you will see parallel
> trackage outside the loop.  (Gap is in the ne,
> where the view from highway 58 is). 
>
> Map link here 
> https://opentopomap.org/#map=15/35.20188/-118.5373
> 7
>
> Other loops are generally much less than 630
> degrees.  So they don't have parallel track
> outside of the loop.  
>
> Williams Loop in the Feather River Canyon is a
> little over 360 degrees.  
> https://opentopomap.org/#map=15/39.91067/-120.8079
> 4
>
> Kicking Horse Pass tunnel loops are about 270
> degrees each. 
> https://opentopomap.org/#map=14/51.42707/-116.4088
> 2
>
> Georgetown Loop is 360 degrees. 
> https://opentopomap.org/#map=15/39.70040/-105.7099
> 8
>
> Anyway, just an observation about your
> observation.  
>
> Ted in OR
>
>  



Date: 01/21/23 12:34
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: cinder

Here are two aerial shots.

1. 2007
2. 2018






Date: 01/21/23 13:41
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: 3rdswitch

Love the aerial views.
JB



Date: 01/21/23 14:41
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: railstiesballast

"Loop" and "Horseshoe Bend" kind of blend together in this topography.....
Tehachapi pass has many horseshoe bends, beginning at Caliente and continuing through Allard/Bealville, Bealville to Cliff, etc.
BTW those are some of the best aerial photos to explain the loop that I have seen, thanks for sharing.



Date: 01/21/23 16:07
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: atsf121

Love the aerials. Lots of zigs and zags.

Nathan

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/21/23 17:40
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: Trainman41

Didn't there use to be a ranch house in the center of the loop at one time?   It looks like there are no structures there now 



Date: 01/21/23 17:43
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: PHall

Not bad for 19th Century engineering!



Date: 01/21/23 18:15
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: johnsweetser

Trainman41 Wrote:

> Didn't there use to be a ranch house in the center of the loop at one time?   It looks like there are no structures there now

There were never any structures in the center of the loop.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/21/23 18:16 by johnsweetser.



Date: 01/22/23 05:41
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: cinder

Three more aerials
1.  2007
2.  2013. 
3.  2018








Date: 01/22/23 11:11
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: ntharalson

Trainman41 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Didn't there use to be a ranch house in the center
> of the loop at one time?   It looks like there
> are no structures there now 

The "Loop Ranch" is still there.  Look for the cluster of structuresto the right of the loop as you look north.  All the aerials show the complex.  

Thanks for posting the excellent aerial views, very much appreciated.  

Nick Tharalson,
Marion, IA



Date: 01/22/23 15:24
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: BobB

I took the pictures that I posted from just about where the track comes into the picture in the upper right portion of the last aerial.  They give a clear understanding of how the tracks can look like two loops.



Date: 01/22/23 15:26
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: SandPatch1

Weather it is East coast or West coast your Air Force is the best out there.  Thank you, 



Date: 01/22/23 19:27
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: RailDawg

Long time ago was driving at night on Tehachapi for the first time. 

Got out near the loop and watched the headlight from a train do the craziest zigging and zagging and looping...

This was long before easy access to train maps so for many years I wondered how that crazy loop worked.  

This thread answered a few questions!

Chuck



Date: 01/22/23 20:39
Re: Tehachapi has two loops
Author: gobbl3gook

The Hiwasse Loop in Tennessee is also 630 degrees, but it's all on a hill, in the forest, so you can't see two parts of the same train at the same time.  And it's no longer used for freight, just a tourist train.  
 https://opentopomap.org/#map=15/35.17721/-84.30110



 



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