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Date: 06/19/24 22:35
Las Vegas Changes
Author: cchan006

I planned a quick weekend getaway to Las Vegas recently. No particular agenda, just showed up and improvised.

I rarely gamble, and with 102 degree temperatures, I took it easy. I did have my scanner on, so I wandered over to the Rio parking lot when I overheard UP 2713 talk to Dispatcher 7. The crew was dealing with an issue with one of the locomotives.

I remembered from my reading random articles that The Mirage was going to be demolished in the next few months, to be converted to the Hard Rock Hotel. Seeing The Mirage from the Rio parking lot gave me an idea, but I needed a train, and I didn't know where or which way UP 2713 was going. So I looked at the signals to the north (railroad east) and both mains soon lit up, all red.

In less than 5 minutes, UP 2713 showed up, going west.

I didn't record the entire 4x1x0 train, as I was going to chase it past Arden Yard, find a spot where the train ran faster and get the whole train later. After going to Arden and watched UP 2713 start work, I changed my mind, did some scouting and went hunting for food instead.

The train called itself the MNPML (North Platte, NE, to Mira Loma, CA). Mira Loma is usually a destination for autoracks, but I didn't see any on the train coming into Arden Yard. From what I remember, this MNPML had a good number of gondolas (empties, and scrap metals), and some modern hoppers (empties, coal? ore?) tank cars, centerbeam loads, and as seen in the video, covered hoppers.

I'm wildly guessing that some of the cars are taken from Mira Loma to one of the West Colton hauler destinations, like Anaheim or Long Beach? So I suppose this is one way to divert manifest traffic away from West Colton to give room for the Inland Empire Intermodal Terminal?

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Date: 06/19/24 23:10
Re: Las Vegas Changes
Author: cchan006

While wandering away from MNPML and hunting for food, I noticed that the two towers of the Tropicana Resort and Casino were in the process of being torn down, with the walls of the lower floors wide open. Major League Baseball park (of the Athletics) is supposed to take their place.

Nearby interchange of I-15 and Tropicana Ave. was a mess, where the massive reconfiguration (not close to completion) created lots of detours and congestion. Dealing with all this probably "unmotivated" me to go back and chase the MNPML further.

I also noticed that the previously vacant land further north and east transformed into a Formula One complex, for the auto races.

Next morning, I heard the MNPWC approaching Arden Yard. DS 7 was a bit skittish, and I soon found out he wanted to let a westbound Z do a crew change then go by before MNPWC started work at Arden Yard.

I found a new location south (railroad west) of Arden Yard while wandering around after food the day before, and gave it a try. There's a new pedestrian bridge that was built in 2021, which I didn't know about. I scouted the area more than a decade ago trying to reach Sloan Mountain from the north, and couldn't follow the ROW, so I wrote it off for many years.

The westbound Z is slow-rolling out of Arden Yard with a new crew in the video. Don't know if it's ZSCLB or ZDVLB - this was on a Monday. Since I failed to record the entire MNPML, I felt obligated to record the entire Z, which is the video I'm posting here.

I had some time before the flight home, but not enough to chase the Z to the Mojave Desert and come back.

That's it for the report.

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Date: 06/20/24 05:27
Re: Las Vegas Changes
Author: thegottfather

Great videos. It will be strange to see the Mirage gone and replaced by a (checks notes) giant guitar shaped hotel? Should at least make for some interesting backgrounds between that and ResortsWorlds giant screen, 



Date: 06/20/24 08:20
Re: Las Vegas Changes
Author: Gonut1

Sounds like an urban mess all around, not much of a railfan destination. Thanks for the attempt.
Gonut



Date: 06/20/24 10:07
Re: Las Vegas Changes
Author: toledopatch

Gonut1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sounds like an urban mess all around, not much of
> a railfan destination. Thanks for the attempt.

The constant evolution of the Las Vegas skyline is what makes it a worthy photo backdrop. Having documented it myself eight years ago, I'm contemplating when I'll want to go back for an update - maybe 2026? Just need to be cautious about using the Clark County 215 overpass as my vantage point, because I learned the last time that the county jail is close by.



Date: 06/20/24 11:52
Re: Las Vegas Changes
Author: cchan006

Gonut1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sounds like an urban mess all around, not much of
> a railfan destination. Thanks for the attempt.
> Gonut

You're welcome. Staying at a hotel outside The Strip then heading out toward Rainbow Canyon/Meadow Valley Wash to the north or Cima + Kelso to the south should make a railfan trip out of a visit, avoiding the congestion. The adventurous can attempt Afton Canyon further away, too.

I've done all that throughout the years, but I suppose I can do those locations again.



Date: 06/20/24 13:23
Re: Las Vegas Changes
Author: okcrr

That Z train looks more like the SCLB but it's hard to know for sure. Usually the DVLB has a dozen or so ABF trailers, a few UPS, as well as a pretty decently sized domestic block on the rear of the train. I don't see much FedEx on the Denver train either. So, I am thinking the one you saw was the Salt Lake City train. 



Date: 06/20/24 18:57
Re: Las Vegas Changes
Author: TheNavigator

Fine report and videos, as always!
GK



Date: 06/20/24 23:02
Re: Las Vegas Changes
Author: jgmiller

FYI they are not tearing down the Mirage, yes it's going to be the Hard Rock but the tower is staying. They closed to remodel and build a new guitar shaped tower where the volcano is now. I love the themed hotels but for some reason a giant guitar shaped tower just sounds beyond tacky to me.
 



Date: 06/21/24 06:42
Re: Las Vegas Changes
Author: Typhoon

jgmiller Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> FYI they are not tearing down the Mirage, yes it's
> going to be the Hard Rock but the tower is
> staying. They closed to remodel and build a new
> guitar shaped tower where the volcano is now. I
> love the themed hotels but for some reason a giant
> guitar shaped tower just sounds beyond tacky to
> me.
>  

The one in Hollywood Florida is amazing, and isn't tacky at all.  It will fit right in on the strip.



Date: 06/21/24 09:32
Re: Las Vegas Changes
Author: callum_out

Actually more down toward Primm on the new "secondary" airport.

Out 



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