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Western Railroad Discussion > "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, CA


Date: 07/10/24 01:10
"Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, CA
Author: MrMRL

So, when I hired out with the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railroad in SoCal back in early 2006, there were still a couple pairs of (then 40-50 year old) "chop-nosed" ATSF GP7/GP9s working as switch-power sets at and around the intermodal yard... Within the next year or two, those old 1st Generation EMD Geeps were replaced with (nearly as old), 2nd Generation ATSF GP30s, GP35s, GP38-2s, and B30-7s. Near-suddenly, as we entered the 2010s, the state's AQMD board(s) were basically able to kick any and all "pre 2000s era" power out of the state's boarders due to supposed carbon-emissions inefficiencies.

Now-adays (and basically every day for the past 14 years), BNSF's Hobart Yard, and most California based BNSF intermodal yards, have used pairs of "Post 2000 built, Tier III-IV emissions compliant" GE Road units as their daily "switch" power, for the movement of intermodal freight cars within their respective facilities.


Below an image, I surprising didn't share earlier from January 29, 2022, of a pair of "switch" power sets tied down in the West Pocket at BNSF's Hobart Yard near Los Angeles, CA. BNSF 3692 and BNSF 7760, and BNSF 3686, BNSF 3722.

Mr. MRL ~ fan safely




Date: 07/10/24 06:38
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: 3rdswitch

Nice shot, and, background, not normally associated with LA area photos.
JB



Date: 07/10/24 07:55
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: texchief1

Very nice shot!

texchief1



Date: 07/10/24 08:22
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: PasadenaSub

Nice snowy background photo, and good to know the story.  When I've gone by Hobart a couple times a year on Metrolink I just figured the ET44s were road power either getting put on or taken off trains, didn't realize they were switch power.

Rich



Date: 07/10/24 08:28
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: ts1457

PasadenaSub Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nice snowy background photo, and good to know the
> story.  When I've gone by Hobart a couple times a
> year on Metrolink I just figured the ET44s were
> road power either getting put on or taken off
> trains, didn't realize they were switch power.
>
> Rich

Seems like more expensive switch power than necessary.



Date: 07/10/24 11:55
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: northridgeswitcher

Mr. MRL:

Great photo.  Thanks for sharing.

Does the BNSF not have any 4 axel power in / around LA that meets the California standards that they could use for switching or is it all assigned to locals?

Take care,

Northridge Switcher



Date: 07/10/24 13:07
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: PasadenaSub

Still lots of GP60/GP60Ms on BNSF locals in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, as well as the Pasadena Local (when it makes it to Pomona and points west in Los Angeles county).

Not sure if it's an LA city thing to have the purest power there.

northridgeswitcher Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Mr. MRL:
>
> Great photo.  Thanks for sharing.
>
> Does the BNSF not have any 4 axel power in /
> around LA that meets the California standards that
> they could use for switching or is it all assigned
> to locals?
>
> Take care,
>
> Northridge Switcher



Date: 07/10/24 13:48
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: thatguy

Great photo.  You've got to love the AQMD.



Date: 07/10/24 14:23
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: PHall

PasadenaSub Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Still lots of GP60/GP60Ms on BNSF locals in San
> Bernardino and Riverside counties, as well as the
> Pasadena Local (when it makes it to Pomona and
> points west in Los Angeles county).
>
> Not sure if it's an LA city thing to have the
> purest power there.
>

The City of LA has nothing to do with any air pollution regulations, that's the CARB and the local AQMD's job.
The city could ask for tougher standards but that's all they can do, ask.



Date: 07/10/24 15:19
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: MrMRL

There are still plenty of 4-axle BNSF units peppered around So Cal, but only in the EMD GP50 or GP60/M variety. And the only reason they're allowed around here is that they've had their horsepower reduced (basically on paper) to 2,999hp or less. For the time being, this slides the Geeps under the limit for their associated emissions standards.

The various NRE built Gensets that were common just a few years ago have all but vanished, deemed a failure after the state subsidies dried up. There are still three NRE 3GS21C units (1312, 1313, & 1314) at Commerce Diesel Service, but they've been dead/bleed-off shop queens for the past several years. I've never gotten a good answer as to why they remained.

The bigger reason Hobart uses/prefers pairs of 6-axle motive power has to do with the excessive tonnage the yard jobs tend to move, shuffling multi-thousand foot cuts of double stack equipment from one track to another. The larger back to back pairs also allow for easier use for short turnaround road jobs that use the sets to transfer empty cuts of equipment out to local storage tracks.

~ Mr. MRL



Date: 07/11/24 09:56
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: Texican65

Cool pictures…but man…that’s so counterintuitive. Ya can’t get anything done in a switch yard with a big pumpkin like that. Can’t see anything out of the cab windows, can’t kick with them, they don’t stop or start when you want them to, they can’t go into certain tracks because their too heavy or can’t make tight curves…ridiculous.

We had a lot of that cool power you spoke of previously when I hired out in 2008 too…and miraculously…a fair amount of it still remains.

Unfortunately…all the end cab switchers are gone however.



Date: 07/11/24 11:07
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: longliveSP

Texican65 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Cool pictures…but man…that’s so
> counterintuitive. Ya can’t get anything done in
> a switch yard with a big pumpkin like that.

No switch yards involved. Intermodel yards.



Date: 07/11/24 16:01
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: Texican65

longliveSP Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Texican65 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Cool pictures…but man…that’s so
> > counterintuitive. Ya can’t get anything done
> in
> > a switch yard with a big pumpkin like that.
>
> No switch yards involved. Intermodel yards.

Well…I guess South Seattle is also classified as an intermodal yard, and there’s lots of switching going on around the clock…big cuts of cars being pulled and shoved, BO’s being set out, cars taken in and out of the rip sheds…lots of movement of cars in an intermodal yard. Maybe they’re not kicking or dropping cars…but still…the GP’s doing all the work would run circles around dash 9’s, big DC’s/AC’s, and tier 4 C4’s.



Date: 07/11/24 16:10
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: ble692

MrMRL Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There are still plenty of 4-axle BNSF units
> peppered around So Cal, but only in the EMD GP50
> or GP60/M variety. And the only reason they're
> allowed around here is that they've had their
> horsepower reduced (basically on paper) to 2,999hp
> or less. For the time being, this slides the Geeps
> under the limit for their associated emissions
> standards.

Is this a BNSF & CARB or AQMD agreement? I've never heard of anything like that on the UP who is operating in the same locations.



Date: 07/12/24 07:00
Re: "Modern Switch Power" at BNSF's Hobart Yard in Los Angeles, C
Author: longliveSP

Texican65 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> longliveSP Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Texican65 Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Cool pictures…but man…that’s so
> > > counterintuitive. Ya can’t get anything
> done
> > in
> > > a switch yard with a big pumpkin like that.
> >
> > No switch yards involved. Intermodel yards.
>
> Well…I guess South Seattle is also classified as
> an intermodal yard, and there’s lots of
> switching going on around the clock…big cuts of
> cars being pulled and shoved, BO’s being set
> out, cars taken in and out of the rip sheds…lots
> of movement of cars in an intermodal yard. Maybe
> they’re not kicking or dropping cars…but
> still…the GP’s doing all the work would run
> circles around dash 9’s, big DC’s/AC’s, and
> tier 4 C4’s.

This discussion and comment is about Hobart yard and Commerce Diesel, not Seattle.



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