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Nostalgia & History > SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question


Date: 01/02/08 12:30
SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: Boomer

I'm trying to remember the symbol of a train that the SP used to run between Portland and Eugene back during the mid-eighties - at least I think it was an SP train. I was working on an Espee system rail gang around Salem in 1985 and this s/b manifest train would come through every morning with all-BN power...it always had BN power. I would assume the train came out of Vancouver, WA and was some kind of hauler/transfer job, but was told it ran to Eugene, so was there a n/b counterpart as well? I only remember seeing the s/b trains, so if the n/b was running, it must have been at night. Anybody remember the symbol of those trains?

TIA



Date: 01/02/08 12:48
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: Amtkrd4man

Think it was train #111 and #112



Date: 01/02/08 12:50
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: rob_l

One run-through train each way per day Eugene - Seattle was a very long-standing proposition, dating back to the 60s with NP and SP F units and continuing through the BN era. SP symbols in the late 70s and early 80s were BNEUY and EUBNY. Both daylight trains. The southbound was a big train of high-priority loads, including lots of Canadian paper and PNW lumber/plywood to Southern Cal, AZ and TX markets. The SB symbol got elevated to SECIY at some point, although the traffic was always humped in Eugene and left there during the night.

Eugene also made blocks for the UP Portland - Seattle line, and a train was delivered intact to Albina Yard, but power was never run through.

Best regards,

Rob L.

Boomer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm trying to remember the symbol of a train that
> the SP used to run between Portland and Eugene
> back during the mid-eighties - at least I think it
> was an SP train. I was working on an Espee system
> rail gang around Salem in 1985 and this s/b
> manifest train would come through every morning
> with all-BN power...it always had BN power. I
> would assume the train came out of Vancouver, WA
> and was some kind of hauler/transfer job, but was
> told it ran to Eugene, so was there a n/b
> counterpart as well? I only remember seeing the
> s/b trains, so if the n/b was running, it must
> have been at night. Anybody remember the symbol of
> those trains?
>
> TIA



Date: 01/02/08 12:54
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: WAF

PTLAY and PTCIY began in 1975-76. In 1982, they changed it to SELAY/SECIY ( SE being Seattle if you couldn't guess). LAY would go via the Coast when Tehachapi was over worked. Heavy trains.. 7000 tons or greater.



Date: 01/02/08 12:55
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: rob_l

Amtkrd4man Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Think it was train #111 and #112

Those are the BN symbols after the system-wide renumbering circa 1981. Before then, they were BN #s 146 and 149.

Best regards,

Rob L.



Date: 01/02/08 13:01
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: rob_l

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> PTLAY and PTCIY began in 1975-76. In 1982, they
> changed it to SELAY/SECIY ( SE being Seattle if
> you couldn't guess)

PTCIY/PTLAY originated in Lake Yard. Handled hot traffic (e.g., Crown Zellerbach paper from Waterways Terminals), but not the BN run-through traffic, which was on BNEUY.

When SECIY started running it replaced BNEUY, and the Lake Yard traffic came down to Eugene on a PTEUY.

After humping at Eugene, everything was sorted out for the xxLAY and xxCIY trains.

Best regards,

Rob L.



Date: 01/02/08 13:08
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: Boomer

I seem to remember BNEUY being mentioned by someone when I asked about it, so that sounds about right, Rob. So the BN power would go to Eugene, set out, then pick up loads from the SP and then head for Seattle...a very interesting little operation. If the BN gave all that traffic to the SP at Eugene for forwarding to LA, am wondering how much California traffic they interchanged with the UP at Portland, or did they?

Thanks to everyone for the informative updates.



Date: 01/02/08 13:22
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: rob_l

Boomer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If the BN gave all that traffic
> to the SP at Eugene for forwarding to LA, am
> wondering how much California traffic they
> interchanged with the UP at Portland, or did
> they?
>

They didn't. Except for grain trains, any BN to UP interchange would have to go through Lake Yard and the Portland Terminal Co. Almost everything UP got from Lake Yard was Portland area traffic, little or none from BN in Washington.

The real trade-off for BN was how much they gave to SP at Portland vs. giving to SP at Klamath Falls vs. giving to WP at Bieber. Southbound, only hot traffic was surrendered at Portland to SP, especially Canadian newsprint for the newspaper publishers in SP territory. Everything else BN solicited to be routed Klamath Falls - SP, or, better yet, Bieber - WP - ATSF. Most of the corrugated from Longview Fiber and beer from Olympia and Seattle to LA moved Inside Gateway. Lumber and plywood was about evenly split between Klamath Falls - SP and Bieber - WP. BN #137 was a solid Bakersfield and beyond Inside Gateway train when it left Vancouver, WA. BN #139 was about half Klamath Falls - SP and half Bieber - WP by the time it left Vancouver, WA. BN #171 came off the Pasco hump with Inside Gateway and Klamath Falls - SP traffic and did the local work on the Trunk.

Northbound, SP controlled more traffic than ATSF - WP. In addition to the daily EUBNY, on four days per week, a train of Superior Fast Freight Merchandise was delivered intact to BN at Portland by SP (LABRF on SP, #150 on BN), but power never ran through.



Date: 01/02/08 13:52
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: WAF

Rob, how much did the UP give the SP in Portland for CA traffic and beyond?



Date: 01/02/08 14:54
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: rob_l

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Rob, how much did the UP give the SP in Portland
> for CA traffic and beyond?

UP ran 2nd #684, a daily SP Eugene and beyond train out of Argo (Seattle), picking up at Kent, Tacoma, Centralia, Rocky Point, Longview Jct. and Vancouver, WA. It was a big train by the time it got to Albina. UP also made SP Eugene and beyond and SP shorts blocks at Spokane that ran in train WSP (Washington - SP, earlier symbolled as 2nd #151) to Albina. The SP blocks off this train were set over on top of 2nd #684, which was then delivered to SP and became SP's ALEUY symbol freight (after dropping the shorts in Brooklyn). So basically, UP gave SP one big train a day at the Portland gateway. Loads of Olympia beer, St. Regis and Boise Cascade corrugated, Longview Fiber paper, and International Paper plywood were staples on this train, as well as returning empty SP chip racks.

UP solicited paper and lumber traffic from the PNW to competitively-served points in Southern California to be routed via its own line. The "PLA" (Portland - Los Angeles) symbol freight ran in three sections: 1st #692 out of Argo and picking up all the way down to Vancouver, WA became the 1st PLA; the 2nd PLA came out of Albina at 5-6pm; and #119 out of Spokane became the PLA-H (Hinkle section). These trains carried all Pocatello and beyond (but not North Platte and beyond) traffic out of their origin zones. I would estimate that not more than half of the 1st-PLA and 2nd-PLA trains were traffic for Southern California, but I think well over half of the PLA-H was So Cal traffic (e.g., corrugated from Boise Cascade and Potlatch for So Cal). So maybe UP had about 2 trains per day of its own traffic to So Cal destinations and gateways while giving SP one train per day at Portland.

From someplace like Lewiston, ID or Elgin, OR, I'm not sure there was really much extra time and mileage to go via Salt Lake City instead of Portland, but to the extent that there was, UP was long-hauling the SP out of the traffic.

Best regards,

Rob L.



Date: 01/02/08 15:28
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: WAF

I remember SP's RL King talking on the PBX with the OP&C office in SF about a new run through with the UP out of Albina in the spring of 1972. The way he described it, once it left Albina, it went right by Brooklyn without stopping to Eugene or as King so described it " smile to the switchman at Brooklyn, wave to the yardmaster and go rattlely-scoot down the valley to Eugene"

Perhaps this was the train.. ALEUY. He didn't give a symbol. Thanks for the info.



Date: 01/02/08 15:36
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: rob_l

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I remember SP's RL King talking on the PBX with
> the OP&C office in SF about a new run through with
> the UP out of Albina in the spring of 1972. The
> way he described it, once it left Albina, it went
> right by Brooklyn without stopping to Eugene or as
> King so described it " smile to the switchman at
> Brooklyn, wave to the yardmaster and go
> rattlely-scoot down the valley to Eugene"
>
> Perhaps this was the train.. ALEUY. He didn't give
> a symbol. Thanks for the info.

Yes it was. It's quite possible that the SP shorts block I mentioned was not on the train at that time, and instead was handled in an ordinary Albina - Brooklyn transfer run.

Best regards,

Rob L.



Date: 01/02/08 15:37
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: Goatboat

By the mid to late 80s, the BN 111/112s were PTEUM/EUPTMs on SP.

- gb -



Date: 01/02/08 16:02
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: BobB

As I remember, the BN 111/112 ran to and from Everett on the BN. I remember them regularly going by my office in Salem. I also remember the Albina run-throughs using the main line right past Brooklyn yard; of course now most freight trains run through to Albina rather than ending at Brooklyn.



Date: 01/02/08 16:36
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: WAF

So Rob, an educated guess in your opinion of the PNW traffic to California on the SP, in percentages... how much UP origin, BN origin, SP origin.



Date: 01/02/08 17:05
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: rob_l

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So Rob, an educated guess in your opinion of the
> PNW traffic to California on the SP, in
> percentages... how much UP origin, BN origin, SP
> origin.

Wesley.

Let me leave out SP origins (whose volume must have dwarfed what came from other roads) and just talk about Portland and Klamath Falls gateway traffic. SP had a daily Gateway car-count report; I can't recall if it had a break-out by connecting road, but if it did, and you could find that report, then you could get a lot more accurate information. I do have complete TOPS summaries of everything in and out of Eugene for about 6 months in 1980-1981 (in connection with the passenger train interference study I did for SP and ODOT), but it must be well buried in my files. So the following is straight off the top of my head, circa 1975. Not included is traffic originating on the Portland Terminal RR or traffic interchanged to PTR from water carriers (which was sizable); I leave this out because SP was a part-owner of PTR.

BN - 1 train per day at Portland, 0.75 train per day at K Falls, a lot of interchange at Lake Yard adding up to about another 0.75 train per day, 2.5 total
UP - 1.5 trains per day at Portland
Milw - 0.5 train per day at Brooklyn

So BN 55%, UP 33%, Milw 12%

After Milw was gone, I would guess splitting their traffic 50-50 among BN and UP.

Best regards,

Rob



Date: 01/02/08 18:29
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: WAF

Thanks Rob. I guess where I was heading to, was for every train leaving Eugene for California ( Modoc included), how much of it was BN-UP-MILW traffic orginated traffic. Since your more versed in PNW traffic matters, perhaps you could give what you think it was. Based on what you just gave, would you say 20%-BN; 12%-UP; 5% MILW?



Date: 01/02/08 19:26
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: rob_l

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks Rob. I guess where I was heading to, was
> for every train leaving Eugene for California (
> Modoc included), how much of it was BN-UP-MILW
> traffic orginated traffic. Since your more versed
> in PNW traffic matters, perhaps you could give
> what you think it was. Based on what you just
> gave, would you say 20%-BN; 12%-UP; 5% MILW?

Wesley,

I think you're numbers are right on the money, excluding intermodal.

Here's my bottom-up SWAG at it:

Trains into Eugene:
ALEUY (1.0 UP)
1st BREUY (0.5 UP, 0.5 Milw)
2nd BREUY (1.0 SP)
BNEUY (1.0 BN)
PTCIY (0.5 BN, 0.5 SP)
PTEUY (0.25 BN, 0.75 SP)
Toledo Hauler (1.0 SP)
2 Coos Bay Haulers (2.0 SP)
2 ROEUYs (2.0 SP)
Springfield/Eugene/Jct. City mills (0.5 SP)

Other south traffic not handled through Eugene
MERVY (1.0 SP)
K Falls interchange (0.75 BN)
Chemult - K Falls mills (0.5 SP)

Re-cap: 1.5 UP, 0.5 Milw, 2.5 BN, 9.25 SP, 13.75 total
UP 11%, BN 18%, Milw 4%, SP 67%

Best regards,

Rob L.



Date: 01/02/08 19:36
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: WAF

How much did the numbers change after the MILW disappeared and the MOP-UP merger. I know after the UP gave up on Bieber in 1983, that that traffic went to the SP at K.Falls ( what there was of it). Did the UP give anything to the SP, or did they just take it for the long haul to LA via SLC?
Speaking 1983-1996 era



Date: 01/02/08 19:56
Re: SP (Oregon) Train Symbol Question
Author: rob_l

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How much did the numbers change after the MILW
> disappeared and the MOP-UP merger. I know after
> the UP gave up on Bieber in 1983, that that
> traffic went to the SP at K.Falls ( what there was
> of it). Did the UP give anything to the SP, or did
> they just take it for the long haul to LA via
> SLC?
> Speaking 1983-1996 era

I don't think the demise of the Milw made any difference in the numbers, the traffic just moved over to BN or UP.

In 1981 BN signed a voluntary service coordination agreement with SP to concentrate north-south interchange at Portland. The BN-WP Inside Gateway power pool was terminated in 82. So the Inside Gateway traffic was already reduced by the time of MoP-UP. It was basically already gone.

Up until de-reg in 1985, the shares of (UP interchange to SP at Portland) vs. (UP long-haul to LA) would have been very stable. For the rest of your time frame 1985 - 1996, I can't tell you, I was mostly engaged outside the PNW and not privy to what was happening up there.

Best regards,

Rob



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