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Passenger Trains > Starlight in Watsonville Jct yesterday

Date: 11/25/11 11:14
Starlight in Watsonville Jct yesterday
Author: StStephen

In the Salinas area for Thanksgiving; broke away to Watsonville Jct yesterday. Saw the southbound Starlight role in about 10:55am and stop at a red signal at the end of DT/beginning of pseudo-CTC. One of the non-engine crew members (conductor?) walked up to the lead unit, climbed aboard and disappeared. At 11:35 I had to leave to keep the family happy, and the Starlight was still there on a red. Driving towards Castroville the back way - along Elkhorn Road - saw nothing. Was there something up ahead, some problem, some dispatching issues??? Is that common?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/12 11:30 by StStephen.

Date: 11/25/11 14:22
Re: Starlight in Watsonville Jct yesterday
Author: asilomar129

Had a high tide of 6.5 @ 830am yesterday. Probably waiting for ok from track inspector or signal problem from tide lapping the tracks. Common occurence.

Today's high tide was at 7.0 @ 945am. Bet they had probs today.

MSVRR @ MP115 UP Coast Sub

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/25/11 14:28 by asilomar129.

Date: 11/25/11 15:24
Re: High Tides
Author: railstiesballast

This may be symptoms of two separate events: rising oceans and sinking subgrade.
Todd doesn't want flame wars about political issues like rising sea levels, so let's consider the civil engineering.
The history of this area under SP ownership has included serious engineering investments in light weight ballast (Kegg Pt Cinders) and cycles of raising the track, which is built on tidal mud flats.
It will be interesting to see how an engineering effort to again raise the track grade (a couple of feet will play out. First, the affected party is not the UP (which can simply wait out the high tides) but it is Amtrak, or any CA State agency which runs trains there in the future (commuter to Salinas ?). Second, the environmental impacts of doing work may or may not offset the impacts of doing nothing and having increasing auto traffic on Highway 101.
A new, higher ground alignment would have another set of costs and impacts.

Date: 11/25/11 16:05
Re: High Tides
Author: bobs

Tides have always been an issue here, and with the new moon today tide levels are at an extreme right now. I read in the paper that this particular cycle is the most extreme of the year.

Date: 11/25/11 17:32
Re: High Tides
Author: TCnR

Hig tide and track inspections during the winter months is pretty common around Alviso and the old site of Drawbridge as well.

Did Kegg Pit cinders make it as far as Elkhorn Slough? Any other interesting locations besides most of the Shasta Division?

Date: 11/25/11 18:46
Re: High Tides
Author: Amtrakdavis22

The last time I rode the Starlight from Davis to San Luis Obispo, we had to stop because of high tide. The water that day was so high that it was up to the track. About an inch of the track was sitting underwater. We sat for a good 30 to 45 minutes then proceeded though at around walking speed. It sure felt good to get through and get back up to 60mph through the Salinas Valley.

Jake Miille
Chico, CA
Jake Miille Photography

Date: 11/25/11 20:42
Re: Starlight in Watsonville Jct yesterday
Author: SP7615

I was in the Salinas area back in September and witness the Starlight stop at the same location. What I heard over the radio is that they were stopped because of a red signal going from TWC to CTC and they needed to line the spring switch to get a favorable signal. They sat there for a good 25-30 minutes before they got a signal to proceed into Salinas.


Date: 11/25/11 22:22
Re: Starlight in Watsonville Jct yesterday
Author: CarolVoss

Okay people, this is not an unusual event and usually occurs during November and December we have these high tides---6.7--highest 7.0 and if they are around the time the Starlates are running , yes, they sit and wait for someone to high rail ahead of them over the tracks through the slough. Let's not get into global warming just yet--old time SP engineer Tommy the Rocket DeLaRosa ran the steam engines over the slough tracks at top speed because there were no traction engines to short out the wheels and they could go hell for leather across with no problem. Time passes----high tides short out the signals as well as traction motors--so certain times of the year the Starlate waits for the tides to subside or etc. no big deal.According to my time table for tomorrow the hgh tide will be 6.5 at 9:57 tomorrow morning. NO storms involved either.

Carol Voss
San Jose, CA

Date: 11/26/11 07:36
Re: Starlight in Watsonville Jct yesterday
Author: stash

That's why I always carry my tide book, along with my Altamont Press timetable, on the Coast Route.

Date: 11/26/11 23:10
Re: Starlight in Watsonville Jct yesterday
Author: DNRY122

Aye me hearties, time to check yer Nautical Almanacs!

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