BY WERNER MEER US-RAILROAD-SHOP KILCHBERG
HOCHWEIDSTRASSE 3 CH-8802 KILCHBERG (ZÜRICH) SWITZERLAND (founded 1977)
PHONE *41-44-715-3666, FAX *41-44-715-3660, E-MAIL email@example.com
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updated: December 24, 2008
|Cajon Pass 3rd Main Track
Construction by BNSF in 2007 and 2008
I am very pleased to show some exclusive photos by
Don E. Toles (the
famous Hilltender of Hill 582) and Gary G. Gray.
Pictures are prepared for the internet by Gary.
A big thank you to Don and Gary to share these excellent pictures.
Note: The copyright belongs to Don E. Toles (DET) and Gary G. Gray (GGG). Do not use any photos without written permission.
Additional contributors with photos: Marc Fournier (MF), Robin Scanes (RS), Keith Schreiber (KS), Paul Westover (PW).
Thank you for sharing your photos with us. We are glad to have you guys on board on our site.
8 different and detailed Maps of Cajon Pass with
captions (Mile Posts and Location) by Gary G. Gray - click
New 8/11: Maps "How to find" Hill 582, Sullivan's Curve, Noisy Point by Gary G. Gray - click here
|Accurate Map of Cajon Pass with 3rd Main Track by Michael Amrine - click here|
BNSF is building a 3rd Main Track thru Cajon Pass. It will be built along the #
1 (north) track (2,2 % grade). The only 2 tunnels in Cajon have been daylighted.
I am very proud to show these pictures taken by Don E. Toles and Gary G. Gray (and other contributors).
For bigger size pictures please click on the 3 digit numbers below each photo!
Photos 801 - 902 on this page starting September 15, 2008 and ending December 15, 2008
|9/15/08 Cutting road crossing for Main # 2 - 801||9/15/08 RR-X-ing temporarily out of service - 802||9/17/08 BNSF EB on Main # 1 - 803|
All of the "action" centers around the complex trackage at Cajon Junction. Don sends four of the work to complete Main # 2.
Photos 801 - 802: show the cutting of the road crossing to allow Main # 2 to be build through the area. Photo 803: BNSF is EB on Main # 1 passing the unfinished # 2. Photo 804: Ballasting # 2 RR West of the curved bridge at MP 64.1X. Note that all crossings and bridges have wooden ties since concrete ties do not wear well in those areas.
|9/17/08 Ballasting Main # 2 - 804||9/15/08 Ballasting newly realigned Main # 3 - 805||9/15/08 Dressing newly realigned Main # 3 - 806|
|9/17/08 BNSF WB moving from # 3 to # 1 to bypass unfinished # 3 at West Cajon Jct - 807||9/22/08 Completed track configuration at East Cajon Jct - 808||9/22/08 Main # 3 realignment and ballasting between Cajon Jct and Bridge at MP 63.4 - 809|
|9/22/08 Close up of new Main # 3 on bridge - 810||9/26/08 Trackage between MP 63.4 and 64.3 - 811||9/26/08 How to cut and re-connect - 812|
Yesterday (09-26-08), BNSF Main Tracks 1, 2, & 3 were opened between Summit and Cajon Junction. West of Cajon Junction, there is still a major track realignment to be finished next Monday.
Photo 811: shows the present trackage between what we call " the graffiti bridge" at MP 63.4. and "Nasty Knoll" at MP 64.3.
Photo 812: The "middle track" will be cut at the X and, obviously, 1 East and 1 West will be connected as will 2 E and 2 W. The curves as shown in these pictures are grossly exaggerated due to the long telephoto lens used.
Photo 813: Don sends a picture of the same area taken from the UP/SP tracks. The curves are in proper perspective. GGG/DET
|9/23/08 Same area taken from UP tracks - 813||9/26/08 BNSF 4447 EB (extra long train) at the "Graffiti Bridge" - MP 63.4 - 814||9/26/08 Same train has the head end past Sullivans Curve headed toward Hwy 138 - 815|
|Photos 814 - 818: The BNSF has been running some really LONG (10,000 ft) trains lately and we're sure we caught one EB in the Cajon Station area.|
|9/26/08 With the BNSF 4447 train still passing Cajon Station, BNSF 720 is WB on Main # 3 - 816||9/26/08 DPU's for BNSF 4447 are on Main # 1 (background) and BNSF 720 WB - 817||9/26/08 DPU's for BNSF 720 - Please note that BNSF 4447 cars can still be seen just above the DPU's - 818|
|9/29/08 Realignment of Mains # 1 and # 2 - 819||9/29/08 Ballasting Main # 2 - 820||9/29/08 BNSF EB JAC-BAR - 821|
In our last series BNSF was cutting the tracks prior to realignment -- just RR West of the Graffiti Bridge at MP 63.4, Don, from above the UP/SP tracks, captures the process on 29 Sep 08. Photos 819 - 824: show realignment, ballasting and dressing of Main # 2 in different stages.
As we can see on photos 821 - 824 Main # 3 was really busy while Mains # 1 and # 2 are out of service. Main # 1 is still not connected at this time.
|9/29/08 BNSF 916 WB on Main # 3 - 822||9/29/08 BNSF 1072 WB on Main # 3 - 823||9/29/08 NMSF 4954 WB on Main # 3 - 824|
|9/26/08 Dressing Main # 2 at East Cajon Jct. - 825||9/26/08 Dressing Main # 1 at SWC - 826||10/01/08 Dressing Main # 1 at SWC - 827|
|10/03/08 Rail alignments at MP 63.4 - 828||10/03/08 Main # 1 to be ballasted & dressed - 829||10/06/08 SWC X-ing completed, # 1 needs work 830|
|10/08/08 The first "race" to Summit using the "new" BNSF Main # 1 and the "old" Main # 2 -- BNSF EB trains passing Hill 582 going uphill toward Summit - 831||10/08/08 UP 5474 is EB into Cajon Summit. The second unit is an AC-4400CW still wearing CNW colors. This train will probably be stopped RR East of Summit to allow the following BNSF train on Main # 2 to proceed - 832||10/08/08 UP 9389 WB from Cajon Summit. The second unit is an ex CNW SD40-2. Nice view of the 3 BNSF Main tracks in service at Summit curve. - 833|
|10/16/08 BNSF EB on Main # 2 at MP 64 - 834||10/16/08 BNSF WB on Main # 3 at MP 64 - 835||10/16/08 BNSF WB on # 3 (# 1 not in service) - 836|
10/18/08 - Current status of the 3MT Construction: All three BNSF tracks are in operation between Summit and Cajon Junction. Main # 1 from Cajon Jct to Keenbrook was not operational as of yesterday (10/17/08). We think that all will be finished by the end of October ??
Also, before we can call the project complete, the shoo-fly at the old Tunnel one site must be realigned. GGG/DET
|10/17/08 Track dressing on Main # 1 MP 64 - 837||10/22/08 BNSF Business Train WB MP 64 - 838||10/22/08 BNSF WB on Main # 3 MP 64 - 839|
|10/22/08 - Currently there is little 3MT construction progress. The BNSF forces continue to finish Main # 1 between Keenbrook and Cajon Station. Evidently there is much track welding to be completed but weather conditions (HOT, DRY, and WINDY) have halted those efforts. About the only things left to do concerning documentation of the Cajon project are to photograph the realignment of the old shoo-fly and to get "meets" at all of the sites we have photographed. (GGG/DET)|
|10/25/08 BNSF EB DPU's pass a WB train - 840||10/25/08 BNSF WB on Main # 2 - 841||10/25/08 EB stacker visible above WB train - 842|
Friend Marc Fournier joined the digital imaging age and caught this meet at Cajon Jct. Even these photos do not show anything about the current construction, we think, it is worth to see especially of their wide screen format.
Photo 840: BNSF 7491 is WB on Main # 2 while the DPU's of an EB climb toward Sullivan's on Main # 1. Photo 841: Show close up of BNSF 7491 WB at Cajon Junction. Photo 842: The BNSF EB double stack train (coming out of Sullivan's Curve) is still visible above the WB train.
|10/30/08 Ballast train on Main # 1 - 843||10/30/08 Ballast for finishing Main # 1 - 844||10/30/08 BNSF EB passing ballast train - 845|
Photos 843 - 844: BNSF 6735 is WB on Main # 1 at Cajon Junction - with the last (we think) of the new ballast for that track at RR West between Cajon Jct and Keenbrook. Photo 845: BNSF 7641 is EB toward Sullivan's Curve passing the above mentioned ballast train.
|11/05/08 Tracks are cut - 846||11/05/08 Tracks are moved toward Main # 2 - 847||11/05/08 Looks like flex track on a Model RR - 848|
|Photos 846 - 850: As you may remember, a shoo-fly was built to by-pass Tunnel-1 (BNSF MP 59). The last major sub-project within the BNSF 3MT construction was to realign the shoo-fly to parallel Main # 2 (M-2) in the former T-1 area. Marc sends the beginning of the realignment looking west as of 11-05-08.|
|11/05/08 Almost parallel - 849||11/05/08 BNSF EB pass the site - 850||11/08/08 UP EB on Silverwood Connector - 851|
11/07/08 - Victorville Daily Express:
BNSF has declared the BNSF 3MT project FINISHED !
It seems that there is a 'Construction project of the year' competition conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Ames Construction (the corporation which teamed with BNSF to move the dirt, build the bridges, and remove the tunnels) contracted with the PR firm (Kaneen Advertising & Public Relations, Inc. of Tucson, AZ) to enter the competition. Below is a description (PDF) of the competition for the 2009 AON Build America Award.
(Interesting to read the last paragraph on page 6)
BNSF Cajon Pass - Third Main Track / Keenbrook to Summit Project
|11/08/08 UP NB/EB on Silverwood Connector - 852||11/08/08 BNSF EB on Main # 2 (left is WSI) - 853||11/08/08 BNSF EB on Main # 3 - 854|
|Photos 851 - 854: The Silverwood Connector is a crossover between the UP (Palmdale cutoff) and the BNSF tracks # 1 and # 2. Therefore, UP is able to re-route trains between the tracks heading to either Palmdale (Tehachapi) or Barstow (Daggett) and further North. The other way around, WB trains coming from Barstow can change to the UP tracks heading direct into Colton Yard. Photos 851 - 852 show 2 diff. UP trains crossing from UP to BNSF tracks. Photo 853 shows another railfan's over look in the Pass: West Summit Island (WSI). It is located between BNSF track # 3 and # 2, just below the Summit Curve. Photo 854 shows from left to right: Silverwood Connector, BNSF Main # 1, # 2 and # 3 with BNSF EB train entering Summit Curve. West Summit Island is just at the right lower corner (not visible).|
|10/30/08 BNSF WB on Main # 1 Sullivan's Crv - 855||10/30/08 BNSF EB on Main # 1 - 856||10/30/08 Same BNSF train Sullivan's Curve - 857|
|10/30/08 BNSF EB on Main # 2 - 858||10/30/08 Same BNSF train Sullivan's Curve - 859||10/30/08 UP NB on UP tracks - 860|
the 3MT project is finished, we are going to show great photos of the
daily operations in Cajon Pass. We can see trains now on 3 BNSF tracks and
1 UP track at different locations throughout the Pass..
Photos 855 - 860: Sullivan's Curve is always a spectacular place to see trains. For those who are not familiar with this location, UP is having a siding here and therefore, we can see 4 tracks: UP Main and Siding, BNSF Main # 1 and # 2. We are waiting for the ultimate shot with a train on every track!
|10/30/08 BNSF WB as seen from WSI on # 3 - 861||10/30/08 BNSF WB will pass WSI on # 3 - 862||10/30/08 BNSF EB as seen from WSI on # 2 - 863|
|10/30/08 UP EB on Silverwood Connector - 864||10/31/08 Cajon Weather in Southern CA - 865||10/31/08 As seen from Hill 582 - 866|
|Photos 861 - 864 were all taken from WSI (West Summit Island). Photos 865 - 866: Two interesting weather shots from Hill 582. San Gabriel Mountains in the background. Maybe we'll get some snow/rain this year ??|
|11/10/08 Broken rail is replaced - 867||11/10/08 New section was welded - 868||11/10/08 Welding the other side - 869|
Photos 867 - 871: While the new BNSF 3MT construction was progressing, Main # 3 saw very heavy use. With Mains # 1 & # 2 completed and in use, heavy inspection/repair was necessary on Main # 3. In the following sequence, a broken rail is replaced, welded, and ground smooth looking WB from West Summit Island (WSI). Photography by Marc Fournier
|11/10/08 Grinding of joints - 870||11/10/08 Smooth it down - 871||11/12/08 Pre-assembled switch next to # 2 - 872|
|11/12/08 Water against the dust - 873||11/12/08 Main # 2 was cut - 874||11/12/08 New switch is moved in - 875|
Photos 872 - 881: BNSF has installed a switch on the south side of Main # 2 just RR West of Walker. The switch is evidently for a "Set-out" track.
Photo 873: Dust mitigation has been of primary concern throughout the 3 MT construction. Photo 878: Hand throw Switch welded into position. Unknown if the remaining panels will be used to extend the "set-out" track. Photo 879: BNSF has installed the WALKER SIGNS on the East/West Bound Control Signals honoring our friend Chard Walker. Photos 880 - 881: BNSF 529 and a brace of GP 60's lead the JAC-BAR EB at Walker. It is just rolling over the switch.
|11/12/08 Positioning of the switch - 876||11/12/08 Final installation - 877||11/14/08 Main # 2 is ready, again - 878|
|11/14/08 New Walker sign - 879||11/14/08 BNSF JAC-BAR EB - 880||11/14/08 Same train under the Walker signals - 881|
|11/14/08 BNSF EB on Main # 2 - 882||11/14/08 BNSF EB w/DOTX - 883||11/14/08 Just passed Hill 582 - 884|
|Photo 882: BNSF 4051 is EB in the old Tunnel 1/Shoo-fly area (MP 59) on Main # 2. Photos 883 - 884: BNSF 556 leads DOTX Track Geometery Car 217 EB past Hill 582 on Main # 1. BTW, 217 is self propelled however it is designed to operate also in the towed configuration.|
|11/16/08 BNSF EB on Main # 2 - 885||11/16/08 UP EB on Main # 2 and a WB on # 1 886||11/16/08 Above the BNSF is a UP WB - 887|
|Photos 885 - 890: Another Swiss, Rudolf P. Schai, jr., visited Hill 582 on Sunday, 11/16/08. He is an active member of the American Railroadfans in Switzerland. He really enjoed his stay on our "Oasis" in the middle of Cajon Pass. As he was traveling in style, we saw the first Cadillac Escalade on the Hill. Thank you, Ruedi for sharing your photos on our site (WM).|
|11/16/08 Hill 582 and an Escalade - 888||11/16/08 Hill 582 with double stack - 889||11/16/08 BNSF WB on Main # 2 - 890|
|11/21/08 BNSF EB JAC-BAR - 891||11/21/08 This train has 4 axle power, only - 892||11/21/08 It is passing Hill 582 - 893|
11/21/08 - Don, Marc and I spent Friday morning on Hill 582 and at CP Walker. Not a whole bunch of trains but great company and a very nice day.
We look for the JAC-BAR EB on Fridays because it always has all four axle power, is colorful and usually OVERPOWERED --- to the point of ROARING up CAJON. We were not disappointed (GGG)
Photos 891 - 893: Are ATSF/BNSF 548 with another DASH 8 and four GP-60's pulling a relatively short train uphill past Hill 582 --- and on to Barstow
|11/21/08 BNSF WB past new setout switch - 894||11/21/08 Looking West w/derail switch - 895||11/21/08 Looking East w/setout track - 896|
As noted, BNSF is installing a quarter mile long "setout" track between Davis Ranch Road and CP Walker on Main # 2. (See also photos 872 - 878)
Photo 894: BNSF 4776 is WB on Main # 1 past the thermite welding crew --- welding the setout switch to Main # 2. Photo 895: Looking RR west toward Davis Ranch Road, the derail and Main # 2 switch (both hand throws) are pictured. Photo 896: Looking RR East, the length of the setout track is pictured.
|12/15/08 BNSF EB JAC-BAR at WSI - 897||12/15/08 BNSF EB JAC-BAR at WSI - 898||12/15/08 BNSF WB above Silverwood - 899|
|Photos 897 - 902: It has been and interesting week with rain and snow and really COLD weather. It was a relatively light snow but for Southern CA, it was a bunch. I-15 on Cajon was closed for several hours but our own Marc Fournier ventured into the Cajon with his camera. Rail traffic has been light = probably due to the economy but he did spot a few. So, here are the "fruits" of his work in "Winter Wonderland".|
|12/15/08 BNSF WB on Main # 2 at Walker - 900||12/15/08 Same train at CP Walker - 901||12/15/08 Hill 582 seen from 58.2 signal mast - 902|
|With these photos we are going to close our 3MT construction pages. Once again a big thank you to our great photographers for being able to show all these exiting moments of this "one of kind" project. Do not worry, we are going to show new photos of Cajon Pass action in our Cajon Pass Photo Collection pages. Just go to the Cajon Pass Main Page and scroll down - click here.|
BNSF 5017 WB Christmas Train is passing Hill 582 on Main # 1 before the
recent blizzard (Photo by Marc Fournier) 8-135
A big thank you to Don, Gary and Marc for sharing their wonderful photos with us (12/24/08 WM)
Copyright by Don E. Toles & Gary G. Gray with permission, Werner Meer
|Simple Maps about Cajon Pass: click here|
Excellent Aerial photos of Cajon before construction started by Dave Crammer: http://www.cajonpass.net/dca/index.html
Dave Crammer published a 20 page report "Air Cajon" (Cajon Pass from the Air) in TRP (The Railroad Press) Magazine Issue # 71 (Oct/Nov/Dec, 2006).
|More Aerial photos incl. 3MT (taken in 2008) by Dave Crammer: http://www.cajonpass.net/highabove.html|
|Here is a very detailed report (390 pages) about the 3rd Main Track Construction with maps (PDF): http://www.cajonpass.net/FEIS-EIR-MAR07.pdf|
|Please check also my own Photo Gallery about California: click here|
|Lots of photos about Cajon Pass by Santiago Homsi jr, http://www.cajonpass.net|
Southern California Rail Fan by Dave Toussaint: http://www.SoCalRailFan.com
New Cajon Pass Book by Dave Toussaint: http://www.socalrailfan.com/book.html
|Here are photos of the 2 tunnels before construction started: click here|
In Memory of Chard L. Walker (1922 - 2007) - click
The History of Hill 582 by Don E. Toles - click here
Below are links to all 9 pages of the BNSF 3rd Main Track Project
|Page 1: 3rd MT Project - click here||Page 2: 3rd MT Project - click here||Page 3: 3rd MT Project - click here|
|Page 4: 3rd MT Project - click here||Page 5: 3rd MT Project - click here||Page 6: 3rd MT Project - click here|
|Page 7: 3rd MT Project - click here||Page 8: 3rd MT Project - click here||Page 9: 3rd MT Project - click here|
Go back to 3rd MT Main Page - click here
Go back to Cajon Pass Main Page - click here