TRAINMASTER 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 trainmaster@bluewin.ch
Go back to our Website - click here

added: February 24, 2017 / updated: June 22, 2022: 462 - 481

Cajon Pass Sub Photo Collection
2017 - 2022

I am very pleased to show some exclusive photos of these photographers:
Gary G. Gray (GGG) & Laura M. Gray (LMG) & Marc Fournier (MF)

A big thank you for sharing these excellent pictures with us.
Note: The copyright belongs to these gentlemen. Do not use any photos without written permission.

Green Tree Blvd. Extension w/new bridge over BNSF
Main Tracks at Victorville, CA

close to: "natural crossover / flyover" at MP 39.1 of the BNSF Cajon Sub
After years of planning and searching for funds, our local Governments have started construction of the fifth roadway between Apple Valley and Hesperia (and / or Victorville). These projects are necessary, not only for normal vehicular traffic but, for emergency traffic in this VERY earthquake prone area. Three of the roadways have existed for many years but one accident would clog the other two roads for hours.

The s
omewhat recent fourth project was the BNSF RR bridge built over the extension of Ranchero Rd -- as previously documented:  http://www.trainmaster.ch/XC-11.htm

The hyper expensive factors in this construction are that all five, of these arterials, must cross the
normally dry Mojave river, its tributaries and the very busy BNSF RR Cajon sub-division. What's important to we Raifans is that this latest construction must cross the tracks very near the "natural crossover / flyover" at MP 39.1 of the BNSF Cajon Sub -- and how the new roads will affect the hill overlooking the flyover (our viewpoint, locally known as "Gray's Hill").

I have edited a couple of local Government maps and added a few pictures showing the project's current status and its PROPOSED route --- which will cross the BNSF. Unless you've visited the area, you may find all of this confusing. GGG

Abbreviations found on this page: EB = East Bound, NB = North Bound, SB = South Bound, WB = West Bound

For bigger size photos - please click on the 3-digit number below each photo (the first letters specify the photographer)..

we start our documentation with an overview of the current situation - 1
GGG 6/15/15 Upper Norrows Mojave River
(view from Gray's Hill) - 001
GGG 12/28/15 UP EB at MP. 39.1
(view from Gray's Hill) - 002
Google map of entire project. Phase #1 (Apple Valley) is nearing completion.. Phase II (including the Mojave River Bridge) is complete but not open for traffic. Phase III (left side in purple) is the part of the project for future documentation. The entire East-West Rd will be four lanes with "shoulders". - 003
GGG 11/25/16 Looking EAST (Apple Valley) at phases #1 & #2 (view from Gray's Hill) - 004 GGG 11/25/16 Looking West (Victorville) at the Western section of Phase III (view from Gray's Hill) - 005
Contractor / Victorville map of proposed phase III (BLUE) road route over or through "Gray's Hill". - 006
WM 6/02/10 To a Werner Meer aerial of the BNSF Flyover / Gray's Hill, I've added straight line approximations of where the new roads will traverse the hill. Note that 'the Hill' is steeply sloped and 125+ feet higher than the terrain containing the existing roads being connected. - 007
GGG 11/25/16 From "Gray's Hill" looking at the Western terminus of Phase II, it APPEARS to me that a substantial portion of Gray's Hill must be removed to make this project work. Note the "X" for next picture reference. - 008 GGG 12/02/16 From near the "X" referenced in the previous picture, the present Ridgecrest road will be abandoned and replaced somewhere near the LARGE ARROW (see 007).  -  009
Construction on Phase III should begin late 2017, completion SCHEDULED for 2022..  GGG

 

The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 2
Because we have no idea what will happen to Gray's Hill or even if we'll have access to what's left, I've decided to fully document the area as it stands.   GGG
GGG 2/03/17 The relative heights of the Desert Floor & Gray's Hill, according to GARMIN GPS - 010 GGG 2/03/17 Two views East, from the Desert floor, of Frost and the Mojave River upper narrows - 011
GGG 2/03/17 close up of upper narrows - 012 GGG 11/25/16 BNSF 7575 WB MP 39.1 - 013
GGG 11/25/16 BNSF WB DPU's (same train) - 014 GGG 1/30/17 BNSF 5771 (on the normally EB track) is WB - 015
GGG 11/25/16 UP 6542 with a GE Tier 4 (2nd unit) is WB @ MP 39.1 - 016 GGG 11/25/16 UP 2691 GE Tier 4 DPU WB on same manifest  - 017

updated: October 30, 2019

Green Tree Boulevard extension closer to construction - News - vvdailypress.com - Victorville, CA

VICTORVILLE — Barring obstacles, the third phase of a multi-million dollar roadway project connecting Victorville to Apple Valley will begin in July 2020.
The City of Victorville announced that it has received the necessary permits and permissions needed from BNSF for the Green Tree Boulevard extension project that would include an overpass constructed over the BNSF railroad tracks and wash adjacent to tracks.
The nearly one-mile project will connect Yates and Ridgecrest roads in Victorville, located near Mojave Narrows Regional Park and Spring Valley Lake, with the intersection of Hesperia Road and Green Tree Boulevard, also located in Victorville.

With construction and improvements to the Green Tree Boulevard and Hesperia Road intersection, the estimated cost to extend Green Tree Boulevard is $45 million. The city will be responsible for 49% of the project’s overall cost, with the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority providing the rest.
The SBCTA will loan up to two-thirds of the funding — estimated at $12.5 million — for the city’s share, with the city paying back the agency in road development impact fees, the city reported.
The city will also receive funding from the Town of Apple Valley and the county totaling about $4.8 million. An additional $4.2 million from federal funds will also assist the project.
The Green Tree Boulevard Extension is considered Phase III of the Yucca Loma Road/Yates Road/Green Tree Boulevard Transportation Improvement Project.
Phase I of the overall project included the construction of the Yucca Loma Bridge over the Mojave River, which connects Apple Valley to Victorville. This phase also included the widening and improvement to Yates Road in Victorville, which skirts the north end of SVL.
This portion of construction involved the Town of Apple Valley and the County of San Bernardino.
Phase 2, dubbed the Yucca Loma Road Widening Project, expanded the roadway from two to four lanes on the stretch from Apple Valley Road to Kasanka Trail. It also provided other improvements and a traffic signal at Yucca Loma and Havasu roads in Apple Valley.
In May 2017, the Yucca Loma Bridge was opened, with Phase I and II of the project completed. Since that time, many have applauded the partial completion of the project for the addition roadway that connects Bear Valley Road and the SVL area to Apple Valley.
Others have voiced frustration over the uncompleted project that has increased traffic congestion near SVL and for commuters driving eastbound on Bear Valley Road as they attempt to turn left onto Ridgecrest Road.

Reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com, Instagram@renegadereporter, Twitter @DP_ReneDeLa

updated: July 5, 2020

The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 3
If anyone remembers 'The Demise of Gray's Hill' photographic project started in 2016 ??
 
It looks like 'they' (Victorville) are finally getting serious about "The Demise of Gray's Hill" and the completion of the latest road from VictorVille to Apple Valley.
 
Drove up to "Gray's Hill" today (7/05/20) and there is activity between Hesperia Rd (to the West) and the BNSF tracks.
Of course, the slowest & most expensive part of this project will be the Bridge over the BNSF.
Two projects going -- I may earn my COVID BREAD & WATER.
GGG 7/05/20 Green Tree Blvd. East - 018 GGG 7/05/20 edited copy - 019

updated: July 26, 2020

The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 4

Back in 2016, I started a new photo series “The Demise of Gray’s Hill” in conjunction with a rather large local Government project to provide a fifth roadway between Apple Valley and Victorville / Hesperia / I-15.
 
These projects are necessary, not only for normal vehicular traffic but, for emergency traffic in this earthquake prone area. Three of the roadways have existed for many years but one accident would clog the other two roads for hours. 
 
The hyper expensive factors in this construction are that all five, of these arterials, must cross the normally dry Mojave River, its tributaries and the very busy BNSF RR Cajon sub-division. What's important to we Raifans is that this latest construction must bridge the tracks very near the "natural crossover / flyover" at MP 39.1 of the BNSF Cajon Sub---and how the new road will affect the hill overlooking the flyover (our photographic viewpoint, locally known as "Gray's Hill"). 
 
This latest project is being built in three phases: 
 
Phase #1: (Apple Valley) includes widening & improving Yucca Loma Rd and building a 4 lane vehicular bridge across the Mojave River --- COMPLETED
 
Phase #2: (County of San Bernardino) includes widening & improving  Yates Rd --- COMPLETED
 
Phase #3: (Victorville) will include extending Greentree BLVD and building a 4 lane vehicular bridge across the BNSF CAJON SUB --- under construction

Edited Google Earth of entire project. - 020
In the Phase #3 are --- Greentree BLVD extension (PURPLE), the area of the new vehicular bridge, and “Gray’s” Hill are shown. The “G” at the lower center is the approx. location of the Gray residence.

GGG 7/26/20 An edited image of the Greentree BLVD extension. - 021 GGG 7/26/20 Close up view of Greentree BLVD extension area. - 022

updated: September 20, 2020

9/15/20: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 5
Marc & I finished our odyssey with a stop at Gray's hill to spot any progress on the extension of GreenTree Blvd.  So, from HEAVILY SMOKY California, here are a few images.   GGG & MF
MF 9/15/20 - 023
Upon arrival, Marc spotted a "meet" at the BNSF Flyover with UP 7630 WB. 
MF 9/15/20 - 024
UP 7630 WB passes Gray's Hill.
Since the first of the year, a homeless encampment has been GROWING across the tracks - to the West of the Hill. Last time we were on Gray's Hill, the camp occupied 2-3 acres and contained 10+ junker automobiles, 3 junker motor homes and tons of trash and debris. Victorville obviously tired of the mess and mounted a cleanup campaign. The City brought in 4 Sheriff's patrol cars, 5 large dumpsters, and a front-end loader to cleanup the mess.
MF 9/15/20 - 025
UP 6762 (DPU for UP 7630) is WB. Noting how much higher the tracks are above the creek bed and that they are about level with the hill to the West, we are wondering just how far back the Bridge will start on the Western approach.
GGG 9/15/20 - 027
Closeup image of the cleanup project. There are 2 Sheriff's patrol cars visible on this picture.
GGG 9/15/20 - 026  Overview of the cleanup project.
GGG 9/15/20 - 028
Everything will be loaded into the dumpsters with a front end loader
GGG 9/15/20 - 029
The finished cleanup  -   THREE CHEERS FOR VICTORVILLE

updated: October 1, 2020

9/24/20: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 6
It was one of those 'nothing to do so let us go try to figure out where the GreenTree Rd extension bridge will cross the BNSF tracks' days.  GGG & MF
 
 So, your two non-trained, non-expert & non-experienced bridge engineers immediately left for Gray's Hill.
 MF 7/26/20 - 030 The same view as on # 031 but from a lower level on Gray's Hill. The BNSF tracks are at about the same level as the PAD.
LOOKING COMPASS WEST FROM GRAY"S HILL through the thickening SMOKE: -----
My thinking is that Victorville will start a longer, flatter & more expensive bridge at Letter "A". Marc thinks that they will build a shorter steeper bridge starting a letter "B". We also question why the "excess" dirt was used to build the "pad"?
MF 9/15/20 - 031
See description of letter "A" and "B" above.
UP 6762 DBU for UP 7630 WB from Gray's Hill.
MF 9/24/20 -  032
Looking Compass East at Gray's hill from the PAD, at the approximate location of the future vehicle bridge. Of course, the bridge will be 5-10 feet higher than the double stacks.
MF 9/24/20 -  033
The edge of Gray's Hill from the PAD
MF 9/24/20 -  034
Looking compass South (RR West). Those folks have a great view of a junkyard, the HUGE Goodyear Tire & Mars Candy distribution facilities, and a Dog Food Factory. Oh by the way, 40-60 trains a day either pulling hard up the 1% or with screaming dynamics retarding their speed!
MF 9/24/20 -  035
Meet at Flyover BNSF 6837 WB
MF 9/24/20 -  036
BNSF 6837 headend at MP 39.4
# 035 - 038: The saving event, for this visit, was a meet at the flyover which featured a 2.5+ mile long West Bound double stack led by BNSF 6837.
MF 9/24/20 -  037
BNSF 7703 & 6622 Mid-Train helpers for BNSF 6837 West.
MF 9/24/20 -  038
BNSF 3738 & 6547 rear end DPU's for BNSF 6836 West.

updated: June 3, 2021

6/02/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 7
For those who were not with us or have forgotten, the project to provide a new road connection between Apple Valley and Victorville was begun in 2015. Phases #1 (Apple Valley) & #2  (San Bernardino County) have been finished, leaving only Victorville's Section (#3) to be completed.  GGG
Phase III - Green Tree Extension - Victor Valley News Group - 039
Visualization of Green Tree Extension Bride over BNSF Tracks - Victor Valley News Group - 040
The following information (from Victor Valley News Group) was released on 1 June 2001 (see below).
CITY OF VICTORVILLE TO BREAK GROUND ON GREEN TREE EXTENSION

VICTORVILLE, Calif. — Today, the City of Victorville announced that it will break ground on its Green Tree Extension on June 2. The City will extend Green Tree Boulevard 1.5 miles from Hesperia Road to Ridgecrest/Yates Road connecting the communities of Victorville and Apple Valley. The Green Tree Extension will create another East/West corridor benefitting the Victor Valley and providing much-needed congestion relief to Bear Valley Road.
Today, the City of Victorville hosted a Groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on this capital improvement project. Due to health order restrictions on public gatherings, attendance at the event was limited.
During the Ceremony, Victorville Mayor Debra Jones expressed the City’s enthusiasm for starting work on this project that has been 50 years in the making.  The Green Tree Extension was first envisioned in the 1970’s. The project was added to the Victorville General Plan in 1988 and became a viable project in 2007.

Integral to the project is a 600-foot-long bridge that will travel over the BNSF railroad. When complete, it will be the longest bridge in Victorville. City officials estimate more than one million pounds of rebar and 24 million pounds of concrete will be used in the new bridge.
The City will add a traffic signal where Green Tree Boulevard connects with Ridgecrest Road and widen Ridgecrest to four lanes. The intersection of Green Tree Boulevard and Hesperia Road will also be widened, and new turn lanes will be added.
Bike lanes will be added throughout the length of the project creating a larger bike lane loop nearly seven miles long connecting the Mojave Riverwalk to Hesperia Road and 7th Street.
The City expects to use nearly 55 million pounds of asphalt and close to two billion pounds of dirt for the bridge and roadway combined.
“To bring an engineering marvel of this magnitude to reality requires not only great engineering, but also great vision, teamwork and collaboration,” said Victorville Mayor, Debra Jones. “We are extremely grateful to the Town of Apple Valley, County of San Bernardino and San Bernardino County Transportation Authority for helping us make this vision a reality.”

The Green Tree Extension will be completed for a total cost of approximately $46.8 million. San Bernardino County Transportation Authority will contribute $22.7 million, the City of Victorville $15 million, the Town of Apple Valley nearly $4 million, and the County of San Bernardino approximately $900,000.  Additionally, a federal earmark of $4.2 million originally designated for the High Desert Corridor was authorized for construction of the Green Tree Extension.

To pay its portion, the City of Victorville has contributed $6.6 million in cash and is financing the remaining portion via a loan agreement with SBCTA that will be paid off utilizing future road development impact fees.
The City’s construction contractor, Skanska USA will break ground on the project June 2. Construction is expected to take 22 months to complete.

Located in Southern California at the high-point between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Victorville is the leading city for both industry and retail in the High Desert region. Victorville is a growing, vibrant community that is home to approximately 125,000 residents and some of the area’s largest employers. Clean air, abundant mountain vistas, family-friendly recreational activities, spectacular sunsets and breathtaking night skies entice locals and visitors alike to fall in love with this city that is within a few hours of SoCal beaches, National Parks, mountain retreats, and other major attractions. Ontario International Airport is less than an hour away. Learn more about the City of Victorville at VictorvilleCA.gov.

updated: June 24, 2021

6/19/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 8
This MAJOR Construction project is less than 1/2 mile from our home.  However, we railfans are most interested in the 600 foot bridge which will span the BNSF transcon & what changes will be made to the viewpoint overlooking the Natural Crossovers / Flyover at BNSF MP 39.1.   (GGG & MF)
Skanska Construction has attacked Gray's Hill with a VENGEANCE, especially on the Western slope which supports the BNSF MainLine.
From the West side of Gray's Hill, looking East - looking into the sun on a very BRIGHT & HOT day:
GGG 6/19/21 - 041
UP 9068 East, under the lip of Gray's Hill, approaches the Flyover.
GGG 6/19/21 - 042
With the flyover overlook at the far left of the hill, the new cut for the GreenTree Rd extension is pictured.
GGG 6/19/21 - 043
A closeup of the cut. The excess dirt is moved to the hill bottom to form a 'ski-jump' configuration, which will hold the Eastern abutment of the Greentree Road bridge over the BNSF.
GGG 6/19/21 - 044
A closeup of the cut. The excess dirt is moved to the hill bottom to form a 'ski-jump' configuration, which will hold the Eastern abutment of the Greentree Road bridge over the BNSF.
GGG 6/19/21 - 045
The new road bridge will span the BNSF tracks at this position.
MF 6/19/21 - 046
BNSF 6817 WB Frost (coming from the Victorville Narrows)
#046 - #049  We had to drive to Frost to cross the tracks, and while there, we caught two BNSF West bound freights.
MF 6/19/21 - 047
BNSF 6817 WB Frost
MF 6/19/21 - 048
BNSF 7028 WB Frost (coming from the Victorville Narrows)
MF 6/19/21 - 049
BNSF 7028 WB Frost
MF 6/19/21 - 050
From the top of Gray's Hill looking West, the route of the GreenTree extension is evident.
MF 6/19/21 - 051
The Skanska Construction Army
MF 6/19/21 - 052
Rear DPU's for WB UP Ore train

updated: July 6, 2021

7/03/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 9
Marc & I were able to visit all areas of Gray's Hill last Saturday (July 3).  GGG & MF
GGG 7/03/21 - 053  Edited a new & uncluttered Google map the area. Of course, the purple denotes the new GreenTree Extension Project.  The numbers indicate our photographic locations.
GGG 7/03/21 - 054
From map location 1.5, the lower & upper Road Bridge Ramps (over the BNSF) are pictured.
GGG 7/03/21 - 055
From Map #2, a closeup of the Upper Ramp with someone camping near the FROST OVERLOOK.
GGG 7/03/21 - 056
What appears to be a stockpile of "I" beams for the new road bridge. 
MF 7/03/21 - 057
 To cross the tracks, we had to drive down to BNSF FROST at the Kemper Campbell Ranch. While there, we were able to photograph BNSF 4214 East crossing over from MT #2 to MT #1.
MF 7/03/21 - 058
 To cross the tracks, we had to drive down to BNSF FROST at the Kemper Campbell Ranch. While there, we were able to photograph BNSF 4214 East crossing over from MT #2 to MT #1.
GGG 7/03/21 - 059
From MAP #3, Marc is giving directions to a hiker--hiking in 107F is NOT my idea of fun!!!!  The camper is parked near the overlook (MAP #5) with generator & AC running--again NOT my idea of communing with nature.
GGG 7/03/21 - 060
Both bridge ramps and the BNSF tracks are pictured from MAP #3. The hiker has almost made it to the edge of the upper Ramp.
GGG 7/03/21 - 061
An offset view of both ramps with a BNSF EB headed to the flyover at MP 39.1.

updated: July 25, 2021

7/18/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 10
The Demise of Gray's Hill is well underway with many tons of dirt being removed or rearranged.  -  GGG & MF
GGG 7/18/21 - 063  Even more 'interesting' news is evidenced in #062 & 063. The Map shows the apartment complex location and the numbers indicate our photo locations.
GGG 7/18/21 - 062
Received this poorly reproduced City of Victorville Planning Commission announcement of a proposed apartment complex on the untouched Southern portion of Gray's Hill.
GGG 7/18/21 - 066
Road bridge piling placement (pounding) has begun.
MF 7/18/21 - 064
UP 5883 is EB under the proposed location of the apartment complex--from near MAP location #2.
GGG 7/18/21 - 065
From Map #2 looking East - the lower & upper bridge ramps and the future GreenTree road route are pictured.
GGG 7/18/21 - 067
 Looking West from Map #3, the lower ramp and the GreenTree Rd extension are pictured.
GGG 7/18/21 - 068
In nice photo sun, the Mojave River Upper Narrows are shown.
MF 7/18/21 - 069
From beside the FLYOVER, the new GreenTree Road Bridge placement is diagrammed.
MF 7/18/21 - 070
From map #3, the flyover overlook has not had its elevation changed ---YET. However, the new road will run just to the right of this image.

updated: July 28, 2021

7/22/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 11
Last Thursday (July 22), Marc & I spent a couple of hours around Gray's Hill. Since it was a workday, we did not go near the actual work zone. The following images were taken at BNSF FROST (MP-38) and at the BNSF FLYOVER (MP-39.1). GGG + MF
 
071-073: BNSF 7045 East (with combat air support) approaches Frost and heads into the Mojave River Upper Narrows.
MF 7/22/21 - 071
BNSF 7045 EB at Frost coming from the Flyover
MF 7/22/21 - 072
BNSF 7045 EB at Frost
MF 7/22/21 - 073
BNSF 7045 EB at Frost heading toward the Narrows
MF 7/22/21 - 074
The edited Google Map with our photo locations labeled or numbered.
075-077: Gray's Hill from a few feet Compass East of the Flyover. The steep RAMP at the left is the future extension of GreenTree Rd approaching its joint with Yates Rd (MAP location #4). We did not notice the 'object' (arrow in 06 & blow-up in 07) until reviewing the pictures later. Will check it out ?????  The Gray's Hill overlook is UNTOUCHED --- SO FAR !
MF 7/22/21 - 075
Gray's Hill
MF 7/22/21 - 076
Gray's Hill . closeup
MF 7/22/21 - 077
What is it ?
MF 7/22/21 - 078
BNSF 7699 EB (w/double train)
078-081: BNSF 7699 East is actually leading a double train with mid-train and trailing DPU's - powering a full train of stacks and a full train of empty ethanol cars. In 08 & 09, BNSF 7699 approaches and crosses the flyover from MT #2 to MT #1. The lower train in 09, also EB, is crossing from MT #1 to MT #2 & has a RED at Frost to allow BNSF 7699 to proceed to Barstow, without stopping. 
MF 7/22/21 - 079
BNSF 7699 EB MT2 to MT1
MF 7/22/21 - 080
BNSF 8000 EB DPU for BNSF 7649
MF 7/22/21 - 081
Rear DPU for BNSF 2699
MF 7/22/21 - 082
The Pile Driver doing its thing at the new vehicular bridge site.

updated: August 22, 2021

8/20/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 12
Got a call, yesterday, from Spike (NASA B-747 pilot), looking for a really quick DA DUMP lunch. I mentioned that we were meeting friends, at noon, for lunch at that very cafe. Spike did his NASCAR thing and met us at DA DUMP. After lunch, we took a few minutes to log progress on the GREENTREE Rd extension over Grays Hill.  -  GGG & Spike
GGG 8/20/21 - 083: Labeled map of Grays Hill indicating our photographic locations.
GGG 8/20/21 - 084
Looking east (from Map #2), the first Eastern automotive bridge column (of three) is near ready for the concrete pour. Rebar for the Eastern bridge abutment is in place half way up the hill.
GGG 8/20/21 - 085
The pile Driver has been moved to the COMPASS Western side of the BNSF Transcon tracks.
GGG 8/20/21 - 086
From just East of the BNSF flyover (MP-39.1), the rather steep GreenTree Rd ramp from the Hilltop down to Yates RD is pictured (#3 to #4 on map).  It appears that the elevation of the Grays Hill overlook has not changed "MUCH".
Spike 8/20/21 - 087
UP 8492, with mid-train and tailing DPU's, pull a mini-monster train RR East toward the BNSF flyover at MP 39.1.
Spike 8/20/21 - 088
UP 7109 EB mid train helper
Spike 8/20/21 - 089
UP 6047 EB rear end DPU
Spike 8/20/21 - 090
BNSF 3860 (with NS 7664) is RR WB @ MP 39.1
Spike 8/20/21 - 091
BNSF 3860 (with NS 7664) is RR WB @ MP 39.1

updated: September 2, 2021

9/01/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 13
The ATTACK on & DEMISE of GRAY's Hill, & its RailFan overlook, continues unabated. A newly planned Mojave Narrows Senior Assisted Living Center will be sited as shown in photo #093. According to the Geo-Technical documents --"This California senior living center will feature four buildings: an assisted living facility, an independent living facility, a rehab center, and a medical center".
 
The few environmental documents I've read make no mention of the entire area being a FLOOD PLAIN. Also receiving little mention is the "normally dry" creek-bed between the site & Yates Rd which, very occasionally, can become a raging river.  Maybe the rehab center will offer swimming lessons???
 
At my age, consideration of a West facing, second floor apartment, overlooking the FLYOVER sounds reasonable. Of course, by the time this project obtains all the Kalifornia & Federal licenses, we all may have found that final resting place.
GGG 9/01/21 - 093
Edited Google map of the future Mojave Narrows Senior Citizens Pavilion site.
GGG 9/01/21 - 094
We decided to try to get down near the newly poured Eastern automotive bridge columns to see if there are any views worth photographing. So here is what we found. All images were taken near position #6 (MP 39.4) on the edited Google map.
MF 9/01/21 - 095
The three Eastern columns have been poured and are curing.
MF 9/01/21 - 096
The pile driver is working on the Western Columns-We have no explanation for the weird angle of the driver.
MF 9/01/21 - 097
BNSF 6546 East heads toward Barstow.
MF 9/01/21 - 098
BNSF 7484 is EB toward the "Natural Crossover" / FLYOVER.
MF 9/01/21 - 099
BNSF 7484 is EB toward the "Natural Crossover" / FLYOVER.
MF 9/01/21 - 100
BNSF 7484 is EB toward the "Natural Crossover" / FLYOVER.
GGG 9/01/21 - 101
BNSF 7046 local is WB to Thorn (MP 41.1) & the Nutro Dog Food plant.
GGG 9/01/21 - 102
The FORM for the first Western column is being moved into position.
MF 9/01/21 - 103 MF 9/01/21 - 104
#103-104: BNSF 3686 West has crossed over the Flyover, changed track numbers, and heads toward L.A. The WHITE mountain in the background of #103 is NOT snow -- It is almost PURE limestone and is owned by one of the three large cement plants in the area. Limestone is, of course, the main ingredient in Ordinary Portland Cement.

updated: September 14, 2021

9/11/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 14
Over the last few days, Marc, Jorge & I have spent several hours on and around Gray's Hill.  Construction of the GreenTree Rd extension, and its vehicle bridge across the BNSF TRANSCON, are in full "GO" mode.  The following pictures were taken on both Sept 09th & 11th ---- some timeline differences may be noticed.  GGG & MF
MF 9/11/21 - 105
An overview of the Western project area.
GGG 9/11/21 - 106
The relatively huge Eastern bridge abutment and ramp under construction.
GGG 9/11/21 - 107
The Western bridge columns & abutment
MF 9/11/21 - 108
The steeper and longer Eastern bridge approach span will require the temporary construction support columns seen here, on the ground, being bolted together.
GGG 9/11/21 - 109
BNSF 7457 is EB through the project area.  The six permanent bridge columns are shown.
MF 9/11/21 - 110
From the upper Eastern  bridge ramp, the BNSF Transcon and the six bridge columns are visible.
GGG 9/11/21 - 111
Another view of the taller and more complex Eastern abutment.
GGG 9/11/21 - 112
All six Greentree Rd bridge columns are shown
GGG 9/11/21 - 113
From the FLYOVER, Gray's Hill & our overlook positions are shown.
MF 9/11/21 - 114
The Gray's Hill overlook surface - chewed-up by machinery but so-far not reduced in elevation.
MF 9/11/21 - 115
UP 8469 EB
MF 9/11/21 - 116
BNSF 4980 WB over UP 8469 EB
The Railfan photographers dream --- A near perfect "MEET", at the "Natural Crossover/Flyover, involving both major Western Railroads.

updated: September 28, 2021

9/19/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 15
Sunday (9/19) was a beautiful day on Gray's Hill. Not much to report construction wise, except that Skanska Construction Co is building some HUGE steel pipe backed wooden forms for future concrete structural and retention walls.  MF & GGG
# 117 & # 118: are from the top of the hill, looking west at the entire project. In the foreground, pieces of the above mentioned steel pipe backed wooden forms may be seen.
Since we do not know the future of the Gray's Hill overlook as far as elevation or access, we have decided to "over-document" the FLYOVER, from the current elevation. The three trains we photographed were all BNSF, West-bound, and GE/Webtec powered.  
MF 9/19/21 - 117 MF 9/19/21 - 118
# 119 - # 122: BNSF 6983 and its rear DPU (BNSF 4051) cross the FLYOVER (MP 39.1) and head into the construction zone at MP 39.4.
MF 9/19/21 - 119
BNSF 6983 WB on the Flyover
MF 9/19/21 - 120
BNSF 6983 WB on the Flyover at MP 39.1
MF 9/19/21 - 121
BNSF 6983 WB to MP 39.4 (construction site)
MF 9/19/21 - 122
BNSF 4051 WB rear end DPU for BNSF 6983.
MF 9/19/21 - 123  //  BNSF 7230 WB crosses the FLYOVER.
MF 9/19/21 - 124
BNSF 7588 WB approaches the Flyover.
MF 9/19/21 - 125
BNSF 7588 WB crosses the Flyover.

updated: October 3, 2021

9/30/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 16
Thursday (9/30), Marc joined me for the long (.5 mile) voyage to the new GreenTree Road bridge project. MF & GGG
MF 9/30/21 - 126
We arrived track-side RR West of the project near BNSF MP 40.4 to find BNSF 7200 EAST stopped, awaiting permission to more through the Bridge Project at MP 39.4. Single tracking was 'The name of the game' due to the bridge project.
MF 9/30/21 - 127
The Western bridge abutment is being "formed-up" for the concrete pour. The concrete blocks and metal poles hold the forms stationary & vertical for the pour. My CAJON ROVER #2 was the official vehicle for this train spotting activity.
# 128 - # 131: We think that these steel pipe supports are being erected, not as concrete forms, but as supports for the large steel beams to be used for the bridge deck.

MF 9/30/21 - 128

MF 9/30/21 - 129 MF 9/30/21 - 130
MF 9/30/21 - 131
Temporary Western Bridge Deck Supports
MF 9/30/21 - 132
The Eastern Piers and abutment are pictured. Note even more steel pipe supports on the ground, which will be raised and used to support the future roadbed beams.
MF 9/30/21 - 133
This HUGE BNSF Front End Loader followed us to Frost at BNSF MP 38. It crossed the tracks and traveled onto Kemper Campbell Ranch property--probably on it's way to the storage yard in Victorville.
MF 9/30/21 - 134
The CAJON ROVER #2 & its faithful driver await the photographer while the Mercy Air Med Evac chopper looks for any old RailFan victims to transport.
MF 9/30/21 - 135
The CAJON ROVER #2 & its faithful driver await the photographer while the Mercy Air Med Evac chopper looks for any old RailFan victims to transport.
MF 9/30/21 - 136
BNSF 6782 WB will be changing tracks at Frost - MP 38
MF 9/30/21 - 137
BNSF 8073 DPU of BNSF 6782 WB is changing tracks at Frost - MP 38
MF 9/30/21 - 138
BNSF 7200 EB is finally rolling past the site.
# 138 - # 140: After a two hour wait (see pic # 126), BNSF 7200 proceeds EB through the highly decorated FLYOVER @ BNSF MP 39.1. 
In the background, the arrangement of the temporary bridge deck supports can be seen.
MF 9/30/21 - 139
BNSF 7200 rolling under the Flyover
MF 9/30/21 - 140
It is heading to Frost and the Narrows

updated: October 18, 2021

10/17/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 17
Laura & I, today, drove to the new vehicular bridge over the BNSF Transcon project.   GGG & LMG 
GGG 10/17/21 - 141
We were met with BNSF 3700 WB at MP 40. All three diesels were BRAND NEW T-4 units.
GGG 10/17/21 - 142
We were met with BNSF 3700 WB at MP 40. All three diesels were BRAND NEW T-4 units.
# 143-145: Bridge progress has been positive with deck steel being placed from the Western columns over Main track (MT) #1 at MP 39.4. MT #2 is visible in the foreground.
GGG 10/17/21 - 143
Hanging iron across MT-1
GGG 10/17/21 - 144
Deck steel accross MT-1
GGG 10/17/21 - 145
Deck steel across MT-1
GGG 10/17/21 - 146
Eastern & Western abutments.
GGG 10/17/21 - 147
Eastern & Western abutments.
GGG 10/17/21 - 148
Looking back South at the steel/iron work over MT #1.
GGG 10/17/21 - 149
View of the empty flyover - Just before . . . .
GGG 10/17/21 - 150
. . . . BNSF 6109 WB is rolling over the flyover
# 150-152:  BNSF 6109 West transitions from MT #1 to MT #2 at MP 39.1 and continues on through the construction.
GGG 10/17/21 - 151
BNSF 6109 WB on the flyover
GGG 10/17/21 - 152
BNSF 6109 WB passing thru the construction site

updated: October 26, 2021

10/24/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 18
Laura , Skosh III & I made a morning of it, on Gray's Hill, today.  Since it was Sunday, there were no HUGE TRUCKS or Angry workers around and we had full access.   GGG
GGG 10/24/21 - 153
# 153-155: Work is concentrated on the new automotive bridge's center section, between the two sets of concrete columns (piers). This span also covers both tracks of the BNSF transcon. "I" beams now cover the entire span and a plywood deck is being installed over the beams. I have no idea what comes next since the concrete piers are much taller than the present wooden deck surface.
GGG 10/24/21 - 154 GGG 10/24/21 - 155
GGG 10/24/21 - 156
We drove up the construction Rd to the old Gray's Hill overlook, arriving just in time to catch . . . .
GGG 10/24/21 - 157
. . . .
BNSF 7285 West approaching & crossing the "Natural Crossover / Flyover at MP 39.1. 
GGG 10/24/21 - 158
On the way down the hill, we were able to photograph the LOW Fog / Cloud bank over the Cajon Pass area. . . . .
GGG 10/24/21 - 159
. . . . We could also see the top of the new bridge with its plywood construction deck.
GGG 10/24/21 - 160
Back on the desert floor, we took a look back South at the Northern side of the bridge, before heading North (RR East) to visit BNSF FROST at MP 38. 
GGG 10/24/21 - 161
While driving compass North toward BNSF Frost / MP 38 / Kemper Campbell Ranch, I noticed headlights in my mirror.  We arrived just in time to photograph: BNSF 7431 EB at track speed.
GGG 10/24/21 - 162
Each year, the Kemper Campbell Ranch owners flood part of the pasture to aid ducks, geese and whatever other birds migrate through this area
GGG 10/24/21 - 163
UP 7716 is East Bound at Frost leading w/3 more locos up front.
DPU's are visible on # 164 and # 165.
GGG 10/24/21 - 164
UP 7716 and it's mid-train DPU are East Bound.
GGG 10/24/21 - 165
UP 7716 and trailing DPU are East Bound.
GGG 10/24/21 - 166
The Kemper Campbell Ranch is still, after all these years, a working cattle ranch.  Pictured are part of the Ranches' herd of Texas Long Horns & cows.  The trees & rabbit bushes are just starting to turn their fall colors.
GGG 10/24/21 - 167
Leaving the construction site at the location where the new GreenTree Extension will join Yates Rd and continue on to Apple Valley.

updated: November 1, 2021

10/31/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 19
Laura, Skosh III & I, today again, drove to the new GreenTree Extension vehicular bridge over the BNSF Transcon.
As you will note, Laura brought her camera along this time -- We're gonna make a RAILFAN outta her yet !!  LMG & GGG
GGG 10/31/21 - 168
A side view of the bridge with West & East (compass directions) ends.
GGG 10/31/21 - 169
A side view of the bridge with West (compass directions) end.
GGG 10/31/21 - 170
A side view of the bridge with East (compass directions) end.
GGG 10/31/21 - 171
Looking back (compass South) at West Bridge end construction.
GGG 10/31/21 - 172
Six months ago, Victorville cleaned-out a homeless encampment at this location.  GUESS WHAT ------
GGG 10/31/21 - 173
BNSF 8246 West crosses the FLYOVER at MP 39.1.
GGG 10/31/21 - 174
BNSF 8246 West crosses the FLYOVER at MP 39.1 and enters the construction zone at MP 39.4.
GGG 10/31/21 - 175
BNSF 8246 West enters the construction zone at MP 39.4.
LMG 10/31/21 - 176
Laura sends two views of the bridge construction . . . .
LMG 10/31/21 - 177
. . . . taken from the eastern abutment.
LMG 10/31/21 - 178
BNSF 6842 West on the flyover towards the construction area.
LMG 10/31/21 - 179
BNSF 6842 West on the flyover approaches the construction area.

 

Our friend Spike was in Palmdale, CA to fly the NASA B-747SP (SOFIA). Last Wednesday, he drove over to have lunch with Doc Jones & me, at where else, but DA DUMP. After lunch, we drove down to the Western Abutment of the GreenTree Rd Extension bridge over the BNSF Transcon. As we got closer to our target, a cloud of very very heavy black smoke rose from very near the Western abutment on November 3rd.
# 172 (above): You may remember this picture of an old motor-home used as a domicile for the homeless.
GGG 11/03/21 - 180
The old motor-home was rapidly becoming a CINDER.
GGG 11/03/21 - 181
The old motor-home was rapidly becoming a CINDER.

updated: November 8, 2021

11/07/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 20
Laura, Skosh III, and I hit the GreenTree Extension Bridge project today ----- before a DA DUMP lunch.
It was a beautiful day, but without major visible progress on the bridge and NO trains through the construction site.
 LMG & GGG
# 182: The owner of the burned-out motor-home is having a fire sale. A great looking WASHER & DRYER are for sale CHEAP.
Guess there were no injuries in the fire---the news just mentioned that a motor-home was destroyed by fire, near GreenTree Rd & the BNSF tracks. That poor 100 year old Joshua Tree looks to be in really BAD SHAPE from the HEAT.
LMG 11/07/21 - 182
See text above
LMG 11/07/21 - 183
From South view of the bridge construction.
LMG 11/07/21 - 184
From North view of the bridge construction.
LMG 11/07/21 - 185
View of the plywood construction deck nearing 2/3rds completion.
LMG 11/07/21 - 186
View of the plywood construction deck nearing 2/3rds completion.
LMG 11/07/21 - 187
OLD GLORY watching over the project! Note the amounts of wood stockpiled & the thickness of the FALSE WORK (plywood) DECK.

updated: November 16, 2021

11/14/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 21
A short report on a quick trip to Gray's Hill by Laura, Marc, Skosh III (our Poodle) & me.  LMG, MF , GGG & SG III
# 188-191: BNSF 7894 is West Bound from the Flyover @ BNSF CAJON SUB MP 39.1 to the new GreenTree RD extension Bridge over the BNSF @ MP 39.4.
MF- 11/14/21 - 188
BNSF 7894 WB under the Flyover towards the new bridge.
LMG- 11/14/21 - 189
BNSF 7894 WB under the Flyover towards the new bridge.
LMG - 11/14/21 - 190
BNSF 7894 WB is entering the new bridge construction.
MF- 11/14/21 - 191
BNSF 7894 WB just passed the new bridge construction.
MF- 11/14/21 - 192
From the Eastern Bridge Abutment and overlooking the new bridge construction, the existing GreenTree Rd terminus may be seen.
LMG - 11/14/21 - 193
BNSF 6397 repeats the short trip described above in # 188-191
MF- 11/14/21 - 194
BNSF 6397 WB rolling over the Flyover.
MF- 11/14/21 - 195
BNSF 6397 WB going under the new road bridge.
MF- 11/14/21 - 196
BNSF 6397 WB leaving the new road bridge construction site toward Cajon Pass.

updated: November 27, 2021

11/25/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 22
Just before one of Laura's FANTASTIC Thanksgiving Day turkey dinners, Marc & I took-off to visit the new vehicle bridge portion of the GreenTree Rd extension.  All directions mentioned in this report are compass based, unless noted.
GGG & MF
# 197: Looking at the Western 2/3rds of the bridge covered by the plywood construction deck, there are angled forms (red arrows) being built for the concrete substructure of the bridge. We have no idea the function of the round BLACK objects, attached to the Western abutment wooden concrete form  (white arrows) ----- (drains)?.
GGG - 11/25/21 - 197
See above . . .
GGG - 11/25/21 - 198
Closeup of  Northwest slanted forms, which will shape the concrete substructure of the bridge.
GGG - 11/25/21 - 199
Closeup of Southwest slanted forms, which will shape the concrete substructure of the bridge.
GGG - 11/25/21 - 200
See below . . .
# 200: Obviously, the bridge will be 30 feet higher, but this will be the future Northeast view from the bridge - with Apple Valley, CA in the background and the BNSF "Natural Crossover" / Flyover in the mid-ground. The Flyover is at BNSF MP 39.1 and the new bridge is at MP 39.4. We are not expecting many RR photographers to use the bridge view. Even with bicycle lanes and protective signage, the higher speeds and carefree attitudes of Kalifornia drivers are the stuff of nightmares for most pedestrians & bicycle riders.
GGG - 11/25/21 - 201
UP 5460 is Railroad West Bound at BNSF MP 38 (Frost).
MF - 11/25/21 - 202
UP 5793 DPU of UP 5460 is West Bound at BNSF MP 38 (Frost).

updated: December 7, 2021

12/04/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 23
Last Sat (12-04) was a beautiful day in the High Desert. Laura, Marc & I decided to take coffee up to Gray's Hill, & check the progress on the new vehicle bridge being built over the BNSF transcon between Victimville & Apple Valley.  Directions used to describe the bridge are compass based. Train directions are Railroad based ---- WB denotes a West Bound train moving toward L.A.  -  We saw four BNSF WB's during our visit.  -  LMG, GGG & MF
GGG - 12/04/21 - 203
Bridge Construction Overview
GGG - 12/04/21 - 204
Forms for Northern Bridge support walls
# 203 - 205: shows the Northern & Southern forms being built, with rebar reinforcement,  to shape the huge concrete "beams" that will support the bridge deck.
GGG - 12/04/21 - 205
Forms for Southern Bridge support wall
LMG - 12/04/21 - 206
BNSF 8157 WB intermodal between Frost and Flyover
# 206 - 209: BNSF 8157 + 6 is WB between BNSF Frost @ MP 38 and the new bridge construction @ MP 39.4. It must have been a power repositioning move since the train was relatively short.
LMG - 12/04/21 - 207
Same WB Train on the Flyover toward the site
MF - 12/04/21 - 208
BNSF 8157 w/6 more units incl. a CP Rail
MF - 12/04/21 - 209
Same train approaches construction era
LMG - 12/04/21 - 210
BNSF 4056 WB crosses the Flyover
# 210 - 214: Follows BNSF 4056 WB from the Natural crossover/Flyover @ MP 39.1 through the construction area.  Hard to see, but in # 214 just above the lead unit there is a bison pen which is part of a larger horse corral.
LMG - 12/04/21 - 211
BNSF 4056 WB on the Flyover at MP 39.2
MF - 12/04/21 - 212
BNSF 4056 WB at MP 39.3
MF - 12/04/21 - 213
BNSF 4056 WB approaches the construction site
MF - 12/04/21 - 214
BNSF 4056 WB departing the construction site
# 215 - 218: BNSF 3823 WB is pictured from the Flyover through the bridge construction.
MF - 12/04/21 - 215
BNSF 3823 WB Intermodal on the Flyover
MF - 12/04/21 - 216
Interesting to see 3 TOFC's followed by DBS
MF - 12/04/21 - 217
BNSF 3823 and 8008 are both ES44CE Diesels
MF - 12/04/21 - 218
The locos just passed the bridge construction site
# 219 - 222: BNSF 7917 WB passes through BNSF FROST @ MP 38. The autumn colors were very visible, in both the Kemper-Campbell Ranch and the Mojave Narrows Regional Park.
MF - 12/04/21 - 219
BNSF 7917 WB intermodal passes thru Frost at MP 38
MF - 12/04/21 - 220
BNSF 7917 WB intermodal passes thru Frost at MP 38
LMG - 12/04/21 - 221
Same train just passing the signal at Frost
LMG - 12/04/21 - 222
End of train heading to the Flyover

updated: December 17, 2021

12/11/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 24
Marc & I had a great 10 train 2.5 hour morning in and around Gray's Hill last Saturday (Dec. 11th).  GGG & MF
 
# 223-224: LAST November 25th, we could not identify the black devices attached to the wooden forms (white arrows) and asked for ideas. Friend Gordon G. answered with the following information:
 
The black objects are fittings used in prestressing the concrete beams of the bridge. When the forms for the beams are in place, they'll contain rebar and also long metal tubes that run the length of the bridge. They will be near the top of the beams over the columns, and near the bottom of the beams between the columns, and they will attach to the black fittings. After the concrete has set, steel wires will be run through the tubes and tension will be applied to them. This will put the surrounding concrete in compression.
GGG - 12/11/21 - 223 GGG - 12/11/21 - 224
# 225-227: Gordon was correct and Skanska is building the bridge to his specifications. In # 226, The red arrows point to the rebar cages that will strengthen the horizontal concrete beams. The white arrows point to access points to the tubes, through which the steel tension wires will run. THANKS GORDON
GGG - 12/11/21 - 225 GGG - 12/11/21 - 226
GGG - 12/11/21 - 227 GGG - 12/11/21 - 228
BNSF 8000 EB at MP 39.4 just passing the bridge construction site
GGG - 12/11/21 - 229
BNSF 8000 EB at MP 39.2 w/4 BNSF units and 1 NS loco
GGG - 12/11/21 - 230
BNSF 8000 EB at MP 39.1 going under the Flyover
# 231-234: BNSF 5697 is WB climbing out of the Upper Narrows, over the flyover (# 233) and on through the construction area.
MF - 12/11/21 - 231
BNSF 5697 WB at MP 39.0 climbing uphill
MF - 12/11/21 - 232
BNSF 5697 WB at MP 39.0 climbing uphill
MF - 12/11/21 - 233
BNSF 5697 WB at MP 39.1 climbing over the Flyover
MF - 12/11/21 - 234
BNSF 5697 WB at MP 39.2 entering the bridge construction area
MF - 12/11/21 - 235
BNSF 4288 EB approating Frost at MP38
MF - 12/11/21 - 236
BNSF 4288 EB passing Frots at MP38
MF - 12/11/21 - 237
BNSF 4288 EB rolling towards the Narrows
MF - 12/11/21 - 238
BNSF 5991 WB entering Frost
MF - 12/11/21 - 239
BNSF 5991 WB w/Mid-Train DPUS' at Frost
MF - 12/11/21 - 240
BNSF 6821 is WB at the FLYOVER MP-39.1
MF - 12/11/21 - 241
BNSF 7145 is EB at Frost MP38
MF - 12/11/21 - 242
BNSF 7912 at & past Frost
MF - 12/11/21 - 243
BNSF 7912 at & past Frost
MF - 12/11/21 - 244
UP 7477 bring an export coal load WB through Frost
MF - 12/11/21 - 245
Same train UP 6261-5370 trailing DPU's are WB at Frost
MF - 12/11/21 - 246
The UP DPU's pass the Cajon Rover II, its Pilot & Director of Photography  -  LOL

updated: January 1, 2022

12/27/21: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 25
On Monday (12/27), Marc got some good images of the new GreenTree Rd project and the two very short trains, we saw during our visit.   MF & GGG 
MF - 12/27/21 - 247
Two shots of the entire project.
Most of the labor is centered on erecting the rebar . . .
MF - 12/27/21 - 248
. . . . for the concrete beams,
which will support the Western third of the new bridge.
MF - 12/27/21 - 249
The San Gabriel Mountains after this year's FIRST REAL Mountain Snowstorm --- The High Desert got only .13 inch of rain.
MF - 12/27/21 - 250
While a very short EB local waits at BNSF Frost, a WB local (MP 39.0) proceeds to the FLYOVER & on through the construction area.
MF - 12/27/21 - 251
BNSF 4983 WB local proceeds over the FLYOVER (MP 39.1)
MF - 12/27/21 - 252
BNSF WB local proceeds through the construction area (MP 39.4).
MF - 12/27/21 - 253 MF - 12/27/21 - 254
New wall being built to support the four lane GreenTree extension where it will join San Bernardino County's Yates RD ---- between Mojave Narrows Park & Spring Valley Lake.

updated: January 6, 2022

1/02/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 26
On the second day of the New Year, Marc & I visited each of our photographic points between the new vehicular bridge at BNSF MP 39.4 and the KC Ranch at BNSF MP 38 (FROST).   MF & GGG
# 255-258: BNSF 7004 and its trailing DPU's were photographed WB between the Flyover at MP 39.1 and the construction area at MP 39.4.
MF - 1/02/22 - 255
BNSF 7004 WB on the Flyover at MP 39.1
MF - 1/02/22 - 256
BNSF 7004 WB at MP 39.2
MF - 1/02/22 - 257
BNSF 7004 approaches construction area at MP 39.4.
MF - 1/02/22 - 258
BNSF 7385 and 7751 DPU's of same BNSF WB train
MF - 1/02/22 - 259

The San Gabriel Mountains after our third "winter storm".
MF - 1/02/22 - 260
Facing South, an image of the entire bridge project. The majority of construction activities are centered on the Western (Right) third of project. The HUGE concrete structure is the NUTRO Dog Food Factory & Distribution Center.
The Nutro Center has a spur and is serviced by the BNSF.
GGG - 1/02/22 - 261
View from the Eastern ramp showing the maze of rebar cages which will strengthen the concrete beams which will, in turn, support the bridge deck.
GGG - 1/02/22 - 262
Close-up view from the Eastern ramp showing the maze of rebar cages which will strengthen the concrete beams which will, in turn, support the bridge deck.
# 263-264: From the Western ramp, the tubes to be used for the cables in the "post tensioning process of the concrete beams. For anyone??? interested in PRE & POST tensioning of concrete beams see:      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guozDnLjwo8
MF - 1/02/22 - 263 GGG - 1/02/22 - 264
MF - 1/02/22 - 265
BNSF 6274 WB approaches the GreenTree Rd extension construction -- toward L.A.
MF - 1/02/22 - 266
BNSF 6274 WB passes through & beyond the GreenTree Rd extension construction -- toward L.A.
MF - 1/02/22 - 267
BNSF 6274 WB beyond the GreenTree Rd extension construction -- toward L.A.
MF - 1/02/22 - 268
The support needed for the tons of concrete about to be poured.
MF - 1/02/22 - 269
The Eastern third of the new bridge with the future view of the flyover.
MF - 1/02/22 - 270
Looking under the new bridge with the view of the flyover (close-up).
# 271-272: Two of the new wall being built to support the four lane GreenTree extension where it will join San Bernardino County's Yates RD ---between Mojave Narrows Park & Spring Valley Lake. The HUGE & HEAVY concrete blocks supporting the wall will be required during our infrequent SUPER STORMS, when the adjacent Mojave River tributary becomes a raging "NIAGARA".
MF - 1/02/22 - 271
New retention wall for Green Tree Blvd.
MF - 1/02/22 - 272
New retention wall (close-up).
MF - 1/02/22 - 273
BNSF 4002 is EB into Frost at BNSF MP-38
MF - 1/02/22 - 274
BNSF 4002 is EB passing Frost at BNSF MP-38

updated: January 12, 2022

1/09/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 27
Last Sunday (1/09) was a beautiful desert winter day & Marc, George and I took advantage of it. Train traffic was
unusually light but, as you'll see, we were able to access a new photographic location--not normally available.
MF & GGG
MF - 1/09/22 - 275
UP 9061 pulls a long ballast train west through Frost MP 38.
MF - 1/09/22 - 276
UP 9061 pulls HERZOG ballast cars west through Frost MP 38.
MF - 1/09/22 - 277
The normal bridge view looking West from the Eastern Abutment.
MF - 1/09/22 - 278
rebar cages, wooden forms and tension cable tubes
The following three pictures were taken from a small walkway, protected by the visible safety railing, atop & surrounding the entire structure--note red arrows on # 277.
# 278-280: The partially completed rebar cages, wooden forms and tension cable tubes - taken from the walkway mentioned above.
MF - 1/09/22 - 279
closeup
MF - 1/09/22 - 280
rebar cages, wooden forms and tension cable tubes
# 281-282: UP 7410 export coal loads (in 4 + 0 + 2 configuration) crosses through the FLYOVER & heads WB to the construction area.
MF - 1/09/22 - 281
UP 7410 WB rolling under the Flyover at MP 39.1
MF - 1/09/22 - 282
UP 9022 & 5949 WB DPU's for same train at MP 39.4

updated: January 26, 2022

1/23/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 28
Marc & I were out wandering around Gray's Hill, last Sunday (1/23), before playoff football.
We decided to try and answer a few of your questions---so, the attached pictures concern the pond/lake at the Kemper Campbell Ranch, the new bridge and the trains we saw.  -  MF & GGG
MF - 1/23/22 - 283
BNSF 6852 is WB between the Flyover (MP-39.1) & the new bridge (MP-39.4).
MF - 1/23/22 - 284
BNSF 6989 (with War Bonnet) is EB at the flyover (MP-39.1).
MF - 1/23/22 - 285
The western third of the new bridge, almost ready for the first cement pour.
MF - 1/23/22 - 286
BNSF 6989 is WB at the flyover toward the new bridge.
MF - 1/23/22 - 287
BNSF 6989 is WB approaching the new bridge.
MF - 1/23/22 - 288
In the two weeks since we were last down at Frost, the pond/lake has "found" some water. No clue where the water came from but it really looks good again.
MF - 1/23/22 - 289  -  BNSF 6756 is WB from BNSF FROST (MP-38)
MF - 1/23/22 - 290
Someday, the FLYOVER will be removed and so, we thought it best to begin documenting the bridge now. This is the COMPASS NE view through the FLYOVER showing exactly where the new GreenTree extension will join the existing YATES Rd of San Bernardino County.
MF - 1/23/22 - 291
Looking Railroad West through the Flyover at the new GreenTree Extension Bridge.
MF - 1/23/22 - 292
View of the Western BUTT END of the bridge construction. No idea what the exterior (outside the forms) rebar is for, but we'll see.
MF - 1/23/22 - 293
(See text below)
# 293-294: Interesting images of the rebar "weave" and 3-4 inch standoffs for the rebar which will reinforce the floor of the bridge support structure. Also note the twelve inch standoffs supporting the forms for the concrete beams. This space, of course, will allow the floor concrete pour to flow below the vertical forms for the beams.
MF - 1/23/22 - 294
(See text above)
MF - 1/23/22 - 295
Overview of the entire maze of forms and supports which, someday, will become a vehicular bridge.
MF - 1/23/22 - 296
UP 2660 has just cleared Frost & proceeds East to Victorville.
MF - 1/23/22 - 297
From the AMTRAK platform in "DOWNTOWN" OLD Victorville, UP 2660 passes the small BNSF Yard and it's two sets of LOCAL POWER.

updated: January 31, 2022

1/23/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Special Bonus Photos
While Marc & I were out chasing trains & documenting construction progress of the new bridge, a couple of extra views were noted  & photographed.    
So, we're sending these to a few. Hope you enjoy. More of the bridge & trains later this week.   GGG & MF
MF - 1/23/22 - 298
The Rhonda Tree - Joshua Tree adopted by Rhonda S. (New Zealand)
MF - 1/23/22 - 299
The Kemper Campbell Ranch pond with a thin sheet of ice (30F this AM)
GGG - 1/23/22 - 300
Bison, Horse & OLD TRUCK Corral . . .
GGG - 1/23/22 - 301
. . . in what appears to be a old truck "reclamation" yard
(SW end of new bridge)
GGG - 1/23/22 - 302
The San Gabriel mountains on a beautiful morning
GGG - 1/23/22 - 303
Quartrzite Mountain / Northern Apple Valley on a beautiful morning

updated: February 1, 2022

1/30/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 29
Last week, I received an E-M from Jorge L. stating that there were 30+ huge dump trucks carrying loads of dirt away from Gray's hill. Yesterday Marc & I drove to the hill to find that our old view-point, overlooking the Flyover, is now 20 feet +/- lower. BTW, the trucks were at it again this AM (22-01-31)  -  GGG & MF
MF - 1/30/22 - 304
The old overlook was at the same level as the hill on the right of the picture.
MF - 1/30/22 - 305
Looking SE at Ridgecrest RD and Spring Valley Lake, the hill was once ten+ feet higher than the block wall in the background.
# 306-307: Two views (#03 looking North & #04 looking South) of the new bridge. The arrows indicate where the main concrete support columns are placed--all steel supports will eventually be removed. We divided the bridge into thirds to more easily explain the construction process.
MF - 1/30/22 - 306 GGG - 1/30/22 - 307
MF - 1/30/22 - 308
The wooden false floor for the Eastern bridge third is being completed.
GGG - 1/30/22 - 309
The concrete floor & concrete beams for the support structure of the Western Bridge third  have been poured.
MF - 1/30/22 - 310
BNSF 6786 WEST crosses the FLYOVER towrad the construction area.
MF - 1/30/22 - 311
BNSF 6786 WEST passes through the construction area. MP-39.4
MF - 1/30/22 - 312
BNSF 7811 is EB on the lower track (going under the flyover).
MF - 1/30/22 - 315
Floor & Concrete Beams poured.
# 313-317: The one foot thick support structure floor and the concrete beams have been poured for the Western bridge third. Of course, the bridge deck will set atop this support structure. INTERESTING that AS FAR AS I CAN TELL, this one foot thick floor and the beams were poured in one day using only two concrete pumpers, a convoy of Mixer trucks and a few laborers -- Guess I was expecting more of an EVENT.
MF - 1/30/22 - 313 MF - 1/30/22 - 314
MF - 1/30/22 - 316 MF - 1/30/22 - 317
# 318-321: BNSF 3690 and its trailing DPU are EB through the area with a BNSF RipRap train of erosion control boulders. 
MF - 1/30/22 - 318
BNSF 3690 EB passing under the new bridge. MP-39.4
MF - 1/30/22 - 319
BNSF 3690 EB passing under the Flyover. MP-39-1
MF - 1/30/22 - 320
The rocks are well visible on this close-up
MF - 1/30/22 - 321
Same train with DPU BNSF 3700

updated: February 17, 2022

2/15/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 30
We have made a couple of trips over to the new bridge in the last week. For the last three weeks, a convoy of HUGE dump trucks has been removing dirt from "Gray's" Hill --- all day-every day. We had to go survey the damage to our view point.   MF & GGG
GGG - 2/15/22 - 322
The "Grays" Hill overlook was once at the level of the two remaining hills pictured.  It is now 15-20+ feet lower.
GGG - 2/15/22 - 323
The same two hills, taken from near the flyover. We agree that the road ramp is still too steep and that some more lowering of the crest will be necessary. Note the backhoe arm at the high right center.
GGG - 2/15/22 - 324
The same CAT Backhoe as mentioned in #02, is the guilty party in the destruction of "Grays" hill.
GGG - 2/15/22 - 325
The new view from "Grays" LOWERED Hill.
#326-328: Our FIRST railroad shot taken from the NEW Bridge. BNSF 6810 is EB at the new bridge MP-39.4 and on through the Flyover at MP-39.1. 
MF - 2/15/22 - 326
BNSF 6810 EB at MP-39.4
MF - 2/15/22 - 327
BNSF 6810 EB w/3 BNSF diesels and 1 NS diesel toward the Flyover
GGG - 2/15/22 - 328
BNSF 6810 EB passing under the Flyover at MP-39.1
MF - 2/15/22 - 329
Forms have been partially removed from the interior walls of the Western Third of the bridge support structure. 
We questioned the purpose of the hundreds of long pins/nails/screws that protrude from the concrete and/or the forms until we received the following from Gordon G:  "I think the wires sticking out of the concrete were used to keep the forms from bowing out from the pressure of the wet concrete. Some can be seen sticking through the forms. I imagine they'll be cut off"
MF - 2/15/22 - 330
Looking East, the entire false floor of the support structure has been built and the rebar for the Eastern third has been placed. 
MF - 2/15/22 - 331
The far Eastern butt wall of the support structure with the POST TENSIONING devices attached. 
The whole Pre / Post tensioning process was a mystery until friend Gordon G. sent the following:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STW2FCWhfPM       https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/construction/pubs/hif13026.pdf 
MF - 2/15/22 - 332
Looking West at the Eastern & Middle bridge false floors with the already poured Western supports at the rear.
MF - 2/15/22 - 333
Looking West at the Eastern & Middle bridge false floors with the already poured Western supports at the rear.
MF - 2/15/22 - 334
Cross walls of the support structure
GGG - 2/15/22 - 335
BNSF 8255 creeps Eastward to stop behind the BNSF 6810 which is already stopped by a RED signal at Frost.
MF - 2/15/22 - 336
 BNSF 8257 West, due to a FORM "B" at MP-66 has priority & passes the waiting BNSF 6810 East at Frost (MP-38).
MF - 2/15/22 - 337
 BNSF 8257 West, due to a FORM "B" at MP-66 has priority & passes the waiting BNSF 6810 East at Frost (MP-38)
MF - 2/15/22 - 338
At long last, BNSF 6810 East passes through Frost & on to Barstow.
MF - 2/15/22 - 339
At long last, BNSF 6810 East passes through Frost & on to Barstow.

updated: February 28, 2022

2/26/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 31
Last Saturday was interesting at the "Gray's Hill" bridge project.  While Marc is up documenting the OLD & long abandoned Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad ROW between Ludlow, CA and Death Valley, Jorge & I had 10 trains in 2 hours locally.   GGG & JL
# 340-342: We could hear our first train slowly laboring up the approximately 1% grade between Frost and the Flyover long before we could see it. The lead three units appeared, pulling a VERY Long (60+ cars) and VERY HEAVY CEMEX aggregate train WB. The Three trailing DPU's sounded to be generating FULL POWER in "RUN EIGHT??" The sight & sounds of this very slow train were something rarely seen or heard on the normally high speed Cajon Sub.
GGG - 2/26/22 - 340
BNSF 4173 WB on the Flyover at MP 39.3
GGG - 2/26/22 - 341
VERY HEAVY CEMEX aggregate train is WB
GGG - 2/26/22 - 342
plus 3 rear end DPU's were needed for this heavy train
GGG - 2/26/22 - 343
Shows the rebar erected for the newest concrete cross beam of the support structure.
# 344-345: Two fast WB's chasing the slow CEMEX train mentioned above. They both will probably "run around" the CEMEX freight before reaching Cajon Summit.
GGG - 2/26/22 - 344
BNSF 7092 WB intermodal w/6 units at MP 39.4
JL - 2/26/22 - 345
BNSF 8245 WB Double Stack w/3 units at MP 39.4
JL - 2/26/22 - 346
The INTERESTING West Wall "safety railing and walkway".
JL - 2/26/22 - 347
see text below
# 347-348: We think the newly installed wooden cross beams will help support the bridge deck concrete pour. In Vol #30, we questioned the many wires protruding from all of the concrete support beams (white arrows in both pictures). Friend Bob W. sent the following explanation:

Gary: Those "Wires" are called Snap Ties. They are designed to break off approximately 1 inch back in the wall. If you look closely you will see a conical void where a plastic spacer in imbedded in the concrete when these are removed a laborer goes back and fills them with a special grout so when done it is all smooth and teh Ties are not exposed to the air.   Thanks Bob.
JL - 2/26/22 - 348
see text above
JL - 2/26/22 - 349
BNSF 8186 WB at Frost - first part of double train
# 349-351:1 Our second INTERESTING train was actually a DOUBLE TRAIN --- two separate trains coupled together and controlled by the ONE crew in the lead diesel. So BNSF 8186 & BNSF 6331 are WB through Frost as ONE TRAIN.
GGG - 2/26/22 - 350
BNSF 8186 WB at Frost (front half of the combined trains)
GGG - 2/26/22 - 351
BNSF 6331 WB power = 2nd half of these combined trains

updated: March 9, 2022

3/06/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 32
Last Sun, was a beautiful day in the Mojave. Normally, we've been hitting the Bridge Construction Project twice a month but it way too nice to stay home --- & besides, it's NOT FOOTBALL Season.   GGG - MF
# 352-353: The Construction forces have been busy lowering the lookout point on "Gray's Hill". Many many railfans have used this area to photograph trains on the famous ATSF / BNSF FLYOVER near FROST. Upon our arrival at the Overlook, we were met by BNSF 6867 WB pulling a very long string of (probably) empties. If you will remember the "old" pictures taken from the overlook, the crest of the hill is now much lower.  We will determine how much has been removed shortly??
MF - 3/06/22 - 352
BNSF 6867 WB at Frost
MF - 3/06/22 - 353
BNSF 6867 WB on the Flyover
MF - 3/06/22 - 354
From the western crest of Gray's Hill - looking West, the built-in curvature of the new bridge is quite evident.
MF - 3/06/22 - 355
The Eastern portion of the bridge false floor rebar has been placed and is awaiting erection of the vertical rebar & forms.
MF - 3/06/22 - 356
The Eastern portion of the bridge false floor rebar has been placed and is awaiting erection of the vertical rebar & forms.
GGG - 3/06/22 - 357
Marc holding a three foot long, 1.25 inch thick, 30 pound piece of scrap rebar.
# 358-359: To cross the tracks, we must drive RR East to Frost (Kemper Campbell Ranch). While there, we noticed headlights back up near the new bridge. We waited and caught BNSF 9086 WB towing a buffer car and a Track Geometry Car.
MF - 3/06/22 - 358
BNSF 9086 WB SD70ACe
with a buffer car and a Track Geometry Car.
MF - 3/06/22 - 359
BNSF WB towing a buffer car and a Track Geometry Car.
MF - 3/06/22 - 360
On the way back to the Construction Zone, we caught BNSF 4752 West at Jones Flat (just RR East of the FLYOVER).
MF - 3/06/22 - 361
Newly installed cross members and their supports, which will hold the bridge deck pour.
New questions: What is the function if the one foot diameter pipe which apparently will run the length of the bridge (on both sides).
BTW #01: These are not the same pipes used for the POST-TENSIONING process.
Secondly, after the deck is poured, all of the wooden supports will essentially be trapped in the concrete "tubes"--- How will all of that wood be removed or is it left in-place for some future CIVIL ENGINEER to laugh at our ancient building techniques?
BTW #02: it appears that enough wood has been used in this construction to build a small suburb.
BTW #03: we see no inspection or drain ports in the concrete floors or walls of the support structure ???
MF - 3/06/22 - 362
Newly installed cross members and their supports, which will hold the bridge deck pour.
MF - 3/06/22 - 363
Detail of the Western third of the bridge support structure.
# 364-368: BNSF 7438 and DPU's drag a HEAVY Ethanol (BOMB) load WB through the area.
MF - 3/06/22 - 364
BNSF 7438 WB rolling over the Flyover at MP-39.2
MF - 3/06/22 - 365
BNSF WB w/3 units up front at MP-39.3
GGG - 3/06/22 - 366
MP-39.5
MF - 3/06/22 - 367
MP-39.6
MF - 3/06/22 - 368
DPU's with a Warbonnet BNSF C44-9W toward Hesperia and Cajon
GGG - 3/06/22 - 369
Marc Fournier, our intrepid snake dodging, rock climbing, bridge crawling photographer!!

updated: March 22, 2022

3/19/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 33
Last Saturday (March 19) was a cool & very windy day.  While Marc was attending WINTER-RAIL MEET in Corvallis, Oregon (http://www.winterail.com/), I decided to make our normal photo circuit to the GreenTree Rd extension and the new bridge across the BNSF Transcon.   GGG
# 370-372: From high on the Eastern bridge approach, the entire bridge is pictured. Rebar erection is nearly complete on the Eastern third, while forms are being applied to the completed rebar "cages" in the middle section. More on the Western bridge third later in this report.
GGG - 3/19/22 - 370 GGG - 3/19/22 - 371
GGG - 3/19/22 - 372

East third of bridge rebar.
GGG - 3/19/22 - 377
Near the West end of the new bridge, a major tributary of the Mojave River flows under the Greentree Rd extension and both tracks of the BNSF trans-con. While both the River and its tributaries are normally dry, the infrequent MAJOR storms turn both into raging rivers---thus, this spillway with current disturbing RIP-RAP.
# 373-374: The only vehicle friendly track crossing is one mile RR East at FROST (MP-38).
On the way, I took two pictures of the new bridge (MP-39.4) through the Flyover Bridge at MP-39.1.
GGG - 3/19/22 - 373
New bridge at MP-39.4 hrough the Flyover as seen from MP-39.1
GGG - 3/19/22 - 374
Closeup of new bridge
# 375-376: The track signals at Frost indicated rail traffic approaching from both directions. After a few minutes, UP 5858 EB (3 + 1) split the signals, followed by BNSF 8046 (4 +3) leading a "double" train West bound.
GGG - 3/19/22 - 375
UP 5858 EB at Frost MP-38.
GGG - 3/19/22 - 376
BNSF 8046 WB at Frost MP-38.
GGG - 3/19/22 - 378 GGG - 3/19/22 - 379
# 378-379: Pictures of the bridge Western third with the false bridge deck plywood floor partially in place. Since pouring of the concrete bridge deck will provide five SEALED concrete "tubes" in each third of the bridge support structure, what happens to all of the wooden supports trapped within the tubes? We also asked the function of the large metal pipes running the length of the bridge within the two outside concrete tubes.  The answers below come from Bob W.
Gary the large pipe running the length of the new bridge is for utilities mainly electric conduits for future lighting. As to the plywood deck and supports they will be left in place as there is no way to retrieve them That structure is referred to by the name of Lost Deck because you are losing all the material it took to form it up. Hope this helps.    Bob W.
THANKS BOB
I guess some future Archaeologist will have a GRAND TIME studying our  PRE-HISTORIC building techniques.  GGG

updated: April 4, 2022

4/02/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 34
We could not get into the construction project as Saturday (4-2) was a Skanska Construction Corp work day. BNSF train traffic, however, was heavy.   -   GGG & MF
# 380-381: From the "Gray's hill" overlook, the junction of the GreenTree Rd. Extension & Yates Rd. is pictured. Hopefully, the road widening & curvature reduction will reduce the current number of serious accidents at the current curve. Of course, drivers now will have to deal with a very  steep hill --- from the camera position down to the junction. We understand that there were no fatalities in the pictured auto accident.
MF - 4/02/22 - 380 (see text above) VVNG - 4/02/22 - 381 (see text above)
MF - 4/02/22 - 382
BNSF 3927 WB is rolling over the Flyover at MP 39.1
MF - 4/02/22 - 383
It is the loaded Ethanol train (called: the BOMB)
MF - 4/02/22 - 384
BNSF 8121 & 7726 are the DPU's of this WB Ethanol train.
MF - 4/02/22 - 385
Pouring of the bridge middle third support walls has begun. Forming for the Eastern third is nearing completion.
GGG - 4/02/22 - 386
BNSF 6701 WB at Frost at MP 38.
GGG - 4/02/22 - 387
BNSF 6595 DPU for the same intermodal train at Frost MP 38.
GGG - 4/02/22 - 388
BNSF 4386 WB on the Flyover at MP 39.1
GGG - 4/02/22 - 389
BNSF 7428 WB DPU for the same intermodal train on the Flyover.
GGG - 4/02/22 - 390
BNSF 3957 emerges EB from the Flyover tunnel. The new vehicular bridge can be seen in the background.
MF - 4/02/22 - 391
BNSF 7999 is EB at Frost MP 38 heading for Victorville/Barstow.

updated: April 12, 2022

4/10/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 35
Marc & I made it to The New Bridge Project / "Gray's" Hill Sunday (4-10).  Progress on the vehicle bridge was evident and rail traffic was heavy.   -    GGG & MF
MF - 4/10/22 - 392
BNSF 5319 was WB between the flyover and the new bridge.
GGG - 4/10/22 - 393
UP 7122  was EB past the "Gray's" Hill overlook.
MF - 4/10/22 - 394
BNSF 7812 WB on the flyover (MP 39.1) going to the bridge (MP 39.4)
MF - 4/10/22 - 395
BNSF 7812 WB entering the bridge (MP 39.4)
GGG - 4/10/22 - 396
From the eastern abutment, erection of forms on the Eastern third of he bridge is nearing completion. Concrete pouring of the bridge middle support section is progressing.
GGG - 4/10/22 - 397
Awhile back, we asked the function of the metal rods protruding from the concrete walls of the support structure. Bob W. answered our question with the below:

"Gary Those ”wires” are called Snap Ties. They are designed to break off approximately 1 inch back in the wall. If you look closely you’ll see a conical void where a plastic spacer is imbedded in the concrete when these are removed a laborer goes back and fills them with a special grout so when done it’s all smooth and the Ties are not exposed to the air."
Yesterday, we found a large carton of these "SNAP TIES", one of which is pictured. The features Bob mentioned, are prominent on pictured object.  -  Thanks again Bob.

GGG - 4/10/22 - 398
These unknown devices / parts were found near the Eastern Approach to the bridge. They are stamped "SKANSKA - 180 Lbs". Our "WAG" is that they are the end devices which will capture and hold the cables of the concrete POST TENSIONING SYSTEM ??
GGG - 4/10/22 - 399
OLD GLORY has flown over the project each & every day.
MF - 4/10/22 - 400
BNSF 7999 is WB at BNSF FROST
MF - 4/10/22 - 401
Cattle herd at the 100 year old Kemper Campbell Ranch AKA -- BNSF FROST & MP-38.
GGG - 4/10/22 - 402 GGG - 4/10/22 - 403
# 402-402: Two views of NS 7578 & 9932 leading a BNSF train WB over the flyover at MP 39.1. The second picture is after two hours of ELECTRONIC REPAINTING to eliminate the ever-present & ever-UGLY graffiti.

updated: April 26, 2022

4/24/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 36

Sunday (April 24) was a BEAUTIFUL Mojave day. The first half-hour on "Gray's Hill" was very quiet and then the rail traffic increased to the traffic jam level.  MF & GGG

# 404-405: A long, heavy & SLOW BNSF 7041 was WB between the Flyover (MP-39.1) and the new bridge (MP-39.4). The WB was slow enough for Marc to take the following several pictures before its trailing DPU appeared.
MF - 4/24/22 - 404
BNSF 7041 was WB between the Flyover (MP-39.1) . . .
MF - 4/24/22 - 405
. . .
and the new bridge (MP-39.4).
MF - 4/24/22 - 406
The Eastern-most bridge wall with its "safety" & construction walk - upon . . .
GGG - 4/24/22 - 407
. . . which Marc carefully balanced, while taking many of these photographs.
MF - 4/24/22 - 408
The Eastern bridge third, with wooden forms . . .
MF - 4/24/22 - 409
. . . ready for the concrete pour. 
MF - 4/24/22 - 410
While BNSF 7041 continues its crawl WB over the Flyover, a UP EB completes the meet. 
GGG - 4/24/22 - 411
Finally, BNSF 8203, DPU for BNSF 7041 WB, (mentioned in #404 & #405 above) passes under the new bridge.
MF - 4/24/22 - 412
GGG, awaiting next train.
MF - 4/24/22 - 413
UP 7707 Vehicle train climbs out of the Upper Narrows of the Mojave River. The telephoto really distorts the approximately 1.6 % grade.
MF - 4/24/22 - 414
A UP coal EMPTY is EB.
MF - 4/24/22 - 415
Trains from #413 & #414 above meet at the FLYOVER.
MF - 4/24/22 - 416
BNSF 6271 WB intermodal at the Flyover.
MF - 4/24/22 - 417
BNSF 6190 WB rear end DPU (same train) at the Flyover.

updated: May 3, 2022

5/01/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 37
Sunday (May 1) was a beautiful day in the Mojave. After finding nothing really new at the bridge construction site, Marc & I drove down to the Kemper-Campbell Ranch at Frost (MP-38). BNSF has been replacing rail in the area and had temporally removed the FROST road crossing & the Dragging Equipment Detector (DED). For the last week, BNSF has been single tracking through this area.  MF & GGG

#418 - 419: Upon arrival at FROST, we found BNSF 3789 West waiting at a solid RED while higher priority BNSF 8046 West ran around.

MF - 5/01/22 - 418
BNSF 3789 WB on hold at Frost
MF - 5/01/22 - 419
BNSF 8046 WB is passing BNSF 3789 (on hold)
MF - 5/01/22 - 420
The cattle herd at the Ranch is growing --- we estimate that there are 60+ head of cattle there now.
MF - 5/01/22 - 421
BNSF 6909 EB at Frost MP-38
#421 - 423: While BNSF 3789 W. continues to wait, BNSF 6909 EB & UP 7815 EB run past. Both the road crossing (in #424) and the DED (in #422 have been replaced.
MF - 5/01/22 - 422
UP 7815 EB is passing Frost at MP-38
MF - 5/01/22 - 423
UP 7815 passes BNSF 3789 (on hold)
MF - 5/01/22 - 424
After a two hour wait, BNSF 3789 West finally gets the GREEN and heads toward L.A.
MF - 5/01/22 - 425
We noted that several containers on BNSF 3789 were open – which suggests looting -- nothing new in California.

updated: May 20, 2022

5/15/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 38
After two weeks, we again visited the new bridge construction area and the railroading scene at Frost.  BNSF was single tracking RR East of Frost due to MOW work. Obviously, with trains varying from long to MONSTER, there was a real traffic congestion problem in the entire area.  MF & GGG
MF - 5/15/22 - 426
A very long UP is WB over the flyover while a EB BNSF monster waits for the UP and a following BNSF WB to clear the crossovers at Frost. 
MF - 5/15/22 - 427
The following WB  BNSF 6602 is about to clear Frost
MF - 5/15/22 - 428
The EB BNSF MONSTER train, its mid-train and . . .
MF - 5/15/22 - 429
. . .  rear DPU's head toward Barstow.
MF - 5/15/22 - 430
Overview: The Eastern & last third of the bridge support  . . .
MF - 5/15/22 - 431
. . .  structure is nearing completion - except in two channels.
MF - 5/15/22 - 432 MF - 5/15/22 - 433
# 432-433: Two channels are receiving this PVC surrounded by a metal pipe. It runs the entire length of the bridge and well past the Western bridge end. The PVC pipe has some printing concerning max voltage and temperature.  It seems that the pipes are too large just to hold Bridge lighting wiring?  -  WE HAVE NO IDEA what this all about!
MF - 5/15/22 - 434
Also, there are two of these highly painted "structures" on the Eastern bridge approach  -  AGAIN, WE HAVE NO IDEA!
MF - 5/15/22 - 435
UP 2728 East & trailing DPU hit Frost, switch to the open track & head to Yermo.
MF - 5/15/22 - 436
UP 2728 East hit Frost, switch to the open track & head to Yermo.
MF - 5/15/22 - 437
UP EB trailing DPU hit Frost & head to Yermo.
MF - 5/15/22 - 438
BNSF 3691 is WB @ Frost
MF - 5/15/22 - 439
BNSF 6860, NS 1000 + BNSF 709 EB Stopped @ Frost . . . .
MF - 5/15/22 - 440
BNSF 6860, NS 1000 + BNSF 709 EB Stopped @ Frost . . . .
MF - 5/15/22 - 441
. . . .
waiting for BNSF 7476 West to clear.
GGG - 5/15/22 - 442
Unnamed tributary of Mojave River which will flow under the Western bridge approach. These small streams can become RAGING RIVERS during our infrequent storms.
MF - 5/15/22 - 443
The GreenTree extension (and Western bridge approach) is nearing paving.
MF - 5/15/22 - 444 MF - 5/15/22 - 445  (railfan observer)
Two GREAT Marc shots of the horses & burros / mules at the Kemper Campbell Ranch.

updated: May 25, 2022

5/22/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 39
I wasn't going to send these few pictures, but with the horrible events of today May 24 (mass shooting in TX), I wanted a constructive outlet. Last Sunday, Marc was showing a new (to this area) railfan the bridge construction and the area locally known as 'The Gray's Hill Overlook'. So, I joined them and we photographed a couple of interesting new developments in the bridge project.  -  GGG & MF
#446-447: Two of the NEW & much LOWER elevation of "Gray's Hill overlook. The original overlook was at the level of the hill at the far right (arrow).  We estimate that the overlook area is now 30 - 40 feet lower.
GGG - 5/22/22 - 446 MF - 5/22/22 - 447
#448-449: I had wondered what happened to the large wooden forms used to form the walls of the bridge support structure. Skanska simply flips them to to the top and they become the floor for the deck pour.  As mentioned, all of that wood will be sealed within the concrete support structure--never to be seen again (in our lifetimes). 
MF - 5/22/22 - 448 MF - 5/22/22 - 449
MF - 5/22/22 - 450
UP 8570 leads an EB manifest through the area.
MF - 5/22/22 - 451
Asphalt paving has begun West from the new bridge to Hesperia RD.

updated: June 3, 2022

5/29/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 40
Last Sunday (May 29) was a very cool, windy and dusty day. Trains were backed up at BNSF FROST due to single tracking, somewhere East of Victorville. Skanska is getting close to pouring the concrete bridge deck.  We were surprised at the many tons of REBAR used to strengthen the deck.   GGG & MF
#452: A project view WEST from the Eastern bridge approach. Rebar placement on the Western & middle bridge thirds appears to be nearing completion. Pictures #453 & #454 (next) were taken from the highest point on the newly paved road in the upper right of #452.
#453-454: Project view as described above. The long lens distorts the road curvatures and bridge placement.
MF - 5/29/22 - 452
Looking West
MF - 5/29/22 - 453
View from the new paved road across the bridge
MF - 5/29/22 - 454
View taken with long tele lens.
MF - 5/29/22 - 455
The TIGHT weave / stacking / placement of the rebar.
MF - 5/29/22 - 456
Again, due to single tracking, BNSF 7499 EB is slowing to . . . .
MF - 5/29/22 - 457
. . . . a stop at Frost to allow BNSF 3690 WB to clear the switches.
MF - 5/29/22 - 458
Same scenario with UP 7624 EB at Flyover
MF - 5/29/22 - 459
Same scenario with NS 4479, BNSF 3741, FM 4050 WB
GGG - 5/29/22 - 460
Marc imaging UP 7624, which is switching to the open track & proceeding on to Barstow.
MF - 5/29/22 - 461
A 6+ hour LATE AMT #3 clears the Upper Narrows.

updated: June 22, 2022

6/18/22: The Demise of Gray's Hill  -  Part 41
Real visible progress on the bridge on a day where train traffic was extremely heavy. Skanska Corp has started pouring the concrete bridge deck and we ran into a Construction Foreman who was willing to answer a few or our questions.
Skanska was working over the weekend and a 'white hat' (Boss type) approached - presumably to evict us . Using all our "Desert Rat charm" & explaining that we were documenting the construction, he became very friendly and talked with us for about 15 minutes. Here are the highlights of our conversation:
*A): The bridge should be finished next month.
*B): The bridge will have a six foot pedestrian / bike lane on the South side and a twelve footer on the North side. Both of these lanes will be guarded, from traffic, by a concrete barrier AND have some kind of fence on each outside.
*C): The deck concrete will be 9 & 3/8ths inches thick.
*D): "The TEREX Concrete Paving Machine does a much better job, faster than any of the OLD techniques"
 
 
*The POST-Tensioning cables will be added and tensioned AFTER all concrete has been poured & allowed to "setup some". I asked how they would get the cables through the tubes since the tubes were installed in a kind of 'gentle roller coaster' (UNDULATING) fashion and encased in concrete. He smiled and mentioned that they had some kind of crawler machine that would pull the cables through---as long as the tubes were still connected.
First I thought we'd show just how much dirt has been removed from Gray's Hill.
#462-463: From approximately the same position, please note the two arrows pointing at the same hill on the dates indicated.
GGG - 6/18/22 - 462 MF - 6/18/22 - 463
MF - 6/18/22 - 464
Arrow points at the same hill from "ground level" and shows the approximately 50 feet the overlook has been reduced in elevation.
GGG - 6/18/22 - 465
View of the flyover area from 2019 (before the overlook elevation has been reduced).
MF - 6/18/22 - 466
View of the flyover area from 2022 (after the overlook elevation has been reduced).
MF - 6/18/22 - 467
BNSF 6801 EB will roll under the Flyover
MF - 6/18/22 - 468
BNSF 6588 WB V-train
MF - 6/18/22 - 469
BNSF 6747 WB on the Flyover
MF - 6/18/22 - 470
UP 7340 MTY COAL is EB for another export load
MF - 6/18/22 - 471
Bridge Overview
MF - 6/18/22 - 472
Overview with Terex / Skanska Concrete Paving Machine on left.
MF - 6/18/22 - 473
Skanska Concrete Paving Machine--Note the 'pole' running length of pour (lower middle of picture). Two of these "pipes" (one on each side) will guide the machine, level it or introduce any desired grade to the final deck surface.
GGG - 6/18/22 - 474
Marc INSPECTING the work. He OK'ed everything---as long as the outside fences allow for photography!
MF - 6/18/22 - 475
BNSF 6195 EB has passed under the new bridge & approaches soon the Flyover bridge.
MF - 6/18/22 - 476
BNSF 6195 EB is passing under the "HIGHLY DECORATED" Flyover bridge.
MF - 6/18/22 - 477
UP eight unit EB light engine move at Frost.
MF - 6/18/22 - 478
UP eight unit EB light engine move toward the Narrows.
MF - 6/18/22 - 479
BNSF 3836 is EB to Barstow at Frost
MF - 6/18/22 - 480
same BNSF EB with 2 rear end DPU's on the way to Barstow.
MF - 6/18/22 - 481
A 'WELL USED' and VERY DIRTY UP 8794 is WB at BNSF MP 38 (Frost)

updated: June 22, 2022

OH WOW  --  Second employee death involved with this project. This accident happened on the dirt ramp in pictures above on June 22, 2022.   GGG
Check out Worker killed by excavator at Green Tree bridge project in Victorville - VVNG.com - Victor Valley News Group

more photos will be coming soon, just check back

Cajon 1 with 2006 photos - click here Cajon 2 with 2007 photos - click here Cajon 3 with 2008 photos - click here
Cajon 4 with 2009 photos - click here Cajon 5 with 2010 photos - click here Cajon 6 with 2011 photos - click here
Cajon 7 with 2012 photos - click here Cajon 8 with 2013 photos - click here Cajon 9 with 2014 photos - click here
Cajon 10 with 2015 photos - click here Cajon 11 with 2016 photos - click here Cajon 12 with 2017 photos - click here
Cajon 13 with 2018 photos - click here Cajon 14 with 2019 photos - click here Cajon 15 with 2020 photos - click here
Cajon 16 with 2021 photos - click here Cajon 17 with 2022 photos - click here Highway 138 East Project - click here
History of Hill 582 photos - click here Ranchero Road Project - click here Colton Flyover Project   -   click here
Green Tree Blvd. Bridge  -  click here Mojave River Bridges   -   click here  

 

8 different and detailed Maps of Cajon Pass with captions (Mile Posts and Location) by Gary G. Gray - click here
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
New 7/19: Accurate Map of Cajon Pass as of 2018 by Steve Jessup & Todd Gillette (RR Illustrated) - click here

Go back to Cajon Pass Main Page - click here

Home Cajon Pass Photo Gallary California Photo Gallery HO Mojave Desert Layout

(over all copyright by Werner Meer, Switzerland - 2022)