3½ mile-long freight train rolls through Los Angeles

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kny2xb

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This doesn't have to do with railroad radio comms, I just thought that the train enthusiasts would appreciate reading it.

Safety, traffic concerns raised when 3½ mile-long freight train rolls through L.A. Basin

Los Angeles Times
January 12th, 2010

An apparently unprecedented super freight train -- extending some 3½ miles -- rolled through Southern California over the weekend, catching state regulators off guard and prompting concerns about potential safety risks and traffic delays, The Times has learned.

Union Pacific said the train was a test of equipment and ways to improve operating efficiency, but that the company does not have plans to run such trains regularly.

Safety, traffic concerns raised when 3.5-mile-long freight train rolls through L.A. Basin | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times



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burner50

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I caught a great big stacker one day. Had 4 engines on point, 2 in the middle, and 2 on the rear.


Actually ran fairly well... The crappy part was that there was no place to park, and if the 'spatcher didnt let us know we were gonna get held up somewhere, we had towns blocked.
 
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Too long in my own personal opinion.

Of course 10K+ ft intermodals are moving across the southwest over BNSF/UP on a daily basis, and as burner50 mentioned, over UP across Iowa.

I'd hate to be the Conductor that had to walk that train to find where he lost air at.
 

kb2vxa

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The LA Basin is a LOT larger than the city but the people are just as unfriendly... unlike upstate New York. Park that thing, come set a spell and have yourself a beer!
 
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DPD1

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You might be thinking of the corridor from downtown to the Harbor. That's new and all inside a channel. Lots of people want other sections to the east to be like that too... which would only cost about a billion probably. Amazing what people will do not to have to wait a few minutes for a train now days. They'll wait in line at Starbucks for 15 minutes, but a train, no way.

To bring it back to radio... It would have been interesting to hear the DPU signals on a train with that many helpers.
 

rustynswrail

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Thats incredible a 3 1/2 mile freight train. I wonder how long it took to assemble that in the yard.
And then there is this one...

The heaviest train in the world was a freight train in Australia in 2001. It was 7.3 kilometres (4.6 miles) long and weighed 95,000 tonnes.


R
 

wbigcount

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Dam that is long. Would hate to have to walk it.

U.P. always has good ideas like that, I caught a ,11,000 ft long junk train out of KC, took it up the falls city sub in the middle of winter.

Worst trip i ever had, didn't have enough power and couldn't keep air in the rear. Spent most of the night in -10 degrees and a foot of snow walking it. The best part was right before we went dead we pulled a drawbar out.

It took 4 crews to get that train to council bluffs.
 

K8TEK

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There are no state or federal limits on the length of trains or requirements to notify agencies about unusually long train configurations, officials said. Union Pacific said it did alert local federal regulators, who observed the train’s movement.
Then they have no business "scrambling" regulators there to oversee things. Typical democrat trying to regulate more stuff that doesn't need it.
 

burner50

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Dam that is long. Would hate to have to walk it.

U.P. always has good ideas like that, I caught a ,11,000 ft long junk train out of KC, took it up the falls city sub in the middle of winter.

Worst trip i ever had, didn't have enough power and couldn't keep air in the rear. Spent most of the night in -10 degrees and a foot of snow walking it. The best part was right before we went dead we pulled a drawbar out.

It took 4 crews to get that train to council bluffs.


I had a similar experience.

I'm leaving out names and locations here...


But on the UP there is a dispatchers "rule", well actually its a table of sorts, that outlines how long trains are allowed to be in certain circumstances. It was around -20 that night when it left the Original yard.

It was only supposed to be 5,000'. When I got on it at the first crew change, it was 8,500'. I had one scheduled pickup. (took around 20 minutes to get enough air to leave town)



I made it to that pickup yard. Made my pickup of 4,000' making me a 12,500' manifest. It took over 90 minutes to recover the air.


We were approaching another yard when called on the radio and told that we were going to pick up MORE cars from the next yard. I protested, and was told to do it anyway. We pulled up and the manager advised me I needed to pick up another 2,000' of train. I protested again, and made a prediction that this train would never leave town. (Bad idea).


Anyway, I made the pickup, air tested them, and doubled back to my train on the mainline. The air would not come up. I advised the manager that these cars needed to go back into the yard, and i was told that I was doing this on purpose, and that I needed to walk the train (already had), so I walked the train again. IMHO the manager already got in the computer and showed the cars as "Departed" his yard (money money!!!). He was adamant that those cars NOT go back into his yard. By the time I made it back to the headend, we were dead, and a ride was on the way with a dogcatch crew.


We got in the ride (manager still throwing a tantrum), tied up at the other end of the road, got our rest, called back to work, and headed home.


That train was STILL sitting there pumping air where I had left it 18 hours earlier.

You really cant spell stupid without UP
 

kb2vxa

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Things can only get worse when the dispatcher sends a stack train down the Merriam Park sub through St. Paul, MN.
 
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FLRAILMAN

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3 1/2 Mile Train & Derailments still abound

Where is Hulcher when you need them? Let me be politicaly correct here. If that train derailment were to occur in New Train City, the local thieves would be carefully removing needed items from the derailed train right about now, and if a vigilant neighbor spotted them, the neighbor would be notifying the local railroad night watchmen who would be dispatched on either 161.22 MHz or 160.68 MHz or possibly 160.83 MHz or even 160.455 MHz depending on the location of the derailment & the harmless theives only taking what they need from the derailed train.

FLRAILMAN
 
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poppafred

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Customer service, my backside!

It's all about how many crews they have to pay to drag it where it needs to go.

UP must think the public and press are stupid. They keep it up and the FRA will step in and start passing rules again and then nobody will win.
 

DPD1

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Customer service, my backside!

It's all about how many crews they have to pay to drag it where it needs to go.

UP must think the public and press are stupid. They keep it up and the FRA will step in and start passing rules again and then nobody will win.
You would think, but the gov seems to be in the back pockets of the railroads. The CN-EJ&E buyout was one of the most hard fought takeovers in history. Dozens of towns went up against it, spent tons of money, met every criteria for it to be reexamined... Feds said: Sorry. Signed off on it. And that's not even a US based company.
 

FLRAILMAN

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UP, Hulcher, LA Basin, 3 1/2 Mile trains, Derailments & Foriegn RR takeovers

Dave, you just have to live with it, sign of the times. CNs cousin, CP Rail comes to the Big Apple now too, next Ferromex will be coming to L.A. Union Station.

FLRAILMAN
 
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N9JIG

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You would think, but the gov seems to be in the back pockets of the railroads. The CN-EJ&E buyout was one of the most hard fought takeovers in history. Dozens of towns went up against it, spent tons of money, met every criteria for it to be reexamined... Feds said: Sorry. Signed off on it. And that's not even a US based company.
The other side of the CN-EJ&E merger was that there was even more towns supporting the merger since it would remove freight trains from those towns, to be rerouted over the "J". Towns like Des Plaines, Buffalo Grove, Wheeling etc. wholeheartedly supported the merger on those grounds.

The "J" was underutilized for decades, now there will be more traffic on this road. Kind of stinks for me though, as a railfan this means less chances for me to catch trains.

The feds didn't have any legal reason to block the merger, CN followed all the rules and passed the tests. There was actually little argument from other railroads as well, a few little deals were made here and there to win their support or lack of opposition.

I don't know if you are old enough to remember the grand-daddy of merger fights, back in the 60's and 70's the lowly C&NW fought off the powerful Union Pacific over the Rock Island merger. After 15 years of wrangling the feds finally approved the merger, by then the Rock was so broke and broken the UP said forget it. Next thing you know the Rock was ground up into pea gravel.
 
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