UP is still active down here in Central Texas. AAR Channels 24, 37 & 42.
Got some great pics about a week ago of some specialty construction cars that were passing through redoing the wooden railroad ties. It involved some gravel pushers, some tie grabbers, conveyor belt cars for the stone (I believe) and a few carts of ties.
I have a World of Warcraft friend who is the Radio guy for KCS here in North Texas. One thing he said is Most of the Good action will fall on YARD or ROAD. Railroad Police even leave their radio's on Road more than their National Police Channel 160.2050 or 161.2050
Something else he said - And I did not know this, Was that the UHF frequencies are more used for data within the train such as lights and data from the cab to caboose. As well as some track switching. The AAR 900Mhz. system which are still in use in many places are also non-voice with Navigation data and track switching data or other telemetry. All of the voice traffic will be found in the 160-161MHz band. With the exception of occasional Land Mobile repeaters at yards or used locally for rail maintenance.
I have been getting into Rail scanning lately too - its pretty cool if your close to a route or Dispatch facility.
I have been reading this post and was wondering something...anyone know what the rr police use in the different yards in and around the metro-plex? I saw the 2 listed on the suggested website and only Houston and Nationwide is listed.
Also, any idea's what channels would be used for the yard along HWY 180 in Arlington that is called Division?
I was in West Texas the last 2 days and caught 160.41 in use. Kinda neat to hear the crews.
UP is still doing a lot of road construction around here. For about a 15 mile stretch of track there's a pile of ties about every mile (a huge pile of worn ties). I've been seeing trailers for the "South Texas Tie Gang" all around town and many UP buses from Kyle to San Marcos. For those in the area wishing to see: take the west access of I-35 starting at FM150 in Kyle and head south along the access to Post Rd. (about a half mile before Yarrington Rd.), all the way into San Marcos at Aquarena Springs drive. This construction is causing major signal problems in San Marcos and major traffic headaches. The crews are using AAR Channel 20 for work, 160.410MHz. Still getting some awesome photos of some specialty rail construction equipment.
I've been out of the railroad monitoring scene for awhile, but I was real big into it back in the years immediately following the UP/SP merger. I gave it another shot on a bored whim a few months ago, and it didn't sound like much had changed in 15 years or so, so here's my somewhat-dated but (apparently?) still relevant input.
UP is big on recycling frequencies throughout the state. A lot of their road activity can still be found on predecessor road frequencies but from '97 through '98 they licensed a bunch of new frequencies under the predecessor road's callsigns. Give these a listen if you're in a UP-served area:
160.41 (old Missouri Pacific)
160.47 (old Missouri Pacific)
160.515 (old Missouri-Kansas-Texas)
160.74 (can't remember which predecessor road used this one)
161.55 (old SP Road Ch. 1)
160.32 (old SP Road Ch. 2. Used extensively in Texas on former SP lines)
161.4 (old SP yard channel. Listed in some places as a police frequency; never heard 'em, even back when SP still existed)
161.28 (old SP yard channel, used at Strang Yard in La Porte)
160.665 (new post-merger channel)
161.445 (new post-merger channel)
160.365 (new post-merger channel)
160.875 (new post-merger channel)
160.995 (new post-merger channel)
160.77 (new post-merger channel)
161.43 (new post-merger channel, used at Englewood Yard in Houston)
160.44 (new post-merger channel, used at Englewood Yard in Houston)
160.8 (old SP PBX channel)
160.95 (old SP PBX channel)
160.605 (old pre-merger UP PBX)
As far as the police go I can only vouch for what goes on in the Houston area but they've never been big radio users. The old 160.38 repeater is long gone, and not all of the vehicles have 800 radios (each road has a talkgroup on 2318) or even have radios installed at all.. or are even marked as police vehicles. The last UP "dick" I ran afoul of was in a regular ol' Ford pickup with a HT1000 listening to one of the yard channels which he was not dispatched over.. he was just listening in. For the most part they're dispatched individually by cellphone, or they hang out in the yard office until needed somewhere.
Huh. It used to use 146.2 on output and had gangbuster coverage throughout metro Houston. I had heard that it had been taken down from whatever building it was on downtown.
In any event, radio use by railroad police 'round here is still sporadic and mainly limited to the 800 talkgroups.
BNSF Police have some nice Expedition patrol cars and I think most of them have 800 radios installed. I have no idea what PTRA Police is driving these days. The last UP officer I saw in 2008 was driving an unmarked Ford pickup and only had a VHF handheld parked on one of the Englewood channels.