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JAMIE'S RANDOM AMERICAN RAILWAY PHOTOS.


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3 hours ago, Mike_Walker said:

J D Heiskell 1886 was built as Northern Pacific 232 and is a passenger equipped GP9 (20319 5384-15 6/55) - note the "torpedo tubes" on the long hood which are the air tanks normally on the underframe but displaced to make space for the boiler water tank.  It became BN 1617 as still visible in the number boards.  The location is Pixley.

 

That is the history of that particular J D Heiskell #1886. But there were/are(?) several of them. The ‘1886’ is almost part of the colour scheme - apparently it’s the year the company was formed and is applied to quite a few of their locos. Most of them (like this one) keep an earlier number in the number boards, but just to confuse things further, some carry ‘1886’ in the number boards as well.

Here is a selection of pictures of J D Heiskell locos showing the variations:
 

http://rrpicturearchives.net/modelListRR.aspx?id=JDHX

 

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Good afternoon from a sunny Charente.  The tardis is still in California in the central valley on 8th January 2010. I think that this is Modesto still and Esquimault and Nanaimo 3879 was there.

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Then a good drive north with a call at the big intermodal terminal at Lathrop before stopping at Stockton where the UP and BNSF lines cross.   There was also a loco depot for UP.  I got to the crossing and waited.  I was joined by a UP Engineer and his father.  They warned me that this wasn't the best place to be alone when it was dark but they were staying for a bit so we should be OK.  Anyway a UP freight came north heading towards Roseville.

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And crossed the crossing.

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I'm fairly sure these were two DPU nits on the rea.P1095584_resize.JPG.ef3da2e1aa7b0a643c5a507aaec1203a.JPG

And another shot of them.

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Then in the gathering gloom a BNSF train headed across the diamonds.

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Jamie

 

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Stockton seems to be a good place to avoid from what I've read online about the area.  I had contemplated getting the Altamont Commuter Express from San Jose to Stockton a few years back, and then returning to Oakland on Amtrak, until I became aware of the areas reputation, particularly as the two services use different stations in the City....

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The crossing in Stockton lost much of its character and fascination after the tower closed.

 

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GP35 2910 heads east on the ATSF crossing the SP in May 1991.  The former WP was on the extreme right.

The tower operator that day was very friendly and entertained us for several hours!

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31 minutes ago, Johann Marsbar said:

Stockton seems to be a good place to avoid from what I've read online about the area.  I had contemplated getting the Altamont Commuter Express from San Jose to Stockton a few years back, and then returning to Oakland on Amtrak, until I became aware of the areas reputation, particularly as the two services use different stations in the City....

Fortunately  I was in a car and met the two other enthusiasts.  I think that I left about 7pm to head north. From the map it loomed like a good place to stop railway wise. I think that I had Mikes excellent atlas as my guide.

 

Jamie

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42 minutes ago, jamie92208 said:

Fortunately  I was in a car and met the two other enthusiasts.  I think that I left about 7pm to head north. From the map it loomed like a good place to stop railway wise. I think that I had Mikes excellent atlas as my guide.

 

Jamie

It does tend to keep your wits about you when linesiding in the USA, as what might look a "normal" area to our eyes might not neccesarily be the case. Worst place I've been is Delray Jn, south of Detroit, though as I was with about 9 others, there was safety in numbers.

Most hilarious one had to be Dalton Jn, south of Chicago, which is a recognised Railfan "Hot Spot" and is actually adjacent to the local Police and Fire Stations. I was there back in 2013 and had a visitation from what appeared to be the local "Boss of the 'hood" (with stereotypical "bling" to excess), accompanied by his two "minders" asking what I was taking photos of. He was interested when I said "trains" and even more amazed when he realised that I was actually from the UK !   After a pleasant chat, he shook hands and wished me a pleasant stay in "his" neighbourhood!   Not quite the outcome I was expecting - after working out just how easily I could make a dash for the Police Station!!!

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Good morning from a Charente where the light is gradually appearing.   It was definitely disappearing in Stockton, CA on 8th January 2010.  This was the best I could do when the Altamont Commuter Express rolled in.

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Then it was into the car and off north to Roseville.  I did manage to get lost at the interchange near Sacramento with I 80 but did eventually find my motel.  The next morning was grey and misty but this sight was worth looking at.

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And through the morning mist my first sight of a Roseville Rotary.

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I managed to find my way to the to the north side of the yard and go a better shot together with some big yellow things.

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It's hard to believe that UP and it's predecessors invest so much time and effort in keeping these beats from the 1920's operational.  Perhaps a reputed $1 million profit per stack train concentrates the mind.

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Alongside the depot this array of GP38's was parked u, ready for service on the hill.

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Jamie

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57 minutes ago, John M Upton said:

Judging by the nose, I would say 590 at the front there is an ex SP machine.

Thanks.  I think that yhey are all ex SP with various modifications for working on "The Hill". I will hopefully  show somevof that next time.

 

Jamie

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UP600 (GP38-2, SP #4841) is a full fat ice breaker. 

 

Special fittings include; cab window protection grilles, rotary windscreen wipers, snow shield over the rear cab doors and the retractable ice breakers raised on the roof.  Nice catch!

 

Still in snow service today - and has extended cab side windows as well these days.  Not many customised machines anymore.

 

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Super photo from April 2021, by J Fischer on RRPictureArchives.net

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Worth recording that the rotary ploughs are accompanied by converted F7B units which supply the electric power for the ploughs.  Their own traction motors, etc. have been removed so the combined units are propelled by the modified GP38-2s such as 600 shown above.  There were four sets at Roseville but I'm not sure if all survive.

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Thanks for that Mike I was going to mention that.   As to today, the Tardis is parked at Roseville for the time being there was a lot to see.  9th January 2010. As Mike has mentioned the GP38's are there for snow clearnace dutues.  There is a pool allocated to Roseville which roam elsewhere in the summer but are collected elsewhere in the fall to be checked over apparently.  They have various modifications.  One is the icicle breakers on the roof for use in the snowsheds.

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Another is something that will be very familir to seafarers, namely the clear vision devices.

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Here's a rather better shot of the icicle breakers.

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The main weapons nwadays are the flangers such as this.

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They can plow the powder snow over quite a wide area.  However there can be 4 to 5 feet of it in a night.  Most of it is pushed over the edge into the canyon below.  Bulldozers are also used.  However when they get wet heavy snow, which is about every 10 years then only the rotaries can do the job.  They even got sent to Colorado a few years ago whe they got caught out by the weather.

 

Anyway I carried on along the side of the depot.

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Many quite dirty locos around.   Apparently not safe rto wash them in winter across the prairies and the high desert.

 

the main running lines are on the north side of the yard and as I drove slowly round the vast yard several freights passed.

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It was still quite cool and misty.

 

 

Jamie

 

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Edited by jamie92208
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Good moaning from a rather gloomy Charente.  However the tardis is in a rather misty Roseville, CA, on 9th January 2010. I did manage to drive around the yard, which stretches for at least 2 miles and on the south side found the hump being shunted by what I think are gensets. 

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There was a ballast train with a filthy GE unit at the front.

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The hoppers were almost all well covered in graffiti

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I did manage a photo of a pair of the hump shunters through the mist.

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There was also a long line of track machines in the yard.

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And finally a patched SP unit. I think a GP38 of some description.

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More tomorrow.

 

Jamie

 

 

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1 hour ago, jamie92208 said:

And finally a patched SP unit. I think a GP38 of some description.

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GP40-2 but classified as a GP40M-2.  Not new to SP (note no signs of the classic SP ridiculous number of lights), one of a batch of GP40's from various sources rounded up and refurbished by Morrison- Knudsen (hence the M in the description code) for the SP,  This one started life with B&O and later CSX.

 

An interesting one this.

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1489 is actually a GP40M-2 rebuild.  It started out as a GP40 (32649 7943-6 11/66) as B&O 3689, later CSXT 6505 then on expiry of the original lease it passed to M-K as a dealer who rebuilt it in early 1991 for the SP as their 7119.  Along with the other 64 members of the group, it was originally assigned UP 5489 but this was never carried.  Photos show it was repainted a year of so after Jamie took his shot.

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I've noticed that some American locomotives retain their numbers when they change hands and some do not. Is there a system equivalent to or similar to TOPS operating in the USA/Canada? There surely must be when you take into account the vast number of freight cars moving around the system on any one day.

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1 hour ago, PhilJ W said:

I've noticed that some American locomotives retain their numbers when they change hands and some do not. Is there a system equivalent to or similar to TOPS operating in the USA/Canada? There surely must be when you take into account the vast number of freight cars moving around the system on any one day.

Yes it's called UMLER  which stands for something  like Universal  Machine Locater Equipment Register. Locos can have a 4 character number field then a reporting mark which is letters. Eg UP for Union Pacific. Many, which are 4 letter end in X which means that the unit is leased.  Freight and passenger cars can have up to 6 numbers. Anything that rolls on the rail system must have a valid a d unique reporting number displayed.

 

Thus when the Big Boy was towed back from California to Cheyenne for restoration  it carried the mark UPP 4014 and was towed by UP 4014.  UPP stands for Union Pacific Passenger.  Merged railroads acquire the reporting marks of the ones they take over.  Thus UP owns SP, WP CNW etc. When a unit is sent for auction they are often letterred for WP from UP. 

 

Hope that this all makes sense.  UP, also own UPY for their shunting locos, thus the genset on the hump above is letterred for UPY. This is because the basic system is very old, just like TOPS and the original system designers in the 60's never imagined that a railroad would own more than 9,999 locos.

 

Hope that this makes sense.

 

Jamie

Edited by jamie92208
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2 hours ago, The Lurker said:

If I understand what I have read on RMW correctly TOPS is a US system, developed for the Southern Pacific. Although whether it applied to engine numbers as Phil asked, I have not yet learned!

Yes developed in about 1964 for SP.  Modern programmers have to be taught the language it was written in.

 

Jamie

Edited by jamie92208
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Your small one or two locomotive shortlines will often just keep the number on a loco that it came with, saves the cost of changing the number boards for a starter.  All that will change in the initial change of ownership is the owners prefix (usually four letters, some still have two, mostly the oldest of the original railroads) and even these will often be tiny lettering somewhere near the loco numbers on the side.

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Good moaning from a sunny Charente.  The Tardis is still in Roseville, CA, and by some miracle it's still 9th January 2010. I had nearly completed my circuit of the yard, and passed Walmart safely, and was back across from the rotaries.  The mist had cleared and I got a better picture of them.  At least two are still fully operational and have had multi million dollar upgrades recently.  These include, better crew facilities and the replacement of steam heating boiler with a modern steam generating unit.  As Mike has commented the fan is powered by the prime mover in the former B unit.  4 traction motors are positioned around the fan to power it.  The auxiliaries such as the flaps that control the width of the cut and the direction of the  snow plume are still steam powered.  This is apparently to prevent freezing.  They are still numbered in the SP maintenance of way series.  I believe that there another two kept as spares  It's well worth having a look on YouTube for videos of them in action.  They usually operate as a back to back pair with two big modern 4.400 HP locos in between. They do this so that they an reverse and dig themselves out if there is an avalanche behind them.  They operate between Roseville and Truckee where there is a triangle to turn them if needed.  Magnificent beasts and approachng their centenary.

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More locos were seen on the depot, including this patched Rio Grande Unit.

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meanwhile the track work team were still manoeuvring.  This trailer caught my eye.  Wat a model it would make.

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This, I believe was a machine for inserting and driving spikes.  two operators feed spikes down a chute then the machine drives them. 

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And of course they have to have every modern convieince with them.

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Quite an impressive train of equipment.

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More tomorrow, all being well.

 

Jamie

 

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Good morning from a rather gloomy looking Charente.  The tardis is still in Roseville, CA and it's still set at 9th January 2010.  I ended up at the station at the east end of te yard and got one final look at the rotaries.

 

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Just to their left is the depot.

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The maintenance of way cavalcade was still going past, it even had it's own fire engine.

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I just hope that this wasn't occupied.  Talk about experiencing a motion

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Then it was time to head west and the road followed the main line.  One of the depots for the Sacramento tram system is alongside it. 

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And more of them.   I think that they are all built by Siemens, whose factory is nearby.  Currently building passenger trains and locos for the Virgin Brightline in Florida, amongst other customers.

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Jamie

 

 

Edited by jamie92208
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