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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » Hill 582, Cajon Pass

   
Author Topic: Hill 582, Cajon Pass
Geoff Mayo
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Unbeknownst to me, I'd spent a year visiting what I thought was a good place under a mile away from this location. Finally I made it up there today - albeit with wrong turns on the dirt roads, and a few hair raising moments as either earth met underside of car or a wheel left terra firma. But boy was it worth it! This railfan spot has a birds' eye view of all four tracks through Cajon Pass, with views over a mile in one direction, and the noise of thrashing diesel engines slowly gaining altitude in the other long before they come into view.

This photo doesn't do the scene justice, but this photo was taken while sat on the comfortable bench provided by railfans, under the foliage provided by same for shade. The train on the right is on the original BNSF line; the one on the left is on the "newer" BNSF tracks, and not really visible but just above the stacks to the far left is the UP track. You can see the route of the tracks heading off to the top right.

Click on the image for full size:
 -

In half an hour I watched 5 container stack trains:
UP on UP tracks heading up
BNSF on BNSF tracks heading down
UP on BNSF tracks heading down
BNSF on BNSF tracks heading up
UP on BNSF tracks heading up
Finally an auto rack train, though I know not which tracks or flags as I was heading home at the time, not expecting my luck to continue.

Admittedly I did get rather lucky to have that many in such a short space of time, utilizing all tracks!

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Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
chrisg
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It is a great spot to watch and photograph trains from in Cajon Pass.

Chris

Posts: 711 | From: Santa Ana | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mike Smith
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Three trains in one picture.... Nice!
Or is that one very long train on the right?

Posts: 1418 | From: Houston, Republic of Texas | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
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Might anyone know if there is now a physical interchange between the SP's (UP) and the ATSF (BNSF with UP trackage) in that immediate area?

The SP line dates to the 1960's and was built to avoid handling traffic from the San Joaquin Route to the Sunset Route through LA. At that time, the SP was not yet the 'Penn Central of the West'.

Posts: 9390 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike Smith:
Three trains in one picture.... Nice!
Or is that one very long train on the right?

Two trains, long one (well, they're all long!) on the right. I was lucky to get two instances of a pair of trains passing simultaneously.

quote:
Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman:
Might anyone know if there is now a physical interchange between the SP's (UP) and the ATSF (BNSF with UP trackage) in that immediate area?

When heading east/northbound on the UP single track, one can switch to the BNSF tracks in two places: UP Keenbrook to BNSF Keenbrook, and UP Silverwood to BNSF CP566. The latter is immedaitely to the right of that photo.

When heading east/northbound on BNSF tracks, there is no way of accessing the UP track as the crossovers are not universal. Keenbrook is within the Pass but at the southern/bottom end.

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Geoff M.

Posts: 2426 | From: Apple Valley, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DonNadeau
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Magnificent.

There was a simply excellent map of the pass in a Trains issue not long ago.

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@DonNadeau

Posts: 366 | From: Iowa | Registered: Apr 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Railroad Bob
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I had a related adventure on the Cajon last Tuesday 6/10; after some furniture shopping in Santa Ana, myself and a family member went trainspotting at a place called Swarthout Canyon (in the lower west side of the Pass.)

Lots of action and long trains, but a big EB BNSF stack train became disabled. We were stuck on the 'wrong' side of the Swarthout grade crossing, with a low slung passenger car. Not dirt-rated.

But after 3 1/2 hours of waiting, we had no choice. We caravaned with all the other stuck locals and families on the horrible dirt road to the west.
3 miles of sharp rocks, and soft sand wash. But miraculously, our vehicle made it w/o breaking any oilpans, trans pipes, lines or flat tires. Back to Hwy 138, and south to home in SAN. The disabled BNSF train was still there, as we passed it on I-15 S.

Thanks Geoff, for your synopsis of Hill 582. Have visited it in 2012, with a Jeep vehicle. Do not take a passenger car to Hill 582 please! Save yourself some grief...

Posts: 588 | From: East San Diego County, CA | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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