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Showing posts from April, 2014

Jointed railroad track - Union Pacific Chester Subdivision

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This view is looking south along a siding with jointed rail on the Union Pacific Chester Subdivision. To the right are the two main tracks of the Chester Subdivision. The siding ends just past the signal bridge in the distance, at Jerome Lane.  Jointed rail Jointed rail was the standard before continuous welded rail (CWR) came to be used on railroads. In North America the standard jointed rail length is 39 feet. The jointed rail segments are held together using joint plates which are bolted to the rails. Even though jointed rail is not common place on main lines these days, there is still plenty of jointed rail to be found on sidings, such as the one seen in the photograph above, and on branch lines. Continuous welded rail Continuous welded rail is made from welding together the 39 feet track segments, or even longer length segments, to form rail segments of around a quarter of a mile. While jointed rails can be easily carried on a typical railroad flat car, welded rails need to be t…

UP 9910 and UP 3120 - Alton & Southern Gateway Yard Hump

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UP 9910 and UP 3120, two EMD SD40-2s, sit on one of the two hump tracks at the Alton and Southern's Gateway Yard. UP 9910 is fitted with remote control equipment so that the operator can be on the ground as the unit goes about its duties. If you look closely you can see the remote operator walking next to the two locomotives. UP 3120, at the time, did not appear to be fitted with remote control equipment.
To the left of the locomotives, and between the two hump towers, you see an auto rack car beginning to roll down the other hump track. Cars are pushed over the hump from the left and roll down the right side into what are called bowl tracks, in order to build new trains from trains that arrive at the yard for classification. The speed of the cars as they roll down the hump are controlled by retarders, which apply various amounts of pressure to the rail cars' wheels. Gateway Yard is one of two hump yards in the St. Louis area. The other hump yard is the TRRA's Madison…

Union Pacific 3985 - Superbowl XXXVIII Special - Buffalo, KS

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Union Pacific 3985 fills the cold winter sky with smoke as the Super Bowl XXXVIII Special heads north Union Pacific's Coffeyville Subdivision, toward Kansas City, Missouri. The train would stay over night in Kansas City before moving on to its next stop on the return leg of the Super Bowl XXXVIII Special tour. Eventually UP 3985 would return home to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where Union Pacific's heritage steam locomotives are based out of. About the image This image was originally captured on Kodak Ektachrome slide film, and scanned on a Nikon CoolScan 9000 ED film scanner. Conversion was done in Adobe Photoshop, using Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro.
Photo taken: February 8, 2004, at Buffalo, Kansas.

Ferromex (FXE) 4655 - UP Chester Subdivision - Gateway Arch

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With the Gateway Arch in the background, Ferromex (FXE) 4655 leads BNSF Railway train UBIRSEM north on Union Pacific's Chester Subdivision. The train is an empty taconite (iron ore) train heading back to Steelton, Minnesota (SEM), from Birmingham, Alabama (BIR). The "U" in the trains identification means unit train.

The train is just south of Valley Junction, in East St. Louis, Illinois. I'm unsure of the train's routing, but the train probably utilized the TRRA's Illinois Transfer Subdivision at Valley Junction to head north to Madison Yard. I would usually see UBIRSEM's counterpart train, USEMBIR, heading south out of St. Louis via the BNSF River Subdivision. I believe that the River Subdivision was also UBIRSEM's normal northward routing to St. Louis.
Photo taken: October 7, 2007. Cahokia, Illinois.

All images/photographs are copyrighted © by Tom Gatermann. All rights reserved.