View Full Version : UP Sunset Route Expansion

03-28-2006, 07:05 PM
UP is cutting in the second main track between Carne and Akela, New Mexico. The result is the route will now be double iron from El Paso to County Line - about 25 miles west of Deming, NM. Within a year the extension go all the way west to Tucson. Later additional trackage will be installed westward to Yuma. Plan is to have a controlled siding every 25 miles or so to add additional flexibility.

Pat Lorenz
03-29-2006, 03:17 AM
Thats good news to hear. The sunset route in reality is a busy line, it just doesnt run like one. In fact it runs crappy. The single trackage has plauged the traffic for a long time and its about time they did something about it, now that UP had finished there North Platte triple track project and the recent Reno trench. Since i live on the sunset route i have begun to see progress within the last 5 months. Rillito area has begun extending there sidings in order to make it double track. I have also taked with some UP engineers (when there in a siding, and want to talk) They say that it is for real, they will start as you said J and keep moving till its all done. There is also going to be a re-alignment between Vail and Mescal. The tracks at Vail split, one goes over Interstate 10. The problem is that bridge there is to low, causing clearance issues with oversized trucks. The engineers say that the state of AZ is going to pay the RR the funds to get the bridge re-aligned, not rasied but for the whole track to be re-configured in that area. We'll see what happens, but once its double tracked, trains should be running more like the BNSF. And thats good runnin.

milepost 48.1
03-29-2006, 03:57 AM
FINALLY! This will be great for velocity, although I expect Maricopa and Casa Grande will start whining about it again....

03-30-2006, 12:45 PM
Obviously, we all know about SP being underfunded over the years etc, etc. However, much of the increased traffic over the route are the result of the merger with UP. Some traffic has been diverted from the old LA & Salt Lake district and the "new" routing via the Texas and Pacific route from Fort Worth westward has been emphasized. UP didn't have much incentive to hand over traffic to SP at El Paso and SP's southern routing via San Antonio added hundreds of miles to the routing. Now it s a straight shot across to Shreveport and Memphis and a shorter route to St. Louis. Interesting little factoid: main line switch at Sierra Blanca, TX (westward extent of MP) used to be "normal for the SP route to San Antonio. The switch position is now normal for the Fort Worth and reversed for San Antonio.