TRAINMASTER BY WERNER MEER  US-RAILROAD-SHOP KILCHBERG
HOCHWEIDSTRASSE 3  CH-8802 KILCHBERG (ZÜRICH) SWITZERLAND (founded 1977)
PHONE *41-44-715-3666, FAX *41-44-715-3660, E-MAIL trainmaster@bluewin.ch
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updated: September 5, 2017

THE HISTORY OF HILL 582 - THE LATE YEARS
(Cajon Pass)
Written by Don E. Toles (Co-founder of Hill 582, also known as the "Hilltender")
The photographs on this page mostly depict events and occurances on Hill 582 that have taken place during the first decade of the twenty-first century beginning with the year 2000. A number of changes were made during this period to the physical appearance of the Hill. Rock walls composed mostly of blue granite were constructed to surround some of the planted areas at both ends of the Hill. The walls were mainly decorative but also functional because they helped prevent the irrigation water and rainfall from running off. The plants and trees that survived the June, 2002 brush fire have grown considerably this past decade; however, no new plants were introduced, and the four pine trees that perished during the fire were never replaced. The fire also destroyed a number of rosemary plants that likewise were not replanted. A new wooden wall was constructed on the southeast end of the Hill during the winter of 2010. Photos appear lower on this page.


 

September 14, 2017: As per the latest information of the Lytle Creek Ranger Station, we were told that the
Cajon Pass fire closure has been lifted - good news indeed. (Don E. Toles)

 

August 18, 2016:  Yes, Hill 582 is intact and survived the bad Blue Cut Fire !!
DET sent these 2 photos, taken today, by 'a friend of Hill 582'.
All things considered and after a quick look, the Hill APPEARS to have survived well.
8/18/16 View from trackside BNSF MT-1 and MT-2 - BCF-30 8/18/16 View from West side - BCF-31
August 19, 2016: Don Toles & Jerry Shinar visited Hill 582 this AM - Below is his report:
 
"Nothing burned on the Hill even though the fire burned at the North end up to the flagpole rocks. The West side didn't burn, but the fire came up the East side but didn't even singe the Hill. Talk about miracles - they do happen!"
   GGG
Just heard, from DET, that WSI (West Summit Island) was also spared damage --- although the area AROUND WSI was consumed by the fire.   GGG
More accurate photos of Hill 582 taken on 8/19/16 can be seen at the end of this page !!

 

October 14, 2016: Highway 138 (East) Realignment Project is now under way.
For all who are familiar with Hwy 138 while visitting Cajon Pass, are aware of the old two lane and curvy Highway 138 coming from exit # 131 (I-15) and going to Summit. Several years ago, Hwy 138 has been widened after the exit toward Summit for the first 1.9 mls. But from that point up to Summit, it is a curvy up and down slow speed (mountain) road. Three bridges and one undercrossing will be built.
(Hog Ranch Creek Bridge, Vjner's Shack Creek Bridge, OHV Undercrossing, Double Drajn Cheek Bridge)
 Map copyright by Caltrans and RUS -  6214
more infos:  http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist8/documents/sr138/SR-138-EAST-ALIGNMENT-FACT-SHEET-070716.pdf
more detailed infos with different maps http://www.spl.usace.army.mil/Portals/17/docs/publicnotices/SR138_realignment.pdf
We are having an interesting site about the Highway 138 (East) Realignment Project - click here

 

Access to Hill 582
September 5, 2017: Please note - due to the construction of the realignment project of Highway 138, there might be no access to Hill 582 in using the Parker Ranch Road anymore. "The hilltender was told by a fence company worker that a pad-locked gate will be installed at the entrance from Hwy 138 to Parker Ranch Road. As of 09-04-17 no gate had been installed."

 

WM 6/01/10 West side of Hill 582 - 3211 WM 6/01/10 South side w/center top - 2005 WM 6/01/10 East side w/bird feeder - 2009

 

THE HILL 582 MEMORIALS
ANTONE "TONY" ANDEL - February 1, 1917 - May 12, 1998

At the present time - July 2010 - there are five memorials on Hill 582 dedicated to railfans and railroad employees that are no longer living. The Antone "Tony" Andel memorial bench and brass plaque was the first memorial to be placed on the Hill. Tony Andel was a life-long Santa Fe Railway employee. Tony worked his way up to round-house foreman at Barstow during the steam era, and then moved to San Bernardino where he also was a round-house foreman. When diesel locomotives replaced steam, Tony became an on-board diesel mechanic, riding in the locomotives from Los Angeles to Barstow and return to keep the early diesel engines running. Tony then became an expert air brake and traction motor technician, working in the San Bernardino shops until his retirement. Because of his expertise, on several occassions the Santa Fe "loaned" Tony to foreign and domestic railroads that were in need of expert advice. The state-owned railroad in Saudi Arabia was one such beneficiary of Tony's expertise.

In 1985, the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society was making preparations to remove AT&SF steam locomotive 3751 from Viaduct Park, San Bernardino. Tony Andel offered to help. The air-brake system on the locomotive was primitive, yet Tony was familiar with it's workings. He also knew that parts for that particular system were still hidden away in the San Bernardino shops - artifacts from the steam era. Tony located the parts and the railroad donated them to Project 3751. Tony also passed on his knowledge of the 3751's brake system to SBRHS volunteers that would be responsible for operating and maintaining the locomotive.

Crippled by arthritis in his later years, possibly a result of being a professional wrestler when he was young, Tony was also an avid videographer. Tony loved to make train videos. When he could no longer drive, friends would take him trackside to shoot video. Hill 582 was a favorite spot. We would set Tony in his wheelchair at the north end of the Hill facing the tracks, and he would video tape the trains as they went by. Since some of the trees on Hill 582 had names, Tony wanted to donate a pine tree that would be called Tony's Tree. On Christmas Day, 1996, "Tony's Christmas Tree" was planted at the southeast corner of Hill 582. Of the three pine trees that survived the June 2002 brush fire, Tony's tree is now by far the largest of the three.

Tony Andel passed away on May 12, 1998. Tony's relatives offered to donate a tree to Hill 582 in Tony's memory. Since Tony already had a tree on Hill 582, it was decided that a bench with a plaque would be fitting memorial. The bench and plaque were placed on the Hill in April, 1999. Although vandalized, repaired and repainted numerous times, the bench remains an important fixture on Hill 582.

 

This photo (H112) dated 5/94 shows Tony Andel (center/red sweater) along side of 3751 during a steam-up in San Bernardino.
DET 5/94 Tony Andel - H112 DET 7/09/10 Tony Andel Plaque on Bench - H113 DET 7/09/10 Tony Andel Memorial Bench - H114

 

THE DRAWBAR MEMORIALS

The Southern Pacific drawbar was put in place in May, 2000, and that led to the establishment of the "drawbar memorials" near the northeast corner of the Hill. While the drawbar may not have come from an SP freight car, it was found half-buried and covered with brush very close to the Southern Pacific's main line directly north of Hill 582. On May 31, 2000, four railfans teamed up to move the drawbar to the Hill. Mike Marzlo, who had recently installed a new clutch in his Toyota pick-up truck, offered to drag the drawbar to the Hill to test the new clutch. Mike backed his truck up the sandy wash across from Hill 582, and we struggled to drag the drawbar close enough to the truck to attach a long chain. The drawbar didn't have a knuckle, but was still estimated to weigh about 800 pounds. At that time, there was a paved crossing near the northwest corner of the Hill. We cautioned Mike not to drag the drawbar over the rails until we made sure that it would not hang up and cause damage. Mike took off down the ravine, and the drawbar was sliding along so easily that he drove right over the crossing without a problem. "Now what do we do with it?" was the question when we all gathered around the drawbar which came to rest at the south end of Hill 582. I suggested that a spot near the northeast corner would be suitable and also easy digging since it was composted fill-dirt intended for growing another pine tree. We "planted" the drawbar at the spot, and there it remains today.

The photos below reveal the many changes in appearance that have been made to the drawbar memorials during the past decade. Soon after the drawbar was placed on the Hill, it became a "magnet for railroad junk" as evidenced by the pile of scrap metal surrounding the drawbar as seen in photos 1 - 3. Visitors to the Hill frequently added various railroad-related items to the pile, including a freight car hand brake wheel, broken knuckles, air hoses, brake shoes and various track maintenance components. Eventually, the accumulation became such an eyesore that the Forest Service said "enough!" and the junk pile was removed.

The "Dump No Rubbish by Order of the A.T. & S.F. Ry. Co." sign to the left of the drawbar was originally installed near the stock yard at Summit, according to Chard Walker. The sign lay buried for many years after the Summit buildings were demolished. A railfan and his dad found the abandoned sign, keeping it stored in their garage at home. The son eventually joined the military, and the dad moved to Oregon. Before moving, however, the two men brought the old sign to Hill 582, where it became a significant donation to the Hill's collection of railroad mementos.

Over the years, the drawbar memorials were rearranged a number of times as the photos show. Fortunately, all four of the brass plaques were spared during the period of severe vandalism in October 2006. As a precaution, it was decided that the brass plaques should be replaced with photos of the brass plaques. The paper photos, however, faded rapidly and became streaked by rainwater, necessitating frequent replacement. In 2008, a visiting railfan from Switzerland offered to donate aluminum plaques with photos applied permanently by a high-tech process. We accepted his generous offer, and the current plaques, which he made in his shop near Zurich, are holding up very well. The two photo plaques at the Chard Walker Memorial were likewise donated by the Swiss gentleman, as was the rattlesnake warning sign installed near the bench in the summer of 2010.

 

DET 9/00 As Mike Marzlo put the drawbar - H063 DET 5/01 Drawbar w/BNSF train  - H066 DET 8/06/02 Lots of RR Junk - H111
DET 2/04 Hill 582 sign was made of spikes  - H089 DET 3/04 Plaque in memory of Mike Marzlo - H090 DET 3/09/04 Old sign "Dump No Rubbish" - H117
DET 10/15/06 More memorials - H107 DET 3/08/07 - H109 WM 5/29/10 How it looks today - 2010

 

MICHAEL JOHN MARZLO - July 10, 1963 - November 8, 2003
Mike Marzlo and his dog, Gator, were frequent visitors to Hill 582. How ironic it is that the man that brought the drawbar to the Hill behind his truck became the first person to be memorialized by a brass plaque mounted near the drawbar. Mike worked for the John Deer tractor agency in Hemet, California prior to becoming a BNSFdiesel mechanic. Mike commuted daily to his BNSF job in the Los Angeles area. On November 8, 2003, returning home from LA, Mike was killed when his truck rolled not far from his home in Moreno Valley, California. The cause of the accident is unknown, as there apparently were no witnesses. Mike was a loving husband and devoted son and brother. Mike was only forty years old when he died.

 

Michael John Marzlo - H115 DET 4/09/06 Mike Marzlo Plaque - H116 DET 4/09/06 Drawbar with M. Marzlo Plaque - H110

 

WILLIAM B. GARNER - August 21,1904 - July 31, 1998

Bill Garner was born and raised in San Bernardino, and he lived in San Bernardino his entire life. A graduate of the University of Redlands, Bill regulary rode passenger trains on the Redlands Loop line to and from the University. At that time, according to Bill, nine passenger trains operated daily on the Loop.

Bill Garner was a life-long employee of the Santa Fe Railway. Bill first hired on to the railroad in 1924 when he took a job as a signal helper during summer vacation from the university. He was assigned to a signal gang that was stationed at Cajon Station. During his long career, Bill was a clerk in the Freight Office, and in his later years with the company, he became the Weigh Master in the San Bernardino yards.

As a steam locomotive enthusiast, Bill "adopted" the Santa Fe 3751 that was on display in Viaduct Park near the Santa Fe Depot in San Bernardino. Bill spent much of his free time doing what he could to preserve the 3751 in hopes that some day it would be restored. Bill helped organize the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society, serving on the Board of Directors from the inception of the Society until he passed away in 1998. Bill's vision for 3751and his dedication and determination are largely responsible for 3751 being currently fully operational. Fortunately, Bill lived long enough to see his dream come true!

 

DET 5/01/07 Original Bill Garner Plaque - H118 DET 12/29/08 New plaque (Swiss made) - H119 DET 12/29/08 New plaques w/drawbar - H120
DET 11/05/86 - Bill, track work at Fontana - H121 DET 7/03/87 Bill at work inside cab - H122 DET 5/07/88 Replacing boiler tubes - H123
DET 5/89 Bill in Machine Shop - H124 DET 8/13/91 Bill in Engineer's Seat - H125 DET 8/18/91 Bill inside 3751's cab - H126
DET 11/16/91 Bill talks to Bob Moulton - H127 DET 11/16/91 Is that the Hilltender? Yes! - H128 DET 5/94 SBRHS Director, Don Toles - H129

Don E. Toles,  Highland, CA, August 2010

MICHAEL B. JEROMIN - DECEMBER 8, 1946 - AUGUST 9, 2011

Michael Jeromin loved Cajon Pass! It was his favorite get-a-way spot to escape from his stressful job of driving an armored truck in Orange County traffic.
I first met Mike and his big black dog, Midnight, while raillfanning on Sullivan's Curve in the early 1990s. We became friends, and I introduced Mike to a fine photo location in the upper Pass that later became known as Hill 582.

One day in 1993 while driving his armored truck route, Mike saw a pile of used 2" x 8" lumber curbside with a "free" sign posted on it. Thinking that we could use the lumber to create something on "our" hill, Mike loaded the lumber on his own personal truck and hauled it to the Pass. We proceeded to create a level seating area surrounded by a wooden retaining wall - the beginning of Hill 582 (see photo below).
That led to the need for shade, so we decided to plant a few trees. In the photo below, Mike can be seen clearing a spot for one of the three locust trees that we planted on the hill. During those formative years, Mike and I also planted eucalyptus trees, and Mike hauled hundreds of gallons of water from Cajon Creek to keep the trees alive. In December 1995, Mike arranged for a meeting with two USFS botanists that led to the donation of pine trees by the Forest Service.
Of the seven pine trees that we planted, only three survived the 2002 brush fire that burned on both sides of the hill. And now two remain after vandals destroyed one of the three fire survivors.

Michael Jeromin was a patriot! Mike proudly served his country for four years in the U.S. Air Force, followed by three years in the U.S. Coast Guard. A personal tragedy in the late 1990s caused Mike to end his role in maintaining Hill 582. Subsequent to his retirement in 2008, Mike moved to northern Nevada. In 2010 he became a resident of Ohio. There Mike passed away suddenly on August 9, 2011after a short illness.
May Michael B. Jeromin be long remembered as the co-founder of Hill 582!

 

DET 4/1993 Michael B. Jeromin and his dog - 3130 DET 9/1994 First wooden retaining wall  - 3131 DET 5/94 M. Jeromin preparing for locust tree - 3132
GGG 7/19/13 Michael B. Jeromin Memorial - 3124 GGG 8/02/13 Don E. Toles w/Memorials - 3125 GGG 8/02/13 BNSF 7716 EB - 3127

Don E. Toles,  Highland, CA, August 2013

Below are some photos of Hill 582 and the people behind it (2008 - 2013)

For bigger size photos please click on the number below each photo.

News and Activities in 2008
1/22/08 Marc Fournier and Don Toles - 371 3/25/08 T-1 WP 1913 - 499 3/28/08 Moving the heavy piece - 500
3/28/08 Men at work - 501 3/28/08 Manpower is really required - 502 3/28/08 Keith, Jerry, Steve, Don, Gary, Harold - 503
3/28/08 A piece of history - 504 4/01/08 It needs to be elevated - 517 4/01/08 RR ties will be used - 518
4/01/08 Jerry & Marc - 519 4/01/08 Finished 1913 Memorial - 520 5/14/08 Plaque in memory of Chard Walker - 622
5/14/08 Don Toles with memorials - 623 5/14/08 Jerry & Don - 624 5/14/08 The crew: Gary, Jerry, Don, Marc - 625
9/30/07 New ROW w/old signal post/sign - 667 6/09/08 The signs are now on Hill 582 - 668 6/13/08 Monuments w/BNSF EB on Main # 3 - 684
For us railfans, Hill 582 is the Oasis in Cajon Pass. A big thank you to Don Toles for all the effort he is putting in this one-of-a-kind paradise in taking care with watering the trees, feeding the birds, upgrading the site and even remove the trash from the visitors. As we could see on the photos above, there are also real friends, who are supporting Don in every way. Thank you guys for helping Don in maintaining this special place on earth! (WM)
I had the opportunity to visit Cajon and these great Gentlemen from July 5 to July 11, 2008. It was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed every minute. Thank you Don, Gary and Marc. It was highly appreciated as you guys brought me to every location I could imagine. The result, more than 1500 photos. Here, I am going to present some from Hill 582 (see below). Werner Meer
7/05/08 Official sign of Hill 582 - 21 7/05/08 Chard Walker memorial - 04 8/19/08 Garner/Andel/Burton/Delvers memorials - 14-1
7/05/08 Looking West w/EB Train - 03 7/05/08 Seldom blooming of cactus - 01 8/19/08 EB on Main # 1 + WB on Main # 2 - 26-1
7/07/08 BNSF EB w/blooming bush - 25 7/05/08 Marc Fournier and Don Toles - 08 7/05/08 Marc is sitting on Tunnel 1 WP - 07
7/05/08 Top of the Hill is wide enough for cars - 15 7/07/08 Watering of the plants & trees - 20 7/05/08 Space for 3-4 cars between the trees - 13
7/05/08 Looking North - 16 7/05/08 South/East side - 11 7/05/08 Marc & Don (bird feeder next to Marc) - 10
7/08/08 North side  - 37 7/08/08 East side bench (bird feeder at left) - 42 7/05/08 Close up of bird feeder - 06
7/07/07 South/East side as seen from BNSF # 3 - 18 7/07/08 East side (closer) - 19 7/08/08 West side - 38
7/08/08 UP track, BNSF # 1 and # 2, the Hill - 29 7/08/08 UP WB train on UP track pass the Hill - 30 7/08/08 Hill 582 surrounded by 2 trains - 31
Photos 29 - 34: A view of Hill 582 from far away (looking from the North toward South). The photo location is the Interstate 15 EB overlook approx. 7.a.m.
Photos 31 - 34 show a BNSF train meet of a EB on track # 1 (uphill) and a WB on track # 3 (downhill). Hill 582 is in the middle of the 2 trains.
7/08/08 EB double stack in front  - 32 7/08/08 WB double stack in rear - 33 7/08/08 Engines of WB visible at right - 34
7/07/08 Security is visitting us - 27 7/07/08 Marc knows the man well - 28 7/07/08 Gary is coming along main # 3 - 36
7/11/08 8 a.m. 3 cars on the Hill - 45 7/11/08 9 a.m. 5 cars - 48 7/11/08 10 a.m. 7 cars - 50
Friday, 7/11/08 was the day of meet and greet on Hill 582. At the end, we had 7 cars and there is still plenty space for more. The whole group went for lunch at the "Dump" in Hesperia. A place (restaurant) where Chard Walker used to go on Fridays with Don and Gary.
7/11/08 Welcome meet for Werner Meer - 769 7/11/08 Werner and David Miller, BNSF - 770 7/11/08 David Miller w/Keith, Don & Gary - 771
Photo 769: Werner Meer was welcome by the photographers and Hill 582 members (from left: Gary Gray, Carol & Bob Westover, Keith Schreiber, Don Toles, Marc Fournier, WM, Lane Frank). Photo 770: Werner had a chance to meet David Miller of BNSF, who is leading the 3rd main track construction over Cajon Pass. Photo 771: David Miller is discussing the remaining construction of the 3rd MT Project as it will be finished by this October 2008 (from left: Keith Schreiber, Don Toles, Gary Gray, David Miller, Marc Fournier, Lane Frank).
7/11/08 Werner & Paul Westover - 59 7/11/08 Lane, Keith, Marc, Don, Gary - 47 7/11/08 Lane & Keith have a serious talk - 44
7/11/08 European invasion on Hill 582 - 772 7/11/08 Swiss guys (J.L. Perrenoud & WM) - 773 7/11/08 Robbie the Rattler on Hill 582 - 774
Photo 772: In the afternoon, unexpected visitors from Europe. Especially the men standing behind the chairs are from Luxembourg, Patrick Bopp & Alain Kapp are well known to Werner Meer as both participated at our Conventions in Switzerland as exhibitors (from left: sitting Marc Fournier, Jürgen Dietrichkeit (Germany), Don Toles, standing behind Patrick Bopp, Alain Kapp (Luxembourg), Jean-Luc Perrenoud (Switzerland), Bob & Carol Westover, John Cockle (USA). Photo 773: Jean-Luc Perrenoud is a Swiss and came with the same group. So, we had a chance to talk some Swiss-German together and nobody could understand. Photo 774: Robbie the Rattler (a real rattlesnake) was the most dangerous visitor on that particular Friday on Hill 582. Robbie enjoyed the sun and we left him in peace. (WM)
7/11/08 Train watching at its best - 52 7/11/08 Marc & Don - 53 7/11/08 Proud man with UP train - 56
Once again, thank you to all my friends (incl. Jerry) for sharing their time and knowledge with me. Hopefully, Hill 582 will remain for many years to come. Werner Meer
8/08/08 Rebuilt Memorials on Hill 582 - 64 8/08/08 New look with BNSF EB on Main # 3 - 65 8/08/08 A diff. angle w/BNSF train - 66
Don Toles has been busy on Hill 582 and, as he mentioned, surrounded the Chard Walker monument with beautiful rocks.
9/26/08 Remembering Chard Walker - 67 9/26/08 Christa & Beat Wüest, Switzerland  - 68 9/26/08 Beat, Christa, Marc, Don, Gary - 69
Photo: 67: It is hard to believe that we lost our friend Chard Walker one year ago. As you'll see in the first picture, several of his friends gathered on Hill 582 this morning to honor and remember. 
Photos 68 - 69: We were joined by new friends Christa and Beat Wuest of Switzerland who just happen to be friendly with Werner Meer (who posts our 3MT  pictures on his web site in Switzerland). GGG
9/26/08 Friends of the Tehachapi Depot - 70 9/26/08 Friends with special Depot T-shirts - 71 9/26/08 Marc is mounting new "X" sign - 72
Photo 70 - 71: As you may remember, the Tehachapi CA Depot was nearing restoration completion last year when a fire completely destroyed the structure. Bob and Carol Westover, from Tehachapi and volunteers in the restoration, brought T-shirts to help the financing needed for the re-re build. For more information go to the Depot website: http://www.tehachapidepot.com 
Photo 72: shows Marc Fournier erecting the "blow your whistle/horn" sign below the Hill 582 sign.
12/15/08 Hill 582 seen from 58.2 Signal Mast 8-127 12/17/08 Hill 582 seen from Main # 3 MP 58 - 8-130 12/17/08 Hill 582 covered w/snow - 8-131
12/15 and 12/17/08 Photos 8-127 - 131 by Marc Fournier. In the middle of our recent blizzard when most folks were home in front of a nice fireplace, our own MAD MARC was roaming around Cajon with his digital and found our Hill 582 covered with snow. See more snow photos: click here
12/19/08 BNSF 4079 EB Hill 582 - 8-136
Photos 136 - 139 by Don Toles
12/19/08 Same train passes our Hill but stops before Summit on Main # 1 - 8-137 12/19/08 Another EB pulls up behind BNSF 4079 (so we got a lineup) - 8-138
12/19/08 A WB passes the two EB's on Main # 2 making a triple meet at Hill 582 - 8-139 12/29/08 New Memorials w/BNSF WB - 8-140
(Plaques made in Switzerland)
12/29/08 New Memorials and Don Toles - 8-141
As many of you know, Hill 582 has in recent years become an international destination. European countries, especially the UK, have provided most of the international visitors, although Australia, New Zealand and Japan have also been well represented. This past summer and fall, railfans from Switzerland took over the # 1 spot, thanks mainly to Werner Meer, our very good friend residing near Zurich, Switzerland. Werner hosts hundreds of our photos on his web site, including a page devoted to Hill 582. He has been instrumental in directing many of his fellow countrymen to Cajon Pass and Hill 582. 
Recently, Werner Meer advised Gary, Marc and me that one of his Swiss friends, Rudolph Schai, was currently visiting the US. He told us that "Ruedi" planned to be in Cajon Pass for several days and he would be on Hill 582 on a Monday morning - driving a red Cadillac Escalade. As you might expect, Escalades are not common on Hill 582, and one driven by a Swiss gentleman would be even rarer. Werner asked if Gary, Marc and I could be on the Hill to meet Ruedi when he arrived. We, of course, said yes.
Unfortunately, Gary was unable to join Marc and me that morning when we welcomed Ruedi to Hill 582. It was a beautiful fall day, pleasantly warm and sunny. Being a Monday, there weren't a lot of trains, but that gave us plenty of time to get acquainted with our new friend. We soon learned that Reudi owns a business in Switzerland that, among other things, makes aluminum memorial plaques using a new high-tech process.
Reudi generously offered to make and donate new plaques for the Drawbar Memorial that would replace the photo-memorials that we substituted for the original brass plaques two years ago.
Werner put the new plaques in the mail on Monday, December 22, and they arrived last Saturday. This morning (Monday the 29th), Marc and I replaced the photos with the shiny new plaques. Marc re-mounted the frames, and we were back in business. They look great! Yeah, that's me standing behind the drawbar.
A very special thanks goes to Ruedi for his generous contribution to the Hill, and to Werner for taking care of the shipping. Their friendship and dedicated support of Hill 582 is greatly appreciated.
 
Don Toles (12/29/08)
12/06/08 BNSF 5017 WB Christmas Train is passing Hill 582 on Main # 1 before the recent blizzard (Photo by Marc Fournier) 8-135
A big thank you to Don, Gary and Marc for sharing their wonderful photos with us (12/24/08 WM)

 

News and Activities in 2009
6/16/09 New plaques made in Switzerland - 9112 6/16/09 New post in hole ready for concrete - 9113 6/16/09 Jerry and Don are mixing concrete - 9114
6/16/09 Don, Jerry and his grandsons  - 9115 6/16/09 Don is always working hard - 9116  6/16/09 Don and Jerry - 9117
6/16/09 Even Gary had to help - 9118  6/16/09 Don with his new Hill 582 shirt - 9119 6/16/09 The historical site looks great - 9120
Members of the Hill 582 Society/Cajon Mafia:
 As you may remember, when the BNSF Cajon third main track was built, the "G" and "582A" signs from the signal next to Hill 582 "appeared" upon our hill.  They were temporarily mounted upon the hill. BUT, knowing how things "disappear" from the hill, Don thought that welding them on a steel support would protect them. Also, we asked that Ruedi, from Switzerland, use his high-tech process - (which can transfer pictures to an aluminum background) - to transfer the pictures and an explanation of the history of these signs and the tunnel remnant to a mountable background.
 Today Don & Jerry Shinar (and Jerry's grandsons), dug the hole, mixed the concrete and buried the support. BTW, Jerry is the HillTender of West Summit Island. As you will notice, they even FORCED me into the act but I claimed leg pain, back pain, butt pain and every other kind of possible pain to make sure I didn't have to work very hard ---- he he
 The pictures above will document the process.
 Many thanks to Jerry and Ruedi  -  DET/GGG
Photo 9131: from left - Gary Gray (GGG), Hansueli Oschwald (Hans), Ruedi Schai, Don Toles (DOT), Marc Fournier (MF) are posing on the historical site.
6/29/09 Swiss visitors: Hans & Ruedi - 9131 7/04/09 One more rattlesnake on the Hill - 9138 8/14/09 New plaques are finally installed - 9171
Photo 9138 - 7/04/09: While visiting Hill 582 yesterday morning and one of the gentleman who tends the garden, the subject of those unwelcome guests came up and “Hill Tender” let on that they have observed three Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes so far this season. As we were getting ready to depart, number 4 was discovered right where we were walking and he was not talking. That was the part that bothered all of us, that he was keeping quiet.
There’s no assurance by any means this was the last one, so for those stopping by, pay very close attention.
Text & photo by espee4ever (thank you for this important information - it is greatly appreciated - WM)
8/14/09 Close up of new plaques made by Ruedi of Switzerland - 9172 8/14/09 Gary Gray, Marc Fournier, Don Toles with the new 582 T-Shirts - 9173 9/11/09 The author, Alice Hall with Gary Gray and Done Toles - 9188
Photos 9188 - 9189: Several months ago, Alice Hall (an author from Devore, CA) contacted Don and me concerning using a few of our Cajon Pictures in a book which would trace the history of Cajon Pass. Last Friday, Alice and husband Roger joined the Westovers (Tehachapi), Bobby Deren (Nashville), Don, Marc and me on Hill 582.
THE CAJON PASS is a superb pictorial history of 127 pages and 250+ photographs.
Do you want a copy of this book?  Click here: The Cajon Pass - Arcadia Publishing
Don and I are honored to have four pictures included in the railroading section. THANKS ALICE (GGG)
9/11/09 The Group - 9189 11/30/09 Marc, Ruedi (Switzerland), Don - 9297 11/30/09 Gary, Ruedi, Don - 9298

 

News and Activities in 2010
From now on, we state the photographer's abbreviation in front of the date.
DET = Don E. Toles, GGG = Gary G. Gray, MF = Marc Fournier, DT = Dave Tomeraasen (USA)
RUS = Rudi Schai (Switzerland)
Wall Project - January/February/March 2010
 Retaining walls made from wood 2 X 4s don't last very long. They are also vulnerable during brush fires, as I found out in June 2002, when the wooden walls on both sides of Hill 582 caught on fire. The damage was subsequently repaired, and to further protect the wood, I built rock walls in front of the wooden walls, which, in effect, buried the wooden walls. However, the 4-section wooden wall on the southeast side of Hill 582 never received the protective rock wall facing. While it didn't catch on fire, over the years it had deteriorated considerably. The 2 X 4s and posts were severely rotted, and the wall sections were leaning outward. The south end section that protected the pine tree was especially impaired since the ground beneath the pine tree is never allowed to dry out. Pine trees require substantial quantities of water.
I've known for several years that the southeast wall dating back to the mid-1990s would eventually have to be repaired or replaced, but I kept putting off the repairs because of the constant need to haul water during the drought years. Rainfall this winter (2009-2010) was closer to normal, so instead of hauling water during January/February, I worked on constructing a new wall, leaving the old wall intact and buried behind the new wall.
My first plan was to replace only the 10-foot section in front of the pine tree. With the help of Steve H. and Don J. we were able to build an entirely new freestanding wall in front of the old wall. It was such a big improvement that I decided to extend the new wall by adding three more 8-foot sections. Again, Steve and Don were willing to help. It turned out to be a much larger and costly project than I had anticipated, mainly due to unexpected problems that arose as we proceeded. I am definitely NOT a structural engineer, but we finally overcame the problems and the wall was completed in March 2010. In addition to Steve and Don, I'm grateful to Ron D., Robin S., Mac M., Jerry S., two railfans from Oregon, and a Disney manager for helping to pay for materials. DET
DET 1/27/10 Work equipment - 046 DET 1/27/10 Posts are cemented in the ground 047 DET 1/28/10 From below w/bird feeder at right - 048
DET 1/2910 First section is finished - 049 DET 1/29/10 Boards are mounted to the posts - 050 DET 1/29/10 Second section is done - 051
DET 2/15/10 Old and new wall - 052 DET 3/10/10 New walkway - 040 DET 3/10/10 New walkway w/bird feeder - 041
DET 3/10/10 Finished wall - 043 DET 3/11/10 Above the rocks is the bench - 044 DET 3/11/10 Overall view of Hill 582 - 045
New benches/footrests on Hill 582
DET 4/22/10 Jerry removes the old stump - 104 DET 4/22/10 Drilling anchor bolt hole - 105 DET 4/22/10 Jerry Shinar levels stump # 1 - 102
DET 4/22/10 Mixing concrete for anchor  - 103 DET 4/22/10 Jerry levels second stump - 106 DET 4/22/10 Project finished w/BNSF EB - 107
Lastly, our home-made "dangerous critter" sign has been replaced with a professionally made sign --- fabricated and donated by RUEDI SCHAI (Switzerland).
DET 6/25/10 Warning sign on the Hill - 192 DET 6/25/10 New sign made in Switzerland - 193 DET 6/04/10 Robby the Rattler X - 194
A few weeks ago, Don Toles approached me with an idea to place American flags at the North end of Hill 582. So, we bought two 18 foot, collapsible and removable poles and two 3 feet by 5 feet U. S. flags. Last week Don and Jerry Shiner (of West Summit Island fame) dug the holes and cemented PVC sleeves at the North end of the hill. GGG
As you'll see in the attached (below), Don and Jerry used 5 gallon buckets with the PVC sleeves centered. Then they filled the buckets with concrete and packed the dirt into the surrounding area --- outside of the buckets. The poles are collapsible and removable. Don takes the poles and flags down every day and takes them home. The poles are about 5 feet long when collapsed and weigh around 5 pounds. The poles extend to 18 feet. We doubt that they would last long if we left them on the hill. The flags are 3 Feet by 5 Feet. The US Flag code directs that all other flags flown with our National Flag should be of equal size or smaller (0.9 Meters x 1.5 Meters). GGG
DET 8/18/10 BNSF 7743 WB on MT-3 - 285 DET 8/23/10 Flag pole construction w/UP train  286 DET 8/23/10 Don is checking if it is straight - 287
DET 8/23/10 Jerry does double checking - 288 DET 8/23/10 Construction / repair - 289 DET 8/23/10 BNSF 7512 EB w/left flag pole - 290
DET 8/23/10 BNSF 7512 EB w/right flag pole - 291 DET 8/23/10 UP-MP 1982 NB on UPT - 292 DET 8/20/10 UP (SP) AC4400 SB on UPT - 293
Here we go - the flags are waving in the wind and sure looking good !
GGG 8/30/10 New Flags on North side - 264 GGG 8/30/10 Looking North - 265 GGG 8/30/10 Done E. Toles - the idea man - 266
GGG 8/30/10 Don & Jerry - construction team - 267 GGG 8/30/10 UP 7815 EB pass new flag - 268 GGG 8/30/10 BNSF 4046 EB - 269
GGG 9/06/10 View from East side - 274 GGG 9/06/10 View from West side - 275 GGG 9/06/10 BNSF EB looking North - 276
GGG 9/10/10 US and UP flags welcome UP - 279 GGG 9/10/10 The good guys of Hill 582 - 280 GGG 9/10/10 Looking South from I-15 - 281
Colin Marsden (GB) joined us on Hill 582 last Friday (10/08/10) -- without the Union Jack which he had promised to bring! So, we made him pose with flag of "colonies". GGG
GGG 10/08/10 Bruce, Colin Marsden, Don - 309 GGG 10/08/10 Doc Jones, Colin, GGG - 310 GGG 10/08/10 Colin with the Cajon Mafia - 311
GGG 10/08/10 Colin Marsden saluts the US Flag - 312 GGG 10/08/10 Some unknown (to me) British railfans left this plaque on Hill 582 - 313 GGG 10/08/10 It is mounted on our warning sign post - 314
On October 13, 2010, Don, Marc & I had the pleasure of hosting Dave & Wendy from Wales (UK) on Hill 582. It was our first opportunity to fly a flag from one of the many nations represented in our INTERNATIONAL CAJON MAFIA group.
We hope for many more visits and many more flags. Thanks Wendy & Dave. GGG
GGG 10/13/10 Dave & Wendy w/their Flag - 327 GGG 10/13/10 GGG, DET, D&W, MF - 328 GGG 10/13/10 UP 4800 EB w/Wales Flag - 329

 

  News and Activities in 2011
Snow covered Winter Wonderland came to Hill 582 in early January 2011
MF 1/03/11 Snow covered Hill 582 - 1007 MF 1/03/11 Signal bridge near Hill 582 - 1008 MF 1/03/11 BNSF 7721-7724 WB helpers - 1009
RUS 1/04/11 Next day UP SB on UPT - 1019 RUS 1/04/11 UP SB pass Hill 582 - 1020 RUS 1/04/11 US & Swiss flags on Hill 582 - 1021
After all, the Swiss flag made it to Hill 582, thanks to Ruedi Schai. As some of you may know, Marc Fournier is a "half" Swiss because his father was born in Switzerland. No question, Ruedi is a "real" Swiss.
RUS 1/04/11 Marc w/US & Swiss Flags - 1022 RUS 1/04/11 Ruedi w/flags but w/o wind - 1023 RUS 1/04/11 Swiss Railfan Lincoln Navigator  1024
New Wall for the Southwest Corner of Hill 582
March 27, 2011 - Nearly normal rainfall this winter on Hill 582 has allowed the "hilltender" to devote some of his time to making repairs and improvements instead of watering the plants and trees. Total rainfall for this season amounts to approximately 21 inches as of this date. The rock wall at the southwest corner of the Hill had deteriorated over the years to where it looked more like a rock pile than a retaining wall (photo 1058). Over a period of several weeks, I removed much of the old wall, replacing it with a new wall constructed of blue granite rock that comes from the Davis Ranch area. Photos 1059 and 1060 show the completed wall. (DET)
DET early 2011 Old wall at SW corner Hill 582 - 1058 DET 3/09/11 New wall completed  - 1059 DET 3/09/11 New wall at SW corner - 1060
International Visitors on Hill 582
On June 22, 2011 there were more foreigeners on Hill 582 than Americans. Photo 1151: “The United Nations of the Cajon” - Don Toles and Jerry Shinar are talking to the 4 British and the only Swiss. Photo 1152: Don is holding the sign: Hey, are we having fun yet? Oh yes, we are sure having a lot of fun on Hill 582, Gary & Werner are holding the flag pole.
GGG 6/22/11 USA, GB and CH meeting - 1151 GGG 6/22/11 DET, GGG, WM w/Swiss flag - 1152 GGG 6/22/11 WM w/his flag and a train - 1153
Earlier this month (August 2011), Dave Tomeraasen and a group from San Diego joined Don, Marc and me on Hill 582 and later, the BNSF Barstow yard tower.
Photo 1194:
The group visits the wrecked and abandoned boxes near Davis Ranch Rd. Photo 1195: Hill 582 -- The lady in the upper left is Marc's mom Liliane. Photos 1196 - 1200: From the BNSF Barstow Yard Tower, we can see the huge BNSF classification yard. DET, DT, GGG
DT 8/11/11 Group at Davis Ranch Road - 1194 DT 8/11/11 Hill 582 incl. Marc's Mom - 1195 DT 8/11/11 inside Tower  - 1196
DT 8/11/11 BNSF Barstow Yard - 1197 DT 8/11/11 Barstow Yard - 1198 DT 8/11/11 inside Tower - 1199
DT 8/11/11 Barstow Yard Tower - 1200 DET 7/29/11 New Yucca on Hill 582 - 1201 DET 7/29/11 Men at work . . - 1202
DET 7/29/11 Hill 582 East side - 1203 DET 7/29/11 BNSF 7292 EB & Flag & Yucca  1204 DET 7/29/11 BNSF 7460 EB & new Yucca - 1205
Photos 1228 - 1232: On September 2, Don took these of the "hill" fire near Cajon Summit. The Cal-Fire aircraft are an ex-Navy P-2 sub hunter and Erickson SkyCrane .
DET 9/02/11 Near Interstate 15 - 1228 DET 9/02/11 Trucks are still rolling uphill - 1229 DET 9/02/11 ex. Navy P-2 sub hunter - 1230
DET 9/02/11 Erickson SkyCrane - 1231 DET 9/02/11 SkyCrane is dropping water - 1232 DET 10/04/11 Pouring concrete - 1233
Photos 1233 - 1236: The punks were back and rolled one of the stump footrests down the hill. Don & Jerry retrieved the stump. Jerry drilled the stump, placed the rebar, dug a hole and cemented the stump in place. It'll take a bulldozer to move it --- Good Work guys (GGG)
DET 10/04/11 Iron rods go into foundation - 1234 DET 10/04/11 Jerry says: It is level - 1235 DET 10/04/11 Looks perfect, after all - 1236
Photos 1237 - 1238: Martina McBride, a famous Country & Western Star, launched her new album with a cross country tour via private Amtrak train. Here, the train is EB on BNSF MT # 3. http://www.theboot.com/2011/10/13/martina-mcbride-train-trip/
DET 10/10/11 Martina McBride Tour Train - 1237 DET 10/10/11 Special lettering of superliners - 1238 DET 10/20/11 UP EC-4 Track Geometry Car - 1239
DET 10/13/11 BNSF 7908 EB on MT-1 - 1240 DET The traditional Hill 582 "Money Shot" - 1241 DET 10/13/11 Bird feeder on Hill 582 - 1242
DET 10/13/11 Memorials w/BNSF 7544 EB  - 1243 DET 10/13/11 Plaque of W. Garner - 1244 DET 10/13/11 Plaque: D. Burton & E. Delvers - 1245
Thanks to some rain and LOADS of HARD WORK by Don and a very few friends, Hill 582 is a truly lush oasis this year --- it has never looked better. The memorials were crafted and donated by Ruedi Schai (Switzerland). GGG
DET 10/13/11 BNSF 7552 WB on MT-3 - 1246 DET 10/13/11 take a rest on the bench - 1247 DET 10/13/11 Memorials of Hill 582 - 1248
Nov 15/16, 2011: Marc and I hosted Ruedi and Martin (Switzerland) at "Gray's Hill & Frost last week. (See photos 1267-1271 here: XC-08)
GGG 11/15/11 Ruedi at Frost - 1276 GGG 11/15/11 GGG, Ruedi, Martin, MF - 1277 GGG 11/15/11 at the Road House - 1278

 

News and Activities in 2012
Jan 25, 2012: Michael Frei (Switzerland) was visitting Hill 582 and met Don, Gary and Marc.
It was a pleasure to meet you guys up on the Hill today. I got a lot of new information - especially from Marc - about the operation on Cajon Pass and I was honored to see the waving Swiss flag on Hill 582. I appreciate that and I would like to thank you for the hospitality you gave me at this spectacular railfanning hot spot! It's nice to know that you have some other "crazy guys" around the world with the same hobby. Michael Frei (MIF).
Photo 2046 taken by GGG and photos 2047-2048 taken by MIF.
Michael is also having some photos on our Cajon Pass Photo Pages. Take a look here: 2007/2008 = XC-24 and 2009 = XC-23
GGG 1/25/12 Michael, Marc, Don, Gary - 2046 MIF 1/25/12 Gary and Marc relaxing - 2047 MIF 1/25/12 BNSF EB on MT-1 - 2048
Greetings from COLD SoCal, ! ! Last Friday (March 16), a group met on Hill 582 to greet good friends Dave & Wendy from Wales. After a very dry and warm winter, we met on the coldest and windiest day of this winter. Most of the time, we could only hear the trains passing the Hill.
2157-2158: The "perfect photographic meet" -- BNSF 6718 WB and UP 8593 EB -- too bad we couldn't see most of the action. 2160: The group under OLD GLORY and the Flag of Wales: DET, Mac, Wendy, Keith, Marc & GGG (right) & Dave (front left). 2161: The Flags proudly fly over Hill 582. 2162: Dave & Wendy at the Shoo-Fly in much better High Desert Weather.  -  Enjoy  -  GGG
GGG 3/16/12 BNSF 6718 WB - 2157 GGG 3/16/12 UP 8593 EB - 2158 GGG 3/16/12 BNSF 6903 EB - 2159
GGG 3/16/12 Dave & Wendy & group - 2160 GGG 3/16/12 Flag of Wales  -  2161 GGG 3/16/12 Dave & Wendy at Ranchero Rd. - 2162
July 25: Some views of / from Hill 582 by Don E Toles between 11/18/11 and 5/22/12
2448-49: America & Cajon the Beautiful. 2453: Jerry Shinar (of West Summit Island fame) decorates the once ugly culvert just RR East of Hill 582. DET/GGG


DET 4/04/12 UP NB on UPT - 2452

DET 3/20/12 BNSF EB on MT1 - 2448 DET 11/18/11 BNSF with US and Swiss Flag - 2455 DET 3/20/12 BNSF WB on MT2 - 2449
DET 5/04/12 Hill 582 memorials - 2456 DET 11/18/11 Dramatic sky over Hill 582 - 2457 DET 3/07/12 Jerry, the painter (read above) - 2453
DET 5/22/12 BNSF EB w/Hill 582 plants - 2451 DET 5/22/12 UP 8546 EB - 2454 DET 5/22/12 Gopher Snake (no poison) - 2450
July 27: Today's Cajon Mafia membership welcomed the return of Great Britain's "Lord" Colin Marsden. Colin was actually here to RECLAIM the Colonies for the Crown however one look at the assembled Mafia Members changed his mind. As you know, Colin has had an interesting (destructive) history with U.S. Hire Car Corporations. At lunch, we congratulated Colin on having driven a rental car for four whole days WITHOUT destroying it !!!!!  After lunch at da Dump in Hesperia, CA, Colin showed us what was left of his brand new 2012 Ford Flex (stone hit the windshield). OH WELL - - - GGG
GGG 7/27/12 Colin Marsden - 2488 GGG 7/27/12 Cajon Mafia w/Colin - 2489 GGG 7/27/12 Colin shows us the damage - 2490
August 8: The first time ever, the Nipkow family of Switzerland visited Hill 582 today. They got a warm welcome with the Swiss flag waving and Don, Marc and Gary.They all enjoyed their visit and they did get to see quite a bit of RR action! We didn't spend more than three hours on the Hill because it was really HOT (104F) today. Here are a few from today. GGG
GGG 8/08/12 Daniel, Kim, Mel, Zvezdana - 2524 GGG 8/08/12 Gary, Don, Marc, the Nipkows - 2525 GGG 8/08/12 Mother and Son taking pictures - 2526
GGG 8/08/12 Two trains at the same time - 2527 GGG 8/08/12 Nipkow Family w/Don E. Toles - 2528 GGG 8/08/12 Whole group together - 2529
November 28: Marc & I had a very nice few hours on Hill 582 with Brigitte and Paul (Switzerland) today. We sure put the Swiss flag up. It was cool & windy ahead of a small approaching storm. RR traffic was heavy but routine. GGG
GGG 11/28/12 Marc, Paul, Brigitte, Gary - 2696 GGG 11/28/12 Brigitte & Paul on Hill 582 - 2697 GGG 11/28/12 Always nice to meet on the Hill - 2698
GGG 11/28/12 BNSF 7427 EB on MT-2 - 2699 GGG 11/28/12 BNSF EB growls uphill - 2700 GGG 11/28/12 UP 5336 SB on UPT - 2701
December 10: As you may remember, during 2010, the Hill 582 bunch erected bases for flag poles on Hill 582. Of course, American flags will always be displayed, but we've always wanted to fly BNSF & UP flags below "Old Glory". Jerry, from West Summit Island, found a UP flag and loaned it to 582, but we have been unable to find a BNSF flag. Well, thanks to Ruedi Schai of RS DESIGNS (Switzerland) http://www.rsgraphic.ch/index.php?id=8, we now have a perfectly done BNSF flag.
2729-31: show the displayed flags and the group -- Ruedi is on the far right. Naturally, for our first pictures, the wind was blowing from the "wrong" direction.
2732-33: BNSF 7902 and DPU's are WB with the BOMB (ethanol) train. 2734-36: Views of two "bare table" EB's stopped at Hill 582.
2737: A BNSF sign, again designed and built by Ruedi, for Jerry (WSI). WELL DONE RUEDI and many thanks !!!!  GGG
GGG 12/10/12 New BNSF Flag on Hill 582 - 2729 GGG 12/10/12 BNSF and UP w/US Flags - 2730 GGG 12/10/12 Gary, Don, Marc, Ruedi - 2731
GGG 12/10/12 BNSF 7902 WB ethanol train - 2732 GGG 12/10/12 BNSF DPU's WB - 2733 GGG 12/10/12 BNSF 5903 EB - 2734
GGG 12/10/12 UP 2457 EB - 2735 GGG 12/10/12 UP EMD SD60M - 2736 GGG 12/10/12 Ruedi, Marc, Don, Jerry - 2737

 

News and Activities in 2013
May 7, 2013: Eugen Haenseler (Switzerland) was visitting Hill 582.
No question, Hill 582 is not only a railfan's paradise, but also an oasis for the desert wildlife and especially for the birds.
Eugen is also having some photos on our Cajon Pass Photo Pages. Take a look here: 2013 = XC-42
5/07/13 Bird feeder with one bird - 424 The next bird is on approach - 425 Just sit on the bench and enjoy - 426
The bird feeder is on the East side of Hill 582. It was built by Don Toles "The Hilltender" to give natural wildlife a chance to survive in the desert.
Birds paradise - 427 and another one is here - 428 Well, rattle snakes are common on the Hill - 434
July 19, 2013: Visitors from Luxembourg (Europe) with Patrick Bopp emerged Hill 582. Thanks to Don, Gary and Marc, they were able to rise the flags of Luxembourg (small flag) and CFL (Chemin de Fer Luxembourgeois and in English it means: the Iron Route of Luxembourg, which is the national rail road company of Lux. on Hill 582. How about if CFL would stand for: California Freight Lines?  (PB and WM)  GGG
GGG 7/19/13 - 3119
René Grignard (behind), from left: Claude Schmit,
Chantal Boden, Patrick Bopp
GGG 7/19/13 - 3120
Luxembourg Crew, Don Toles, Gary Gray
and Marc Fournier
GGG 7/19/13 - 3121
Top = Flag of Luxembourg
Below = Flag of CFL (see text above)
GGG 7/19/13 Our European Visitors - 3118 GGG 7/19/13 USA welcomes Europe - 3122 GGG 7/19/13 BNSF 7919 EB on MT-1 - 3123
PB 7/19/13 The Luxembourg Crew - 3112 PB 7/19/13 Luxembourg and CFL flags - 3113 PB 7/19/13 Hill 582 memorials - 3114
PB 7/19/13 BNSF 7151 EB on MT-1 - 3115 PB 7/19/13 BNSF WB DBS on MT-3 - 3116 PB 7/19/13 BNSF WB manifest and TOFC - 3117
Patrick Bopp (actually his friend) took a movie. It is a little bit unstable but still worth to see - take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXeqcYWS_1c

 

Hill 582 got a second bench on the east side (built by Jerry Shinar)
This morning (October 16, 2013), Jerry Shinar and I installed a new bench on Hill 582. The wooden base is a 14" x 15" x 33" piece of bridge timber that Jerry obtained from the Santa Fe Railway many years ago. The Hill 582 note book box is mounted on the other half of the bench base bridge timber. Don E. Toles


DET 10/16/13 New bench components - 3133



DET 10/16/13 Jerry, concrete ready to put - 3135-2

DET 10/16/13 Jerry S. mixing concrete - 3134 DET 10/16/13 Jerry checking the mixture - 3135-4 DET 10/16/13 Completed new bench - 3135

 

November 1: We had a good morning on Hill 582 last Friday with LOADS of trains - in both directions using all tracks.
# 3148: Joining the regulars were Michael Frei (kneeling) from Switzerland and our newest member, "Butch" Fahnestock (far right) from Apple Valley.
# 3149-3150: Although we had plenty of train traffic, there was nothing of great interest except for this 10,000 footer (with DPU's) WB from Hill 582. This train was special in that the head end had disappeared from view West of 582 before the DPU's appeared rounding the Summit curve.
# 3151-3153: The last three pictures are by Michael Frei.  GGG
GGG 11/04/13 The Group on the Hill - 3148 GGG 11/04/13 BNSF 7362 WB -3149 GGG 11/04/13 DPU's for WB -3150
MIF 11/04/13 Marc (right side) - 3151 MIF 11/04/13 Gary, Don & Michael - 3152 MIF 11/04/13 Don standing and Gary- 3153
December 24: Well, the year 2013 is almost over. Don, Marc and Gary are wishing us Merry Christmas and a Super New Year 2014.
We thank these 3 gentlemen for sending us accurate and great photos about Cajon and Hill 582 - it is highly appreciated (WM)
GGG 12/24/13 Gary, Marc and Don on Hill 582
looking forward to 2014 - 3219
GGG 12/24/13 BNSF 6509 WB pass OLD GLORY flying on Hill 582 - 3220 GGG 12/24/13 BNSF 6641 + 4 other diesels are EB pass Hill 582 - 3221
December 24: # 3222: Don, Marc & I hosted the Nipkow family (Switzerland) on Hill 582.
Kim Nipkow is the famous builder of Hill 582 in HO scale --- take a look: click here
# 3223: Santa Mel Nipkow. # 3224: Beautiful Christmas eve in the Cajon.   GGG/MF/DET
GGG 12/24/13 Kim, Mel, Daniel, Zvezdana - 3222 GGG 12/24/13 Santa Mel Nipkow - 3223 GGG 12/24/13 Christmas Eve - 3224

 

News and Activities in 2014
April 28, 2014: On this Monday, the Union Pacific RR moved the "Big Boy" from UP Colton over Cajon to UP Yermo. Railfans and the curious were EVERYWHERE with, at least, 1000 folks crowded into the small BNSF Yard in Victorville. Motive power was provided by UP SD70M's 4014 & 4884.
# 3318:
BHJ EB From Hill 582. # 3319-3320: DET EB From Hill 582 with UP & US Flags (the perfect saluting to the Big Boy).
BHJ 4/28/14 UP 4014 EB from Hill 582 - 3318 DET 4/28/14 UP 4014 w/crowded Hill 582 - 3319 DET 4/28/14 UP & US Flags are saluting - 3320
More photos of the Big Boy Transfer - click here

 

News and Repairs on Hill 582 during 2014 and 2015 (added on 7/06/15)
starting September 10, 2014 and ending February 2, 2015:
Marc Fournier and Don Jocelyn helping Don build / rebuild a wooden and a stone wall on Hill 582.
# 4311: Blue granite topping added to Westside lower pathway retaining wall.

# 4312 thru # 4314: Don Jocelyn and Marc Fournier reposition wooden retaining divider wall on east side.

# 4315 thru # 4321: Photos showing progressive reconstruction of a collapsed section of the Westside blue granite rock retaining wall. Three vertical plywood panels were buried inside the wall to reduce pressure against the rock wall. it took a month for Don Jocelyn and the Hilltender to complete the rebuilding project. The blue granite rocks on Hill 582 are not native to Cajon Pass. The Southern Pacific Railroad brought in the blue granite in the late 1980's to fill in a washout along the Palmdale Cutoff near the old Davis Ranch. Several years later the railroad created a new drainage ditch in the area, and the old drainage site was abandoned. Although a permit is required in order to remove rock from the National Forest, the USFS has no objections to us moving the blue granite rocks for use on Hill 582.
DET 9/10/14 Westside lower pathway - 4311 DET 12/22/14 Don Jocelyn & Marc Fournier - 4312 DET 12/22/14 they help with the wooden - 4313
DET 12/22/14 retaining wall on east side - 4314 DET 1/05/15 Reconstruction of granite - 4315 DET 1/15/15 rock retaining wall on the - 4316
DET 1/16/15 Westside (Don Jocelyn) - 4317 DET 1/21/15 - 4318 DET 1/21/15 - 4319
DET 1/26/15 almost finished retaining wall from above - 4320 DET 2/02/15 and from below - 4321

 

Latest pictures of Hill 582  (added on 8/02/15)
East side of Hill 582 taken by Kim Nipkow July 24, 2015  (see all 20 photos of the Hill) - click here

 

Sunday August 9, 2015 on Hill 582 (added 8/10/2015)
Once again, Michael Frei spent his "off" Sunday on Hill 582. This Sunday was full of action. Within 2 hours 7 train meets and between 09.00 h and 14.00 h a total of 66 trains!! Up to 7 people (railfans) spent their time on Hill 582. Even George Cataulin of Left Coast Rail Videos was there and was flying a quadcopter for taking pictures and movies.  http://www.leftcoastrailvideos.com/
# 5175: This BNSF "monster train" has 214 cars (> 400 Containers), 3 head end locos, 2 mid train helpers (DPU's) and 1 rear end helper (DPU).
MIF 8/09/15 BNSF WB w/CSX on MT-1 - 5168 MIF 8/09/15 BNSF EB w/Cityrail loco - 5169 MIF 8/09/15 UP NB on UPT, BNSF below - 5170
MIF 8/09/15 Quadcopter in the air (middle) - 5171 MIF 8/09/15 George Cataulin in action - 5172 MIF 8/09/15 UP SB on UPT - 5173
MIF 8/09/15 BNSF meet of WB and EB trains - 5174 MIF 8/09/15 BNSF WB monster train with 214 cars - 5175
BNSF WB Monster Train from the air by George Cataulin on 8/09/15 at noon (5'36"):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk9gdDEBkr8

 

Friday September 18, 2015 British Friends on Hill 582 (added 9/21/2015)
Last Friday (9/18) was a near perfect day on Hill 582. Fairly cool, with VERY bright sun, VERY HEAVY train traffic and a visit from four British Friends. Colin Marsden (GB) brought 3 friends with him. They were fully intent on reclaiming the Hill for the British Crown but --- Don and I fought them off HE HE.

# 5204: DET with our British friends on Hill 582. # 5205: The Brit's paying PROPER RESPECT to OLD GLORY.
# 5206-5207: BNSF 4159 EB rounding the MP 58.2 curve and passing OLD GLORY.
# 5208-5209: BNSF 6749 is WB. The #4 unit is BNSF 3940, a brand new ET44C4 (T4) --- The T-4 meaning that the unit is compliant with the newest Environmental Regulations. # 5210: We've had good rainfall lately and the plants on the hill reflect the moisture.
# 5211: BNSF 6690 WB. # 5212: UP 8259 is SB with SP/UP 6271.   Enjoy, GGG
GGG 9/18/15 Don w/the British Friends - 5204 GGG 9/18/15 The Brit's paying respect - 5205 GGG 9/18/15 BNSF 4159 EB MT-1 - 5206
GGG 9/18/15 Same train passing Old Glory - 5207 GGG 9/18/15 BNSF 6749 WB on MT-2 - 5208 9/18/15 BNSF 3940 brand new ET44C4 - 5209
9/18/15 Hill 582 vegetation is doing great - 5210 GGG 9/18/15 BNSF 6690 WB - 5211 GGG 9/18/15 UP 8259 SB and ex. SP 6271 - 5212

 

SOUTHEAST CORNER RENOVATION PROJECT - HILL 582 - SUMMER 2015 (added 9/24/2015)
The original Cajon Pass hill that became Hill 582 was merely a 1950's fire-break created by the AT&SF Railway along a narrow ridge ending at the North Track. Over the years, off-road enthusiasts turned the fire-break into a narrow road with steep slopes on both sides. In order to provide more usable space along the ridge, the creators of Hill 582 built rock retaining walls, reinforced with used lumber, on both sides of the hill, back-filling the open space with sandy soil from a near-by wash. That method worked quite well until the extremely wet winter of 1997-1998 when some of the rock walls came tumbling down multiple times. The solution was the creation of sturdy wooden walls along both sides of the hill. In 2002 a major wildfire burned both sides of the hill, severely damaging the wooden walls. According to Chard Walker, the area had not burned since 1964. Scorched wood is visible to this day in spots where the old wooden walls remain exposed. In order to protect the wooden walls, rock walls were then added to the outside of the wood walls. The southeast corner, however, never received the protective rock wall because all the large rocks that had collapsed during the wet winter were used to cover up the scorched wooden wall that was further up the east side. Those rocks, now mostly covered by cactus, have held together well and remain in place today.

The wooden retaining wall along the southeast corner north of the pine tree gradually rotted away. Not wanting to disturb the old wall, in spring 2010 the Hilltender, aided by Steve, a volunteer, built a new, higher wall using pressure-treated lumber and posts, and leaving an open-space, air-filled gap of two feet behind the new wall that, in effect, hid the old wall. Exterior grade plywood decking covered the gap. While the integrity of the outside 2010 wall has not deteriorated, the old wall along the inside of the gap has continued to decay - aided by the ever-digging ground squirrels and rodents. This created numerous surface holes and sunken areas in the flat, gravel-covered area near the bird feeder. Dirt and gravel falling into the gap was constantly building up and thus increasing pressure against the outside wall. So how can we correct this perplexing situation?

To the rescue comes Jerry S. who offers to donate a substantial quantity of pressure-treated lumber along with sufficient used composite decking to cover the entire area south of the bird feeder. The pressure-treated lumber was used to create a sub-base that supports the decking. It's all held together by 3-inch dry-wall screws. The first step, however, was to remove the accumulated gravel and dirt that had built up behind the outside wall. Don J. joined Jerry and the Hilltender in accomplishing the dusty job - on a hot, summer day! The photos below show how the project proceeded. The final step was to install a sturdy railing to prevent someone from falling over the side. Tom (aka Mountain Man), a frequent visitor for many years, made a generous donation to cover the cost of the railing lumber and paint. Thank you Jerry, Don J. and Tom for your hard work and generous donations to Hill 582!      Don E. Toles
DET 9/02/15 Support for plywood covering gap.
5213
DET 9/02/15 Jerry S. ready to go to work.
5214
DET 9/02/15 Decking in place - trial run.
5215
DET 9/02/15 Jerry S. and Don J. laying decking.
5216
DET 9/02/15 Jerry and Don secure the planks.
5217
DET 9/02/15 It's sure hard on the knees!
5218
DET 9/02/15 Don J. constructs the railing. - 5219 DET 9/02/15 Railing nearing completion. - 5220 DET 9/02/15 Don J. sanding the handrail. - 5221
DET 9/02/15 Don J. removing accumulated dirt.
5222
DET 9/02/15 Don J. painting the handrail.
5223
GGG 9/18/15 Project completed - Thanks guys!
5224

 

As the real Hill 582 got a railing, it was a must to add it on my HO scale layout (added 9/27/2015)
I am currently working on my own version of Hill 582 in HO scale (1:87). When I got the photos of the latest Hill 582 project, I decided to add some wooden decking and the new railings as well. Actually not an easy job as everything is 87 times smaller. Nevertheless, the result can been seen below. Glad to know, that Don Toles said, my work looks realistic, almost like the real thing.   Werner Meer
Want to see more photos of building my scale version of Hill 582? - click here
WM 9/27/15 New railing - 1340 WM 9/27/15 Looking from front side - 1338 WM 9/27/15 Railing, decking, bird feeder - 1341
WM 9/27/15 From above wooden decking - 1337 WM 9/27/15 Looking from the memorials - 1347 WM 9/27/15 Railing and benches - 1343

 

SOUTHEAST CORNER RENOVATION PROJECT - PART 2 - Fall 2015 (added 10/11/2015)
DET added even more decking and another railing to the South Eastern end of Hill 582. The place truly is a 'Garden Spot' in the Desert.
Well Done Don  -  GGG
DET 9/30/15 More wooden decking - 5252 DET 9/30/15 BNSF 7996 EB on MT-3 - 5253 DET 9/30/15 Cannot work, another train - 5254
DET 9/30/15 Gap on first part is covered - 5255 DET 10/02/15 New addtl. railing - 5256 GGG 10/09/15 Don "Creative Director" - 5257

 

August 18, 2016:  Yes, Hill 582 is intact and survived the bad Blue Cut Fire !!
DET sent these 2 photos, taken today, by 'a friend of Hill 582'.
All things considered and after a quick look, the Hill APPEARS to have survived well.
8/18/16 View from trackside BNSF MT-1 and MT-2 - BCF-30 8/18/16 View from West side - BCF-31
August 19, 2016: Don Toles & Jerry Shinar visited Hill 582 this AM - Below is his report:
 
"Nothing burned on the Hill even though the fire burned at the North end up to the flagpole rocks. The West side didn't burn, but the fire came up the East side but didn't even singe the Hill. Talk about miracles - they do happen!"
   GGG
Just heard, from DET, that WSI (West Summit Island) was also spared damage --- although the area AROUND WSI was consumed by the fire.   GGG
August 19, 2016: Don Toles was able to visit Hill 582 and take some accurate photos
DET 8/19/16 dark areas = burned - 6101 DET 8/19/16 both sides are burned - 6102 DET 8/19/16 below it was burned - 6103
DET 8/19/16 BNSF and UP tracks - 6104 DET 8/19/16 everything was hit - 6105 DET 8/19/16 Southeast side of the Hill - 6106
Lucky, Hill 582 was untouched by these huge fires. Thanks God, there are no more bushes to the top of the Hill which probably protected it !!

updated: April 17, 2017

April 10, 2017:  Hill 582 by Robert Starbuck
Robert Starbuck, a member of this Cajon Mafia Photographic Group sends these photos:
BTW: After the Blue Cut Fire the vegetation is coming back !
ROS 4/10/17 Son Jim on the Hill - 7055 ROS 4/10/17 Wild flowers on Hill 582 - 7056 ROS 4/10/17 Wild flowers on Hill 582 - 7057
ROS 4/10/17 Panorama looking East toward Summit with MT-3 in the foreground - 7058

updated: May 13, 2017

May 12, 2017:  Hill 582 Memorials by Karl Joost.
Greetings from Hill 582. My dear friend Karl Joost, a Union Pacific conductor in Chicago, has been visiting me all this week. I asked Karl to take photos of the newly upgraded Hill 582 memorial plaques that were made and donated by Rudie Schai. They replaced the original framed plaques that were badly faded by the constant exposure to the sun on the hill. The frames had to be replaced annually. Rudie's new plaques are mounted directly to the concrete cubes (no frames) and he says they should last about 15 years.   DET / KJ
   
7060                                -                               7067                                -                                 7059
   
7061                                -                                7063                                -                                7062
   
7064                                -                                7065                                -                                7066

 

Album 46

Cajon Pass Hill 582
Photo Collection
June 2017


Photos by Peter Roesner (Switzerland)

Updated: 9/10/17
Hill 582 view from Southside - PR-79 See all 90 photos - click here Hill 582 view from Westside  - PR-82

 

Access to Hill 582
September 5, 2017: Please note - due to the construction of the realignment project of Highway 138, there might be no access to Hill 582 in using the Parker Ranch Road anymore. "The hilltender was told by a fence company worker that a pad-locked gate will be installed at the entrance from Hwy 138 to Parker Ranch Road. As of 09-04-17 no gate had been installed."

 

September 14, 2017: As per the latest information of the Lytle Creek Ranger Station, we were told that the
Cajon Pass fire closure has been lifted - good news indeed. (Don E. Toles)

Copyright by Don E. Toles (with permission Werner Meer)

Go back to Hill 582 Main Page - click here

Did you see Hill 582 - The Early Years? - click here

8 different and detailed Maps of Cajon Pass with captions (Mile Posts and Location) by Gary G. Gray - click here
New 8/11: Maps "How to find" Hill 582, Sullivan's Curve, Noisy Point by Gary G. Gray - click here
Accurate Map of Cajon Pass with 3rd Main Track by Michael Amrine - click here

Below are links to the Cajon Pass Photo Collection by Don E. Toles, Gary G. Gray, Marc Fournier
History of Hill 582 photos - click here Ranchero Road Project - click here Colton Flyover Project - click here
Page 1 with 2006 photos - click here Page 2 with 2007 photos - click here Page 3 with 2008 photos - click here
Page 4 with 2009 photos - click here Page 5 with 2010 photos - click here Page 6 with 2011 photos - click here
Page 7 with 2012 photos - click here Page 8 with 2013 photos - click here Page 9 with 2014 photos - click here
Page 10 with 2015 photos - click here Page 11 with 2016 photos - click here Page 12 with 2017 photos - click here

 

Below are links to the BNSF 3rd Main Track Project - 2007 and 2008
Page 1: 3rd MT Project - click here Page 2: 3rd MT Project - click here Page 3: 3rd MT Project - click here
Page 4: 3rd MT Project - click here Page 5: 3rd MT Project - click here Page 6: 3rd MT Project - click here
Page 7: 3rd MT Project - click here Page 8: 3rd MT Project - click here Page 9: 3rd MT Project - click here

In Memory of Chard L. Walker (1922 - 2007) - click here

Go back to Cajon Pass Main Page - click here

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