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updated: April 9, 2017 (photos 082-087)

Cajon Pass Sub Photo Collection
Highway 138 Realignment Project
2016 - 2017

I am very pleased to show some exclusive photos of these photographers:
Don E. Toles (DET), Gary G. Gray (GGG), Marc Fournier (MF)
Bruce "Doc" Jones (BHJ)
Michael Frei (MIF) (more to follow)

A big thank you for sharing these excellent pictures with us.
Note: The copyright belongs to these gentlemen. Do not use any photos without written permission.

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:
more detailed infos with different maps:

Hwy 138 looking toward Summit. Photo Courtesy (copyright):
San Bernardino County Sherrif's Department

Hwy 138 is famous for the mountain style road with tight curves, up and down with grade up to 15 %. Every railfan knows this road very well while hanging around Cajon Pass.
Photo copyright: The Daily Press, Victorville, CA

close up of Summit w/BNSF tracks. Photo Courtesy (copyright):
San Bernardino County Sherrif's Department

all photos are copyright by the original photographer and as
mentioned with each picture.
This curvy and hilly road will be history in 2018.
Photo copyright: The Daily Press, Victorville, CA

Abbreviations found on this page: EB = East Bound, NB = North Bound, SB = South Bound, WB = West Bound
For bigger size photos - please click on the 3-digit number below each photo (the first letters specify the photographer).

October 29, 2016: Highway 138 (East) Realignment Project. Photos by Michael Frei.
There is not much going on regarding the construction in late October. Lots of equipment and huge pipes are on a fenced site.
MIF 10/29/16 - 001 MIF 10/29/16 - 002
MIF 10/29/16 - 003 MIF 10/29/16 - 004
MIF 10/29/16 - 005 MIF 10/29/16 - 006

updated: February 5, 2017

January 30, 2017: Highway 138 (East) Realignment Project.
Don, Marc & I are doing our best to document the realignment and rebuilding of CA SR (State Route) 138 between I-15 & Cajon Summit. Any who have driven this existing "highway" know of its amazing Roller Coaster / Switch Back (lack of safety) design. The hills between the older & lower alignment and the new highway make it difficult to photograph construction progress.   GGG, MF, DET

Pictures #008 - #013 were taken between (A),
the HWY 138 Summit & (BR-3)-Bridge #3.
#1 I further edited a CALTRANS / RUS map of the project. (A), (B), (BR) etc identify our approximate Photo locations with (BR-1, -2, or -3) also noting where the three new bridges will be built. - 007
GGG 12/14/16 Looking Compass East, the new Summit route of Hwy 138 can be seen. - 008 GGG 12/14/16 However, the new highway will be much lower - close to BNSF track level. - 009
GGG 1/30/17 #010 Looking NW, track level and the new highway excavation can be seen.  - 010 GGG 1/30/17 #011 Looking W, the existing Hwy 138 and the new route can be seen.  - 011
GGG 1/30/17 - 012  the World's bravest, or most skilled, - - - - - - or most suicidal dozer operator.  GGG 1/30/17 - 013
GGG 1/30/17 - 014 GGG 1/30/17 - 015
#014 & #015 Looking East from (BR-3), the Eastern abutment and Eastern pier of Bridge 3 are pictured. It is our understanding that after the abutments and piers are completed, the entire area will be filled in and the bridge will be built on solid ground. That technique eliminates much of the expensive false work & concrete pumping. Of course, after bridge completion, the excess dirt will be dug out returning normal drainage to the area.

 updated: March 11, 2017

March 1, 2017: Highway 138 (East) Realignment Project.
Bruce "Doc" Jones made some accurate pictures on March 1 of the Hwy 138 construction site at Summit incl. 4 photos of train action as seen from the Summit overlook. Please refer position (A) and (BR #3) on the map (007) above.
BHJ 3/01/17 From Post Office Rd & Hwy 138, a view of the Summit Overlook and the beginning changes to Hill above the overlook. - 016 BHJ 3/01/17 Climbing to the Summit Overlook ---- (A) on map - 017
BHJ 3/01/17 Climbing to the Summit Overlook ---- (A) on map - 018 BHJ 3/01/17 From the Summit Overlook, East to Post office RD. The new SR 138 alignment will connect to the present 138, just this side of P. O. Road.  - 019
BHJ 3/01/17 From the Overlook, West showing both old & new SR 138 alignments.  - 020 BHJ 3/01/17 From (BR #3), pier & abutment progress on new Bridge #3.
- 021
BHJ 3/01/17 BNSF 5000 EB on MT-1 from Overlook  - 022 BHJ 3/01/17 BNSF 6891 EB on MT-3 Summit Curve - 023
BHJ 3/01/17 BNSF 6851 EB on MT-1 - 024 BHJ 3/01/17 BNSF 6949 WB from MT-3 to MT-2 - 025
March 9, 2017: Highway 138 (East) Realignment Project.
I've was up at the Summit Overlook yesterday (09 March 17) to get some stills and video before it comes down. I talked to one of the field engineers from one of the contractors on the project and he said indeed both the overlook and the big hill across the highway were coming down. I'm assuming (that can be dangerous) that the overlook and the hill will end up being fill in the ravine west of the overlook. All along the route from the road to Hill 582 up to Summit there is a lot of construction acitvity and grading. It's going to be a lot different up there when they finish.  Bruce "Doc" Jones
BTW, there is a road closure in effect from March 21 to April 4.
I'm assuming (dangerous again) that it will begin at the I-15/138 junction. Not sure where it will be on the east end.

updated: March 23, 2017

March 20, 2017: Highway 138 (East) Realignment Project.
On 20 March, Marc & I decided to photograph the 138 Cajon Summit area while we still had complete access. Naturally, we had to visit Don on Hill 582 and wound up the day with lunch at DA DUMP.   GGG, MF & DET
GGG 3/20/17 Summit Hill, the Summit overlook & BNSF track level at Cajon Summit. It APPEARS that Most of Summit Hill will be removed. We have been told that the new SR 138, at Summit, will be down near BNSF track level.  - 026 GGG 3/20/17 Close up of Summit Hill from Post Office Road. In front is the current location Highway 138.  - 027
GGG 3/20/17 From Summit Overlook (A) on MAP, BNSF 7442 is EB with an empty ethanol. - 028 GGG 3/20/17 From Summit Overlook, looking West at old & new road alignments and drainage installation.  - 029
From (BR #3), the Eastern abutment & three sets of piers for Bridge #3 are shown. Much of the dirt removed from Summit Hill will be used to build up the area to the tops of the abutments so that the bridge can be built on solid ground. This technique will eliminate the tremendous cost of building all of the support structure & 'false work', strong enough to support tons & tons of steel and concrete 30+ feet above the existing grade. Obviously, after bridge construction is complete, the supporting dirt will be removed and the terrain restored to it's present contours.
GGG 3/20/17 - 030 GGG 3/20/17 - 031
GGG 3/20/17 View of Bridge #3 and the road alignment East toward Cajon Summit.  - 032 GGG 3/20/17 View FROM HILL 582, the eastern half of the project is shown starting at Bridge #3. - 033

updated: March 29, 2017

March 22, 2017: Highway 138 (East) Realignment Project.
With the SR 138 closure, MAD Marc has spent the last few days searching for and finding a new viewpoint to show the project. The work, for the last week, has centered on cutting away the Summit Hill (above the Summit Overlook).
Marc's new vantage is across the BNSF triple mains from the SR 138 Summit Overlook. As normal with MAD MARC, the off the road King, getting there is
MORE THAN HALF the "FUN". This new place where no man has ever wanted to go is now officially known as
Using eight twin engine "scrapers", three HUGE "dozers", and numerous generator powered flood lights, the excavation has continued for, at least, two shifts per day & six days a week. MF
MF 3/22/17 Overview of Summit Overlook Hill.  - 034 MF 3/22/17 Six of the eight scrapers climb the very steep ramp on the East end of the Hill, scrape a load and ----  - 035
MF 3/22/17 - 036 MF 3/22/17 - 037
Descend the even steeper WEST ramp to deposit their loads to elevate the canyon between the Overlook and Bridge #3--- (A) & (BR#3) on map. Note that 'down ramp' was built over the existing SR 138. When empty, the scrappers climb the shorter ramp up to SR 138, travel East and repeat the process. Of course, SR 138 is still closed for any traffic and should be reopened after April 4.
MF 3/22/17 Empty scrappers climb the shorter ramp up to SR 138, travel East and go up (photo 035) to load dirt. - 038 MF 3/22/17 While a scrapper travels East on SR 138 to grab another load, a precariously placed dozer pushes dirt over the side of the Hill.  - 039
MF 3/22/17 BNSF 6793 is WB under the Overlook & ramps. - 040 MF 3/22/17 BNSF 6793 is WB under heavy equipment - 041
While photographing the realignment of SR 138, we have been treated to numerous rollby's from both the UP & BNSF.   MF / GGG
MF 3/22/17 UP 2594 SB at UP Hiland siding (Cajon Summit) - 052 MF 3/22/17 UP 5465 DPU's SB at UP Hiland siding (same train) - 053
MF 3/22/17 Project Overview of Summit Overlook Hill - 054 MF 3/22/17 BNSF 8026 East approaches Summit - 055
MF 3/22/17 BNSF 7844 West passes the first (of two) UP EB military trains near WSI - 056 MF 3/22/17 BNSF 7829 is EB at Summit curve - 057
#058-065: UP 6577 with CSX is EB with a second military train. The train, probably headed to Yermo / Ft Irwin, carries equipment of the 3rd Infantry Division including M109A6 155mm Self Propelled Howitzers, M992A3 ammunition support vehicles and various other support vehicles.
Thanks to US Army Colonel (ret) Chuck Donaldson for his help in ID'ing the military equipment.
MF 3/22/17 UP 6577 EB - 058 MF 3/22/17 - 059
MF 3/22/17 - 060 MF 3/22/17 - 061
MF 3/22/17 - 062 MF 3/22/17 - 063
MF 3/22/17 - 064 MF 3/22/17 - 065

updated: March 29, 2017

March 24, 2017: Highway 138 (East) Realignment Project.
As reported, the Summit Overlook hill is being lowered / destroyed using eight HUGE scrapers and three equally HUGE dozers. Interesting to us were the steep inclines and seemingly dangerous "perches" these machines and their operators work on. To take the attached pictures, I made SURE that the camera was absolutely LEVEL--- horizontality.   GGG & MF
GGG 3/24/17 - 042 GGG 3/24/17 - 043
# 042-045: The machines climb the East slope of the Summit Overlook Hill.
GGG 3/24/17 - 044 GGG 3/24/17 - 045
GGG 3/24/17 To closely photograph the Western ramps, it is necessary to get to Marc's Madness. Pictured is ONE of the deep and/or soft ground obstacles that must be negotiated. - 046 GGG 3/24/17 From the Western end of the hill, loaded scrappers descending the ramp, on the right, were lowering and dragging their buckets to aid in braking. - 047
GGG 3/24/17 It appeared the scrappers were really laboring to climb the return (to old SR 138) ramp.  - 048 GGG 3/24/17 The dirt was used to raise the new alignment, between the summit curve and the new bridge #3. - 049
click here: 138-029-04-GGG-03-20-17.jpg
MF 3/24/17 - 050 MF 3/24/17 - 051
Piers & West abutment for Bridge #3. Again, this area will be totally filled- in so that the bridge can be built on solid ground.
To finish with the trains we've photographed while documenting the SR138 realignment project, here are the last ten.  MF / GGG
GGG 3/24/17 UP 7667 is SB at UP Cajon Summit (Hiland) - 066 GGG 3/24/17 UP 7273 DPU SB at UP Cajon Summit (same train) - 067
GGG 3/24/17 From above the UP Cajon Summit, UP 7643 is NB to Palmdale - 069 GGG 3/24/17 From above the UP Cajon Summit UP 8684 SD70ACe DPU  NB on same train to Palmdale - 070
GGG 3/24/17 BNSF / UP power mix is WB on the BNSF just RR West of Summit - 068 MF 3/24/17 With the UP Cajon Summit tracks in the foreground, a view of Summit Hill as of 03-24-17 - 075
MF 3/24/17 BNSF 7620 is EB on BNSF MT-3 . . .  - 071 MF 3/24/17 . . .  @ USFS 3N45 near WSI - 072
MF 3/24/17 - 073 MF 3/24/17 - 074

 updated: April 4, 2017

April 2, 2017: Highway 138 (East) Realignment Project.
Marc sends a few of the Summit Overlook Hill ----- (THEN & NOW)  MF & GGG
MF 3/22/17 Summit Overlook Hill as of 22 March 17 - 076 MF 4/02/17 Summit Overlook Hill as of 02 April 17 - 077
MF 4/02/17 East end of the Hill as of 2 April 17 - 078 MF 4/02/17 West end of the Hill as of 2 April 17 - 079
MF 4/02/17 Two views of the NEAR FINAL grade . . . . - 080 MF 4/02/17 . . . between Summit Curve and Bridge #3 - 081

 Yes, Highway 138 is open for traffic, again!

April 9, 2017: Highway 138 (East) Realignment Project.
This morning was cloudy & chilly in the Cajon but, it being a Sunday, there were no huge machines working and traffic was very light on SR 138. So, it was a good day to work on some 'THEN & NOW' pictures.  GGG & LMG
GGG 3/20/17 Summit Overlook Hill on 20 March from Post Office Rd
 - 082
GGG 4/09/17 Summit Overlook Hill today 04 April from Post Office Rd
- 083
LMG 4/09/17 The earth moving fleet at rest from the Summit Overlook
 - 084
LMG 4/09/17 The earth moving fleet at rest from the Summit Overlook
 - 085
GGG 3/20/17 - 086 GGG 4/09/17 - 087
#086 & #087: As reported before, the VERY low areas between the piers of the three new bridges will be built up so that said bridges may be built on solid ground - thus eliminating the need for very expensive supporting structures. Obviously, the terrain will be returned to its normal contours post construction. Bridge #3 piers on 20 March and almost buried today.


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
History of Hill 582 photos - click here Ranchero Road Project - click here Colton Flyover Project - 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

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