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updated: September 27, 2008

Cajon Pass 3rd Main Track Construction by BNSF in 2007 and 2008
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I am very pleased to show some exclusive photos by Don E. Toles (the famous Hilltender of Hill 582) and Gary G. Gray.
Pictures are prepared for the internet by Gary.
A big thank you to Don and Gary to share these excellent pictures.
Note: The copyright belongs to Don E. Toles and Gary G. Gray. Do not use any photos without written permission.

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

BNSF is building a 3rd Main Track thru Cajon Pass. It will be built along the # 1 (north) track (2,2 % grade). The only 2 tunnels in Cajon will be daylighted.
I am very proud to show these pictures taken by Don E. Toles and Gary G. Gray.

For bigger size pictures please click on the 3 digit numbers below each photo!

Photos 301 - 399 on this page starting December 03, 2007 and ending February 06, 2008.

12/12/07 Bridge Supports at MP 63.4 (West of Cajon Station) - 301 12/12/07 Curved Bridge at MP 64.1X (East Cajon Station) - 302 12/03/07 Drilling for bridge supports new bridge at Blue Cut (it crosses the San Andreas Fault) - 303
12/12/07 Rock/Cement Cruhser at Cajon Station (gravel will be used as sub-ballast) - 304 12/14/07 Dirt removal from above Tunnel 1 (looking west from the UP track) - 305 12/14/07 Tunnel 2 EP (completion of shotcrete wall, once finished, T-2 will be removed) - 306
Christmas 2007 at famous Hill 582 with the even more famous people behind the scene. Without the help of Don and Gary, this 3MT site would not be possible.
A big thank you to these wonderful people. Santa was visiting "our" Hill 582 and even decorated a special Christmas Tree. 12/14/07 by GGG (big photo)
12/31/07 MP 60.2X CP Walker - 307 12/31/07 BNSF WB train at CP Walker - 308 12/31/07 EBCS with new switch - 309
The final frame of the year 2007

On the last day of 2007 Don, Keith, and I performed an "inspection trip" down in the Cajon. Ames Construction took a couple of weeks off for the holidays and it appeared that BNSF had also geared down operations for the New Year celebration. We understand that the new Control Point Walker, just RR West of Interstate 15 on the existing # 1 track, is a "done deal" and so we decided to document the area. The sun this time of year is not great for photography but - - -
Photo 307 shows the existing signal at MP 60.2X (right in the middle of the new CP Walker switches/signals). The new 3MT will replace this signal on the far side of the existing # 1 track.
Photo 308 shows BNSF 7778 WB through the new (and not yet in service) WBCS (West Bound Control Signals) at CP Walker. A switch is being built for shunting from the new 3MT to existing Main 1.
Photo 309 shows the EBCS (East Bound Control Signals) with the switch (# 1 to new 3 MT) already installed.  (GGG 12/31/07)
CP Walker will be a HIGH honor to a great man and super friend !
12/16/07 UP WB at Sullivan's Curve - 310 12/16/07 UP EB (I-15 in the background) - 311 12/31/07 BNSF WB at Sullivan's Curve - 312
Four from Sullivan's showing the construction progress over two weeks. There's not much left of a rather formable hill just North of the Sullivan's Overlook. Both UP trains are on their own tracks (UP's Colton - Palmdale Cutoff, built 1967 by SP).
12/31/07 Hill North of Sullivans Curve - 313 12/31/07 Summit Track Configuration - 314 12/31/07 BNSF WB pass Hill 582 on MT # 1 - 315
12/31/07 Tunnel 1 (see below) EP - 316 12/31/07 Ames Equipment Holiday Parking - 317 12/31/07 T-2 EP soon, it will be history - 318
Photo 316: Progress at Tunnel # 1 --- with only 15+/- feet of dirt remaining above the barrel.
Photo 318: T-2 EP --- 1923 extension to the 1913 tunnel (how many days will it remain?) --- ShotCrete wall is almost finished.
12/20/07 BNSF 5269 EB at MP 63.4 - 319 1/07/08 BNSF 143 JACBAR EB  - 320 1/07/08 Same train just pass Hill 582 - 321
Photos 320 - 321: Two really nice DET's from our recent "blizzard" which put some snow over Cajon. Both are taken from Hill 582.
1/08/08 Pile Drive MP 65.4 Blue Cut - 322 1/09/08 Pile Drive MP 65.4 Blue Cut - 323 1/03/08 Manitowoc Pulling Piles MP 64.1X - 324
1/03/08 Bridge Girders waiting at Cajon Station for future bridges 3MT project - 325 1/07/08 BNSF 943 EB & UP SB Ballast Train at West Summit Island - 326 1/11/08 Tunnel 1 East Portal - 327
1/11/08 T-1 EP dirt removal - 328 1/11/08 Top of Tunnel 1 - 329 1/11/08 Tunnel 1 West Portal - 330
As of last Friday, 01-11-08, Ames Construction had turned its upper Pass attention to Tunnel 1. Six large machines and a number of large dumps were working on the "north" side of T-1 (between the existing BNSF # 1 track and the UP/SP track above). It appears to us that the plan is to get the dirt down to BNSF track level, build the sho fly, and then remove the remains of T-2 and all of T-1 concurrently. So, here are five of the 01-11-08 progress at T-1.
Photos 327 - 328 show machines working at T-1 EP  ----  between the UP and BNSF tracks. Photo 329 shows the dirt level atop T-1. The shown track is UP. The area where the red truck sits will be lowered about 50 feet to allow the new 3MT/sho fly to be built.
Photos 330 - 331 show T-1 WP with even more equipment working to remove the dirt. (GGG)
1/11/08 UP WB pass T-1 WP - 331 1/11/08 Close up of Hill at Sullivan's Curve - 332 1/11/08 Hill North of Sullivan's Curve - 333
1/11/08 BNSF WB into T-2 EP - 334 1/11/08 UP WB into T-2 EP - 335 1/11/08 Close up T-2 EP - 336
1/17/08 BNSF EB Helpers MP 64.1X - 337 1/18/08 UP WB # 1 & UP NB on UP track  - 338 1/14/08 UP EB w/unpatched SP unit - 339
Photos 337 - 339: Three of our more interesting pictures, even it does not show the 3MT construction, we think it is worth to see. (DET/GGG)
 # 1: DET photographed HELPERS BNSF 5422/FM 4659 EB at bridge MP 64.1X.
# 2: From West Summit Island, I (GGG) caught UP 4193 WB on the existing # 1 while UP 8585 climbs the UP/SP Palmdale Cutoff NB.
# 3: From West Summit Island, DET sends UNPATCHED (RARE, RARE) SP 187 EB to Summit.
1/09/08 Tunnel 1 WP - 340 1/19/08 T-1 WP TLM in the background - 341 1/19/08 T-1 WP & TLM seen thru tunnel - 342
Just spent a couple of days with Don, et al as Ames Construction gears up for the final push. There's still a BUNCH of work to do but the dirt North of Tunnel One is now down to the new "track" level --- and both tunnels are just about ready for the sho-fly. The five major bridge projects are nearing completion. I call them MAJOR bridges, although there are many HIGHER and longer bridges, since these carry millions of cargo tons daily, span a sometimes RAGING river, and cross the San Andreas fault. So, in the next few days, you're going to receive a BUNCH of pictures.
 Starting with the tunnels and working RailRoad West --- The Tunnels --- The project is to remove thousands of cubic yards of dirt, down to track level, and bypass both tunnels with a sho-fly. Next, both tunnels will be destroyed and the Shotcrete walls, to the south of both tunnels, will be completed. Lastly, next spring/summer, the new 3MT and the existing # 1 track will be built/rebuilt in the cut.
 Photo 340: DET sends a great picture of T-1 WP as of 01-09-08. Photo 341: Today, 01-19-08, 10 days later, the dirt North of T-1 is almost down to new track level --- two shifts per day. Photo 342: T-1 WP with the Tie laying machine (TLM) waiting on the new 3MT. Photo 343: TLM on new 3MT. Photo 344: Not much new on T-2 but the Sho-fly ROW is ready. (GGG)
1/19/08 TLM in front of T-1 EP - 343 1/19/08 Tunnel 2 WP - 344 1/17/08 New bridge decking MP 64.1X - 345
1/18/08 New curved bridge at MP 64.1X - 346 1/09/08 Manitowoc lift of steel bridge sections - 347 1/18/08 Steel brdige sections for MP 63.4 - 348
1/18/08 Crane closeup - 349 1/18/08 Bridge girder for Blue Cut - 350 1/18/08 Pre-fab bridge girders - 351
To complete the two remaining bridges (W Cajon Junction and Blue Cut), Ames is using some of the biggest equipment I've seen, to deliver and place the spans. The W Cajon Jct bridge (MP 63.4) will have three spans using six steel box girders while the Blue Cut bridge (MP 65) will use four 90 ft concrete sections (two sides and two middle sections). The steel sections are 25 tons each and the concrete sections are 78 tons each for the edge pieces and a bit less for the center section. The steel box girders were delivered to Cajon Jct via RR Flat car, transloaded to trucks (pictures 347 and 348), moved to the bridge, to be placed by Road Crane (349). 
INTERESTING --- Evidently the Manitowoc could not lift the concrete sections and so the Road Crane was brought from MP 63.4 to Cajon Jct to unload them --- and then driven back to the Bridge to place the steel sections. Photos 350 - 351 show the HUGE concrete Bridge girders for Blue Cut --- which will be loaded on the same RR flats to be transported to Blue Cut and unloaded by two cranes. According to our "sources", the limited access to Blue Cut will require a SEVEN HOUR work window, (01-21-08) on both existing tracks so that the concrete sections may be delivered and placed. (GGG)
1/11/08 Remaining Tunnel 2 West Portal - 352 1/11/08 Remaining T-2 walls - 353 1/11/08 Detail of remaing T-2 walls - 354
Hello, Calling all tunneling experts
While looking closely at the remains of T-2, we noticed horizontal imprints in the concrete on both the inside and outside walls -- indicating framing. Also, large timbers are imbedded within the walls along with some rebar. So, the question is, thinking about 1913/1923 technology, how'd they do that ??
 Not a question/answer that will cure global anything -- just interesting -- without concrete pumps, shotcrete etc. (GGG)
1/18/08 2 sections out of 6 are in place - 355 1/18/08 Girder # 3 lift - 356 1/19/08 Moving girder # 3  - 357
1/19/08 Close up of lift # 3 section  - 358 1/19/08 And put it in place - 359 1/22/08 Completed Decking - 360
Photos 355 - 360: Assembly of the 3 span bridge at MP 63.4 is complete. Using the aforementioned steel box girders and the huge road crane, Ames is shown placing the third of six 50,000 lb box girders in place. (GGG)
1/19/08 Est support Blue Cut Bridge MP 65.1 - 361 1/19/08 West support Blue Cut Bridge - 362 1/21/08 Cranes ready to lift first bridge section - 363
1/21/08 Cranes lifting first of 4 bridge section - 364 1/19/08 BNSF helpers Blue Cut, new roadbed - 365 1/21/08 Close-up completed bridge decking - 366
Photos 361 - 367: The bridge structure at Blue Cut is finished. This bridge crosses Lone Pine Canyon Creek and the Main San Andreas Fault at MP 65.1.
1/21/08 Completed Blue Cut Bridge - 367 1/22/08 UP NB in the fog from Hill 582 - 368 1/22/08 Snow on Cajon - 369
1/22/08 Mud Mobile II  - 370 1/22/08 Marc & Don in action - 371 1/22/08 UP SB North Sullivan's Curve - 372
While we sit back, relax and enjoy all these very interesting and excellent photos, our camera men are running around for us in every weather condition as we can see on these photos. A big thank you to Don and Gary for supplying these one of a kind impressions, it is greatly appreciated. (Werner)
These photos 368 - 372 will show to what lengths we'll go - to provide you Cajon Crazies with photography of REAL RAILROADING ! !  HE HE 
We actually had a great day (01-22-08) - grown men 4-wheeling in the MUD near the tracks- can't beat it (GGG)
Photo 368: Leading edge of our present rain/snow storm from Hill 582. Also, you may see the foundations of the new signal bridge just RR West of "the hill".
Photo 369: From Sullivan's, looking East --- A bit of snow on the mountains. Photo 371: Marc and Don just RR East of the Curved Bridge at MP 64.1X.
Photo 372: UP 9695 heads SB with a ballast train at North Sullivan's Curve. (GGG)
7/18/07 Setout track w/3MT equip. storage - 373 12/31/07 Ames equip. Holiday parking - 374 1/21/08 Bridge Work MP 59.5X - 375
The new 3MT requires a bridge at MP 59.5X. This is the area between T-2 WP and Interstate 15 where the existing BNSF # 1 crosses the Santa Fe Fire Road. However, there is a second bridge over the fire road which carries a little used setout track. Last week, that bridge was raised to the level of the existing Main # 1 track bridge and large concrete spacers were inserted --- problem solved. (GGG)
 Photo 373: The old setout track and the bridge at MP 59.5X. The track was covered to allow Ames trucks access to the equipment storage lot. Photo 374: shows the area is question. Photo 375: shows the setout track and existing # 1 bridges. Photos 376 - 377:  Close ups of the concrete spacers used to raise the bridge.
1/21/08 Close up of concrete spacers left - 376 1/21/08 Concrete spacers right side - 377 1/21/08 T-1 EP Sub grade for Shoo-Fly - 378
1/21/08 Shoo-Fly will go around T-1 - 379 1/21/08 T-1 EP working on the sub grade - 380 1/21/08 T-1 WP Sub grade for Shoo-Fly - 381
The plan is to level the ground north of the tunnels, place a shoofly, remove the tunnels, and rebuild the two tracks. From last week, here are the images of Ames placing the sub-ballast for the shoofly. (GGG)
 Photos 378 - 380 are of T-1 EP and the preparation of the sub roadbed. Note the GPS/laser leveling device on the road grader. The TLM (Tie laying Machine)  and Tie train are in place and ready. Photo 381 shows T-1 WP with the sub road bed. Photo 382 shows Ames removing the dirt between the South wall of T-2 and the ShotCrete wall.
1/21/08 T-2 EP Dirt removal from South wall - 382 9/24/07 Rock formations Sullivan's Curve - 383 1/21/08 BNSF EB Sullivan's Curve - 384
1/21/08 Hill North of Sullivan's Curve - 385 1/21/08 Same location - 386 11/29/07 BNSF EB at MP 63.7X - 387
Two more places, where Don and Gary have taken many photographs, are GONE. However, each loss brings on new opportunities.
 First, the hill just NORTH of East Sullivan's Curve. The loss of the hill across from the tracks now allows us to see WB trains entering the Curve.
 Photo 383 is from the Sullivan's overlook and shows the hill as it was. Photos 384 - 386 shows what's left of the hill.
 Second, a hill just BNSF RR West at MP 63.7X of the above hill. The rocks here had a special "pinkish" color.
 Photo 387 shows the hill as it was. Photos 388 - 389 shows the hill as of last Monday with huge backhoes, drills and dozers working.
1/21/08 Hill at MP 63.7X - 388 1/21/08 Same Hill beeing cut down - 389 1/22/08 T-1 WP BNSF WB - TLM Shoo-Fly -390
1/22/08 Same BNSF WB and TLM in acvtion - 391 2/01/08 T-1 EP with Shoo-Fly - 392 2/01/08 T-1 EP with Shoo-Fly close-up - 393
The Shoo-fly by-passing both tunnels is in-place, however, sitting on the sub roadbed. Ballasting should start next Monday. There are 50 cars of ballast sitting in Victorville. Our recent rains have caused several instances of erosion as seen in DET-photos 390 - 391 -- look just above and to the right of the T-1 West Portal. Interesting to see the TLM laying the Shoo-Fly. GGG-photos 392 - 393 of T-1 EP showing the sweeping curve needed to by-pass the tunnels. 
2/01/08 T-1 EP Shoo-Fly looking East - 394 2/01/08 BNSF WB T-2 EP Shoo-Fly - 395 2/01/08 Same train with I-15 in the background - 396
2/01/08 Helpers for same train - 397 2/06/08 T-1 EP w/ballast on the Shoo-Fly - 398 2/06/08 Bridge at MP 59.4X and 3MT - 399

Continued on Page 5 - please click here

Copyright by Don E. Toles & Gary G. Gray with permission, Werner Meer

Simple Maps about Cajon Pass: click here
Excellent Aerial photos of Cajon before construction started by Dave Crammer: 
Dave Crammer published a 20 page report "Air Cajon" (Cajon Pass from the Air) in TRP (The Railroad Press) Magazine Issue # 71 (Oct/Nov/Dec, 2006).
More Aerial photos incl. 3MT (taken in 2008) by Dave Crammer:
Here is a very detailed report (390 pages) about the 3rd Main Track Construction with maps (PDF):
Please check also my own Photo Gallery about California: click here
Lots of photos about Cajon Pass by Santiago Homsi jr, 
Southern California Rail Fan by Dave Toussaint:
New Cajon Pass Book by Dave Toussaint:
Here are photos of the 2 tunnels before construction started: click here

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

The History of Hill 582 by Don E. Toles - click here

Below are links to all 9 pages of the BNSF 3rd Main Track Project

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

Go back to 3rd MT Main Page - click here

Go back to Cajon Pass Main Page - click here

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