PHONE *41-44-715-3666, FAX *41-44-715-3660, E-MAIL
Go back to our Website - click here

Cajon Pass 3rd Main Track Construction by BNSF in 2007 and 2008
Page 7/9

(go to Page 6 - please click here)
(go to Page 5 - please click here)
(go to Page 4 - please click here)
(go to Page 3 - please click here)
(go to Page 2 - please click here)
(go to Page 1 - please click here)

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 (DET) and Gary G. Gray (GGG). Do not use any photos without written permission.
Additional contributors with photos: Marc Fournier (MF), Robin Scanes (RS), Keith Schreiber (KS), Paul Westover (PW).
Thank you for sharing your
photos with us. We are glad to have you guys on board on our site.  

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 (and other contributors).

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

Photos 598 - 699 on this page starting May 2, 2008 and ending June 24, 2008

With MAJOR demolition/construction winding down on the NEW Third Main Track in Cajon, our focus is on Tunnel ONE. Only the "MINOR" task of 16 miles of tie and track laying is left. We are told that the TLM (Tie/track laying machine) will arrive in late June/early July and, of course, we'll follow the progress of tie laying-rail placement-surfacing --- 'till the END. (GGG)
5/02/08 T-1 North wall demolition - 598 5/02/08 3 diff. machines at work  - 599 5/02/08 Removal of the concrete pieces - 600
5/02/08 ShotCrete wall is almost finished - 601 5/02/08 Breaking the wall into pieces - 602 5/02/08 A noisy job - 603
 Photo 598: JAWS, the "PECKERHEAD", and the CLAW breakup the North wall of T-1. "Peckerhead" is a construction guy term for the HAMMER DRILL.
 Photo 599: shows the work of the trio mentioned above and DrillTech doing their thing on "the shotcrete wall".
 Photo 600: shows the thickness of the 1913 concrete walls ---- no match for the AMES construction experts and their equipment.
 Photo 601: DrillTech doing their ShotCrete spraying thing on "the wall". Someone told one of us that these are the tallest shotcrete walls in the WORLD ???
 Photos 602 - 604: The Hammer Drill/Peckerhead doing its thing on HUGE concrete blocks.
5/02/08 Ready made size for the trucks - 604 5/09/08 Former Tunnel 1 ShoteCrete Wall - 605 5/09/08 Drainage pipe mounting - 606
Photo 605: Last Friday, 5/09/08, Ames was completing dirt removal from the T-1 area. It appears that Drill Tech can complete the ShotCrete wall with one more application. Photos 606 - 607: Ames was also installing a large drainage pipe to protect the East end of the ShotCrete wall in the old T-1 area.
5/09/08 Deatil of drainage pipe - 607 5/07/08 Refill of old borrow pit - 608 5/05/08 CP Walker at MP 60.2X - 609
Photo 608: Marc sends a photograph of the refilling of the old borrow pit near BNSF MP 62.5. Dirt from the pit was used to build Interstate 15 years ago, leaving a very large hole. Ames refilled the pit with the excess dirt from the Tunnels and, in the photograph, is grooming the area to the original contours.
5/05/08 Switch installing - 610 5/05/08 Switches are moved with 5 machines - 611 5/05/08 Switches are in place - 612
Photos 609 - 614: On 5/05/08, BNSF completed installation of the last two very long and very heavy high speed switches at CP Walker. CP Walker is just RR West of Interstate 15 at BNSF MP 60.2X. (Don Toles and Marc Fournier photographs).
5/05/08 Working hard under the signal bridge - 613 5/05/08 Heavy activities to finish installation - 614 5/09/08 UP NB above the tunnels - 615
5/09/08 Same train heading North - 616 5/09/08 BNSF EB pass fromer T-1 - 617 5/09/08 Looking East at MP 58.9X - 618
5/09/08 Here comes the next BNSF EB - 619 5/09/08 Same consist w/2 Ferromex units - 620 5/09/08 BNSF Helpers EB at MP 58.9X - 621
5/14/08 Plaque Chard Walker - 622 5/14/08 Don with memorials - 623 5/14/08 Jerry & Don - 624
Photos 622 - 625: Don Toles led the effort to place a plaque on Hill 582 honoring our friend Chard Walker and, also, to remember the BNSF Cajon Tunnels. The stone and plaque were placed today (5/14/08), next to our piece of Tunnel 1 West Portal (the "1913") --- with the help of Jerry Shinar and Marc Fournier.
5/14/08 Today's crew - 625 5/14/08 BNSF Rail Train pass Hill 582 - 626 5/14/08 End of Rail Train with RUM - 627
5/14/08 Rail Train heading West - 628 5/14/08 Rail Train at Swarthout Canyon Road - 629 5/14/08 Herzog Rail Unloading Machine - 630
Photo 626: Yesterday (5/14/08), we noticed that the BNSF Rail Train was parked on the OUT OF SERVICE # 2 track just west of Cajon Summit. The train backed, switched to the # 1 and proceeded Westward pulled by BNSF 6360 + 3 more units. Photos 627 - 628: As the train passed Hill 582, we saw this really interesting Herzog machine being towed by the train. BTW, all of the ribbon rail cars and the Herzog machine appeared to be NEW. Photo 629: We had to KNOW and so we followed the train to Swarthout Cyn Road. Photo 630: The Herzog machine is called a RUM (Rail Unloading Machine) --- # 4. The RUM is obviously rail/highway capable and provides a much safer working environment for the crews. Previously, crew members had to manually attach each rail to a hook/cable and each rail had to be winched (one side at a time) from the storage racks. Photo 631: As pictured, the RUM crane pulls the rail to the first outrigger which then pulls the rails from storage and feeds the rails into the two guide devices. Photo 632: The process was repeated on the other side and the train proceeded WB at about 10 mph dropping rail on both sides simultaneously. (GGG)
5/14/08 RUM # 4 in action - 631 5/14/08 Track unloading - 632 5/14/08 Overview of T-1 progress - 633
5/14/08 DrillTech placing last rebar for SCW - 634 5/14/08 Almost finished drain pipe - 635 5/14/08 Tunnel rubble used as liner for creek bed - 636
5/14/08 New panel track for Main # 2 at T-2 - 637 5/15/08 T-1 Loading of concrete blocks - 638 5/15/08 T-1 Removal of concrete blocks - 639
Photos 638 - 639: Ames is collecting the huge concrete blocks that, for years, protected T-1 EP from mud flows. The blocks will be reused elsewhere. (Photos by Keith Schreiber).
5/21/08 Work completed at T-1 area - 640 5/21/08 Last work on ShoteCrete Wall T-1 - 641 5/21/08 Finished drain pipe at former T-1 EP - 642
By the time you read this, all heavy construction will be finished at the tunnels and, for the most part, on all of the 3MT Project. Tie & Rail laying should begin early next month (June). Yesterday (5/21/08), Ames was leveling, removing the last of the dirt and dropping subballast while DrillTech finished the ShotCrete wall above T-1. We are told that these two ShotCrete walls are the tallest in the Americas ---- T-1 is 158 feet (47,5 m) and T-2 is 173 ft (52 m). The walls have two layers of rebar mesh and the ShotCrete is eight inches (20 cm) thick. The sleepers/deadmen were laterally inserted into the hill 100 feet (30 m) deep at the top and 30 feet (9 m) at the bottom. Photo 640: In the  first picture, the round seemingly unfinished areas are test holes ---- to test retention power of the sleepers/deadmen. Retention testing is required upon one sleeper in each horizontal row of sleepers. A machine applies 42,000 lbs of extraction force for several minutes. (GGG)
5/21/08 Amtrak # 3 w/BNSF Helper - 643 5/21/08 AMT pass former Tunnel 1at MP 59X - 644 5/21/08 Ballast Tamper East of T-1 - 645
Photos 643 - 644: A very late Amtrak # 3 WB is shown lead by BNSF 7582. The third unit was dead-in-consist. Photo 645: Also, new ballast has been added to the Out Of Service # 2 track (old # 1 track). The machine (just RR EAST of T-1) is "regulating/dressing" the ballast in preparation for the return to service.
5/21/08 1885 Joliet rail found inside T-1 - 646 5/21/08 Rail built in July 1885 ! ! - 647 11/01/05 Tunnel 1 East Portal - 648
Photos 646 - 647: A while back, we sent some pictures of 1887 rail found in the floor of T-1 (see photos 593 - 594 on page 6). Last Wed, we were shown a piece of 1885 rail found in the same tunnel. After the "1885", please note the seven vertical bars. Those bars denote the month (July) of manufacture.
5/24/08 Former Tunnel 1 EP, now - 649 11/01/05 Tunnel 1 West Portal - 650 5/24/08 Former Tunnel 1 WP, now - 651
11/01/05 Tunnel 2 East Portal - 652 5/24/08 Former Tunnel 2 EP, now - 653 11/01/05 Tunnel 2 West Portal - 654
Photos 648 - 655: To give an idea about the big changes of the tunnel area, we show pictures before and after. Back in 2005, Don Toles and I decided to document the Cajon Tunnels before construction began. So, last week we asked Marc Fournier to go down and take the same pictures, from near the same locations. (GGG) As always, you may click on the number for a bigger size photo. In addition, I made a special page with all 8 photos: Tunnel Changes. (WM)
5/24/08 Former Tunnel 2 WP, now - 655 5/27/08 Tie laying - 656 5/30/08 T-1 new main # 2 track inplace - 657
As you may remember, the OLD # 1 track through the tunnels was removed before the tunnels were destroyed. We had wondered how BNSF would replace that track without the TLM (Tie Laying Machine) present - since concrete ties weigh 700+ lbs each.
.Photo 656: Marc Founier photographed this ingenious device which carries 11 concrete ties. The red marks on the ground are the centerline for Track # 2.
 Photos 657 & 658: are pictures of the Tunnel areas with the newly laid welded/bolted track in place. Next, Main # 2 will be ballasted, surfaced and placed in service. The big Shoo-Fly curve in the # 1 track will be removed and realigned to parallel the # 2. The above actions will complete BNSF Mains # 1 & # 2 between Cajon Summit and CP Walker. Photo 659: As a bonus, ATSF 135 brings the JACBAR EB in the T-2 area. (GGG)
5/30/08 T-2 new main # 2 track inplace - 658 5/30/08 BNSF EB w/ATSF GP60M T-2 - 659 6/06/08 A big thank you to our friends - 660

Photo 660: In 2005, Don and I thought we'd document the BNSF Cajon Sub tunnels "as they were". That small project grew into over 1000 pictures showing the progress of the Third Main track construction. While we wanted to photograph everything involved, we were always very aware of "not getting in the way" and all of the many safety concerns. We are indebted to many people but we especially want to thank David Miller of the BNSF RailWay, Brad Thomas and Larry Rust of AMES Construction for their friendship and willingness to share their construction and railroading expertise.


THANKS GUYS  -  Gary Gray & Don Toles

1939 ATSF EB T-1 by Walter H. Thrall jr. - 661 6/01/08 Same location today by Marc Fournier - 662 6/06/08 BNSF EB Swarthout Canyon Road - 663
Photos 661 - 662: What a change between 1939 and 2008 ! ! - I asked Marc Fournier to try and get to the place where Mr. Thrall took the 1939 picture of Tunnel 1 East Portal. Marc has done a great job to see the dramatic changes. These 2 photos are also on our special page: Tunnel Changes.
6/06/08 BNSF WB Swarthout Canyon Road - 664 6/06/08 UP SB on UP/SP tracks - 665 5/30/08 As seen from Hill 582 BNSF WB empty - 666
Photo 664: BNSF 7602 is WB approaching Swarthout Canyon Road. To the left, DrillTech is preparing to ShotCrete the hill face above the BNSF tracks. The importance of this hill is shown in the second picture photo 665.It supports the UP/SP Colton/Palmdale Cutoff.
9/30/07 New ROW w/old signal post/signs - 667 6/09/08 The signs are now on Hill 582 - 668 6/10/08 TLM in action - 669
Photos 667 - 668: Thanks to our good friend, the original "582A" and "G" signs from the old Main # 1 EB signal at Hill 582 "appeared" on Hill 582. Don and Marc erected the signs this week  --  welded and in concrete.
 So, I wasn't sure what the "A" and the "G" meant. According to Chard Walker's CAJON - RAIL PASSAGE TO THE PACIFIC:
 "58" indicates the Mileage counting from Barstow. The "2" in 582 indicates EB. The "A" in 582A was used only between Cajon and Summit, on the ascending track, where tracks are not adjacent. The "G" is a "GRADE SIGNAL" indicating that since an ascending train could be stopped merely by cutting off the power, the train could pass a red signal at restricted speed. (GGG)
6/11/08 TLM near Mormon Rocks - 670 6/11/08 Close up of TLM - 671 6/10/08 3 trains on all in service tracks - 672
BNSF has started laying ties and track WB starting at CP Walker (MP 60.2X). The Tie/Track laying machine, as of 6/11/08, was working West near the Mormon Rocks. Photo 669: Marc sends one of the TLM dropping ties and pulling in the rails near MP 61. Photos 670 - 671: GGG sends two of the TLM just RR East of  Mormon Rocks heading toward the Pine Lodge Bridge/Hwy 138.
Photo 672: Marc Fournier sends this beauty of all in-service tracks being used in Cajon as seen from above the MP 57.2 bridge: On the UP/SP, the helpers are SB to Colton with a mixed train. On BNSF # 1, the helpers are WB to San Bernardino with a double stack train. The barely visible BNSF # 2 is out-of-service. On BNSF # 3, the TOFC train is EB to Barstow.
5/30/08 BNSF EB pass former T-1 - 673 5/30/08 It snakes over the former shoe-fly - 674 5/30/08 Same train is going uphill - 675
Photos 673 - 678: Even these pictures do not show the actual progress of the 3MT construction, it still gives us a nice impression about the daily activities.
5/30/08 UP EB at the same location - 676 5/30/08 UP WB/SB Silverwood Connector - 677 5/30/08 Rear end helpers pass retaining wall - 678
Photo 677: From right to left: BNSF Main # 3, Main # 2, Main # 1, Silverwood Connector w/UP train. Photo 678: From front to rear: BNSF Main # 2, Main # 1, Silverwood Connector w/UP helpers, UP Main (Colton/Palmdale cutoff).
6/10/08 Here is the finished pit - 679 6/11/08 UP EB on main # 1 at Pine Lodge - 680 6/11/08 Same train pass TLM on main # 2 - 681
Photo 679: Just to remember, the old borrow pit near Stein's Hill, was used to gain dirt for the construction of Interstate 15. Ames refilled the pit with dirt from the tunnels and graded the area to near original contours. The area is "walled off" with rubble and K-Rails to keep the off-road folks away. See also photo 433 on page 5.
Photo 680: UP 4947 approaches the TLM at Mormon Rocks. An interesting view because of long lens illusion. Photo 681: UP 4947 on # 1 while the TLM lays the new track (Main # 2 in this area). Both photos were taken from Stein's Hill.
6/13/08 UP Special NB on UP tracks Hill 582 - 682 6/13/08 UP Special SB from Hill 582 - 683 6/13/08 Hill 582 Monuments & BNSF EB Main 3 - 684
6/13/08 UP NB on UP line at former T-2 area - 685 6/18/08 TLM approaching Sullivans Curve - 686 6/18/08 UP SB passing the TLM - 687
6/18/08 TLM works WB - 688 6/18/08 How flexible the steel rails are! - 689 6/18/08 Tie carrying shuttle buggy - 690
Photos 686 - 692: Don sends a great series of the TLM (Tie Laying Machine) in Sullivan's Curve. 
FYI, the concrete ties weigh 800 pounds each and are set on 2 foot centers. The entire 16 mile project will require approximately 42,000 concrete ties. We were also told that the project will require 3/4 US ton of ballast per 12 inches of rail or 63,000+  tons. I hope my calculations are close!
 Photos 688 - 689 image how the TLM spreads the rails, drops the tie(s) in place and then lays the rail onto the tie. Photos 690 - 691 show the tie carrying shuttle buggy and the ties being fed onto the conveyor belt. Photo 692 is the tie car. According to the type of car used, each tie car will carry 160 or 168 ties -- enough for 80 - 84 feet. (GGG)
6/18/08 Ties being fed onto the conveyor belt - 691 6/18/08 Tie car loaded w/concrete ties - 692 6/18/08 UP SB Sullivan's Curve on UP tracks - 693
6/18/08 UP meet at Sullivan's (TLM right side) - 694 6/20/08 Amtrak # 3 WB 5 h late Hill 582 - 695 6/24/08 Amtrak Las Vegas test train EB Hill 582 - 696
6/20/08 BNSF Track Geometry Trains EB  - 697 6/20/08 Finished curved bridge MP 64.1X - 698 7/12/08 BNSF WB with new bridge and track end - 699

Continued on page 8 - please click here

updated: September 27, 2008

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

Simple Maps about Cajon Pass:  click here

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

Here are photos of the 2 tunnels before construction started:

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:

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

(Did you see page 1? - please click here)
(Did you see page 2? - please click here)
(Did you see page 3? - please click here)
(Did you see page 4? - please click here)
(Did you see page 5? - please click here)
(Did you see page 6? - please click here)
(Did you see page 8? - please click here)
(Did you see page 9? - please click here)

Go back to Cajon Pass Main Page - click here

Home Cajon Pass Photo Gallery HO Layout