Dedicated to Sharing the Heritage of Redwood Empire Railroading
In short: arrangements are being finalized for SP 10 to travel from its current location in Galveston, TX to Woodland, CA for temporary storage. Its eventual home will be Rocklin. BNSF and UP have agreed to transport the car free of charge. BNSF has already delivered a heavy-duty flatcar, which the SP 10 will ride on, to the museum in Galveston.
Taken from the SP 10 Facebook page:
Today (11/29/16) was a very historic day for preservation regarding the history of the Southern Pacific. SP 10, Southern Pacific's only RDC came home to Northern California once again, after a 38 year stay in Texas. The car was loaded at Galveston, TX with its trucks as it still met all the necessary clearance requirements on the route between Galveston and Stockton. After hearing that the car would be departing on the BNSF H-BARSTO1-28A from a friend of mine with the SP Historical and Technical Society, I very quickly rushed home after working my closing shift, and worked out the coordinates for a chase of the train from Fresno to Stockton over the BNSF (nee Santa Fe) Stockton Subdivision. The Stockton Sub is a very fast piece of railroad with trains normally doing 60 - 79mph on almost the entire portion of the line, however due to the SP 10 being a high and wide load, the H-BARSTO was limited to 45mph over the entire length of its journey, this proved an extreme advantage since the Santa Fe mainline through the San Joaquin Valley is a little removed from the main highways, and the main paralleling roads are for the most part, two lane country roads.
At 5:30am after getting only maybe 45 minutes of REM sleep, I was up and out of bed and leaving Sacramento at 6am, with the first location of the day being the Santa Fe San Joaquin River Bridge on the north side of Fresno. Hwy 99's traffic was moving at a comfortable rate, and I reached the location at around 8:30am. Before the H-BARSTO made its appearance Amtrak 702 and 713, as well as 3 BNSF high priority z-trains passed on the bridge, after that the BNSF 6680 west with the M-BARSTO was clear to proceed north at maximum authorized speed. It was nice that the lashup of power included a UP SD70M and SD70ACe, as this added some more variety and color to the consist, with the RDC being several cars back behind the power.
After getting the train at the bridge it was back on Hwy 99 to a rural road crossing near Madera, with the train limited to 45, and traffic on 99 moving at an average of 75, it was no problem getting ahead of the train to this location.
After shooting the train there the next shot was just outside of the town of Le Grand, with the train splitting pair of signals, in decent broad side light, from Madera to Stockton, it was nothing but back roads almost all the way back.
Good time was being made in the chase vehicle as the road and the track made their way into Merced but unfortunately the roads in Merced go right into the heart of town and theres not shortcuts or dodging this dilemma if the railfan wants to stay with the tracks, after clearing Merced and hitting almost every red light it was once again petal to the metal. Fortunately the train had to take the siding for a southbound Amtrak San Joaquin, and this allowed a swift overtaking at which point the next location decided upon was just outside of Denair.
After getting the train there it was again petal to the metal, making good time the next shot after overtaking the train was at Empire, an interchange yard for the BNSF and Modesto and Empire Traction, near the city of Modesto. After getting pictures and video of the train coasting into Empire, and knowing that they had to set out cars there, the opportunity was taken advantage of to navigate the surface streets through Modesto in order to guarantee the next shot at the trestle at Riverbank.
After getting to Riverbank and setting up a much shorter M-BARSTO, having shrunk considerably from the initial 5,291 ft train that was originally put together, slowly rolled onto the trestle at Riverbank, with the low sun glinting off the stainless steel sides of the RDC.
After this it was petal to the metal, trying to beat the train to Stockton. Unfortunately heavy traffic in Escalon proved costly, and no matter how fast I was able to get my little 4-banger to go, overtaking the train before Stockton became a lost cause. Fortunately while getting into town the train had to stop and line the switch before entering Mormon Yard, this allowed one more shot of the RDC at the MLK Jr. Blvd underpass in Stockton, as well as a sentimental pose of myself with the RDC.
With that, SP 10, the only SP RDC, is back in Northern California, albeit having traveled on the Santa Fe for almost its entire journey, it is now back in the general area where in revenue service was "home"
A great chase fueled by almost nothing but adrenaline, and historical moment that I am happy I was able to document.
Great story. Would you please also post your videos on youtube for those of us who don't f'book?