Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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10-19-2011 NWP in Novato, Black Point & Schellville

10-19-2011 RJC 2009 and its empty grain car continue on to Schellville from Petaluma. SCENE 1: Passing under US 101 in Novato and sounding its horn as it approaches the Atherton/San Marin overpass. SCENE 2a: Workman walking upstairs to the control house on top of the Black Point swing bridge. 2b: Crossing the Petaluma River. SCENE 3a: Crossing gate lands on top of a pick up truck. 3b: Crossing Hwy 121/12 to the Schellville station to tie up for the night after dropping the grain car off at the old SP/NWP interchange yard.

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Comment by Marty Erickson on October 31, 2011 at 3:29pm
Hey Dave S. Thanks for the comment, I learned something about signalling I didn't know.
Comment by Marty Erickson on October 30, 2011 at 8:34am
Hello again Charles, The train has to pass through Novato whenever it goes from Schellville to Petaluma and beyond and back again.
Comment by Dave S. on October 30, 2011 at 7:25am

Nice videos Marty!  Thanks for using a tripod!


At two minutes into this video, the Schellville bozo in the white truck was apparently already sitting on the track when the crossing gate came down because the gate ends up resting on his cab.  The car behind backs up to give the guy some room, but he decides to move forward instead.  Oh, well, Darwin missed an opportunity that day!


I love the electronics which makes modern grade crossing protection systems work.  Here you can see that an approaching train slows down and almost stops -- the crossing system detects "zero velocity" and the gates go back up.  Unfortunately, when the train finally enters the crossing, the gates go up and then back down again.  It's a difficult problem to solve, but it would probably help if they re-ballasted those rails south of the depot, and overhauled the highway crossing itself.


In the old days, a train anywhere within the approach of that crossing would keep the bells ringing and gates down indefinitely.  With modern electronic "predictors", the system can detect that a train is stopped or backing away from the crossing, and will raise the gates to minimize motorist inconvenience.  The downside of the modern systems is that it takes them longer to detect that a train is moving away and clear of the crossing before raising the gates.


(This wasn't supposed to sound like a lecture -- I just love railroad crossing signal systems!)


Comment by Charles Forssi on October 29, 2011 at 6:22pm
How good are the tracks in Novato? How often does a train go over them?
Comment by Mike Davis on October 28, 2011 at 9:15pm
Nice finally some footage in Novato, and of them wrapping up in schellville. The only part I thought wasn't good was when that guy went through the intersection with gates down in schellville

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