Saturday, March 17, 2007

Fire on the UP in Sacramento

From: Steve Ewald

A trestle in Sacramento, on the UP (former SP) double-track transcontinental route, burned to the ground this evening (3/15/2007). The trestle was just north (railroad east) of the American River bridge, between Elvas & Swanston on the Martinez Subdivision. No news yet on how it started, although it seems suspicious. This cuts off the major yard in Roseville from all direct routes to the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.

Amtrak Capitol Corridor service between Sacramento and Auburn will be replaced by motor coaches until the trestle can be replaced, which will probably take several weeks. As far as the California Zephyr (which also uses the route) is concerned, I'm not sure how they'll handle it – perhaps a bus bridge between Sacramento and Roseville.

At this point, the most direct rail route between Roseville and Sacramento is: North on the Valley Subdivision from Roseville to Binney Junction (Marysville), approximately 35 miles; then south (railroad west) on the Sacramento Subdivision (former WP) to Haggin (Sacramento), approximately 40 miles. The only problem is, there is no connection that would allow westbound trains to turn left (or eastbounds to turn right) at Binney Jct.; some sort of run-around move with the engines would have to be made at a siding to the north, or engines would have to be on both ends of the train.

My guess is that the Feather River Canyon and Tehachapi Pass (and even perhaps the Coast Line) may see a surge in traffic while the trestle is replaced.

—Steve Ewald

[from the R&LHS Newsgroup.]