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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

13-06-19 PHOTOS: LAUPT

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a rather strong dislike of Los Angeles. The city makes absolutely no sense. It's plopped down in an arbitrary location without distinct geographic features, it failed to unify its region under a single governmental structure so what you think is part of LA isn't really part of LA, it gets insufficient rain, insufficient snow its downtown is pointless, its construction goes out instead of up, its mass transit is pathetic, there's no planning, traffic is a mess, it shakes a lot and occasionally catches fire. As a result the city has been added to my blacklist and I will not visit it for any reason.

However there is an exception that we might now call the Edward Snowdon loophole in that if I do not leave the airport or train station I have not actually officially entered Los Angeles proper so in that case I can travel from San Diego to Chicago with a change of trains in LA. In this set you will see photos I took from a Pacific Surfliner train traveling to Los Angeles and then photos I took around the station property itself.

You can find all these photos right here

The 90mph ride up from San Diego in Pacific Business Class was quite enjoyable. Here is a video from the side of the train as we ran just a few hundred feet from the Pacific Ocean somewhere around San Clemente. What shocked me was how busy the beaches were at 2pm on a Wenesday Afternoon. Doesn't anybody in California work for a living? Fucking hippies.

I was surprised when I discovered that the stadium for the Oakland A's of Anaheim was accessible by commuter rail. Shame its about 30 miles away from what should be the downtown population center. Oh wait, this is LA, there are no population "centers". Also they named a team after Anaheim? What the fuck sort of branding is that?! That's like having the East Rutherford Football Giants or Newark Nets. Nobody likes Anaheim. Disney built his whole separate world so that people could get away from it. Anyway, I guess the existence of a stadium means that the LA Clippers of Baseball aren't just some fictional construct for a movie franchise.

I caught a pair of GP60M's, ATSF #155 and BNSF #116, sitting in Hobart Yard. The ATSF was the only purchaser of the GP60M wide nosed model of GP60 with a total of 63 units. The GP60 was the most powerful 4-axle power that EMD ever made with 3800hp and was intended for hot intermodal trains on routes with less demanding grades or tonnages. Roughly equivalent to the GE B40-8, both classes sold lightly as the railroad demand for service differentiated road power dried up.

The now closed HOBART tower stands at the west end of Hobart yard where another line crossed the 3-track former ATSF main.

Heading west the freight lines head toward the Alameda Corridor while the passenger trains fly up and over both them and the LA River. Across the river is the Metrolink Riverside Line which runs to Riverside via the Union Pacific alignment, as opposed to the ATSF alignment. Here is an outbound Riverside Line train with Metrolink F59PH #864 on point.

It appears that all of those monstrousness new Rotem cab cars have been delivered because I didn't see a single one of the old GO-type cars running at the head of a train. Here is #653 running on the west bank of the LA River.

Waiting hear the large junction opposite LAUPT is UP ES44AC #7719 waits for Metrolink traffic to clear up.

The now closed MISSION tower with another Metrolink train approaching to the North. MISSION interlocking was the gateway to the LAUPT trunk line with connections to all the major railroads in the area.

Built at the same time as MISSION, TERMINAL TOWER was closed in a mid-1990's re-signaling project.

Cab car #6906 on my Surfliner train at the LAUPT platform. 

LA Union Station was built in 1939 and is considered to be the last great American passenger rail station before the era of Air Travel made such stations unnecessary. Here is the outside of the station showing the ticket hall and passenger drop off lane. Note how that even in the 30's the station catered to the automobile. Oh, don't think this is a Staples Mill Road situation either. This is about as downtown as one gets in LA. Don't believe me? Take it up with Joe Friday.

Main entrance into the station.

LA Metro Gold Line train on the flyover south of the station. While flirting with Heavy Rail subways briefly in the 80's and 90's, LA decided to adopt light rail as its preferred transit solution, albeit with some heavy rail features like full length high level boarding.

It's getting into the peak of rush hour here and traffic is set outbound on 5 of the 6 trunk tracks. Rotem cab car #653 brings up the rear of a departing Metrolink train.

Metrolink F59PHI #885 with Terminal Tower in the background.

Art Deco interior of the LAUPT waiting room. I should mention again that this is after 4pm on a weekday. Compare with the crowds at eastern stations like Penn or Grand Central or South or 30th St.

The old ticket hall is currently closed off because Metrolink tickets are purchased from machines and Amtrak only needs one or two windows to handle its modest level of ridership.

Opposite view of the waiting room toward the train concourse.

Here is a video of a departing Metrolink train from one of the long platforms at LAUPT. On point is F59PHI #896 and on the rear is Rotem cab car #638.

Metrolink F59PHI #878 waiting for its time to depart. Note the escape tracks which allow steam engines to be uncoupled and then run back to the yard for servicing without having to back up the entire train.

The old school Amtrak logo is alive and well at their LAUPT maintenance outpost.

Inbound Rotem cab car #668 with a dwarf signal displaying a Clear indication down in front.

Terminal Tower with the 6-track signal gantry behind it. One route is currently ready to accept its train with an Approach Diverging indication for the former MISSION interlocking beyond.

Metrolink F59PH #860 with the LAUPT clock tower in the background. It's 5:20PM and the station is still unusually sedate. If this were New York or Chicago the platforms would be mobbed with both people and trains. 

Original ramp down to the platform access concourse. Of course because the handicapped can't ever be satisfied new ramps with ADA compliant slopes had to be blasted out the other side when the station was rebuilt. I guess these weren't rampy enough for them.

Metrolink F59PH #871 stands in the background.

Amtrak P42DC #188 was subbing for the more usual CA DoT owned Surfliner F59PHI power on one of the Surfliner trainsets.

My train to Chicago, Amtrak Train #4, the Southwest Chief, was about 45 minutes late getting out of the yard. Of course the big question was would I have a clear and unobstructed view out the back from which to take pictures from or would my entire trip by ruined by some bullshit private car. Well, it turns out that I would indeed be able to take photos so next tune in for the first set of pics from my third cross country rail voyage which will cover the section between LA and San Bernidino on the former ATSF Super Chief route.

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