Question about military railheads use by adjoining railroads

NScaleKen Oct 26, 2018

  1. NScaleKen

    NScaleKen Permanently dispatched

    So on my prototype Union Pacific Coast Division (SP Coast Division) there are no wye's or reverse loops for a very long way... accept for 2 military installations along the mainline. Vandenberg Air Force Base has a wye that appears to be functional still, and Camp Roberts which is a big international friendly forces training center has a loop around the back of its flatbed loading yard that is most likely operational. Would Union Pacific have any access to those for its own commercial needs? Would they want access for logistical use to reverse locomotives along this line? Would local short lines, Santa Maria Valley Railroad and the white hills extension and ore facility that has a road switcher be able to use those military facilities to turn a locomotive around?

    If military tracks are used by the railroads for logistical reasons related to other freight or passenger trains than those directly contracted to transport military cargo, then I would include that logistical functionality on my layout and have a wye or loop, if not, then I would leave them out as there is no ability to do that on the prototype.
  2. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

    There's a wye on Naval property in San Diego. As I understand it, the Santa Fe had a longstanding agreement with the Navy dating back to time immemorial which allowed them to use the wye. Caltrans uses the Santa Fe track, and the Santa Fe station, but is not the Santa Fe, and gets no permission. Which explains how the Santa Fe was able to use steam engines, but now push/pull trainsets are used.

    Many things are possible. I'm sure each of those locations has its own history. I suspect that if Caltrans can't get in on the old Santa Fe agreement, that means the military will honor the original agreement with the original constructor of the line they bought/leased/cooperate on. Subsequent users can, apparently, take a flying leap.
    ddm502001, NScaleKen and Hardcoaler like this.
  3. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I suspect that a lot of those pre-existing agreements may have been modified, if not outright nullified, post 9-11. Just a hunch not based on knowledge.
    NScaleKen likes this.
  4. NScaleKen

    NScaleKen Permanently dispatched

    Thanks, I was thinking along the same lines that they probably dont use them. the short line on my proto actually has a wye right in the center of Santa Maria, but its way off the mainline and I doubt UP ever touches it. Will be fun to model a wye on a 90 crossover in urban setting when I get around to it, and if I can find a place to fit it. but only the short line switchers will use it.

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