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UP Phoenix Sub Schedule Question

Started by DaveInChandler, November 03, 2018, 04:30:45 pm

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DaveInChandler

November 03, 2018, 04:30:45 pm Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 04:32:19 pm by DaveInChandler
Hello  :)

I understand that the primary trains running on the Phoenix-Picacho line are:

LKT71   Phoenix-Tuscon local ("Magma")
LKT72   Tuscon-Phoenix local ("Magma")
MPXTU  Phoenix-Tuscon manifest
MTUPX  Tuscon-Phoenix manifest

Additional trains include loaded/empty grain and loaded/empty autos. 

Does anyone have some specific feedback on the schedules or patterns of the aforementioned trains?  For example, I'm assuming the manifests don't do much work en route but what about the Magma's?  In watching videos online the consist can vary quite a bit on these.  Are they working customers en route?  Is there much work to do at Magma Jct? 

I'm asking for both local interest (live and work in Chandler) and also modeling interest (slowly working on a 3'x14' Unitrack layout in n scale representing this line, primarily focused on the interchange at Magma).  I'm wanting to figure out a bit of what the UP does so I can plan to replicate that a bit on my layout, and I'd like to eventually get trackside a bit more but have no clue when the few trains that run actually operate. 

I moved to PHX from the Seattle area 18 months ago and it's been a real challenge.  I lived in Surprise for about 8 months so catching BNSF was more normal routine.  Since buying our house in Chandler, it's been like withdrawals.  My house in Washington was about 1/2 mile from BNSF's Stampede Sub and we were getting 8-18 trains a day, and I was down in Auburn frequently and it was like shooting fish in a barrel.  It'd be nice to see something once in a while but I rarely time it right.

Anyhow, thanks for any info - I appreciate it! 

 

Jeff

Hey there Dave,
Welcome to Arizona.  The UP Phoenix Sub is definitely a mystery with really no set schedule from what I can tell.  The LKT71 usually starts in the late afternoon-evening as it goes through switching while it is en-route to Tucson.  With the railroad being re-opened in Superior, that may bring more business for the Magma Local.

I believe the LKT72 comes back in the early morning hours just after the Manifest/Auto (the once in while grain) Trains.  I hope others chime in that actually RailFan the Phoenix Sub to give some more good information.
Jeff
RailFanAZ.com Webmaster | ATCS Server Host for BNSF Arizona and Parts of UP Arizona.

https://www.railfanaz.com

DaveInChandler

Thanks Jeff.  Days like today are what AZ is about.  :-)

I'm hoping to see an uptick in interchange in Magma as well.  On my model I plan to model the Copper Basin from Magma Jct to Ray Jct more or less.  I figure if there's not much traffic in the real world I'll just imagineer some in.  I'll also model a UP mainline loop that represents the Phoenix Sub, focusing on the interchange.  If and when I get additional space and am ready to expand, I think I'll add modules representing the Tempe bridge, a few Mesa/Gilbert/Queen Creek customers, and a longer mainline run.  The UP Phoenix Sub is ideal since it's a mainline but not very busy so keeps it simple for me! 

I have seen the Chandler job on a number of occasions but have only seen the W Chandler job from the freeway once or twice.  Hoping to catch it more in the future.  Finally, I occasionally hang out on the north side of the PHX airport runways next to the UP main but just have such little luck getting a train to pass by. 

Anyhow, thanks again!

-Dave

Jakesiegel_3

The most common grain symbol I see is the GSS9BK which is a Grain shuttle from Syracuse Nebraska to Buckeye Az. They also runa Dixie one a lot but idk the symbol for that one. These trains are usually a few a month but pick up during grain harvest season. There are 2 grain facility destinations being the Buckeye and Dixie Grain facilities which can also both be found on maps easily. Inbound autorack symbol varies but this year has typically been AEPPX coming from El Paso texas (used to be AAMPX from Armoirdale Kansas). Now for scheduling they have absolutely no schedule, a lot of the ops for thru trains on this line are throughout the night. For magma, they used to switch all the mainline industries en route to phx but crews didn't make it to phx often so now they only switch randolph, magma jct and mesa yard inbound, then outbound they switch mesa yard and schnepf farms. Chandler local has picked up on some of their switching ops in Mesa and also the Gilbert lumber spur for Foxworth. The kyrene or tempe local works down the tempe branch weekday afternoons which is nice because last year they started their work just after sundown. Anyways hope that helps some.
Phx Sub Railfanner
Railfanning UP Phoenix & occasionally Gila Sub

Jeff

November 04, 2018, 02:24:58 pm #4 Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 02:25:15 pm by Jeff R
Thanks for the useful information Jake   :)

We don't railfan as much with kids like we used to.
Jeff
RailFanAZ.com Webmaster | ATCS Server Host for BNSF Arizona and Parts of UP Arizona.

https://www.railfanaz.com

DaveInChandler

Thanks Jake!

With the Magma Jct switching, what exactly is picked up/dropped off here?  I get the impression that there is little if any interchange taking place so just not sure what's happening in those switching moves.

Is Mesa yard switching to pick up/drop off cars for the locals?  I'm guessing that's where the Chandler local leaves its cars, though I've seen locals coming out of Phoenix as well through Tempe.  I did follow the Chandler job once after it switched the lumber mill south of 202.  Caught them up on the main switching that lumber spur. 

I see Alliance Lumber but I think it looks like the track to schnepf has been severed.

Again, thanks for all the info.  It helps me sort of piece together what is going on with the line. 

-Dave

Quote from: Jakesiegel_3 on November 04, 2018, 01:56:58 pm
The most common grain symbol I see is the GSS9BK which is a Grain shuttle from Syracuse Nebraska to Buckeye Az. They also runa Dixie one a lot but idk the symbol for that one. These trains are usually a few a month but pick up during grain harvest season. There are 2 grain facility destinations being the Buckeye and Dixie Grain facilities which can also both be found on maps easily. Inbound autorack symbol varies but this year has typically been AEPPX coming from El Paso texas (used to be AAMPX from Armoirdale Kansas). Now for scheduling they have absolutely no schedule, a lot of the ops for thru trains on this line are throughout the night. For magma, they used to switch all the mainline industries en route to phx but crews didn't make it to phx often so now they only switch randolph, magma jct and mesa yard inbound, then outbound they switch mesa yard and schnepf farms. Chandler local has picked up on some of their switching ops in Mesa and also the Gilbert lumber spur for Foxworth. The kyrene or tempe local works down the tempe branch weekday afternoons which is nice because last year they started their work just after sundown. Anyways hope that helps some.

Jeff

At Schnepf Farms, there was "Cross bucks" at one time, however within the last few years, the crossing over Rittenhouse Rd was repaved with Cement and Crossing Signals /w Gates were installed.


Quote from: DaveInChandler on November 04, 2018, 03:24:33 pm

I think it looks like the track to schnepf has been severed.

-Dave
Jeff
RailFanAZ.com Webmaster | ATCS Server Host for BNSF Arizona and Parts of UP Arizona.

https://www.railfanaz.com

DaveInChandler

Thanks.  I was following it (on Google Maps) across Rittenhouse Rd which looked pretty new but past the lumber yard the track across the dirt road looked out of service and the spur into the Schnepf property didn't look used anymore.  Hard to tell with Google satellite view, though. 

-Dave

Quote from: Jeff R on November 04, 2018, 04:41:04 pm
At Schnepf Farms, there was "Cross bucks" at one time, however within the last few years, the crossing over Rittenhouse Rd was repaved with Cement and Crossing Signals /w Gates were installed.


Quote from: DaveInChandler on November 04, 2018, 03:24:33 pm

I think it looks like the track to schnepf has been severed.

-Dave


DaveInChandler

I guess we're talking about the same spur in the end.  :-)  I wasn't familiar with Schnepf but now see it is more of a people-oriented attraction, but the lumber place on the Schnepf spur gets centerbeams.  Ultimately, the Magma train serves this spur, which is all you were trying to say.  Glad I could make it more difficult than it needed to be.  lol

-Dave

Jeff

It's all Good Dave.   ;D  The Phoenix Sub is Mysterious!
Jeff
RailFanAZ.com Webmaster | ATCS Server Host for BNSF Arizona and Parts of UP Arizona.

https://www.railfanaz.com

j3rsdm5

November 05, 2018, 10:59:40 am #10 Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 11:00:14 am by j3rsdm5
I used to live in AZ for about 11 years; didn't get much into railfanning until the last few years before moving to Michigan. Now I'm back in AZ as of July, but I spent a good 2 years on CSX CTC territory. We would get about 2-3 trains daily, and it was extremely easy to track them with ATCS, radio, live customer access train tracing, and a whole forum of people who live way up the line posting about locations live. You nailed that withdrawals thing! Now I just use the notification emails for updates, but I suppose living half an hour from the Gila sub is what makes up for it for me. :D Good to have you here!

Jeff

Quote from: j3rsdm5 on November 05, 2018, 10:59:40 am
Now I just use the notification emails for updates....


Before my wife and I had the Twins, we would see the alert for "Entering Picacho Wye" and get ready.  Once we see "Coolidge", we bolted out the door to Mesa.  :)

If I don't have my laptop with me, I just watch for the Alerts to pop up on my cell phone to know when a train is coming.   :P
Jeff
RailFanAZ.com Webmaster | ATCS Server Host for BNSF Arizona and Parts of UP Arizona.

https://www.railfanaz.com

j3rsdm5

November 05, 2018, 05:35:59 pm #12 Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 05:36:23 pm by j3rsdm5
Ah; when I find a partner, I hope she's like yours. :D Most of the time, my family wants nothing to do with trains. :P

DaveInChandler

When you talk about notifications, are you referring to ATCS or something else?  I think I downloaded that several years ago and used it once to track some trains over Stampede Pass in Washington but I don't remember anything about it now.  That would be helpful for knowing what's coming since it's not exactly "shooting fish in a barrel" in PHX.  :-)

-Dave

Quote from: Jeff R on November 05, 2018, 05:23:14 pm
Quote from: j3rsdm5 on November 05, 2018, 10:59:40 am
Now I just use the notification emails for updates....


Before my wife and I had the Twins, we would see the alert for "Entering Picacho Wye" and get ready.  Once we see "Coolidge", we bolted out the door to Mesa.  :)

If I don't have my laptop with me, I just watch for the Alerts to pop up on my cell phone to know when a train is coming.   :P

Jeff

ATCS auto email as below:

From: "UP Picacho Wye (PX979)"
Date: November 5, 2018 at 8:37:56 PM MST
To: "UP Picacho Wye (PX979)"
Subject: Entering Phoenix Sub at Picacho Wye


Signal/Track Indication Sent on: 11/5/2018 8:37:56 PM.
Control Point: Picacho Wye
Subdivision: Phoenix
Milepost: PX979
Train Information: Entering Phoenix Subdivision


RoboFoamer Version 2017.07.14
Jeff
RailFanAZ.com Webmaster | ATCS Server Host for BNSF Arizona and Parts of UP Arizona.

https://www.railfanaz.com

j3rsdm5

Yup! Basically, you get an email whenever a train is on the way. The system uses ATCS Rules, but I'm not sure of the specifics. You can sign up for the emails here: https://www.railfanaz.com/index.php?topic=4182.0

I constructed a similar system back in 2017. When the computer would receive a certain packet (track occupied for example), it would write to a text file, which would be read by a script. Then the script sends a POST request to IFTTT, which sends a notification to my phone.
I documented the whole thing here if you want to check it out in more detail. :D
http://railroadfan.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=35503

DaveInChandler

Ok thanks.  By the looks of it, there's one on the way.  :-)

Jeff

November 05, 2018, 09:31:37 pm #17 Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 09:34:46 pm by Jeff R
Yup, it's an automatic email setup and also can do SMS text messaging (Short Message) for cell phones. It then "counts" it into Excel. It uses the ATCS Router we have setup.

It uses VB and C-Script.  With the certain codes tried into ATCS.  Track Indication, Signal Indication, Switch (If Any).
Jeff
RailFanAZ.com Webmaster | ATCS Server Host for BNSF Arizona and Parts of UP Arizona.

https://www.railfanaz.com

Jeff

Oh yeah - Forgot to mention.  The SMS is not part of the group.  You would have to PM me with your Cell Phone SMS Address (Example: ##########@txt.att.net)
Jeff
RailFanAZ.com Webmaster | ATCS Server Host for BNSF Arizona and Parts of UP Arizona.

https://www.railfanaz.com



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