Big Power on Reno Branch
Author: Tom Mueller
Date: 05-13-2019 - 13:11
Yesterday I headed up to Portola for a walk around. While passing over "Anderson Hill/Summit" (that is the grade between Stead and Cold Springs on 395) I noticed 4 UP road units in a cut. From what I could I see it was only 4 units not stored power. Later that day coming back from Portola I decided to hunt these units down and find out why they are up on a seldom used portion of the branch. Upon my return to the area they were gone.
I followed OLD 395 down from Stead and noticed some activity near the Seneca Way grade crossing. I found a GREX ballast train with two SD70s backing up. I followed it a ways and discovered a "siding" I was unaware of and the "4 units" I had seen earlier. All the power was put together with the 4 or 5 articulated ballast car sets. The train ( Six SD's) and its empties began the trek down the hill to Sparks.
I learned the UP had spread large rock/ boulder size ballast along the ROW up near Cold Springs on Saturday. This was the empty move I witnessed.
I am curious why UP would be putting dollars and effort into this part of the branch that may see 4 or 5 moves a year to get to the propane dealer at Bordertown.