SPRR Yuma District - Section V - The East Line

                                                                   SECTION V

                                          THE YUMA DISTRICT: THE EAST LINE



  The East Line, formerly the Yuma Line, is a nearly-two-hundred mile stretch of mainline, high-speed railroad; Section V breaks this long expanse into five separate manageable segments.  Each is a logical part of the whole line; the first is from West Colton to the top of the Beaumont Hill; the next is from the top of Beaumont Hill all the way to the end of the helper district at Indio.  The third stretches nearly fifty miles from Indio to Niland, where the Imperial Valley branchlines connect to the Yuma Line; the last two segments are from Niland to Yuma and Yuma to the east end of the East Yard.



SEGMENT 1 - WEST COLTON to APEX, MP 532.4 - 563.3




  This segment covers the Yuma District's Yuma Line from West Colton and east to the top of the Beaumont Hill near Apex Switch.  The elevation at West Colton (MP535.0) is 1080' AMSL; the rails drop more than one hundred feet to the Santa Ana River crossing, then proceed up the reaches of San Timoteo Canyon to a maximum elevation of over 2600' at Beaumont.  This is the lowest pass into the continental interior for any of the eight routes that have historically originated on California coast.  As is typical, the Southern Pacific performs this seemingly simple task with near-2% grades and plenty of helper service to keep the action fast and interesting.

  The west end of the Yuma Line suffers from typical Southern California weather, Los Angeles-style.  West Colton is far enough inland to not often feel the moderating effects of the Pacific Ocean; these same ocean breezes that cool the coastal regions only serve to transport the bulk of the smog and the other atmospheric poisons to their vacation home over the Colton/Riverside/San Bernardino area.  Thus, the reason for the summertime scorching temperatures and the poor air quality.

  Wintertime often brings the best air.  I have seen many, many mornings where San Gorgonio, the San Jacintos and the bulk of the San Bernardinos are visible from West Los Angeles, nearly 90 miles away.  It is on these days that the Southland is truly one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and a perfect backdrop for train chasing, watching and photographing!

  During the summer the temperatures can often exceed the century mark by midday; in the winter the nights can tickle the freezing mark - add a biting gale out of the north and it's more like living in Idaho (well, almost).

  West Colton Yard begins at MP532.4, a few miles west of the subdivision point and within the Basin District; the guide begins at this point to include the entire West Colton Classification Yard in the description, rather than breaking it up into two smaller sections in different guides.



532.4  West End WEST COLTON Yard (SBD25D2)

            West End RECEIVING Yard

            Sierra Crossover

            Sierra Avenue Overpass

            End Centralized Traffic Control (CTC)

            Begin West Colton Interlocking Limits

            EB/WB Absolute Signals

            Signpost EB "END CTC"

            Signpost WB "BEGIN CTC"

            Speed Limit: EB 70-50 MPH; WB 70-65 MPH

  Although the subdivision point marking the west end of the Yuma District is more than two miles east at MP535.0, the tour begins here so as to include all of West Colton Yard, instead of breaking it in two or more pieces.

  The Basin District's West Line provides the entry from the west to the classification yard; downtown Los Angeles is nearly fifty mileposts west.  Although there are two tracks entering from the west, this is single-track mainline.  The north track (the one next to the freeway) is the main line and is also called the "901" track on its way through West Colton.  The south track is the "902" track, which begins back at MP530.4, near South Fontana.  The 902 track serves as the yard lead, keeping eastbound traffic off the main even when the Receiving Yard is crowded.

  Trains bound for West Colton make for the Receiving Yard; after tying down the trains are often torn apart by the Crest Herder to feed the Hump Yard.  The new trains are made up in the Hump Yard and then assembled for the road by the Trim Herder.  The Trim Herder and Trim car-men finish the outbound train in the Departure Yard, east of MP536.2.

  Since West Colton is a single-ended yard, this Receiving Yard accepts both east- and westbound trains for reclassification; after being built up and ready to go, westward traffic uses the Balloon Track at the east end of West Colton (MP537.3) to turn around the train and allow it to move westward toward Los Angeles.


532.5  West End Alley Track

  Although it's not marked as such, the far south track provides an alternate way of getting through the West Colton Yard; this is the Alley Track, which skirts the length of the yard along its south side.


533.0  No Milepost Visible

            1105' AMSL; -0.2% EB (SBD25E1)


533.5  EB/WB Absolute Signals

  The two separate signal masts provide indications for the 901 track; the east and west dwarves control the 902 track; the lower aspect on the eastbound 902 dwarf is an indication for the crossovers east of Cedar Avenue.


534.0  1090' AMSL; -0.4% EB (SBD25F1)


534.5  Signpost EB 50 MPH


534.6  East End RECEIVING Yard (SBD26A1)


534.7  EB Absolute Signal Tower

            Dragging Equipment DETECTOR

            EB/WB Track Occupancy Authorization Displays

            Cedar Avenue Overpass

            Old BLOOMINGTON Station

  The EB signal on the 901 track provides an indication for the Cedar Avenue Crossovers immediately ahead.  A dragging equipment detector lies on the alternate hump lead that separates from the 902 track just west of the overpass.

  The track authorization displays lie on each side of the overpass.  These large three-digit numerical displays (often called "Tote Boards" or "Movement Indicators" on the radio) that provide track occupancy information to train crews.  For instance, a eastbound train approaching the tote board on the west side of Cedar may see "901" flashing; this indicates that their train will take the main (#1) track through the yard.

  At the south side of the Cedar Avenue Overpass there are short, somewhat abandoned-looking streets both west and east of the overpass; these may provide a handy, close-by spot to leave the car while spending the day on top of the overpass, watching the action down below.  A fence along both sides of the yard prevents access to the tracks.

  This is also the site of old Bloomington station, as noted in a 1954 timetable.  Its siding length could accommodate 114 cars, about 5800'.


534.8  Cedar Avenue Crossovers



534.9  WB Absolute Signals

            Signpost EB "END CTC"

            Signpost WB "BEGIN CTC"

  The Cedar Avenue Crossovers are under CTC control, as indicated by the signs.


535.0  Subdivision Point (SBD26B1)


            West Colton Yard Administration Building

            West End HUMP Yard

            San Bernardino County Lands: Community of Bloomington

            1080' AMSL; -0.5% EB

  To the west lies the Basin District's West (Alhambra) Line; in the opposite direction, Yuma District's East (Yuma) Line presses its way 195 miles east by southeast to join up with the tracks of the Gila (that's HEE-lah) District of the Tucson Division at Yuma, Arizona.  The path leads through one of the hottest deserts on the planet, closely follows the San Andreas Earthquake Fault zone, one of the most famous and active in the world, reaches the lowest elevation below sea level (-202') of any railroad in the world and passes alongside and serves one of the richest farming valleys in the world!  Superlatives abound on the Yuma District.

  This is the west end of the Hump Yard ,the heart of the West Colton Classification Yard.  The hump itself is several hundred feet south of the freeway, with two tracks leading into the hump and several dozen yard tracks laying beyond.

  This is the official district point separating the Colton District to the west and the Mojave and Yuma Districts to the east, 0.3 miles east of the Cedar Avenue Overpass.  The milepost sign is visible from the freeway adjacent to the foot of the eastbound onramp.

  The small structure immediately south of the double track main at the milepost is the Crew Change Shanty.  The Receiving Yard is immediately west of the Cedar Avenue overpass.

  The street entrance to the West Colton Yard is at the intersection of Slover Avenue and Spruce Street, about 0.5 miles south; the large towerlike structure along the south side of the tracks is the Administration Building, sometimes called the "Admin" or "Ad" building.


535.4  Leave County Lands: Enter Rialto city limits


536.0  No Milepost Visible (SBD26C1)

            East End HUMP Yard

            Block Signal Tower: EB 5360 - WB 5361

            1055' AMSL; +0.0% EB

  The signals provide indications for the 901 track only.


536.1  West Colton TRIM TOWER

            West End DEPARTURE Yard

            Engine Shops

  The Trim Tower takes care of setting up trains from cars that are set out in the Trim Yard, immediately west of the tower.  Trim Yard car-men are found everywhere, scooting about on their four-wheeled motorbikes.

  The Engine Shops are just west of Riverside Avenue at the south side of the property.  There is a long turning wye there with the tail track trailing off to the southeast, ending just before the intersection of Riverside and Slover Avenues.


536.2  Riverside Avenue Overpass (SBD26D1)

  A tank farm of the Southern Pacific Pipe Lines Company is located at the southeast corner of Slover Avenue and Riverside Avenues, just 0.3 miles south of the mainline.


536.4  Leave Rialto: Enter Colton city limits


536.5  Signpost WB 70-50 MPH

            Speed Limit: EB 50 MPH; WB 70-50 MPH


536.7  Signpost EB 30 MPH


537.0  1045' AMSL; -0.8% EB (SBD26E1)


537.1  EB Absolute Signal Tower



537.2  Pepper Avenue Overpass

            EB/WB Track Occupancy Authorization Displays

            Old WEST COLTON Station

            Leave Colton: Enter County Lands

  West from Pepper is the Departure Yard; looking east you will see the West Colton Balloon track just south of Interstate 10.  The single-main track of the Yuma Line, the most northerly set of rails and still the 901 track, passes underneath the Pepper Avenue overpass, gently curving around the foot of Slover Mountain.

  The track authorization displays stand on each side of the overpass.  These large three-digit numerical displays (often called "Tote Boards" or "Movement Indicators" on the radio) that provide track occupancy information to train crews.  For instance, a westbound train approaching the tote board on the east side of Pepper may see "901" flashing; this indicates that their train will take the main track through the yard.

  A General American Transportation Corporation (GATX) tank car repair and maintenance facility is located southeast of the bridge.  Their service yard is served by the east-facing spur 1405 that joins the Alley track at MP537.5.

  The only access to this area and east nearly to Rancho Avenue is by foot, and it's all railroad property.

  The 1954 timetable shows this as the site of the West Colton station, but within the limits of Colton Yard.


537.3  West End Colton BALLOON Track

            West End Colton BYPASS Track

 Both the Balloon and the Bypass tracks help to facilitate movement at this very busy end of the yard.

  The Balloon track allows finished trains exiting the Departure yard to turn and continue westward toward Los Angeles, back through West Colton.  Speed limit on this track is 15 MPH.


  The Bypass track allows westbound trains coming in from the Yuma Line to continue into the yard even when there is departing traffic leaving the yard and heading west onto the Colton Line via the West leg of the wye.  Speed limit on this track is 25 MPH.



537.4  DEPARTURE Yard Lead Joins South Main

            DEPARTURE Yard Crossover

  Completed consists await power in the Departure yard.  When power is available, it runs down the Alley from the Shops, passing under Pepper Avenue.  The engines then back into the Departure yard to couple to their consists.  Upon authorization, the full train then proceeds out the Departure Yard lead to either of three destinations; eastward movement on the Yuma Line, westward movement on the Bakersfield Line up through the Cajon, or westbound movement toward Los Angeles via the Balloon track.  The Departure yard crossover allows exiting trains to get to either the Bakersfield Line or to the Balloon track.


537.5  BAKERSFIELD LINE West Junction (SBD26E2)

            East End Colton Balloon Track

  The Colton Line of the Mojave District separates from the main lines here and rides up the embankment in the middle distance, crossing the freeway about 0.5 miles east of Pepper Avenue.  This is the famous Cajon Pass Route, finished in 1969, that brings Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley within 182 miles of West Colton.  The junction is a full wye - the leg closest to West Colton Yard is the west leg, while the leg heading toward Yuma is the east leg.  The speed limit on either leg is 15 MPH.

  Trains coming down from the Cajon can either come into the yard or continue east immediately; the westbound trains out of Yuma also have the opportunity to head directly up the Cajon or pull into the yard.

  The first siding on the Bakersfield Line is Slover, the east switch of which is located about 200 yards north of the Interstate.

  The 1405 spur, joining the Alley Track, provides service to the General American Transportation Corporation (GATX) tank car repair and maintenance facility that is located south of the tracks.


537.6  EB Signpost "BEGIN CTC" (SBD26F2)

            WB Signpost "END CTC"

            ALLEY Track Joins 902 Track

  According to the Timetable, RULE 312(2) states that the West Colton Interlocking Limits extend from MP532.4 (Sierra Avenue) to MP538.6 (Santa Fe Interlocking).  From there the Santa Fe Interlocking Limits extend yet another 0.1 miles east to MP538.7.

  Rule 350 then specifies that CTC is in effect east from MP538.7 all the way to MP609.7.


537.8  East-facing 1530 Spur

            Slover Mountain

  This spur, joining with the 902 track, provides service to the cement plant at California Portland Cement Company, located at the southern foot of Slover Mountain, immediately south of the rails.

  Slover Mountain is a nearly solid lump of limestone that has supplied Southern California with cement since around 1900.  California Portland Cement Company (Calmat) mines the hill now.  One of these days the mountain will be a pit; watch it carefully as its appearance changes from month to month.


538.0  1010' AMSL; -0.7% EB (SBD26F1)


538.2  Rancho Avenue Overpass (SBD27A2)

            Leave County Lands: Enter Colton city limits

  The top of the overpass is an ideal train-watching location.  Access to the tracks at this point is via foot or by car from the north end of 3rd Street.


538.4  COLTON LINE East Junction

            East End Colton BYPASS Track

  The east-facing switch on the north main about 450 feet east of the overpass is the east end of the Colton Bypass track, and leads to the east leg of the Colton Line wye, located about 0.3 miles west.

  The speed limit on the Bypass track is 25 MPH.


538.5  Santa Fe Crossovers

            Signpost WB 50 MPH

            Speed Limit: EB 30 MPH; WB 50 MPH


538.6  Leave West Colton Interlocking Limits

            Enter Santa Fe Interlocking Limits

            EB Interlocking Signals

  The Santa Fe Interlocking protects the Santa Fe Crossing at MP538.7.  The Interlocking Limits, as per the Espee Timetable, extend from MP538.6 to MP538.7.



            WB Interlocking Signals

            End Santa Fe Interlocking Limits

            Begin Two-Main Track Centralized Traffic Control (CTC)

  Espee had built their way from Los Angeles through Colton to Yuma by the fall of 1877.  The California Southern Railroad (CSRR) Company, incorporated in 1880 and backed by Santa Fe interests, stated its intention to build from the fair port of San Diego to a meeting in the Mojave Desert with the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, itself an arm of the AT&SF, working west from Albuquerque.

  In 1882 the construction had reached Colton; the Espee was determined to not allow the CSRR to bridge the Espee tracks with a crossing frog.  In fact, SP yard locomotives attempted to block any efforts of the CSRR crews to do so by rolling back and forth over the site of the proposed crossing.

  On August 9, 1883, the sheriff and angry residents of San Bernardino decided to take the matter into their own hands; the Espee crew deferred to the unruly crowd.  In short order the CSRR construction hands were able to complete the crossing.  By November 15, 1885, the Santa Fe had acquired full control of the CSRR and was able finally to achieve their long-awaited connection to the Pacific Ocean at San Diego.

  Access to this crossing is available from Valley Boulevard on the north side of the freeway; 6th Street leads through the parking lot of the Mexican restaurant and passes under the freeway just to the east of the Santa Fe tracks.

  From the south side of the crossing K Street borders the property.  Note the "No Trespassing" signs that abound here.

  The SP Timetable indicates this point as the "Santa Fe Interlocking".

  To the east, the north track is called the "Number One" track; the south is the "Number Two".  Generally but certainly not always, westbound traffic will use the #1 track while trains headed east will be on the #2 track.  This two main track (2MT) operation ends at Apex, the switch atop Beaumont Hill, near milepost 563.2.

  Until the mid-seventies Colton Tower, a manual interlocking facility, was located at the southeast side of the intersection.


538.8  RIVERSIDE BRANCH Junction (SBD27B2)

            Union Pacific Crew House

  Although the Espee Timetable indicates that the beginning of the Riverside Branch is MP539.0, the switch here, just east of the Santa Fe Crossing, is the entry to the Branch from the mainline.

  The Union Pacific enjoy operating rights with the Santa Fe over the Santa Fe mainline all the way from Riverside to the town of Daggett, east of Barstow, for a total distance of over 70 miles. 

  A Union Pacific crew house is along the south side of the tracks.  Generally a few UP helper locomotives will be idling on the engine spur waiting to be called to service in the Cajon.

  Universal Feeds operates a grain mill along the north side of the mainline, with rail service provided from a spur that connects both to the ATSF and SP mains.  Note the kernel corn and other grain debris in little piles along the siding track.


538.9  La Cadena Drive Underpass

            Ex-Old Colton Station

            Track Access from Ninth Street

  The buildings along the north side of the tracks that now house Cal-Wal Gypsum Supply were once part of the Colton Station facilities.

  Ninth Street passes under the freeway from Valley Boulevard; a private crossing extends south from the end of Ninth and crosses the main line, winding over into the Colton yard tracks.


539.0  West End COLTON Yard

            SAN BERNARDINO BRANCH Junction

            RIVERSIDE BRANCH Junction

            Signpost EB 60-50 MPH

            Speed Limit: EB 60-50 MPH; WB 30 MPH

            965' AMSL; -0.3% EB

  The yard still exists both north and south of the mainline, though nearly all the tracks north of the line are gone.  The north track acts as sort of a team track with a few cars usually set out.  The switch 5000, along the north track of the yard near MP539.3, marks the start of the San Bernardino Branch which exits to the north through the underpass beneath Interstate 10.

  The Espee's Riverside Branch connects to the main line at the switch next to the trackside shanty.  The same switch provides access to the south side of old Colton Yard.  The Riverside Branch separates to the south and proceeds down the center of 9th Street through Colton.  A turning wye is located at the north end of 9th.

  Both of these branches were a portion of the Yuma Subdivision until its dissolution in 1989; they are now technically a part of the lines of the Basin District, which include most all of the Espee trackage in the Los Angeles basin and the Harbor.

  About 200 yards east of the San Bernardino Branch switch there are the remains of a freight car weight scale; the rails have long been removed from the scale platform; the platform itself is in quite bad condition.

  The south tracks of the yard have many bad-order setouts; high cubes, boxes, flats, tanks, cabooses, passenger cars, an occasional engine, even some nifty flatcars on which mobile office trailers are strapped.  Pacific Rail Dismantlers runs the railroad wrecking yard bordering on M Street along the extreme south tracks.


539.5  Colton Yard Access from Mission Street (SBD27C2)

  Mission Street, south off Mount Vernon Avenue and directly across from the freeway on/offramp along the south side, passes immediately along the north side of the yard, goes underneath the Mt. Vernon overpass across the SP tracks and, as Vernon Court, it continues north to the pest control company located next to the county flood control diversion ponds.  Access to the west end of the yard is available from Mission; the dirt roads that lead west join with those leading east from 9th Street.


539.6  East End COLTON Yard (SBD27C2)

            Mount Vernon Avenue Overpass

            Derail Barricade Detector on Stub Track

            Colton Crossover

  Look at the engine stub along the north side of the main under the Mt. Vernon overpass; this stub now protects the main from being fouled by a loose car rolling down the yard lead.  Note the "Movement over end of Derailing Spur" detector at the east end of the spur: a pair of metal bars that look a bit like a giant soldering gun tip.  When a car rolls down that track and off the end, the metal bar is sure to snap, opening a circuit somewhere and probably setting off quite a few alarms.  Crude but effective.  There's another of these, just like this one, at the west end of Ferrum (MP638.8) in the Imperial Valley.



539.7  320' Concrete Bridge over Warm Creek

  Warm Creek, is the result of Cajon Creek, Lytle Creek (both draining the San Gabriel Mountains) and various creeks along the southwestern face of the San Bernardino Mountains directly north of San Bernardino.


539.8  620' Concrete Bridge over the Santa Ana River

  This wide, flat, more-or-less dry ditch is the Santa Ana River; it heads along the north slopes of San Gorgonio Mountain, the highest peak in Southern California at 11,502 feet, flows west between the San Gorgonio Ridge and the San Berdoos, then under this bridge and down through Santa Ana Canyon to its eventual mouth west of Costa Mesa.  Although the river beds a mile either side of this point can be bone dry, there is always visible water in the concrete-lined channel.

  From here to the top of Beaumont Hill near Apex, it's all uphill.


539.9  West Switch ICE DECK Siding (SBD27D2)

            EB Absolute Signals

            EB/WB Absolute Signal Bridge

            Siding Length 5740'

            California Aqueduct Crossing

            948' AMSL; +0.6% EB

  This siding is all that remains of the old Ice Deck Facility.  Back when Pacific Fruit Express had more iced cars than self-refrigerated, this plant provided the ice that kept thousands of trainloads of eastbound reefers loaded with fresh Southern California citrus and other fruits. 

  A balloon track, shown on the 1956 topo map, extended to the south and probably served to turn steam locomotives to service the Beaumont Hill helper district.

  The property was redeveloped a few years ago and two large light industry/shipping facilities have now been built on the property.

  The two sidings that remain are rather short by modern standards; both are now used mainly as storage and the more southerly one can also serve the industries along the south side.  The address of the west building (near MP540.0) is 1601 Cooley Drive; the address of the east building, just past the Interstate overpass, is 1801 Cooley Drive.    Three of the streets in this part of Colton are named after Cooley: Cooley Lane, Cooley Road and Cooley Avenue.  The Cooley Family owned most of the land locally and ran a farm/ranch.

  Access to the north side of the tracks is available from a dirt road that runs west from the 90 degree bend near the end of Steel Rd.  A dirt trail leads out of the west end of the parking lot of 1601 E. Cooley provides access to the south side of the tracks at the Santa Ana River Bridge.

  The speed limit through the diverging route of West Ice Deck is 15 MPH.


540.2  Track Access from Steel Road

  Steel Rd. makes a 90 degree bend to the north.  A dirt path continues west for access all the way to the Santa Ana River.  Ice Deck Siding continues.

  The remains of an old spur track are still visible in the shrubs along the north side of the mainline, just west of the bend in the road.  The spur used to cross Steel Road and continue north into the currently-empty field beyond.  Watch out for the rail ends if you attempt to use the old right-of-way as access for your vehicle.


540.4  Interstate 215 Overpass

  The railroad passes under four bridges that carry Interstate 215 and its transition ramps.  The Interstate 10/215 interchange, located just a few hundred yards north, is a magnificent piece of highway engineering, with beautifully-sculpted sweeping aerial turns that serve as the transition ramps between the two Interstates.  According to Robert P. Sharp in the K/H Geology Field Guide Southern California, the whole interchange is built almost directly atop the San Jacinto earthquake fault.  He writes that he never passes "over, under or through this freeway interchange without imploring the earthquake gods to hold everything for a few seconds" until clear of the structure.

  Steel Road veers away to the north and east to the intersection of Redlands Boulevard and Hunts Lane.


540.5  ICE DECK Station (SBD27D2)


540.6  West-facing 1679 Spur (SBD27E2)

  This spur off the #1 track (north) services O. H. Kruse Grain and Milling Company, located along the north side of the railroad for the next 0.3 miles.  By the way, on San Antonio Avenue about twenty miles west in Ontario between the UP and the SP main lines, there is another O. H. Kruse facility with a retail store.  Stop by and say hi.


541.0  No Mileboard Visible

            Signpost WB 30 MPH

            Hunts Lane Grade Crossing

            Leave Colton: Enter San Bernardino city limits

            980' AMSL; +1.0% EB

  From here east the south side of the tracks is easily passable by 2WD, the north side only by foot.  Commercial Street, about 0.2 miles south of the tracks, runs parallel with the tracks to Waterman Avenue, 0.5 miles east.

  The railroad tracks also cross the San Jacinto Fault here, one of the more active and dangerous members of the San Andreas Fault family.  The fault runs northwest and southeast; the SP will continue to follow generally the San Andreas Fault Zone all the way to Yuma, a distance of nearly 200 miles.  It is possible that the SP lies closer and in parallel with more active, powerful faults than any other railroad in the world, certainly in the United States.

  Hunts Lane is often blocked for ten minutes at a time while helpers are switched.  There is a large dirt parking area immediately northwest of the crossing where you can park and watch trains and irate drivers.  For those who are in a hurry and are driving south on Hunts Lane, make the left turn onto Caroline Street, follow it through the shopping center to Waterman Avenue which crosses the right-of-way on a bridge.  Northbound drivers can retreat to Commercial Street and head east to Waterman.

  Immediately to the east of the grade crossing begins the city of San Bernardino.

  According to the 1989 Espee Timetable, the portion of the Yuma District from this point east to Yuma is under the control of the Yuma District; the tracks west to West Colton Yard are governed by the Basin District.  This is a change from earlier practices.


541.3  East Switch ICE DECK Siding (SBD27E2)

            LOMA LINDA Crossovers

            EB/WB Absolute Signals

            Signpost EB 60 MPH

            Signpost WB 60-50 MPH

            Speed Limit: EB 60 MPH; WB 60-50 MPH

  Lots of action takes place in the next few tenths of a mile.  The Loma Linda Crossovers are the site of many helper moves, with Ice Deck, the Engine Spur and the PMT Siding all getting involved in the fun.


541.5  ENGINE Spur (SBD27F2)

            Waterman Avenue Overpass

  From here to MP542.0 there are a few industry spurs.  One leads west on the north side of the #1 track from the switch beneath the overpass.  This is called the "ENGINE Spur", and is used to hold downgrade helpers switched out.  The siding along the south tracks just east of Waterman Avenue (MP541.6) is called the "PMT", and the east end of this spur up at MP542.0 will often have a helper set waiting for work with an uphill-bound consist.  Helper crews are rotated by a Carry-All that comes out from West Colton.  There is always activity going on here, with plenty of train movement and opportunities for photography.  The Waterman overpass provides a good vantage point.

  Access along the north side of the tracks is available via Caroline Avenue at the base of the north side of the Waterman Avenue Bridge.  The dirt road that leads south from the end of the pavement goes right up to the tracks.

  This is a very busy location for the SP; the crews are often preoccupied with the safe movement of their trains.  Try to keep out of their way, but enjoy watching them and watch the detail to which every movement is made.  Listening to a radio scanner comes in handy.  There have been as many as four helper sets here at once; three on the PMT and one on the Engine spur.

  To follow along the north side of the line go east from Waterman onto Caroline, make an immediate turn on the paved road that leads to the tracks and turns to dirt.  The south side of the tracks is clear to the west of the overpass, but is blocked to the east.


541.8  West Switch PMT Siding (SBD27F3)

  The siding alongside the south main is called the "PMT Spur" or siding.  This is a busy siding; the crews are often preoccupied with the safe movement of their trains.  Try to keep out of their way, but enjoy watching them and watch the detail to which every movement is made.  Listening to a radio scanner comes in handy.  There have been as many as three helper sets idling on this siding at one time.

  Switches 1695 and 1699 provide access to spurs that still wind to the south of the mainline.

  A south path begins again.  Access is available from the west side of the parking lot of 520 Industrial Road.


542.0  East Switch PMT Siding

            Leave San Bernardino: Enter Loma Linda city limits

            1040' AMSL; +1.0% EB

  Helper sets will often be found resting on this siding, waiting to be called to supply muscle to an eastbound manifest for that long climb up Beaumont Hill.

  Again, SP crews may be very busy in this area and there are frequent trains often running hard in each direction, so exercise extreme caution when nosing about.

  Incidentally, the name "PMT" refers to the old SP subsidiary, Pacific Motor Trucking, formed in 1933 to take advantage of intermodal shipping long before anyone else thought of it.

  Access to the south path is available from the cul-de-sac at the east end of Industrial Road.  There is a serviceable path across the dirt lot that separates the street from the tracks but the curb at the street sometimes presents a formidable obstacle.  The north side of the tracks has a road that is narrow but useable to the east.


542.2  Track Access From Campus Street (SBD28A3)

  Access to the south side path is available from the north end of Campus Street.  The north and south paths are clear in both directions.


542.5  Anderson Avenue Overpass

  From here and east 100 yards SP has made liberal use of "No Trespassing" signs facing outward from the main line.


542.6  Old LOMA LINDA Station

  Loma Linda siding, now part of the two-main track operation up the west face of Beaumont Hill, could accommodate 264 cars, as per the 1954 timetable.


542.7  Track Access from Van Leuven Street (SBD28B3)

  Foot access to the north side path is available along Van Leuven St., but there are large amounts of rip-rap piled up along the immediate north side of the rails, making auto traffic impossible. The south side path continues clear in both directions.


543.0  1100' AMSL; +1.2% EB


543.1  Dragging Equipment / Hot Box DETECTOR - Speedometer

            EB/WB Absolute Signal Bridge

            "THE SCANNER"

  The tamarisk trees along the south side of the tracks lend shade on a hot summer afternoon and the signal bridge can add a pleasing frame to photographs taken here of freights powering east toward the entrance to San Timoteo Canyon.

  East to about MP544.8 the atmosphere of the surroundings is definitely residential.  Remember, from here to Cabazon most of the surrounding property is privately held, either by the railroad or by others.

  There is access to this point from the south side, using a makeshift (and flimsy) bridge across a narrow ditch from the north end of Benton Avenue.

  To the east, the mainline begins a gradual, sweeping curve south.

  This detector can be heard for many miles to the west when using a reasonable radio.  It provides good clues as to the arrival of westbound trains when scouting the railroad to the west.

  This detector is also specifically referred to on the radio; when the dispatcher tells a train crew to pick up a helper engine at "The Scanner", this is the place.


543.2  Signpost EB 50 MPH (SBD28C3)


543.5  Signpost EB "Check Unit for Smoking Condition"


543.6  Mountain View Avenue Overpass

  Access to the south side dirt path is possible through the back side of the Mountain View Plaza, located on Mountain View Avenue just south and east of the tracks.  Stater Brothers market is located in this plaza.  There is also a poor dirt path along the west side of the overpass from off Prospect Avenue.


543.9  Leave Loma Linda: Enter County Lands (SBD28D3)


544.0  Signpost EB "Report Smoking Units to Dispatcher"

            1160' AMSL; +1.2% EB

  Note the beginning of the occasional dense and massive stands of prickly pear (opuntia) cactus along the north side of the tracks.  Opuntia has long been used for making impenetrable walls to keep out invaders; some fine examples of this art abound to the east.    The cactus also, by the way, makes passage along the north side of the rails impossible except on foot.  Opuntia blossoms with brilliant red fruit (prickly pears) that are dangerous eating but taste pretty good.


544.3  Barton Road Overpass (SBD28D4)

            #1 (North) Track Rail Greaser

  Access to the north side of the tracks is available from Mayberry Street at the east side of the overpass.


544.5  BRYN MAWR Station (SBD28D4)

            Community of Bryn Mawr

  The foundations of the old station still remain between the north side of the tracks and Mayberry Avenue just east of the Barton Avenue Overpass.  This station controlled freight and passenger traffic that came off the Redlands Branch for points east and west.  A small yard extended from MP544.1 to MP544.5.


544.6  Whittier Avenue Grade Crossing

  The old Redlands Branch separated north and east from the main line just east of this point.  The branch tracks are still visible but are no longer connected to the main.

  The path along the south side of the rails continues to be passable along the northern perimeter of an orchard.  Stands of cactus ahead prevent passage on the north side.


545.0  1220' AMSL; +1.2% EB


545.2  REDLANDS Crossovers (SBD28E5)

            EB/WB Absolute Signal Bridges

            Speed Limit: WB 60-40 MPH

  The pair of signal bridges straddle the tracks east and west of the crossovers about 0.2 miles apart.

  Access to this set of switches is available from the dirt path on the south side; the north side is mostly impassible to four-wheeled vehicles.


545.3  Signpost WB 60-40 MPH

            Speed Limit: EB 50 MPH


545.4  Beaumont Avenue Grade Crossing

  There's a great example of a pair of asphalt-decked, open steel latticework truss bridges spanning the 150'-wide San Timoteo Creek immediately east of the crossing on Beaumont Avenue.  The spans sag heavily over the normally dusty creek, which at this writing in May 1989 was flowing at about three gallons per second.

From here both the north and south side roads are passable all the way to San Timoteo Canyon Road.  The south side shoulders an orchard while the north follows an accessway to several residences along the north side.

  Beaumont Avenue itself continues east across the creek to San Timoteo Canyon Road; turn south on San Timoteo Canyon Road to rejoin the right-of-way.


546.0  1280' AMSL; +1.2% EB


546.2  San Timoteo Canyon Road Grade Crossing (SBD28F6)

            Signpost EB 40 MPH

            Leave Bryn Mawr: Enter Redlands city limits

  This begins the entrance to San Timoteo Canyon itself.  San Timoteo Canyon Rd. will parallel the tracks along the south side for the next 0.6 miles.  An old road heading east from here along the north side of the tracks is the original San Timoteo Canyon Road; it now ends at MP546.5.


546.3  Old REDLANDS Station

  As per the 1954 timetable.


546.5  REDLANDS Station (SBD29A6)

            West-facing 6010 Spur

  The spur is all that marks this site, just west of the signal bridge and south of the #2 track at 546.6.


546.6  Signal Bridge: EB 5464/5466 - WB 5465/5467

  A single bidirectional signal bridge straddles the double track mainline.  5466 and 5467 control the #1 track while movement on the #2 track is controlled by signals 5464 and 5465.


546.9  Highway and Railroad Separate (SBD44A1)

  The railroad veers away to the north from the road.  The south path along the right-of-way is passable to the east.  The less adventurous can continue east along the canyon road which rises up along the slope of the south canyon wall.


547.0  1350' AMSL; +1.3% EB


547.4  Orange Orchard along South Side of Tracks (SBD44B1)

  The valley narrows and begins to get deeper, as the hills around climb faster than the canyon floor.


547.9  Dragging Equipment DETECTOR


548.0  Orange Orchard along North Side of Tracks

            Leave Redlands: Enter County Lands

            1425' AMSL; +1.7% EB


548.2  Alessandro Road Grade Crossing (SBD44C2)

            Block Signal Bridge: EB 5480/5482 - WB 5481/5483

            Signpost WB 50-40 MPH

            Speed Limit: EB 40 MPH; WB 50-40 MPH

  At this point the right-of-way is deeply ensconced in the depths of a substantial orange orchard spanning most of the canyon floor.  Along the main road to the south the railroad cannot be seen but the signal bridge towers above the orange trees to reveal the location of the track.  The signal bridge is immediately west of the grade crossing.

  The south path along the right-of-way continues east but will end 0.4 miles further.  To avoid this, go back to San Timoteo Canyon Rd. and head east to MP548.8.

  Alessandro Rd. ends at San Timoteo Canyon Rd. 0.2 miles south.  Alessandro Rd. provides access to this part of the canyon from downtown Redlands, some 3 miles north.


548.7  South Side Access Path Ends

  The south road ends at a deep ditch.  The north side orchard ends; east of it there are processing sheds belonging to Quality Farms.

548.8  Private Grade Crossing

  This private grade crossing provides access to Quality Farms, located along the north side of the mainline.  Access to this dirt road is available via the driveway immediately west of 28944 San Timoteo Canyon Road.  Once at the grade crossing, the south track access path is clear to the east but blocked to the west.


548.9  #2 (South) Track Rail Greaser (SBD44D2)


549.0  Highway rejoins Railroad (SBD44D3)

            1510' AMSL; +1.3% EB

  The mainline parallels San Timoteo Canyon Road to the east.  Westbound access to the south side path is available.


549.1 Old ORDWAY Station

  As per the 1954 timetable, this particular incarnation of Ordway had a siding length of about 6300'.


549.3 Leave San Bernardino County: Enter Riverside County


549.5  ORDWAY Crossovers (RIV9AD3)

            EB/WB Absolute Signals

            Live Oak Canyon Road Grade Crossing

  Live Oak Canyon Road provides access to the middle of San Timoteo Canyon from Interstate 10 near Yucaipa.  The crossovers straddle Live Oak Canyon Road, the #2 to #1 EB on the west side of the road while the #2 to #1 WB crossover is on the east side.

  The eastbound signals are controlled also by the status of the high-water detector on the bridge at MP550.4.


549.7  #2 (South) Track Rail Greaser


549.9  #1 (North) Track Rail Greaser (RIV9AD4)

            Hi-Railer Access Ramps for both tracks

  Access to the south side of the tracks is by foot only from this point east for several hundred yards.


550.0  Signpost EB 45-40 MPH

            1581' AMSL; +1.7% EB

            Speed Limit: EB 45-40 MPH; WB 40 MPH

  The railroad begins to curve away from the main road.  The path east along the south side of the rails is constricted by a narrow culvert, restricting access to only foot or 2-wheeled vehicle.


550.2  #2 (South) Track Rail Greaser

A dirt path leads from San Timoteo Canyon Road to the tracks.  The trail leaves the highway across from address 28979 and follows the fence.


550.4  60' Wooden Bridge over Redlands Creek

  During very heavy rainstorm activity in the San Timoteo Badlands (the ranges of hills that make up the south side of the canyon), runoff flows down Redlands Canyon immediately south and under this bridge.  A vertical steel pipe at the south side and west end of the bridge has an internal mechanism that senses the depth of water, tripping a switch.  Activation of this switch sets the WB signals 5511 and 5513 and the EB absolute signals at the Ordway Crossovers to a "Stop" indication (red aspect).  The "P" signs at either end of the structure indicate to trainmen that the structure is equipped with a protective device.

  Access is available from the north dirt extension of Redlands Blvd. at San Timoteo Canyon Road.  Westbound access to the south side path is available for about 0.3 miles west.  The access east along the south is severely impaired due to the deep, narrow gully lined with broken chunks of concrete; however, it is probably passable with care.  Once beyond the concrete chunks, the path, lined along the south with eucalyptus trees, is clear back to the main road, about 0.2 miles east.


550.5  #1 (North) and #2 (South) Track Rail Greasers


550.6  Bluff on South Side of Canyon Road (RIV9AF4)

  Access to the south trackside road heading west is available from the main road. 

  A good camera shot of westbound, downhill trains snaking along the canyon floor is possible by gaining elevation through climbing the hill south of the canyon road.  Be careful, don't trespass, don't get hurt, etc... oh, by the way, bring a long, fast lens for those clear, winter afternoon shots.


550.7  Private Grade Crossing (RIV9AF5)


551.0  ORDWAY Station (RIV9AF5)

            1670' AMSL; +1.8% EB

            East-facing 6030 Spur

  Along the south side of the right-of-way, connected to the #2 track, is an equipment spur about 100 yards long.


551.2  Block Signals: EB 5512/5514 - WB 5511P/5513P

            Private Grade Crossing (RIV9BA5)

  Westbound signals 5511 and 5513 also indicate the status of the high-water detector at the trestle at MP550.4.


551.5  Highway and Railroad Separates

  The tracks pass over a tall, concrete-portaled culvert and begin to veer off to the north from the road.



551.7  Private Grade Crossing

  Access to the south side of the tracks is available from the driveway of 30260 San Timoteo Canyon Road.


552.0  Signpost WB 40 MPH

            1765' AMSL; +1.6% EB


552.1  Dragging Equipment DETECTOR (RIV9BB5)


552.3  Highway rejoins Railroad (RIV9BB6)

  The railroad drifts south to once again parallel the canyon road.


552.5  Private Grade Crossing


552.6  #2 (South) Track Rail Greaser


552.7  EL CASCO Station (RIV9BB6)

            Block Signal Bridge: EB 5526/5528 - WB 5527/5529

            East-facing 6060 Spur

  This station is across from 30997 San Timoteo Canyon Road with the 6060 spur branching to the west off the #2 (south) track.

  About 14 miles north of here, high on the face of the San Bernardino Mountains, lies the Southern Pacific radio facility at Running Springs.  Coverage of the Running Springs site extends from downtown Los Angeles to Banning.  The Running Springs radio PBX channel (mobile telephone) is 160.890MHz.

  The Spanish phrase "El Casco" means "hardhat".


552.8  Private Grade Crossing (RIV9BC6)

  Kinda looks like someone didn't want this crossing to be usable since a bunch of gravel, debris and asphalt is piled up on the south approach.


553.0  1855' AMSL; +1.4% EB


553.4  Private Grade Crossing


553.8  San Timoteo Community Sunday School

  The proverbial little red schoolhouse, located on the south side of the road.


554.0  1915' AMSL; +1.4% EB


554.1  EL CASCO Crossovers (RIV9BD6)

            EB/WB Absolute Signal Bridges

  Fisherman's Retreat, a membership recreational resort, is located directly across the road.  This is also the northwest corner of the De Anza Cycle Park, evidence of which you will occasionally see along the south side for the next six miles or so.


554.7  Two 60' Steel Bridges over San Timoteo Creek (RIV15BE1)

  Two parallel, single-track, steel through-plate bridges carry the tracks over San Timoteo Creek.  The creek flows from south to north.  At this writing the creek was running about 3 gallons per second.


554.8  Signpost EB 50 MPH (yellow background, #1 Track)

            Signpost EB 50 MPH (white background, #2 Track)

            #2 (South) Track Rail Greaser

            Speed Limit: EB 50 MPH; WB 45-40 MPH


554.9  San Timoteo Canyon Road Grade Crossing (RIV15BF1)

  To the east access to the tracks is along San Timoteo Canyon Road which parallels the route and lies only a few dozen feet north.


555.0  2010' AMSL; +1.5% EB


555.7  Block Signals: EB 5554/5556 - WB 5555/5557

  The railroad begins a 2-mile-long, eastbound tangent, as does the Canyon road.


556.0  2095' AMSL; +1.7% EB


556.5  Private Grade Crossing (RIV150A2)


556.6  Dragging Equipment DETECTOR


556.8  Signpost WB 45-40 MPH


557.0  2175' AMSL; +1.5% EB


557.2  Old HINDA Station

  6100' long and absorbed long ago into the two-main track operation.


557.4  Private Grade Crossing


557.5  Block Signals: EB 5574/5576 - WB 5575/5577 (RIV150B3)

  This is the east end of the long tangent, leading into a sweeping north curve.


558.0  Private Grade Crossing (RIV150C4)

            2255' AMSL; +1.5% EB

  The private crossing provides access to the Beaumont Station of the Four Corners Pipeline Company.


559.0  HINDA Crossovers (RIV150C4)

            EB/WB Absolute Signals

            2330' AMSL; +1.8% EB

  All along the south side, beyond the rails and the barbed wire fence, is the De Anza Cycle Park.  Dirt bikes, tricycles and other high-pitched noisemakers frolic there.


559.2  Private Grade Crossing

  This crossing provides access to 38001 San Timoteo Canyon Road.


559.7  Old NICKLIN Station

            Leave County Lands: Enter Beaumont city limits (RIV150D4)

  This is a narrow finger of the city limits that happens to extend out this way and east for 0.4 miles.

  This was the site of the old Nicklin Station and siding; the siding track was nearly 5100' long.


560.0  Private Grade Crossing

            2415' AMSL; +1.4% EB


560.1  Block Signals: EB 5600/5602 - WB 5601/5603 (RIV150F4)

            Leave Beaumont: Enter County Lands


560.2  45' Wood Bridge over Little San Gorgonio Creek

  Little San Gorgonio Wash (or Creek, depending on your outlook and time of year) heads on the south face of Little San Gorgonio Mountain (9140'), about 8 miles north-northeast.  The creek flows off the mountain, down to the community of Oak Glen then through Cherry Valley.


560.4  Two 50' Steel Bridges over Noble Creek

            Leave County Lands: Enter Beaumont city limits

  The railroad fords Noble Creek with two parallel steel deck girder spans, with sufficient clearance underneath to drive vehicles; the main vehicles around are generally scooters and trikes, the motorized kind, that is.

  Noble Creek drains the Cherry Valley/Beaumont area, heading out of Cherry Canyon, about 5 miles north-northeast.


  At this point the railroad begins its final ascent to the summit of the grade in Beaumont, about two miles east.  The adventurous can follow the route right up the final stretches of the canyon.

  The more conservative can continue east on San Timoteo Canyon Road about 0.1 mile to Interstate 10.  Make a right-hand turn onto the eastbound freeway, then a quick one minute drive to the very next offramp marked "Beaumont/Riverside".  Take this offramp and stay left following the signs marked "Beaumont".  The offramp becomes 6th Street and passes under the freeway.    Immediately after passing under the Interstate, turn right at the intersection of Veile Avenue and 6th.  Pass back under the Interstate and arrive at MP 561.8.


  OK.  The rest of you must be the more adventurous.  There are two paths that parallel the SP up the final stretch of gully; only the northside access road provides continuous access all the way into Beaumont.

  From San Timoteo Canyon Road at MP 560.1, continue east on the road about 0.2 miles to Desert Lawn Drive.  Turn right onto Desert Lawn and cross a low bridge over Noble Creek; continue another 0.3 miles, paralleling the eastbound I10.  Just before the road turns to dirt there is a turnoff onto the grassy hillside that serves as the right boundary of the road.  Follow this dirt path, slowly meandering left and downward to the right-of-way below.


560.6  Track Access from Desert Lawn Drive

  Just before Desert Lawn Drive turns to dust, a meandering dirt road separates from the pavement and winds down to the service road along the north side of the tracks.  Although the gully ahead will narrow there is plenty of room, alongside the railroad tracks, to pass under SR60.

  Immediately east the railroad passes once again into the city of Beaumont.


560.7  Dragging Equipment DETECTOR (RIV150F5)

            #1 (North) and #2 (South) Track Rail Greasers

  Although it is apparent from counting telephone poles, pacing the distance by foot, or using the car odometer that this detector is at MP560.9, the lady who lives in that aluminum-painted box next to the tracks believes that she is at MP560.7.  I suppose that she lives quite a sheltered life, though.


561.0  2490' AMSL; +1.3% EB (RIV151A5)


561.1  Block Signals: EB 5610/5612


561.2  Signpost EB             #1 Track 50-40 MPH

                                                #2 Track 25 MPH


561.3  State Route 60 Overpass

            Block Signals: WB 5611/5613

  Here the SP squeezes its way through the neck of the gully; State Route 60 (the Riverside Freeway) passes overhead and immediately to the east merges with Interstate 10, the San Bernardino Freeway.  Riverside is about 23 miles west on Route 60; Colton is also 23 miles west but on I10.


561.5  West Switch BEAUMONT 6151 Siding (RIV151B5)

  Beaumont Siding is along the south side of the #2 track, controlled by the switch marked 6151.  There are some remains of a siding just east along the north side of the #1 track, but this siding is no longer connected to the mainline.


561.7  Veile Road Grade Crossing (RIV151B6)

            Cherry Valley MCI Facility

  Along the north side of the tracks for the next long block is the ex-Beaumont Grain and Milling; there are still silos and a loading spout along the track.  It looks like it operates now as Beaumont Hardware, which certainly seems to be running a booming business.

  The path along the north side of the right-of-way ends at the grade crossing.  The service road along the south side of the rails continues to provide access to the east.  The right-of-way here is a bit messy; SP has a Maintenance-of-Way facility just ahead and this stretch through here is used as an open-air storage yard for tie plates, rail sections, spikes and odds and ends.  Don't touch anything; you don't need any souvenirs.

  The Cherry Valley MCI Facility resides in the fenced compound just west of the grade crossing along the south side of the line.  MCI leases a portion of the Espee right-of-way and runs buried fiber-optic cable carrying telephone communications across the country along this line.  Similar MCI facilities are located at Indio (MP611.4), Niland (MP662.4) and Gold Rock (MP716.8).


561.9  6153 Spur Crossing

  The south access path crosses over an industry spur that cuts away from the main tracks.  The road continues eastward alongside a section house.


562.0  BEAUMONT Station (RIV151B6)

            Southern Pacific Maintenance of Way Facility

            Southern Pacific Beaumont Communications Facility

            East-facing 6153 Spur

            East Switch BEAUMONT 6151 Siding

            EB Absolute Signal Bridge

            2580' AMSL; +0.6% EB

  There is an SP MofW building and a company microwave communications tower along the north side of the tracks, along with a fenced compound for storage of MofW equipment.  The SP Communications facility carries trunked microwave communications from Running Springs to Whitewater.  The path to Whitewater is not a direct one; the microwave signal is beamed about two miles southwest to a large "billboard" reflector atop Mount Davis, where the signal bounces and continues to Whitewater Hill, north of MP584.0.

  The 6153 spur just crossed joins into Beaumont siding.  Beaumont siding then rejoins the south mainline at switch 6151.  The industry spurs along the north side of the north main line are no longer in service and in fact are now unconnected with the north main line.

  On an postal map of 1884 a station on the railroad near this location was called "San Gorgonia".  By 1891 "Beaumont" appears on maps and in 1912 Beaumont was incorporated.


562.2  BEAUMONT Crossovers (RIV151B6)

            California Street Grade Crossing

            WB Absolute Signal Bridge

  The Beaumont Crossovers sit astride the California Street grade crossing.  Both north and south access paths end past the signal bridge on the east side of the California Street crossing; either go south along California to 3rd Street, then turn left, traveling east to Beaumont Avenue, or north and an immediate right to follow 4th street to Beaumont Avenue.  Follow Beaumont Ave. back to the tracks and continue east on either the north or south side.

  On the Beaumont topographic map there is shown a turning wye that more or less straddles California Street.  The east switch of the wye was under the east signal bridge, the west switch near the west signal bridge and the tail track ran parallel to California to the south of the right-of-way along the west side of California for perhaps 0.2 miles.  However, not much in the way of tangible evidence remains today.


562.4  Beaumont Avenue Grade Crossing (RIV151C6)

  There is a path on either side of the tracks east to Pennsylvania Avenue at MP563.0.  Along the north side, travel east either on paved 4th Street to its end, then turn south toward the tracks onto the dirt railroad access path, or follow the dirt trail adjacent to the tracks from Beaumont Avenue.  Both paths join at the end of 4th and continue east as one.

  Beaumont Avenue is an offramp from the Interstate.


562.7  Beaumont Hill Summit

  This is the peak of Beaumont Hill and the highest point (2605'?) for the next 427 miles on the Sunset Route until MP990, just east of Tucson.  On the west end, from the Santa Ana River Crossing at MP539.9, Beaumont Hill has a net elevation gain of over 1600 feet in 23 miles for an average grade of nearly 1.3 percent.  The maximum grade from here to Garnet Siding, 26 miles east, is 1.8 percent with a total elevation change of about 2000 feet.

  The timetable indicates that the summit is around MP563.0 at 2591 feet; using the topo map and a hand level I believe that this location is higher by more than ten feet.

  There is also a kennel at the end of 4th Street along the north side of the tracks.  The folks there breed little doggies that love to bark at anything that moves.  Don't mind them too much.


563.0  2590' AMSL; -0.4% EB


563.1  Pennsylvania Avenue Grade Crossing (RIV151D6)

  From here east the north side path remains passable all the way to Highland Springs Avenue.  Both north and south side roads go west to MP562.5.


563.2  Signpost WB 50-40 MPH

            Leave Beaumont: Enter County Lands


563.3  APEX Switch (RIV151D6)

  See the next section for details.