Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dash to St George Utah

Saturday was suppose to be a slow day and get some taaks done around the house but things changed with a family member admitted to the hospital in St George Utah. The drive was going to be a quick dash up and back but also since I took my camera I figured I capture a scene or two if anything looked interesting.
I made some quick stops along the route first in Littlefield Az. The view was nice and colorful so I took enough photos to create this panarama view of the Virgin river.

After leaving Littlefield I headed north into the Gorge the speed limt varys but rarely tops 65 mph in the gorge during day light hours traffic seems to increase so I stay around the speedlimit.

The rest of the trip was quick through the Gorge or Ar. strip and into St George where I went to the latest Dixie Hospital. With friendly staff and even a swell cafe for those having to be there to visit or be a patient. It was a change from the hospitals in the Las Vegas area.

I did not plan on staying long but one converation lead to another and it was near midnight Utah time when I finally departed. I took a quick shot of the hospital

Then off to find something to eat pickings were slim in Utah so I drove back through the Gorge and into Mesquite where the Virgin River Casino had a great breakfast special then on towards home.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Yesterday I rode as an observer on the SLVLV-20 this train made up of two older SD-70M's was used as a UP CARE Train ( Crossing Accident and Reduction Enforcement). The train worked the BMI branch line that is located off of the UP Cima SubDivision in Las Vegas and procedds toward Henderson Nevada.

The train would cover approximately eight at grade crossings; enforcement was provided by Union Pacific Special Agents and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Traffic Bureau PSU Squad (Problem Solving Unit). The event would run for four hours and over 70 traffic citations would be issued along with several more for trespassing on railroad property.

The next few photos show some of the violators as they either violate traffic laws or attempt to beat the train by running the gates. Railroad crossing are considered intersections in Nevada like any intersection once the red lights come on you are required to stop. You may proceed when the lights stop blinking and the gates raise or if you are at a crossing where only red lights are present you may cross once its is safe to do so after the train has passed, but remember if the crossing has more than one track the passing train may be blocking the approach of another one. Hence alway rememeber to Look - Listen - Live...

The first two photos are photo one a red pick up running the crossing
and the second the response.

When we approach this avenue from the same direction the next time another violator a PT crusier who drives through the crossing and straight in to the waiting flashing lights of a police motorcycle.

Next two vehicles slow for the crossing and stop but one decides to run the gate, with a Special Agent waiting on the other side this Toyota FJ takes off only to be stopped again.

These are just a few examples of the many vehicles violations observed and cited during this event.Presently track speed on this line is below 25 mph per hour but looking at some of the photos you can observe the new rail soon to be put in and tie replacement will follow along resulting in speeds up to and beyond 45 mph. The example normally used is a frieght train will take one minute to clear a crossing, tack on 20 seconds before and after the train clears the crossing and you have 100 seconds out of your day before proceeding most traffic lights or a minimum of a minute not coutning turn lanes. But being hit by a locomotive equals the same weigh ratio of a car running over a soda can.

In the future I'll cover past and current photos outing and the coming and goings of some of my days.  Ken