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Hi All,

I was looking through some old mags and saw a track diagram of Tehachapi Loop.  There is a siding  at the top of the loop.  I assume that it is for a helper engine to remain while other traffic runs by.  Am I right about the purpose of this siding?  If not, what is the purpose of this siding?

Thanks,

Ed

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That is Walong Siding, and it was used just like any other siding on a single track railroad, to meet two trains.

Walong siding was originally built in 1909 on just the upper portion of the loop. Eventually it was extended to the east portal of Tunnel #9, wrapping completely around the loop itself. This original Walong siding was only 4,800 feet long, which is not long enough for most trains today. An extension connecting Walong with former Marcel siding was completed in 2016, adding another mile of length to the siding.

A section of track for helpers to get out of the way would be a short siding, just a few engine lengths long,  maybe even stub-ended, often called a "helper pocket."

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Last edited by Rich Melvin

Sidings at the summit of grades were also designed to let underpowered trains cut a portions of there trains at the bottom of the grade, then take what would fit in siding up the grade and store, then go back down, get train cars left at bottom, then go back up the grade, double to the siding and move on down the hill with all the train in tow. We call it doubling the hill. Alot of extra work for crews, very undesirable account carrier dosen't want, or have power to assign to underpowered trains.

John

@Derailed10o posted:

Sidings at the summit of grades were also designed to let underpowered trains cut a portions of there trains at the bottom of the grade, then take what would fit in siding up the grade and store, then go back down, get train cars left at bottom, then go back up the grade, double to the siding and move on down the hill with all the train in tow. We call it doubling the hill. Alot of extra work for crews, very undesirable account carrier dosen't want, or have power to assign to underpowered trains.

John

In this instance, though, the loop is not at the crest of the grade, which is at Tehachapi.  Walong is not for the faint hearted Engineer.  Like many sidings on Tehachapi, the signal at the lower end has short sight distance, being hidden around a curve, and an Engineer heading in at Walong has to have landmarks to assist in assessing the remaining distance in the siding, as he is being pushed down a 2% grade by the train.

Last edited by Number 90

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