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Dave Beedon | all galleries >> Railroads >> Railroads: Cane Creek Branch >> Seven Mile > Problematic grade crossing (3 of 5)
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18-APR-2006 Dave Beedon

Problematic grade crossing (3 of 5)

Seven Mile (10 miles [16 km] northwest of Moab, Utah) view map

Looking north toward Crescent Junction from the SR 313 grade crossing.
No train is coming, yet the warning devices are operating.

The warning lights were flashing and the warning bell clanging as if a train were approaching, but there was no train. At first I thought it was a momentary anomaly, but the lights and the bell keep working without purpose. I reported the problemto the Union Pacific Railroad's grade crossing hotline.

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Dave Beedon04-Jul-2006 20:56
Single cars are often set out because of a defect such as bad brakes, broken coupler, or damaged wheel. In such cases, the car is put on a siding, warehouse spur, or yard track to prevent a problem from developing, then later fixed and moved. With bulk commodities such as potash there is little pressure to be quick about it but a car carrying hot merchandise (electronic goods for example) would most likely be fixed right away or its cargo would be transloaded into another freight car for shipment.

A string of freight cars parked on a siding in the middle of nowhere is usually being stored where the cars won't hog valuable track space. The cars could be obsolete, waiting for their end at a scrapyard, or they could be excess resources during times when there are more cars in the system than are needed to satisfy shipping demands.

The story of the pictured tank cars is a mystery.
Gary Winters04-Jul-2006 17:14
I'm fascinated by the way a railroad will leave a single car out in the middle of nowhere. It's like those old abandoned houses out in the desert. There's a story to be told, but no one to tell it.
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