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Belt Line Flyover / Utah Junction Bypass Project
Summary Information
Railroad Union Pacific
Overview Two new bypass tracks will be constructed that will run from C&S Junction to the Belt Main Line at Broadway. The new tracks will cross over the BNSF Front Range Subdivision on a grade separation.
Purpose Currently, coal trains coming off of the Moffat Tunnel Sub that are heading east must enter North Yard, have their power removed, and the switch the head end of the train from the front to the rear. This is extremely time consuming and uses classification tracks in North Yard. With the construction of the Belt Flyover, coal trains could completely avoid North Yard, saving huge amounts of time.
Plan Currently, when coming east on the Moffat into Denver, there are two tracks that may be taken at C&S Junction: The mainline (normal) or the North Yard Running Track (diverging to the right). When on the North Yard Running Track, another track (Leikers Alley) diverges to the right (switches are hand-thrown). Leikers Alley is a track where UP stores coal hoppers to be interchanged with BNSF to be taken out to Golden at Coors. Leikers Alley converges back in with the North Yard Running Track on the east side of the I-76 overpass. Further east is the "Zuni Switch", a switch that diverges to the right off of the North Yard Running Track. This is the switch for the North Yard Long Lead. These tracks all run in parallel across Pecos Street and curve south through Utah Junction and into North Yard.

Once complete, this project calls for four tracks running all the way up to C&S Junction, all controlled by CTC. The tracks from north to south will be Main (Bypass) One, Main (Bypass) Two, Main Three, and the North Yard Siding. In order to facilitate this, Leikers Alley will be eliminated, the North Yard Running Track will move one track south (where Leikers Alley is today) and become the North Yard Siding, the mainline will be moved one track south (where the North Yard Running Track is today) and become Main Three. Then, Main two will be constructed where the mainline is today, and a fourth track (Main one) will be constructed on a new grade north of where the mainline is today. The Zuni Switch will be eliminated and the North Yard Long Lead will be shortened. The Long Lead will now enter the North Yard Siding east of Pecos Street. The four tracks will run in parallel to Pecos street, where the bypass tracks will curve to the northeast toward Broadway and the Belt Line. Main three and the North Yard Siding will then curve back to their original alignments and continue on to Utah Junction.

The bypass tracks will then run over a new bridge that crosses over the BNSF Front Range Subdivision. The bypass tracks will then converge with the Belt Main track coming out of North Yard at Broadway, and a single main track (the Belt Main) will continue east from there on its current alignment.

A new set of crossovers will be installed west of Pecos at the (new) Pecos Street Crossover. When running eastbound, the crossover will run from Main One to Main Two and from Main Two to Main Three. A third crossover (Main Three to the North Yard Siding) will also be installed, but not contolled by CTC. These crossovers will allow eastbound coal trains to cut out their mid-train swing helpers and take them into North Yard.

Now that coal trains will have to stop and cutout their power and (quite likely) tie down while waiting for a fresh crew, Pecos street may become blocked for long periods of time. As such, the street will be lowered to run underneath the four tracks as a part of the project, eliminating the grade crossing.

Detail Information
Timeline Construction is projected to take between 4 and 6 months.
Major Obstacles 1. A new location for the hoppers that are interchanged with BNSF that are currently located at Leikers Alley must be relocated. This location must be identified and constructed.
2. The BNSF Front Range Sub must be lowered to accomodate a new bridge for the flyover tracks above the Front Range Sub.
3. Negotiations with Adams County must take place to secure funding for the lower of Pecos Street to run underneath the tracks.
Project Updates
12/1/2004 - The Belt Line Flyover project has been completed. The first coal train successfully uses the flyover under the control of CTC and D86.
11/30/2004 - Signal crews worked very hard to get the CTC in place and active for all the tracks on the Belt Line Flyover.
11/21/2004 - The bridge over the BNSF Front Range Sub has been completed. Tracks and ballast have been laid over the bridge and the tamper is working to align the tracks. CTC is the last major obstacle to getting the tracks open.
11/19/2004 - Tracks are being laid west from Broadway for Main One and Main Two. UP 6644 was being used on the project. Rails are in place up to the location of the new bridge over the BNSF Front Range Sub. The bridge is scheduled to go in within the next day or two.
11/11/2004 - The third and final signal bridge, located at C&S Junction, has been erected over the tracks.
11/5/2004 - The BNSF Front Range Sub has been lowered onto a new grade that will allow the new Belt Flyover tracks to cross over the Front Range Sub with adequate clearance.
10/25/2004 - The new track needed for the project (Main One) is currently being constructed on the north side of the existing tracks. Pecos Street will be closed until at the crossing until November 6, when construction of the track is complete.
10/11/2004 - The new signal bridges needed for the Pecos Street Crossover were erected today west of Pecos Street.
7/21/2004 - UP SD70M 3904 and C40-8 9231 work to lay ballast along the new siding in Arvada. The flyover itself is making progress as caterpillars (earth scrapers) work to build the embankments that will allow the flyover to run above the BNSF Front Range Sub. Concrete ties and welded rail are sitting trackside, ready to be used in the installation.
6/24/2004 - Construction of a new siding (name undetermined) to be located west of Tennyson Street and east of Pierce Street in Arvada has started. This siding will have electric lock switches, but OS points. The siding will be used as a replacement for Leikers Alley. An interchange track will be built between the siding and the BNSF Golden Branch located directly to the south.
4/14/2004 - Construction on the Belt Flyover has begun. New grading north of the mainline east of C&S Junction has started for the new Main (Bypass) One. Negotiations between Union Pacific and Adams County regarding the lower of Pecos Street have broken down. The lower of Pecos Street will not occur as a part of this project.
Start Date 4/14/2004
Completion Date 12/1/2004
Total Duration 240 days

Project Maps
Pre-Belt Flyover - Prior to the Belt Flyover, coal trains would enter North Yard, reverse directions by changing the headend to the units on the rear of the train (and vice versa), and then leave the yard in opposite direction that it arrived.
Post-Belt Flyover - With the completion of the Belt Flyover, Leikers Alley was eliminated, but two bypass tracks were completed. Note that the bypass tracks run over the BNSF Front Range Sub on the way to Broadway (DS900).

Additional Photos
Several shots showing the construction area between April 2004 and December 2004. All shots in this set are courtesy of Chip.

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