Near the east end of the Military Jct branch, UP's South Local throttle up in order to pull a huge string of loaded gondolas up the steep grade on the branch.
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Posted By Alex On Monday, June 11, 2012 At 9:38:06 PM (PT)
Some things about Military Jct. Branch: The local comes by twice a week, Monday and Thursday. In fact, it just came by today. The customers on this branch are Western Metals Recycling and All Coast Lumber Sales. Western Metals is serviced the most, and goes through about 10 gondolas every 3 days. All coast will see a centerbeam about every other week.
And yes, as you say, the grade is very steep between the recycling facility and Santa Fe Dr. At one time, UP under powered the local with 3 GP38-2s and ended up stalling on the hill. Aside from the 2-3% grade, the branch curves steeply south to cross Santa Fe, and this will also cause some stalling. The line then curves at a tighter radius, and runs parallel to the Joint Line. The line goes like this for about half a mile, and then switches over to Main 1 at Military Jct. The local will often leave about 15 gondolas on this half mile of track for the next time it comes by. The locomotives used this week were UP 1480, 1526, and 1432. Sorry for writing up a novel, but this is my prime railfanning spot. If you have more questions just email me.