The Siding Of
|West to Gilluly|
The Siding Gallery, by design, does not show any trains (unless it is unavoidable) in pictures of the sidings. This is so you can see the layout of the land and get your own ideas on how to take pictures of trains. However, if you'd like to see pictures taken from various spots at this siding, then you can Search the Photo Gallery for pictures here on ColoradoRailfan.com!
The siding of Soldier Summit is located at milepost 651.4 on the Provo Subdivision.Although its role has been significantly reduced over the years, it is still an extremelyimpressive sight. There was once a full engine facility at the summit, but the extremewinters forced its closure and the facility was relocated back to Helper. Now, it isprimarly used for temporary storage of cars and equipment, as well as for cutting offhelpers.
When first seeing Soldier Summit, I was somewhat surprised. Although it is more than7,000 feet above sea level, it is relatively flat. The summit itself is not like thepeak of a mountain, but is instead rather wide open and spread out.
Here is the west end of Soldier Summit, looking east. The siding at Soldier Summitis not a "center siding" like Kyune and Gilluly. The siding is located off of track 1.So, if a train on track 2 needs to use the siding, it must run through West SummitCrossover first. This is the reason for the three searchlights on the signal on theright. The top light indicates the condition of track 2, the middle light indicatesthe condition of track 1, and the bottom light indicates the condition of the siding.
This shot looks through the crossover at West Summit Crossover. This is thecrossover that a train would use to either get to track 1 (to head east) or to getto the Summit siding.
The signal seen here on main 2 is something of an oddity on Soldier Summit. Thestyle of the signal is consistent with the style of signal found on the Moffat TunnelSubdivision (former Denver & Salt Lake). Finding this type of signal anyplace elseon the [former] Rio Grande system is rare.
The grade is very clear in this picture. The switch in the foreground isthe switch to the siding off of track 1. This picture looks to the east, just east ofthe West Summit Crossover.
The wind picks up a little bit here at the west end of Soldier Summit. This shotslooks to the west out of the siding. Proceeding downgrade from the summit will takeyou to one of the greatest railroading marvels...Gilluly.
As mentioned above, Soldier Summit itself is a nice wide open space, with only afew hills and bumps getting in the way. This picture has main 1 in the center, withmain 2 to the right and the siding to the left. There is one remaining building atSoldier Summit which can be seen to the left. There are also still three yards tracksand a wye...on this day there were some MOW cars tied down on the first yard track.
At the east end of Soldier Summit, the "wide open" spaces do not immediatelyvanish back into the valley seen at Lynn. It is relatively open all the way down untilColton Crossover, about five miles east. The space is reflected in the speed limit,which is 65 MPH for passenger trains and 60 MPH for freight trains here.
As soon as the siding converges back into the main at East Summit, the East SummitCrossover is immediately encountered. Roughly halfway through the siding, there is acrossover from the siding to main 1. This crossover is used by mid-train helpers whenthey cut out of a coal train to head back east to Helper. The helpers come out theeast end of the siding and crossover to track 2.
I just LOVE this picture. That is a lot of signals! The lefthand signal is the signalcoming off of the Soldier Summit siding. The top light tells the condition of main1 and the bottom light the condition of main 2. The middle signal is the signal formain 1, and like the siding, the top light tells the condition of main 1 and thebottom light the condition of main 2. The righthand signal is the signal for main 2,and its sigle light tells the condition of main 2.
Here is the control box for East Summit Crossover. Following the tracks westboundtakes you around a long left curve and you wind up on the same open stretch of trackalongside the yard as seen in Picture 6 above.
This shows the switch running from main 1 into the Soldier Summit Siding...
...and this shows the East Summit Crossover running from main 2 to main 1; theswitch to the siding (same as switch in above picture) can be seen as well.
We close up Soldier Summit with this picture of milepost 650. So where is this650 miles from? Denver....however, it is NOT 650 miles from Denver going over theMoffat Tunnel Subdivision. This is 650 miles from Denver via Tennessee Pass throughPueblo and up the Joint Line.
SOLDIER SUMMIT STATISTICS
Date Added: 5/28/2001
Length....... 7,840 feet
AAR.......... 23 (160.455)
House Track.. [Yard]
Grade Xing... One Dirt Road
Access Road.. Various dirt roads off of US 6
Westbound......... Approach Lit
Eastbound Main.... Approach Lit
Eastbound Siding.. Approach Lit
Eastbound......... Approach Lit
Westbound Main.... Approach Lit
Westbound Siding.. Approach Lit
Last Data Update:
Last Picture Update:
Date Added: 5/28/2001
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