Camp Pendleton Rail Operations

A general discussion about shortlines, industrials, and military railroads

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Camp Pendleton Rail Operations

Postby RailVet » Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:07 pm

Late in the morning on January 31, the lone GP9 at the base was switching two five-car cuts of high-side gons at the wye, easily visible from the coastal highway. The rail cars were being filled with dirt excavated from a construction site adjacent to the tracks, and the engineer said the best time to watch for rail action is during mornings. Little track exists beyond the wye itself, and currently there are no warehouses, fuel storage areas, vehicle loading ramps or anything else directly served by the base railway. What role the railway will play after the completion of the buildings remains to be seen.
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Postby Spartan Phalanx » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:09 pm

Is there a railhead nearby off-post that the I MEF can convoy to and then load-up on flatcars to go to a port of embarkation or a training area such as Twentynine Palms? Maybe that makes an on-post railhead unnecessary.
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Alternate Railhead

Postby RailVet » Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:50 pm

In multiple visits to the base I've found no indications of alternate load-out sites. It's possible that the base, like its counterpart on the East Coast, Camp Lejeune, sees no further need for a base railhead from which to deploy. In the early 1990s the base took over the former ATSF line from the interchange to Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook following flood damage after the Sante Fe refused to repair it yet again. The line's starting point can be viewed at this URL:

http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?T ... de%7cca%7c

The rail line ran through the base, past the airfield, a warehouse area, and up to the NWS. A subsequent flood led to the abandonment of the line by the military, which tore up most of the line, although rails are still on the ground in various places, often covered with trees and brush. Only the track near the interchange remains in place.
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Postby D&H_in_Indiana » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:50 pm

I was stationed at Pendleton from 1993-97. I quickly spotted the tracks and followed them from the interchange to where they disapeared on the Weapons Station. I arrived on base after the flood and all the track along Vandegrift Blvd from near the front gate to the airfield looked like a roller coaster. Track was in much better condition on where it skirted Main side. There were also a pair of locos sitting near the commisary by the interchange. I don't know if they were moved there before the flood or if they were trucked from the airfield area after the flood. Center cab style models. I have pictures somewhere.

I wish I had seen active rail service on the base but by the time I was there, the preferred method of shipping armor or vehicles seemed to be to drive/truck it to Barstow and load it out there. I don't know if it was to have a centralized embark for both Pendleton and 29 Palms or what.

I did a lot of railfanning the first couple of years I was stationed there. From San Ysidro to Victorville and Long Beach to El Centro. Glad I was able see the SP and Santa Fe before the UP and BNSF mergers.

Jason Cook
New Haven, IN
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Re: Camp Pendleton Rail Operations

Postby RailVet » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:27 pm

http://www.fox5sandiego.com/news/kswb-c ... 9934.story

Commuter train may be extended to Marine base

7:58 a.m. PST, November 14, 2011
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Transit officials and the Marine Corps are holding early talks about building a new train station in the heart of sprawling Camp Pendleton to extend Coaster commuter train runs onto the military base, it was reported Saturday.

The train station, which might also serve as a stop for Metrolink and Amtrak trains to Los Angeles and Orange counties, would be built to serve 70,000 employees and 34,000 Marines and family members who live on the camp.

The North Coast Transit District is about to spend $334,000 for preliminary planning and design for the train station, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The newspaper reported there is also talk of extending the Coaster's southern terminus from Santa Fe Station at Broadway south, to the Convention Center or possibly to the 32nd Street Naval Station, providing through-train service between the two military bases.
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Re: Camp Pendleton Rail Operations

Postby The Man » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:22 pm

The GP-9 is for sale now. I see the state is asking for it as is NY.
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Re: Camp Pendleton Rail Operations

Postby RailVet » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:54 pm

I guess this is inevitable. Having dropped by there on multiple occasions, it was hard to imagine what they were using the locomotive for. On my last visit several years ago a crew was loading up high-sided gondola cars with dirt taken from an adjacent construction site (e.g., a big hole for a future basement of a building was being dug) but I could see no long-term use for the locomotive. I may be out there later this month and I'll drop by to take a look.
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