Oak Creek Branch Notes
The Oak Creek Branch runs between the Wye at Mojave, CA, and a CalPortland cement plant located in Creal, about 8 miles west of Mojave. The grade is 2% and greater uphill westbound. The branch is unsignalled.
Cars in and out of the CalPortland facility:
• Receives empty cement hoppers, spotted on tracks 737 and 738
• Receives loaded gypsum hoppers, spotted on track 739
• Recevies loaded coal hoppers, spotted on tracks 741 & 742
• Ships loaded cement hoppers
• Returns empty coal hoppers and empty gypsum hoppers
• Also receives occasional empty tank cars
The plant is typically serviced by the UP LOP51 local train, although this may have varied over the years.
• Max Speed on the branchline is 20mph
• Max speed on CalPortland plant tracks is 10mph
• Max gross tonnage is 134 tons per car
• All movement will be conducted under GCOR Rule 6.27
• Trains on descending grade must not exceed 150 Tons per Operative Brake
• Trains on descending grade must not exceed 550 Tons per Dynamic Brake Axle
• Trains leaving CalPortland without DPU must not exceed 3000ft (otherwise you'll never fit the yard-lead to get out). If you have DPU locomotives available, then you can split the power and assemble the train on the branch-line track, thus avoiding this physical restriction. Most of the time though you will not be long enough to need to worry about this
In older times, before dynamic brakes were common, the downhill trip would be done with Retainers set on the cars, with the train stopping for ten minutes about halfway down the hill to cool the wheels before proceeding on to Mojave Yard.
• From what we've seen and read, this plant is served by the railroad in one way or another a few times per week (almost daily), with most of the traffic being cement hoppers
• This plant receives loaded Gypsum hoppers (the gypsum being part of the cement production process), spotted to track 739. Trucks pull alongside and offload the cars as needed. 739 has room for eight 2-Bay hoppers at a time
• This plant occasionally ships unit-cement trains to Las Vegas, NV and Stockton, CA. Otherwise, normal cement loads will go back to Mojave Yard and\or Fleta for further travel. Unit Trains going to Stockton are likely for export
• The plant is served by a unit coal train as-needed, perhaps a couple times per month. Since this train would be too long to fit the plant at one time, part of the train is stored at Fleta or Mojave and brought up to the plant as-needed, with empties coming back down. The empty coal train is later reassembled and sent back to its origin on the UP via Yermo. Somewhere around 100 cars is prototypical, with around 50 coming up at a time
• The plant likely uses its own car-mover for unloading the coal and loading cement, with the railroad simply spotting and pulling the plant
• The plant will occasionally receive empty tankers to be filled with some sort of waste-slurry when the plant is closed for maintenance. These would likely get spotted on 739. We'd guess this would happen a couple times per year, but for fun, it could be done more often just to add some operational interest to the job