Hobart Tower: Where the UP Crossed the Santa Fe in L.A.
A BNSF Railway baretable train, B-SBDLAC1-02A, arrives at Hobart Yard, just south of downtown Los Angeles, on April 2, 2017. This train originated not too far away - in San Bernardino. Baretables are trainloads of empty intermodal cars – and sometimes empty containers as well – being repositioned to balance out uneven traffic patterns. In this case, Hobart Yard needed more cars, and San Bernardino had more empties than traffic warranted. A pair of GE locomotives (ES44C4 7979 and ES44DC 7328) handled this train, seen passing the now-closed Hobart Tower, which controlled the Santa Fe / Union Pacific crossing. The Santa Fe is, of course, now the BNSF Railway, and this UP line, which used to be their mainline to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, is now an incomplete branch line, with mainline traffic (both UP and BNSF) now operating on the Alameda Corridor’s trackage, which runs in a below grade ditch for 20 miles before reaching the ports.