The Lompoc Local ~ Wednesday, December 03, 2008
More new scans from the old photo box.
We used to live in Lompoc, CA, served by a 10 mile branch off of the SP (now UP)'s Coast Line.
The branch's reason for being is to serve a Diatomaceous Earth mine in the hills above town. (My wife worked in their office, arranging shipments, though her territory was the west coast so her customers mostly shipped by truck).
D.E. is highly porous so it's shipped in covered hoppers.
Trains reach the mine with the engine pushing up the grade. There are lots of grade crossings, so the train always used a caboose (pretty rare already by the 90's) on the uphill end of the train, where a crewman could stand on the platform. The caboose seemed to have formerly been in railway police use.
Unfortunately I don't have any shots of the train working up the hill. Here's a train in the Lompoc "yard", a two-ended siding used for run-around moves.
Trains entered (or in the case if this picture, left) town by going down the middle of a street.
Here's a train heading past the edge of town, starting it's ten mile trek through farmland to join up with the Coast Line at Surf.
Other traffic passes through town sometimes too. I assume this US Army critter was headed to nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base.
How often do you see a train on a train?