PTC Dark Signals and Amtraks, Oh My! UP's coast line from Los Angeles to Oakland sees a number of Amtrak trains throughout the day, ranging from the commuter Pacific Surfliners to the long distance Coast Starlights. In the afternoon rush, adding extra trains can become a challenge. When a number of signals suffer power failure, things become even more complicated. To add icing to the cake, PTC failed on a southbound Surfliner coming out of Grover Beach. Our poor UP Passenger train, which fortunately was a deadhead, finally rounds into Price Canyon after a two hour delay. A fresh crew awaits about 20 minutes ahead in San Luis Obispo to continue the equipment move toward Oakland.
The EMD SD (special duty) series are a strong and reliable kind of locomotive which still serve America's rails today. They have proved themselves reliable by clocking in several million miles of freight service.