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OnThe OTR 2000 +

The OTR made its last run ever down the street trackage to California Cereal Products on December 29, 1999.  The property, known as Yerba Buena Yard, through which the OTR gains access to the street trackage, has been sold and the tracks were coming up on January 13th, 2000. From now on, the U.P. will take care of any streets witching via the old Magnolia yard. The OTR is no longer shaped like a"U", now it is more like a "J". The OTR is continuing to switch the old Santa Fe customers on the east side of the bridge and whatever work there is on the west side. The connection between the top of the "J" and the old S.P. 7th street yard has also been severed because of the construction of the Port Of Oakland's new Joint Intermodal Terminal, so all interchange is being made in the BNSF Wood Street yard.

August, 2000 finds the OTR 97 out of service with a blown head gasket and the 5623 moving carloads of concrete ties through a sea of new 136 pound rail, all destined for the new Port of Oakland trackage. My photos.

On August 28, Michael Johannessen followed more gondola loads westward to "Q Pocket", then down Maritime Avenue where the 5623 ran around the cars and spotted them at the recently severed end of track.

In this sequence, the 5623 is shoving west (left) across the trestle while Amtrak zips eastbound.  Meets like this are rare and usually result in an exchange of friendly horn talk.  Photos by Don Buchholz.

As far as anyone can remember, these photos capture only the second time in history that MUed diesel locomotives have operated on the OTR. This time, it was due to a derailment that required more than 1500 horses to put right. The first time, extra engineer BryanCopple dragged 42 cars of tanks from the U.P. interchange at Magnolia, across the bridge and into Baldwin yard.  That was quite a sight indeed but, no one had a camera that day.

Gary Steel track 690
Gary Steel is reached by backing down track 518,onto track 682, across Wood Street and onto the middle of 20th Street. The trackage continues on down 20th Street but is unused beyond Gary. This street track is used as a setout when switching Gary on track 690. There is room inside the building for three cars but the usual deliveryis two. Gary normally receives flat sheetstock from 1 to 8 inches thick but an occasionalcar of coil steel is delivered. Unloading is managed with overhead traveling electromagnetic cranes. Clearances as are at a minimum so great care is exercised at this location. In the second photo, the 5623 unexpectedly runs parallel with an ex-S.P. SW1500 working the U.P. 18th street trackage. My photos.

Pacific Pipe track 576
Pacific Pipe is reached by backing westward down the east leg of the old Wye, across Peralta street and about a block down track 576.  The track continues across West Grand but we spot their cars across the street from the plant.  They come out and get the cars with one their traveling cranes.  As is implied in their name,they receive flat car or gondola car loads of pipe of all sizes. Crossing Peralta street is an exercise in caution as demonstrated in the last photo.  My photos.
        Note:  As of October, 2002, there is a "For Sale" sign on the Pacific Pipe property and their materials lot is empty.
        There will be no more shipments heading their direction and it is doublful that the trackage down 28th street will ever
         again feel the touch of flanged wheel.

Pacific Supply track 680
Pacific Supply is reached by backing down track 676,heading west on Wood Street, then backing into track 680.  Pacific Supply receives inbound loads of roofing materials at a three door warehouse. They rarely receive more than one car at a time.  My photos.

Pyro Minerals track 554
Pyro Minerals is reached by backing westward down the east leg of the old Wye and then into track 554.  Pyro can  receive two cars at once but the usual delivery is one because they unload witha portable conveyer system which only goes under the car on spot one. They receive a very fine sand in hopper cars and repackage it for sale to the casting industry.  The gondola load of tie plates is destined for the new Joint Intermodal Terminal and will be set out near the OTR office for unloading.  My photos.

Pacific Coast Container
The newest customer on the OTR is Pacific Coast Container.  They are operating out of several of the old Army Base warehouses and have 2 tracks which connect to the old Army Knight Yard.  The OTR did not directly connect to Knight Yard so it was necessary to install a switch in the main line at the base of the flyover which gave access to a yard lead.  PCC handles all types of freight from lumber to steel balls for ore grinding mills.  My photos.

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