Central California Traction
A Day with the Lodi Local
CCT now runs 5 days a week to Lodi, The day usually begins anywhere between 10am and 1pm. On November 1, 1999, the crew began their day at 1:30pm. Power for the day is CCT 44, an ex ATSF Chop Nose GP7. The crew departs the Cherokee shops and then head to the BNSF's Mormon Yard Via their B Street connection and pick up their Lodi-bound traffic (in this case, 5 boxcars and 5 covered hoppers), on the way back they will stop off at the Former SP Oakdale branch interchange and pick up anything that has been left for them by the Stockton Terminal & Eastern (in this case a tank car). The next stop before leaving Stockton is to run down the Roosevelt Street trackage to the UP's Flora Street Yard if there is any traffic for them there. (This trip the crew did not have to go to the UP yard.
Once they have assembled their train the crew departs for Lodi, heading east and across State Highway 99. The lines go for about another half mile or so east and then curves gently north. The crew can make up to 25 mph to Lodi. Upon arrival at Lodi Junction the crew makes use of a run around track to assemble their cars to where they can be placed with as little movement as possible as 3 of the 5 industries that CCT serves in Lodi all require the train to be north of the locomotive to be spotted properly.
The crew has just completed their runaround move. Now all the boxcars and the hoppers are north of the locomotive, the tank car remains behind the locomotive. The crew shoves the hoppers down the Lodi Junction track and leaves them there. The crew then pulls back on the main line and after clearing the junction, they leave the tank car and proceed to shove the 5 boxcars north across Highway 12 and the remnants of the SP's former Kentucky House Branch and on up to the end of track where Pacific Coast Producers has a food products plant. The boxcars are shoved north of the Spur leading into the PCP plant. The crew then retrieves the loaded cars and spots the empties.
After arriving back at Lodi Junction, the crew leaves the loaded boxcars and hooks up the tank car; they then proceed down the Lodi junction lead and couple up to the covered hoppers. The crew then shoves to the small yard where they begin the process of switching the large Apache Plastics plant, the covered hoppers, loaded with plastic pellets are waybilled to Apache Plastics, but since not all 5 will fit on Apaches track, two are left in the yard. The empty hoppers are left in the yard. The crew then backs onto the Sweetener lead and shoves the tank car, which is empty and waybilled to Sweetener Products. Once there, a tank car loaded with sweetener is exchanged for the empty.
Returning to the Lodi yard, the crew performs a flying switch move to place the loaded tank car behind the engine for the run back to Stockton. The crew then couples the tank car, and three empty Covered Hoppers and returns to Lodi Junction, backing down the main the crew couples onto the loaded boxcars and after the air test, the return to Stockton begins. As the fall season is upon us, CCT still is one of the few railroads to still uses Mars lights (CCT 1790 also has Gyralights). It makes quite an impression in the fading light
Upon arrival back in Stockton the crew has an easy evening, all 9 cars are destined for the BNSF Mormon yard, after dropping their cars at the BNSF, the crew runs light back to the Cherokee shops where #44 is tied up for the night, another day on the CCT has passed.
The Port of Stockton
Good news and bad news here. The good news is that the CCT will typically run 6 days a week using 2 pairs of ex-UP (Ex SP) SW1500's numbered 1501-1504, the bad news is that the Port of Stockton is not very receptive of railfans or cameras. with that I would say that if you choose to try to catch the CCT in action at the Port of Stockton, that you exercise a lot of caution and leave if asked to do so.
The Future of the CCT
The future of the CCT is bright, the Port is steady and several new customers have come on line for the Lodi local that has increased the Lodi Local to some pretty long trains, Pacific Coast Producers has built a new larger plant at Lodi Junction that will increase traffic levels to and from Lodi. ADM is building a new plant at the location of the CCT/SP KHB Crossing. That will add considerable traffic to the CCT