Musical Chairs in Sapulpa, OK with the Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway

March 2003

There are a few advantages to frequent business travel. First, I get to see a lot of country. Secondly, I catch up to some neat trains and operations. I came across both in Sapulpa, OK. It's tough to work when you have trains working in the parking lot!
Track Plan
Here's a small JPG file I drew up to give you an overview of the plant layout and some of the work that goes into switching the loads in and out.
The crew arrives
The switch crew shows up about 10 AM Monday through Friday. If they have more than four cars they leave the rest across old US 66 and bring four into the plant. The Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway arrives with a clean SW 1200 in a nice maroon and yellow scheme. The cars are picked at interchange with the BNSF near the plant.
And so the dance begins
First of all, because the the plant is cramped, it's not a simple loads in/empties out affair. The track to the unloading pit is the only access to the storage spurs and it only holds one car and the engine. So, the crew checks the spur tracks to make sure that all the cars are on one side. The plant switch engine is then moved to the front of these cars and thus out of the way.
Headed for the "Tunnel"
Inside the Tunnel
With all the cars on one side, the crew uncouples one car and pulls it into the unloading tunnel. The tunnel actually extends quite a ways inside the plant but is cordoned off by sheetmetal and such. Once inside the tunnel, the crew throws the switch and the engine backs the single car down towards the empty spur. Leaving it short of the spur, it's back into the tunnel and then out to the parking lot to get another car. The process is repeated until all the loaded cars are on the spur track. They are then pushed back to clear the spur switch.
Backing the single car towards the spur
No, we're not done yet!
Back to the Trains Home Page
© 2007 Arctic Rail, No part of this web site may be reproduced in any form without the express consent of Arctic Industries.