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Tehachapi Loop

Tehachapi Loop - Wikipedia Link

The Tehachapi Loop is a 0.73 miles (1.17 km) long spiral, or helix, on the Union Pacific Railroad Mojave Subdivision through Tehachapi Pass, of the Tehachapi Mountains in Kern County, south-central California. The line connects Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley to Mojave in the Mojave Desert.

Rising at a steady two percent grade, the track gains 77 feet (23 m) in elevation in the Loop.  Any train of more than 4,000 feet (1,200 m) long passes over itself going around the loop. At the bottom of the loop, the track passes through Tunnel 9, the ninth tunnel built as the railroad worked from Bakersfield.

The line, which sees an average of almost 40 trains each day, is one of the busiest single-track mainlines in the world. With its frequent trains and spectacular scenery, the Tehachapi Loop is one of the prime railfan areas in the country. In 1998 it was named a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and is designated California Historical Landmark #508.


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