Updated for Run8 V2 Edit

This page has been updated to reflect changes made with Run8 Version 2.

This page is still under construction.


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June, 1973 - A trio of brand-new SD40T-2s prepare to couple to a westbound freight train for the run over Cajon and Tehachapi. Permitted for use on RTS Wiki by photographer Steve Schmollinger.

The West Colton Yard was built by the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) in 1972.  SP's concept was to replace it's aging Taylor Yard in Glendale / Los Angeles, CA, which was no longer in a prime location for traffic between the Sunset and San Joaquin Valley routes.  With the Colton-Palmdale Cutoff opening a few years prior, West Colton was a perfect spot to handle traffic from the north (San Joaquin Valley), the east (Sunset Route), and west (to Los Angeles). 

Running south and parallel to Interstate 10, the six-mile long West Colton Yard is one of the largest classification yards on the west coast. There are eight receiving tracks (approx. 1800 car capacity), plus a ninth running track, on the west end of the yard.  From there, trains are moved though a fully automated hump, which has a six percent slope, and cars are sorted in a 65-track (originally 48) classification yard.  Outbounds are then formed in one of 14 depature tracks on the east end of the yard.  West Colton comes complete with a Locomotive Repair Facility, One Spot Car Repair facility, and Administrative Offices.

West Colton in Run8Edit

V2 West Colton Yard
Run8 offers a fully operational hump-classification yard at West Colton through its Cajon Sub route addon.  The yard features eight receiving tracks, 19 classification tracks, and 14 departure tracks.  There are car service tracks, as well as locomotive storage and service tracks.  Though the one spot repair building is missing, the locomotive service facility and fuel ramps are present.  Other yard buildings, such as the hump and trim towers, as well as the administrative offices are included in the addon.

Receiving YardEdit

V2 West Colton Receiving
Map - WC Receiving
In Run8, West Colton's Receiving Yard has eight tracks for inbound trains.  The tracks are numbered 102 through 109, with track 102 being closest to the main, then increase sequentially from there. The receiving tracks vary in length (from 8,975' to 10,600'), and are long enough to fit any train offered in RTS.  With that, there is no preference as to which track a train is yarded in.

Upon arrival at West Colton, make a post in the West Colton Registry recording the TRAIN ID, status of ARRIVED, and the TRACK NUMBER. Comments are optional.

If the operator choses to do so, the power can be removed from the train, and taken over to the locomotive storage tracks (501-508).  Otherwise, this can be handled by the yard crews.

Hump / Classification YardEdit

V2 West Colton Hump
V2 West Colton Hump 1
V2 West Colton Hump 2
V2 West Colton Hump 3
V2 West Colton Hump 4
V2 West Colton Hump 5
In Run8, West Colton's Classification Yard has 18 catchment tracks for hump operations.  The tracks are numbered 202 through 219, with track 201 being closest to the main, but, not part of the bowl itself, then track numbers increase sequentially from there. 

An Admin/YM will advise when a train is clear to be humped. Check the West Colton Registry View for posted work available. Any trains in CLEAR TO HUMP status may be humped. 

When working the WC Hump job, use the power tagged as WC Hump. It's usually kept either on the hump crest next to the tower or at the west end of the receiving yard.  Make a Registry entry when starting a hump, indicating the TRAIN ID, status of HUMP IN PROGRESS, and TRACK NUMBER that the train is coming out of.  Proceed to the west end of the receiving yard, back into the appropriate receiving track, and couple to the train to be humped.  Prior to starting the hump operations, be sure to close the angle cock to the locomotives, and bleed the air from the cars (CTRL+F7). 

IMPORTANT: When approaching the hump, open up the hump controller menu (CTRL+F6), and click the PULL CONFIGURATION FROM HOST button! This ensures that you have he most current hump file from the server. Users are NOT allowed to change the hump configuration unless authorized by the Yardmaster or an Admin.

After pulling the configuration from the host, ensure that the Hump Controller Active option is turned on, and start humping.


Control the train speed by using the slow-speed control feature (CTRL+C) once at the desired humping speed.  NOTE:  The grade for West Colton's hump is different from the hump at Barstow, therefore different throttle/independent settings will need to be used. With 3 SD40's, setting the slow speed control to 2.7, in throttle 2, with about 30-40 pounds in the brake cylinder (BC on the HUD) should yield good results.

As a train approaches the hump crest, designated by a blank white sign board, railcars are scanned and automatically routed to the appropriate classification track based on their destination. 

While humping, be sure to monitor operation and ensure that the cars are routing to the appropriate track.  Common causes of misroutes are speeding and network lag.  If performing other tasks on the computer while humping (i.e. surfing the internet), that can create network lag between the client computer and the host computer.  If cars are going into the wrong track, stop the hump operations (CTRL+F6).   If possible, stop free-rolling cars by setting the handbrake (click the coupler from a close distance to bring up the menu).  With the hump controller off, back down into the bowl and retrieve the misrouted cars.  Once the cars are retrieved, pull west of the bowl, and clear the platform by the hump tower.  Once clear, reactivate the hump (CTRL+F6) and continue operations.  Another option for correcting misroutes is via the Trim Job once the humping operation is complete.

When finished, a follow up entry can be made in the Registry, indicating the TRAIN ID, status of HUMP COMPLETE, and TRACK NUMBER that the train is came out of.   

The yard power can be tied down at the hump crest in front of the hump tower.

Classification Track Assignments Edit

On the RTS server, classification tracks are designated as follows:

(Edited 12-20-2016)

202 Sluff
203 Fresno FR
204 Roseville RV
205 El Centro EC
206 Mojave MJ LOQ53 LOP53
207 Bakersfield BK Y-BK50 LS906J LS910J LS913J LS913L LS916J L-CAL0103


208 Los Angeles LA LAC JY CI AN
209 Long Beach LB
210 Barstow BAR BA L-CAL0102 L-CAL1161 L-CAL0611 R-CAL0041


211 San Bernardino SBD SBA SBI Y-SBD1022 Y-SBD3021 Y-SBD1022-CRG CRG
212 Dallas DA
213 Phoenix PX
214 Tuscon TU
215 Fort Worth FW
216 Roper RO
217 North Platte NP RA
218 Salt Lake City SC
219 Yermo YR Y-YRYR L-YRYR
Map - WC Hump West
Map - WC Hump East

Departure YardEdit

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March, 2015 - West Colton Departure Yard as seen from Pepper Ave. A yard job is seen hauling a car set into the departure yard, while several locomotives wait for their train sets. BNSF 7774 on point for the MWCLBAR interchange. Permitted for use on RTS Wiki by photographer Ken Szok.

V2 West Colton Trim 1
V2 West Colton Departure 1
V2 West Colton Departure 2
Map - WC Departure
In Run8, West Colton's Departure Yard has 14 tracks for outbound trains. The tracks have various numbers (501-502, 411-415, 435-439 and 904-905), with 501 being closest to the main, and 905 being the furthest south.

In Run8, the depature yard is rather small, and is isolated to the east end of the yard, compared to the yard in the real world. In the real world, there are some departure tracks that extend between the hump yard and the locomotive storage / car department area.  The longest departure track in Run8 is 4,990, and longer trains may need to be doubled over prior to departure. 

All trains built in the departure yard are built to depart to the east, including westbounds.  Westbound trains utilize the balloon track at Pepper (SP535) to turn and head west.

As needed, the trim power (Usually kept near the trim tower at the east end, tagged as WC Trim or WC Trim 2) can be used to pull cars out of the bowl and move them over to the departure yard. Check the Registry to see if what tracks have been assigned for outbound blocking. If no track has been assigned for the cars to be trimmed, the user may place the cars an open track. Leave tracks 501 and 905 open when possible for run-thru traffic, utilizing as a last resort if needed. When assigning a new track, make an entry using the Registry Form, indicating the DESTINATION CODE, status of ASSIGNED, and the TRACK NUMBER.

Build orders are issued by RTS Admins/YMs for outbound trains. When a build order is issued, use the trim power to pull any remaining cars (if any) out of the bowl for the ordered train.  Take the cars over to the departure yard and add them to any additional cars.  NOTE: No further trains should be humped in effort to add more cars to the outbound train.  The cars can also be moved to a longer track if needed.  If the receiving yard is empty (no pending hump activity), longer trains in 411 and/or 412 can extend past the departure yard into the hump yard  (202/203) to avoid having to double over the departure.  501/502 can also extend through the switches into 201 if needed.   

Once all cars for the outbound have been placed in the departure yard, the train can be powered and released.  Only use the minimum number of locomotives needed to achieve the HPT required for the route(s) to be traveled!  Do not overpower outbound trains.  Trains exceeding coupler limits will need DPU power on the rear. 

Once the train is powered, the train can be considered released. Make an entry using the Registry Form, indicating the TRAIN ID, status of RELEASED, and the TRACK NUMBER.

Once the train has departed, make an entry using the Registry Form, indicating the TRAIN ID, status of DEPARTED, and the TRACK NUMBER that the train came from.

Speed LimitsEdit

All tracks within the West Colton Yard are 10 MPH.  The maximum speed while humping is 3 MPH.

Locomotive Shops & StorageEdit

West Colton Shop
West Colton features a full locomotive service facility, including maintenance shops, fuel / service pits, and storage.  

Power from inbound trains can be taken to the storage tracks (501-508) located between the shops and the trim tower.  Yard crews may take the power to the shops if needed. 

Power for outbound trains can be taken from the storage tracks or the service pits.  There is a wye to the south of the shops if a unit needs to be turned.

BNSF power, when available, is used for the MWCLBAR1.

There are two tracks in the shop/service area identified as an industry. Sand hoppers (WCS) are delivered to track 559 (inside the small structure), and fuel tanks (WCF) are delivered to track 591 (USD Ethanol) over by the Locomotive Repair Shop. Inbounds will be found in the sluff track (202), and can be spotted by the the trim crew. Vice versa, empty outbounds can be pulled by the trim crew when unloaded.

Outbound Minimum Horsepower Per Ton(HPT) Requirements & Coupler LimitsEdit

When building outbound trains from West Colton, the following guidelines shall be met for northbound and eastbound trains:


The following minimum HPT requirements apply:



(Non-DPU or Helper Equipped)


(DPU or Helper Equipped)

Cajon Pass (UP) 2.5 2.3
Cajon Pass (BNSF), Main 1 2.5 2.3
Cajon Pass (BNSF), Main 2 3.0 2.8
Mojave Sub 2.2 2.2
Yuma Sub 2.0 2.0

Trains shall be built to have enough power to meet the minimum HPT requirements to prevent stalling. 

Note: Southbound and westbound trains have different HPT requirements, therefore this chart should not be used for trains out of Barstow or Yermo. 


Standard strength couplers (S) have a lower trailing tonnage limit than the high strength coupler (H).  High strength couplers are found on solid coal, grain and intermodal trains.  All others are considered to have standard strength couplers.  Some routes have multiple grades with different coupler limits.  The most restrictive limits are as follows:






Cajon Pass (UP) 6200 tons 7875 tons
Cajon Pass (BNSF), Main 1 6500 tons 8500 tons
Cajon Pass (BNSF), Main 2 4600 tons 6300 tons
Mojave Sub 6200 tons

7875 tons

Yuma Sub 6400 tons 8300 tons

Trains exceeding the above tonnage shall be DPU/Helper equipped, to distribute in-train forces and prevent coupler failures.

Mojave Subdivision: All trains with helpers and/or DP, other than loaded bulk commodity trains, must not exceed 11,000 tons. Maximum length for all trains north of Mojave is 7,000 feet.


When adding locomotives to a train, observe the following guidelines:

  • Trains requiring more than 3 ES44's shall be equipped with DPU. (3x1, 3x2, 3x3, 2x2, etc.)
  • Trains requiring more than 5 SD40's shall have helpers
  • Trains requiring more than 6 ES44's shall have mid train helpers. (3x2x3, 3x1x3, 3x2x2, etc.)
  • When adding DP, the number of locomotives on the rear shall be equal to or less than the number on the head end.
  • Trains hauling additional locomotives for the purpose of a power move shall run with the extra units isolated.

Special Train InstructionsEdit

The following trains have special instructions (operating and/or building):

  • CSVWC / CWCSV - The CSVWC is spawned at Daggett, and is yarded in the WC receiving yard. The train is left intact, and the power remains attached.  DO NOT HUMP!   This train will become the CWCSV at a later point in time. later in the cycle.  During the cycle, yard crews turn the train at the balloon if necessary, tag and empty the cars.  The train will then be released by an Admin/YM when appropriate.
  • MWCBK - The MWCBK transfers cars from West Colton to UP Bakersfield for area industries. Cars come out of bowl track 207, and contain the following tags: BK Y-BK50 LS906J LS910J LS913J LS913L LS916J L-CAL0103 U-LACBAK. This train no longer works Mojave (replaced by Mojave Flyer).  
  • MOJAVE FLYER - The Mojave Flyer transfers cars from West Colton to Mojave for area industries. Cars come out of bowl track 206, and contain the following tags: MJ LOQ53 LOP53. Once at Mojave, the Mojave Flyer will make its setout in an open track, then pick up any UP bound cars and return to West Colton. The Mojave Flyer is identified by two train IDs: The northbound move to Mojave is the LOQ91, and the southbound return to West Colton is the LOP92.   
  • MWCLBAR - This is a BNSF train that operates between West Colton and Mojave.  BNSF power, when available, is normally used for this train. Cars come out of bowl track 210, and contain the following tags: BAR BA L-CAL0102 L-CAL1161 L-CAL0611 R-CAL0041 L-CAL0101 L-CMXCMX STO GAL KCK PHX. This train will sometimes have work at B Yard in San Bernardino, setting out SBD traffic from WC and picking up BAR cars from the Y-SBD3021. Check the train's consist before AI Recrewing or taking the train yourself to verify if there's a setout. Also check the registry for instructions.

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