Welcome to our WAV library, containing samples of the conversations that occur daily along the BNSF Stockton Subdivision, the UP's Canyon Subdivision and the former SP's Valley Subdivision.

If you have a programmable scanner, you can tune in to these transmissions yourself. What you hear will perhaps entertain and enlighten you as to the activities of the railroads. It certainly has helped us gain a better appreciation for the work that goes into moving trains, freight and passengers every day.

Most of these sound files are large. We have indicated the approximate size of each in parentheses.

Switch repair

Here is a series of conversations that took place as a BNSF signal maintainer attempted to troubleshoot a malfunctioning switch at Milepost 1146.0 in Oakley. Normally through trains on the BNSF mainline take the south track in Oakley, but because of the switch problem they were being diverted to the north main on this day.

The signal maintainer was under the gun to finish his work because a westbound Amtrak San Joaquin train, no. 713, was due, followed by several freights.

 1) Fixing a switch(858K) The signal maintainer briefs the Stockton Sub dispatcher on the situation.
 2) Track and time released(413K) The maintainer clears the way so Amtrak can enter the work area.
 3) Track warrant(330K) Moments later, the dispatcher grants permission to Amtrak 713 to pass.
 4) BNSF detector at MP 1144.5(182K) Amtrak crosses the talking defect detector.
 5) Hand operation(693K) Amtrak stops at the malfunctioning switch and gets clearance to proceed.
 6) All clear(165K) Several minutes later, the dispatcher checks on Amtrak's status.
 7) Switch in transition(347K) Now it's back to work for the maintainer as he looks for the elusive problem.

Busy night for UP

Union Pacific handles a tremendous number of trains each day on the Canyon Subdivision, which is located within our receiving area. Occasionally the busy tracks become so congested that dispatchers have no choice but to flag trains into sidings up and down the line in order that higher priority cargo can get past. Here was one of those occasions.

 Big old parking lot(281K) The dispatcher explains the situation to a train crew.
 All tied up(380K) The dispatcher ticks off a list of all the trains that are waiting in sidings at the moment.

Talking defect detector

Following are several recordings of the talking defect detector at Milepost 1144.5 on the Stockton Subdivision. Currently we only have the detector's standard message, which is: "BNSF detector, milepost one, one, four, four, point, five, south (or north) track. No defects. Repeat, no defects. Total axles, (number). Out." We hope eventually to record occurrences of every number between 0 and 9, which would allow modelers hoping to incorporate such a device into their layouts to create their own messages for any milepost and any number of axles. Currently we are missing the numbers 3 and 7. When we have them, we will make each number available in its own file.

 216 axles(182K) Freight train crosses the south track detector at MP 1144.5.
 98 axles(182K) Short freight train crosses the south track detector.
 60 axles(182K) BNSF freight crosses the south track detector.
 24 axles(165K) Amtrak with extra coach crosses the south track detector.
 20 axles (south)(182K) Amtrak crosses the south track detector.
 20 axles (north)(182K) Amtrak crosses the north track detector. (This is the same as #4 in the switch section.)


Here are some miscellaneous sounds from the Stockton Sub, Canyon Sub and Valley Sub frequencies.

 DS-27(33K) The Stockton Sub dispatcher acknowledges an incoming call.
 Bad order(479K) A BNSF train crew reports a malfunctioning speedometer on their lead unit.
 Up to Stockton?(314K) A BNSF train crew and dispatcher try to figure out the best location for taking the siding. 
 Broken rail(149K) A Valley Sub dispatcher alerts an approaching train to track problems near Lodi.
 Authority to pass signal(116K) The Canyon Sub dispatcher grants permission to use the mainline.
 Track permit(429K) The Canyon Sub dispatcher grants clearance to a track maintenance crew.
 Working at Lathrop(380K) Canyon dispatcher gets specifics about a train's assignment.
 Waiting at Holt(182K) BNSF 716 East receives authority to pass a red signal.
 Rock 'n' roll(66K) Stockton Sub's JCD exhibits his dispatching flair as he prepares to issue a track warrant.
 End of train (EOT) device(17K) You can only hear this if you have a scanner. Doesn't sound like much, but it is helpful in locating trains. 
 Clearing the limits(182K) Amtrak 389 crew releases a track warrant on the Stockton Subdivision.
 Clearing the limits 2(215K) Amtrak 353 releases a track warrant at MP 1146.4 on the Stockton Sub.
 Approaching the detector(50K) Amtrak conductor alerts the dispatcher that his train is approaching a talking defect detector, so their conversation will be interrupted until the detector's recording has ended.
 Amtrak near DuPont(116K) Train 716 reports its location to the Stockton Sub dispatcher.
 Locomotive roster(149K) The Stockton Sub dispatcher ticks off the road numbers and reporting marks of a five-engine consist.
 UP emergency call(50K) Canyon Sub dispatcher acknowledges an incoming emergency call.
 UP Omaha dispatcher(33K) Standard acknowledgement of the Canyon Sub dispatcher.

We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please send e-mail to Glenn or Roni Gehlke.

Proceed to Milepost 1147.2 on main track. Hold main track at last named point. Over.

This page was last updated Wednesday, December 16, 1998 at 02:05 hrs.