The following trains are regulars at Black Butte. Most operate everyday, except as noted:
After being closed since May, 2008, through operations on the ex-SP Siskiyou Route between Black Butte and Medford, Oregon over Siskiyou Pass resumed in early November, 2015. Current operations are normally five trains per week (Monday-Friday) departing around 8am from CORP's yard area near downtown Weed, not Black Butte. The train usually meets a southbound out of Medford, swaps crews and locomotives at Hornbrook and continues. CORP operates a sporadic switch job between Weed and Black Butte for interchange with UP.
UP trains use symbols indicating the type of train and the origin/destination, rather than train numbers. These are the most common symbols used on the Shasta Division:
A - Autoracks
Z - Fast intermodal train of trailers (piggybacks), containers, doublestacks
I - Other intermodal/double stack train
Q - High priority mixed (general manifest) freight
M - Lower priority mixed freight
BR - Portland (Brooklyn Yard)
PD - Portland (Albina Yard)
PT - Portland (Lake Yard)
PW - For interchange to/from Portland & Western RR
SE - Seattle (Argo Yard)
EU - Eugene
RV - Roseville (near Sacramento)
WC - West Colton Yard (southern California)
LC - Los Angeles Transportation Center (LATC Yard)
Note: With the advent of "Precision Scheduled Railroading" in early 2019, many train symbols and some routings have changed. The following is current as of June 1, 2019:
MRVNPB With the closure of the hump yard at Hinkle, in eastern Oregon, the "Roseville to Hinkle" was combined with a Hinkle to North Platte, Nebraska train which runs via Portland, Hinkle and Pocatello. It still carries some Canadian Pacific traffic, set out at Hinkle. It is the "B" section to distinguish from the direct Roseville to North Platte manifest operating via Sparks.
MWCPT A Roseville to Portland (Portland Terminal's Lake Yard) general manifest freight. It comes from West Colton, may work in Roseville, departs there at night and is in the Dunsmuir/Black Butte area in the afternoon. It is often split into two shorter trains at Lakehead, north of Redding. The main section, with 4-5 locomotives, then crew changes in Dunsmuir and continues north, followed by the second section with two units which does not crew change in Dunsmuir. The two sections are then put back together at Black Butte (or possibly further north at Grass Lake).
MRVPW A Roseville to Eugene mixed freight, often with lots of empty lumber racks. This is a "road local" that often works at Anderson, CA and Klamath Falls, OR and occasionally at Black Butte when there is interchange traffic with CORP. It has sections for CORP, P & W, Coos Bay and local traffic in Eugene. It is possible this train may go through the same "split" as the MWCPT above.
ZLCTM Los Angeles (LATC Yard) to Tacoma intermodal hotshot, with a big block for Portland's Brooklyn Yard. Runs daily and usually through Black Butte in the early evening. Domestic double stacks, some international doublestacks at times, and pigs. It now often has DPUs, the only northbound to have them.
MNPRVB This is the new version of the "Canadian Pacific" train, mostly loads of wood, grain, and other products, coming down from Canada via UP's Hinkle Yard in eastern Oregon but now originating in North Platte. It terminates at Roseville where the cars are humped and then sent to various destinations. This is often a mid to late morning train through Black Butte. It often, but not always, has DPUs.
MPDRV This is one of several Portland to Roseville mixed freights that pass through Black Butte. It often has DPUs.
MPWWC This train is handed off to UP by the Portland and Western RR and goes to Roseville and on to West Colton in southern California. Often a mid-afternoon train but not consistent.
IBRLA This is the downgraded southbound intermodal train from Brooklyn Yard (Portland) to Los Angeles (East LA Yard) with mainly domestic 53s, some pigs... and recently, often a short string of covered hoppers on the rear. Currently through Black Butte 1-5pm daily.
In addition to these listed trains, UP also operates occasional unit oil trains (tar sands oil going via CP/Hinkle to a refinery near Bakersfield) and the rare unit grain, auto or military train.
#14 "Coast Starlight" Amtrak's premier Los Angeles to Seattle west coast train passes through Black Butte around 6am.