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Western Railroad Discussion > Today's trains all look the same


Date: 07/22/07 18:01
Today's trains all look the same
Author: GrandeGold

It get's a little dull sometimes. You know, the familiarity of Union Pacific's locomotive fleet. Not much of a chance to see variety in the form of SP, D&RGW & CNW paint on mainline power. Patched and renumbered locomotives don't really count. Remember all the great variety of 10 years ago?

Here's a sampling of three from this morning, taken along the former D&RGW between Salt Lake City and Provo. All three trains were lead with (surprise) winged and flagged Armour Yellow GE's. At least the lead motors were fairly clean.

1. UP's MHKPV heads east at Pipe Mill Spur, a switch on the old Rio Grande single track main, about three miles west of CP RG707, Geneva. You can see a segment of Utah Lake to the left of the UP 5904. Hey, that's an old D&RGW road number...a GP9, correct? Also, check out the errant dragonfly, soaring to the left above the lead motor!

2. The MSCWC charges east out of the Jordan River Narrows at CP RG722, Mesa.

3. The Valmy coal train awaits a clear signal at CP RG735, Midvale. That's another old D&RGW road number, an SD45. Cool!

I caught five trains in all. Not too bad a morning for the west end of the sleepy Provo Sub. Thanks for lookin'.

James









Date: 07/22/07 18:45
Re: Today's trains all look the same
Author: FallinFlag

notice there have a lack of foreign power in the U.P. here in northern calif(bay area)lately. even the patch jobs seemed to have disappeared lately.



Date: 07/22/07 19:24
Re: Today's trains all look the same
Author: Chief409

There's been some patched SP and DRG&W SD-40's working the locals at Mojave lately. I'd gotten used to seeing the 3 window SD-60 wide cab units, with the SP100 or 101 showing up on the Trona coal train from Utah once in awhile. Makes a nice change. It all depends on what Colton sends out. Then there is the BNSF parade of anything that's running passing thru. I'm surprised they ain't showing up with a Mountain on a Z-train.

Be safe,
Chief409



Date: 07/22/07 22:24
Re: Today's trains all look the same
Author: JasonCNW

In UP's defense, they did come out with 6 heritage units, the George Bush 4141 loco, two Olympic SD70M's. the 3300 United Way SD40-2 and also they have the 7605 painted in GE colors.

They also in the past ran the 1996 olmpic train with 2 specialy painted 40-2's and the Desert Storm dash-2. And IIRC before the CNW and SP merger UP painted over most of the railroads loco's and buildings that they merged with.
JC



Date: 07/23/07 02:48
Re: Today's trains all look the same
Author: Red

JasonCNW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In UP's defense, they did come out with 6 heritage
> units, the George Bush 4141 loco, two Olympic
> SD70M's. the 3300 United Way SD40-2 and also they
> have the 7605 painted in GE colors.
>
> They also in the past ran the 1996 olmpic train
> with 2 specialy painted 40-2's and the Desert
> Storm dash-2. And IIRC before the CNW and SP
> merger UP painted over most of the railroads
> loco's and buildings that they merged with.
> JC

Great pictures...but...I agree with the above sentiments. Take the UPRR in the 1980s...or...the BN...or...the ATSF. Sure...a few oddball units from each road, but on your high density mains, train after train with just TWO models: the EMD SD40-2 and the GE C30-7. View an older video over Sherman Hill from the early to mid-1980s to see what I'm talking about.

Now...look at the abundance of models in the photographs above.

And, on the UPRR alone, what might you see almost anywhere? Sure...lots of SD70Ms (the SD40-2 of the 21st Century...and a good-looking model I might add, whether it's one of the original units with the flat radiator, the Phase II/EPA Tier 1 units with the standard nose and flared radiators, or, the Phase III SD70Ms that retain the flared radiators but have the Phase II notched-nose cab: three varieties of SD70Ms alone).

Then, you have GE C40-8s, C41-8Ws, C44-9Ws, C44ACs, 6000 HP C60ACs in the 7500-Class, ex-Sp & SSW B40-8s, and now the ES44AC GEVOs.

Going back to EMD, in addition to the SD70Ms in three distinct varieties, you have hordes of new SD70ACes coming online, and yes, the Heritage Units and the Presidential 4141. Then, you have Standard Cab SD60s, three-window SD60Ms, two-window SD60Ms, the 8000-Class SD9043ACs (the good ones with the reliable 4300 HP EMD 710 engine), GP38-2s and GP40-2s, GP60s, ex-SP SD40M-2s (that will be around for a long time to provide variety due to their being repainted and rebuilt at the Jenks Shops), and...still a respectable number of SD40-2s...some of which have been recently rebuilt into SD40-2Rs atop the one hundred that were cycled out of Jenks in 1999 with cab-mounted air condtioning and the works due to a need for reliable power above and beyond the production capacity of both GE and EMD.

With the BNSF...the C44-9W takes on the role of UP's SD70Ms, but, you also have older power there, new ES44DC and ES44AC GEVOs and EMD SD70ACes, SD70MACs, SD75Ms and SD75Is, older varieties of 4 and 6-axle GE Dash Eights, GP60s and B40-8s in both Standard/Spartan Cab and North American Cab versions...and...rebuilt GP30s and GP35s with various model designations, depending on whether they came from the BN or the ATSF.

Yes...the paint schemes have thinned out...but...the variety of locomotive models is wider than at any time since the late 1960s or early 1970s. I think that there's a LOT of variety out there, to the extent that it's rather hard to find a solid matched set of power on a train (perhaps solid sets of GE C44-9Ws on the Transcon are going to be running in solid sets for quite some time, but with all of the ES44DCs/ES44ACs coming online, and the SD70ACes...this is going to ease up). For the sheer variety of relatively new locomotive models, this is almost a Golden Era that we have going, here.



Date: 07/23/07 08:04
Re: Today's trains all look the same
Author: mad_dog

On the eastern end of the UP system, sometimes oyu have to wonder whose railroad it is. I've seen every major railroads engines except for a FEC engine.



Date: 07/23/07 15:10
Re: Today's trains all look the same
Author: driver

From a photographic pov I prefer uniformity. Makes for a much more pleasing view in my book.
Give 'em to me elephant style and all clean, you wont find me complaining about it.

Steve.



Date: 07/23/07 17:54
Re: Today's trains all look the same
Author: Evan_Werkema

FallinFlag Wrote:

> notice there have a lack of foreign power in the
> U.P. here in northern calif(bay area)lately. even
> the patch jobs seemed to have disappeared lately.

No shortage of patched D&RGW around the Bay Area. On July 4th of this year, patched D&RGW 1355 was at Mulford, 1342 was at South San Francisco, and 2882 was at Newark on the NWRV. A friend of mine was even complaining that all those patched Grande units were ruining his pictures!



Date: 07/24/07 08:20
Re: Today's trains all look the same
Author: CShaveRR

I'm sorry--the premise here is all wrong. Having spent a couple of days in St. Louis, I can say that the UP manifest trains down there look completely different from those in Chicago. So do the coal trains.

You're talking about the motive power. There is--and should be--a lot more to train-watching than just the yellow (or gray, or whatever) stuff up front.



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