Thursday, May 24, 2007

1981 Trip, Day 2: Ogden, SLC and Provo


Check out the funky black numbers on the 412 at Ogden!

June 7, 1981: After twenty six years, the details are a little fuzzy, but I think Marc and I spend the night on the ground at the rest stop near the mouth of Weber Canyon, east of Ogden. What a drive that must've been, straight through from Seattle in a day. But, we were young then, and there might have been artifical stimulants involved. Morning was cloudy; this day we'd visit the three largest cities in Utah, Ogden, Salt Lake City, and Provo.


A classic hack at Ogden Transfer. . .

We drove through the UP, SP and Rio Grande facilities in Ogden, old hat from me, having lived there just a few years prior, but for Mark it was all new. UP still switched Riverdale Yard with SD24's, one of which, 412, was wearing the short-lived black numbers on its cab. Classic Rio Grande gold and silver caboose 01490 was at Transfer yard along with GP40-2s.



Interesting power in storage at Salt Lake. . .

Then it was on to Salt Lake City, where we discovered the recession that killed off the Alcos and F-units on our hometown BN in Seattle had also laid waste to UP's GP30B's, U30C's and Centennials, examples of which were in storage near the Salt Lake depot. We then made a quick blitz of Rio Grande's Roper Yard, long considered "hot" with railroad bulls. We scored a few of the freshly-rebuilt Morrison-Knudsen Western Pacific GP35's in "new image" paint as well as more Rio Grande cabooses and a GP9.



Newly-rebuilt WP GP35's face to face at Roper. . .




Old EMD's earn their keep for Rio Grande at Roper. . .


Provo, the final city of the day, was quiet except for former C&O RSD12 600, originally purchased for use in the West Virginia coal fields, still shuffling black diamonds as Utah Railway's yard switcher. Mark, a hard-core Rio Grande-or-Nothing modeler, made an exception in photographing a non-Rio Grande, non-EMD locomotve, something that he was reminded of for many years afterward.



A long way from West Virginia: ex-C&O RSD12 at Provo. . .


Ya Can't Get Away From Em: UP SD's on Utah empty. . .

Our enthusiasm for photographing Utah Railway coal trains on the Rio Grande mainline was tempered by the sight of four UP units--instead of ex-Santa Fe "Alligator" RSD15's-- leading an empty up Soldier Summit; this recently had become standard practice, their fleet of original RSD4/5's used on mine runs, the second-hand RSD12's and RSD15's toiling as helpers on the mainline out of Martin. Sufficently uninspired to chase this train up the canyon, we returned to Provo, visited the city's only hobby shop, then photographed two pairs of rare TR5's used by UP on transfer drags to US Steel's Geneva works.



Rare on anyone's railroad: TR5s at Provo. . .


Coal empty on Provo Subdivision. . .

By then, the skies were clouding up, and the daily coal load off the Utah was ready to depart Provo for a trip down UP's Provo Subdivision. The four SD40-2's for power were hardly inspring, either, but Wasatch range made for a nice backdrop and the chase south gave us an opportunity to explore this seldom-photographed portion of the UP, years before CTC and heavy export coal and IPP coal traffic raised its profile. We ended the evening driving to Soldier Summit, where we camped trackside.

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