2006-12-22

DRGW Tunnel Motor To Be Preserved?

The last remaining untouched Rio Grande unit, number 5371, a tunnel motor, has not been patched. For years now, this diesel has soldiered on in relative obscurity in Utah. Nathan Holmes of DRGW.net has been watching this unit for several years, reporting on its status. In his December 8 report, Nathan said,
… a letter from Union Pacific president Jim Young had arrived at Roper regarding 5371. The letter was essentially a reprieve for 5371, stating the unit was to continue unpatched until such point that it suffered a major failure. At that point, it would be donated to the Utah State Railway Museum in Ogden. The letter arrived just in time, as 5371 was set to be patched later that same day.
If indeed it is true, this news would be welcomed by more than a few fans of the fallen Rio Grande. Such a donation would preserve not only the last remaining example of late Rio Grande power, but also assure the preservation of the unique design of the SD-40T-2 diesel. It appears from this and other similar acts such as the heritage locomotives that the Union Pacific values history not only of its own heritage, but also that of its acquisitions.