Monday, August 24, 2009

5371 Moved To Ogden UT

The Union Pacific purchased the Southern Pacific in 1996. Since then, UP had pursued a re-painting and patching program that actively worked to assimilate all locomotives gained through the purchase. The Denver & Rio Grande Western had purchased the SP years earlier in 1988, but kept the SP name because SP was the larger of the two railroads. As such, many Rio Grande locomotives were kept in their original livery. Then the UP applied its Armour yellow to many of the SP and DRGW units, some in total repaints, many others in patches applied during regular maintenance sessions. The patches were an adhesive decal plastered over the numbers below the cab window, turning a blind eye to aesthetics in an effort to assimilate all road power into one uniform numbering system.

The refugees from this program concentrated in places like Helper, Utah for years, soldiering on as helper units or local power for years, proudly wearing the unspoiled colors of their former road. Alas, one by one, they too fell under the curse of the patch, until only one Rio Grande unit remained: SD-40T-2 unit 5371. Strangely, the unit was spared, continuing to work out of Helper until its motors failed. Sadly, it was hauled dead in tow to Cheyenne where it was the subject of much speculation. Rumors that it had been promised to Ogden, Utah for display at Ogden Union Station have now proven true. Photos of the unit have been posted to TrainBoard.

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