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Commerce UP Family Day

Union Pacific Commerce Family Day

Commerce, California

August 7, 2004
Story and photographs copyright 2004 by Richard Elgenson
RailNews Network

On Saturday August 7, 2004, the Union Pacific Railroad held a Family Day open house to thank its Los Angeles Service Unit, Commerce California Mechanical department employees for their safety record.  The event at the East Los Angeles Commerce Locomotive Shop ran from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, nestled between the locomotive facility and the mechanical car department. Approximately 500 employees enjoyed good food, camraderie and games for the kids.  Many people pitched in to make the event a success including several Operation Lifesaver volunteers who put water bottles into buckets which were then iced on this hot August day in Southern California.  All attendees received raffle tickets for merchandise which was given away by the emcee who called out names from ticket stubs. Approximately 20 gifts were raffled with the grand prizes being a television set and a barbeque.





According to Manuel Rodarte, Safety/TSC (Total Safety Culture) Coordinator Transportation Western Region,  the event was staged for the Los Angeles Commerce Mechanical Department's 180 to 200 employees to recognize their 2004 safety record of  3 FRA reportable injuries as compared to 7 in 2003.  The Union Pacific safety program is dedicated to changing behaviors for the good of all employees and individuals and to look out for one another.  Some of this work is done through training, adjusting the work environment and signs.  Another important reason to have this event was to boost morale.  Everybody I spoke to was in a good mood and appeared to enjoy themselves.



The Commerce mechanical location had not had an event such as this for 15 years and Mr. Rodarte hopes to turn this into an annual event.   In a separate interview a week after the Family Day, Mr. Rodarte said that thank you letters are being received from employees positively commenting the railroad for having the event.  One letter stated an appreciation and a new perspective how locomotives work.   One locomotive was set up as a display and tour.  An electrician took employees and their families into the locomotive cab and explained how the machine works.  Then, they were led out onto the work platform to view the prime mover (diesel generator motor) with an open rocker arm cover.


Tee shirts and hats were also distributed.  Both had the Union Pacific logo, cactus, palm tree and snow capped mountains on them.


Interchangeable locomotive parts such as brake shoes, power grids, a generator and blower, batteries and piston assemblies were on display too.



UP Commerce Family Day Page 2

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