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Union Pacific Family Day at Dolores Locomotive Facility

By Richard Elgenson, RailNews Network
March 20, 2004

Have you ever wondered what the inside of one of these locomotives looked like...underneath the hood?  Some had rocker arm covers open and others had enough covers off on both sides that one could see the reflection of light on the pool of lubrication oil.


Some locomotives come in for triennial inspections which include draining out of lubrication oil.  On EMD locomotives, power assemblies, a piston and cylinder, can be removed and replaced.  At the tank farm, there is a 7,000 gallon capacity tank marked soap.  Inside the facility, pipes are marked soap, but appear not to be in use.  Locomotives are hard to keep clean travelling through diverse weather available in California.  UP's locomotives run north from the Los Angeles area or else east to points through Arizona and Nevada.


As many times as I have driven on Alameda Street, I was unfamiliar with the fact that the yellow crane was the sanding facility.  While we were there, locomotives were being dispensed sand.  A locomotive typically has a sand tank on each end.  On top of the crane, it says "PAWS" which stands for "Preventing Accidents With Safety."



While the open house was going on, occasional rail traffic occured on the Alameda Corridor (ACTA) tracks.  First Pacific Harbor Lines number 42 rumbled northbound with a container train.  He later passed by southbound travelling light.  A CSX unit was in line to be serviced at Dolores.

Thank you to Union Pacific for having this open house and for inviting Operation Lifesaver to participate.

Official Union Pacific website

California Operation Lifesaver

National Operation Lifesaver

Richard Elgenson RailNews Network Site