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2005 UP Family Day at Dolores Page 2

Union Pacific Family Day at Dolores

Locomotive Facility, Page 2

April 16, 2005
Story and photographs copyright 2004 by Richard Elgenson
RailNews Network

I endeavoured to take a facility tour as early as possible which was 10:30 A.M. which allowed me to help man the Operation Lifesaver booth.  The volunteers were ready for the 350 expected guests who slowly they trickled in, visited the booths, took tours, and ate hot dogs and chips.  There is nothing better than UP heartburn as I had a hot dog for breakfast and went back for more later. 


Entry into the Dolores Locomotive Facility is via a tunnel under the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) railroad tracks.  This year, there was a nice banner welcoming all who descended into the tunnel.  The first thing our tour guide pointed out was the sanding facility and brands of locomotives waiting to be serviced.  The former owner railroad is visible on the locomotive car body.



Before we entered the building, a BNSF Railway empty cement freight train tried to sneak by us.  I managed to get what is best termed a "grab shot."  The tour guide told us that the speed limit on the ACTA tracks is 60 miles per hour.  The cement train was doing well under 30 and ground to a stop.


We entered the roundhouse building though a side door, then up the stairs to upper office space.


Above left shows Linda Butler's office door.  She is the Total Safety Culture officer at the Dolores facility.  Upstairs, we were led to a mezzanine where the whole interior can be viewed.


Tracks 1 and 2 are for fueling while track 3 is for 90 day inspection and filter changes.  Dolores has the capacity to change out traction motors.  This can only be done one at a time while at more major locomotive facilities, 4 or 5 can be done at once.  For safety purposes, blue lights protect workers and no locomotives can be moved.  A yellow light means movement of locomotives through the shop.



Our guide informed us of different types of locomotives which appear at the faciltiy.  They are mainly Electro-Motive or General Electric engines.  All of them have a manufacturers plate indicating date of production, model, and horsepower.  The mark "F" means front of the locomotive.  It takes 8 to 9 hours to cycle a locomotive through the Dolores facility.  The three crafts performed at Dolores are mechanical, electrical and machinists.  Once back at ground level, we were invited into SD-70 number  5051 where Wayne Baker was waiting to take everyone's picture once they occupied the engineer's seat.

Union Pacific keeps several dozen spare traction motors in the shop.  In the Southern Pacific days, traction motors were rebuilt at General Electric in Anaheim California.


Page 3 Dolores Family Day