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UP Heritage Loco Photo Shoot

Union Pacific Heritage Locomotive Fleet Photo Shoot

Salt Lake City, Utah

June 30, 2007

Story and photographs by Richard Elgenson
RailNewsNetwork writer

Posted July 9, 2007
Updated July 13, 2007

It pays to read posting boards on the internet.  I noticed an interesting event involving he Union Pacific Railroad to take place in Salt Lake City Utah on June 30, 2007.  Having not been to Salt Lake City in over 30 years, it seemed time to return to photograph some railroad equipment.  After finding decent fares on 2 different airlines for my round tirp, I got a ride to Long Beach Airport for my first flight on a commuter jet.  I got the last seat on this flight and had limited views of scenery along the way.  Upon landing, I found my friend Jerry to hand off the frozen halibut that we would have for dinner after the locomotive photography session.  Since I had the time, I made a visit to Promontory Summit, site of the joining of the transcontinental railroad.  All this was to take place in a quick 48 hour trip.  I then got a rental car to drive to the Golden Spike Historical Site.  The Golden Spike story will be posted at a later time.  After spending a night at the Anton Boxrud Bed and Breakfast near the governor's mansion, I got to the goal of this trip...


Powers that be at Union Pacific Railroad decided to have a "class photo" of their heritage fleet of locomotives.  The paint schemes on this equipment is respectful to each "fallen flag" railroad which was merged into the Uniion Pacific system.  They are Missouri Pacific, Western Pacific, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas, the Denver & Rio Grande Western, Chicago and NorthWestern, and Southern Pacific.  Having previously seen only one of these specially painted locmotives, the SP, I attended the photo shoot on June 30, 2007 in Salt Lake City Utah.  The railroad asked that all photographers sign a release form to be on their property.  Upon giving up the release form, a locomotive pin was given.  My pin happened to be a Missouri Pacific heritage pin which I gave to a friend at dinner later that same day.  The locomotives were displayed on a wye track outside a recently opened intermodal yard west of Salt Lake City proper.  It appeared that the timeline for mergers and locomotive numbers went from back to front.  The exception would be the D&RGW unit, since that company bought out Southern Pacific before UP bought SP.  Unit 8444 was first in line being called the flag unit.  Below are right and left side views of all of the heritage units.


For all photographs of UP 1996 Southern Pacific heritage unit, click here.


For all photographs of UP 1995 Chicago and NorthWestern heritage unit, click here.


For all photographs of UP 1989 Denver and Rio Grande Western heritage unit, click here.


For all photographs of UP 1988 Missouri-Kansas-Texas heritage unit, click here.


For all photographs of UP 1983 Western Pacific heritage unit, click here.


For all photographs of UP 1982 Missouri Pacific heritage unit, click here.  You will notice many more pictures of this unit than the others.  The first and last locomotives were the easiest to photograph.  Also, my friend Jerry had started his railroad career with Missouri Pacific.  This amount of photographs will help Jerry produce a beautiful painting.


Continue to next page for additional views of all equipment.

At one point during the event, I almost tripped over some barbed wire in the weeds.  An event person was standing very nearby in an orange vest and red UP hat.  Later I asked him what his capacity was working for the railroad.  Marty's reply was that he worked for a public relations firm in Omaha, directly across the street from UP headquarters and that he had done the graphic design on several of the heritage units.  I complimented him on the results.  I have been a lifelong resident of Southern California, growing up in the San Fernando Valley with a Southern Pacific branch line in our back yard in Van Nuys.  My favorite UP heritage locomotive is the Denver and Rio Grande Western due to my love of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

The day of this event was hot.  After being there for two hours, I was ready to get out of the sun.  On my way out, I noticed the Union Pacific people had climbed aboard the flag locomotive cab platform for a photo opportunity.  I would liked to have collected this shot, but I left.  I went back to the cheap motel which was not ready to allow me to check-in on my first visit before the UP event.  After taking too much time to check me in, I got ready to visit Jerry and his wife for dinner in South Jordan near Taylorsville.  That morning, some guests at the Anton Boxrud had told me that Taylorsville was going to have a big fireworks show at 10 PM that night.  After a thouroughly enjoyable dinner with my friends, I found a place to watch the "big show" from.  Taylorsville puts on an excellent show.  It lasted for 30 minutes!  Upon my return to the cheap motel, I struggled with my loaned digital camera to download the photographs.  At last I succeeded and checked out the results.  I then arranged for an extremely early wake up call to catch my 6:45 AM flight home.  Unfortunately, I left my 102 dollar bag of Golden Spike souvenirs in the rental car.  I remembered this 2/3 of the way back to Long Beach.  They seem to be lost forever, since the car rental company claims that no one turned them in.  Once I got home, I got to clean house for the 30 or more guests I was having over for a lazy Sunday afternoon barbeque.