In 1992, LMC Recyclers in Richmond bid on a batch
of Southern Pacific locomotives, most of which resided on the deadline
in Roseville. The 3189 was included because it had suffered a "main generator
failure" and was deemed "beyond economical repair". Fortunately, all was
not what it seemed. After finding out about the locomotive and its possible
availability, Errol and I took my megger and began exploring her innards.
Several hours of testing and examination convinced me that the electrical
problem was not with the main generator but rather with cabling attached
to it. A cursory look at the engine revealed no problems and the wheels
were like new. So, it was off to the office to discuss terms. Needless
to say, we reached an agreement. All
photos on this page are mine.
Tucked away at the end of the scrap
line, 3189 was safe for a while. Luckily, it was long enough for us to
negotiate the purchase price and get her in condition to move.
As part of our deal with LMC, we
were allowed to get a "few" extra parts out of some of the scrappers. Here
is a fine portrait of Errol, removing spare glass and window frames. Scrounging,
like so many other activities, is an art. This particular SD9 also gave
up its ceiling panel material so we could replace the rotted out perforated
side panels in the 3189.
While not exactly part of the 3189
story, a companion LMC was S.P. GP9 2873, still displaying the "Kodachrome"
paint scheme from the failed S.P./ATSF merger. She too was saved and now
has a good home at the Feather River Rail Society, in Portola, Ca. Notice
the "chopped" geep nose, sitting on the ground next to the rear of the
LMC's switcher/crane is seen setting
the 3189 out for pickup by the LRT crew. Actually, the 3189 spent several
days in the LRT yard, waiting for a move by the S.P. to be set up.
A bit of history is in order here.
LMC was Levin Metals Corporation, owned by a gentleman named Levin. He
also owned the operation across the street, Levin Richmond Terminal (LRT).
LRT is the switching carrier between the S.P./ATSF and the scrap yard,
in addition to serving their own docks. Mr. Levin eventually sold off the
scrap operation and it became known as LMC Recyclers. So, LRT brings rail
cars in and out of LMC. LRT operates with 3 ex-S.P. switchers. Here,
LRT SW1200 2285 is bringing the 3189 and several scrap gons out to the
23rd street yard for interchange with the S.P. The S.P.'s SW1500 2469 had
the Richmond turn that day and so started the journey of the 3189 to her
SW1200 2469 is just about to cross
Gillman Street on her way west. After setting the 3189 out in the 7th street
interchange, the OTR's ex-Santa Fe GP7, 2197 is trundling down the trackage
paralleling Maritime Avenue, completing the trip to the OTR.