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The Scrap Yard Visit

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 2873.

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 new home.

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.

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