Idle UP Locomotives at Colton, CA

Here's a recent short article about the parked locomotives that were mentioned some time back in this newsgroup.
--- Joe
******************* Economy idles UP locomotives along highway in Colton, Calif.
(The following story by Dug Begley appeared on The Press-Enterprise website on September 13, 2009.)
RIVERSIDE, Calif. Heading eastbound on Interstate 10 in Colton, drivers pass what seems to be a never-ending line of parked locomotives. Some are freshly painted, with "Union Pacific" in bold letters, while others have the graffiti-scarred signs of a long life on the rails.
But one thing is for sure: A lot of them are staying, at least until the economy and railroad industry rebound.
Approximately 70 locomotives are stored along a rail line next to Interstate 10 at the Colton yard, said Union Pacific spokesman Tom Lange. The number varies slightly as engines are shifted back into service or to the nearby maintenance facility.
Across the 23-state system, the company has idled 1,850 locomotives and more than 54,000 railcars, Lange said, roughly a fifth of the railroad's fleet.
Decreases in how much is being shipped because of the country's stagnant economy led to idling the locomotives, he explained. For the week ending Aug. 29, the company shipped 163,000 railcars, the unit by which train freight is measured. The weekly total was 14 percent below the same period in 2008.
"We think we've seen stability, but it doesn't mean we're rebounding," Lange said.
Colton is a prime place to store train engines while they're not needed because it is home to Union Pacific's rail maintenance yard. Locomotives can be repaired and refurbished as they sit idle. Lange said officials also try to rotate locomotives in and out of service.
"It's like your car," he said. "If you leave it in your garage for six months and go out and try to start it, it might not start."
Keeping them near the Colton yard where trains are divvied up for long distance trips is useful when they are exchanged, Lange said.
Some area residents have gotten used to seeing the line of locomotives.
"I tried to count them once," Dan Breyer, of Colton said. "Now I drive by without noticing them."
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On Tue, 15 Sep 2009 01:14:25 -0700, Joe wrote:

As we saw on a cross-country drive in 2008 - miles of parked freight cars.
--
Steve

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