Was in NOLA a couple of weeks ago--saw from a distance what looked like U Boats in all gray paint with UPY on the cabs--lashed up in a yard. I s UP using these for yard switching ?--anybody know of any pictures on the net? Thanks Charles Klepper
I can't point you to any photos online but I have also seen old U-boats in the gray paint being used in a couple different UP yards. One is nearby to me in Spring, TX north of Houston. The other was in Alexandria, LA.
Easy one: The gray color is to alert yard workers to take extra caution around the gray locos because there's nobody in the cab and the loco may move without warning at any time. (That's also what those little signs on the loco say.)
But nobody is going to think that there might be an engineer in the cab of the slug, because it has no cab and cannot move at all unless it's plugged into another loco.
There's also the fact that UP apparently acquired some of the SP's legendary thriftiness when they absorbed the SP. UP no longer repaints their locos unless they're going to undergo some major shop work, and I wouldn't expect the little slug to get gray paint until/ unless it gets shopped for other reasons.
(There are still a few UP "patch" locos running around the Colton yards in the old SP Gray/Scarlet color scheme today, and the UP bought out the SP 15 years ago!)
Yes. But that doesn't mean that they have to be parked. They could just as well have been moving -under computer control- when the photo was taken.
Okay. We have two different sorts of locomotives coupled together here as a consist: The gray loco is an everyday diesel-electric that's normally remotely controlled -presumably via a GPS downlink and a computer- and a yellow/gray unpowered "slug" that gets the power for it's traction motors from the remotely-controlled diesel that it's coupled to.
Such combinations are used exclusively for yard switching over here because the US doesn't allow remotely-controlled engines out of the yards, and with the slug eating a lot of the powered loco's voltage the consist probably can't get up to mainline speeds anyway. (That doesn't matter in the yards, where the slug's contribution to the consist's starting power is valued over the fact that the consist can't move very quickly.)
However, the fact that these two disparate sorts of locos are teamed up into a consist that's specialized for low-speed yard switching has nothing to do with whether or not the consist in question was actually moving when the picture was taken.