One and a half *miles* of locomotives.

Just got back from the West Colton yards where I took a couple of half- decent shots of that long, long dead-lined diesel lash-up from the
embankment of the Sierra Ave freeway overcrossing looking almost due east. Surprisingly, the normally busy west end tracks were almost completely bereft of freight cars so there was nothing blocking the view of the dead-line: a telling visual comment on the state of U.P.'s business.
Only two problems were encountered: (A) the weather was pretty hazy today, and (B) turns out you can't get a picture of an entire train that long anyway; at least not with a 200mm lens. The rear half of the string just fades away into the distance. I *did* take the opportunity measure the train's length as I passed it by on the way home, however. According to a Honda Civic odometer it's almost *exactly* 1 1/2 miles of nothing but locomotives.
I'll see if I can stumble my way through figuring out how to post the pics on the web in the next few days, and if I succeed I'll post the URL for anyone who's interested.
~Pete
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On 2/25/2009 1:57 PM Twibil spake thus:

I'm sure if you set up an account on Flickr, Photobucket or any of the other dozens of photo-posting sites you'll be able to figure it out. You do know how to resize image files (JPEGs), right? Actually, some of those sites even do that for you.
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Twibil wrote:

You can post them to alt.binaries.pictures.railroad
Chris
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Chris wrote:

Someone just posted the following link to another list that I'm on:
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id '2705
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Bingo. Nicer day, but taken from the same location with a circa 400mm telephoto.
Two things: (A) the line of locos has grown considerably longer since he took that picture, and (B) he mis-counted if he counted at all. There were exactly 124 locos in that line as of last Tuesday, so there were probably less than 100 there when the picture was taken.
Thanx for the URL!
~Pete
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On 2/26/2009 11:10 AM Twibil spake thus:

So the question came up in the comments on the pic whether this is a "dead line" or, as someone suggested, a "LUGO line" (laid-up good order). Anyone conversant enough with RR lingo to know which?
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They're considered "stored serviceable" by the U.P.; meaning that they need only routine maintanance to be put back to work, if and when.
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On 2/26/2009 11:42 AM Twibil spake thus:

Someone else in the comments on the pic mentioned the possibility of the locos being scrapped; seems a bit premature, doesn't it?
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Depends on what the economy does and when it does it.
Optimists like to think that the recession/depression will bottom out this year, and start to recover in 2010.
Pessimists recall that the Great Depression lasted for almost ten years, and really only ended because of WW2.
But the fact is that both optimists *and* pessimists are worried, because we've never quite had a recession like this one before and neither side really knows what's going to happen, or when. This world- wide uncertainty is a large part of what's fueling the continuing drops in market prices, investments, etcetera, and the steady rise of unemployment figures. And those trends are unlikely to change until a significant part of the market sees reason to start investing -and risking- their money again.
Got any good news?
~Pete
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*snip*

The elevator switching area is now isolated from the main line and protected by a circuit breaker!
Ok, something closer to on-subject. Rail traffic around the TP&W seems to have picked up slightly.
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I sent info from this thread to a friend who is an active UP fan and here is his explanation:
The locomotives are all lease units and UP did not renew the leases. Thus, instead of the railroad carrying the finance charges for locomotives just sitting around, some leasing company that sold shares to the public is taking the loss. It may look ugly, but not to UP.
As he mentioned UP is not taking a hit on those locos, although somebody somewhere (shareholders of the leasing companies) are taking that hit. And I'm sure this also indicates that the UP traffic has decreased during this recession.
Peteski
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Wow - thanks for posting that. Amazing and depressing at the same time. Tie all those engines together and you have a 60 megawatt peaker plant. *
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Great photo. That is a massive amount of money tied up in all those locos sitting idle. Amazing compared to 12 months ago when railroads couldn't get their hands on enough locomotive power to move the freight on hand.
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On Feb 26, 2:13pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Neville MADDEN) wrote:

t I'm o> >n:

On the plus side, Union Pacific is using the traffic slowdown to double-track their southern main line all the way from the Port of Long Beach to Arizona, and there's currently an *amazing* amount of major trackwork going on in southern California.
When business recovers, U.P. figures to be ready!
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And *that* is a good use of stimulus money. Put track engineers to work on every foot of rail in the country, either getting it into good running order (after years of neglect or minimal maintenance), laying additional lines, or improving crossings.
It's good to hear that Union Pacific is being smart. *
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On 2/27/2009 9:01 AM PV spake thus:
>

Uh, Steve [Caple], you must have a word or three to say upon this subject ...
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On Fri, 27 Feb 2009 10:29:38 -0800, David Nebenzahl wrote:

Not much; glad to see Uncle Pervo has mended his silly mafioso model maker extortion ways, but as someone who has long considered economic concentration a prime evil, and now seen it rubbed in our noses (and lost about a third of our retirement funds), I don't have a whole lot good to say about any megalopoly.
Maybe they're better than CSX - yeah, that's the ticket.
Pretty low bar, hunh?
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On Feb 27, 9:01am, pv+ snipped-for-privacy@pobox.com (PV) wrote:

But........seeing that Union Pacific isn't a bank, an auto maker, or in deep financial do-do, to the best of my knowledge they have not recieved one *cent* of "stimulus" money. Nor should they.
But if you posit that our nation's public infrastructure; roads, bridges, buildings, etcetera, are in desperate need of bailout funds, repair, and rebuilding, you would be correct.
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TARP is not the stimulus. Two different things.
Lets not veer into politics and be happy that maybe we'll get an improved rail system by the time this mess is over.

Part of the plan. *
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On Feb 26, 2:13pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Neville MADDEN) wrote:

And while we're on the subject; it isn't just locos sitting idle, either...
http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=2&aid=159023
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