President of U. P. Opens $6 Million Shop in S. L.
Leaders Inspect Rail Plant To Pace Growth of Region
(Salt Lake Tribune, August 3, 1955, Wednesday)
One of the nation's leading railroad executives returned Tuesday to Salt Lake City and the scene of an earlier triumph of which he said "I am proud of that achievement."
Arthur Ellsworth Stoddard, 60, president of Union Pacific Railroad Co., was greeted by nearly 425 business and professional men attending a luncheon at Hotel Utah and later headed a group of nearly 350 who visited the railroad's new six million dollar Diesel locomotive maintenance and repair shop in North Salt Lake.
"This turnout indicates you are definitely interested in growth of your area." Mr. Stoddard said.
The man who started his railroad career at the age of 11 as a water boy for a section crew predicted a bright future for Salt Lake City and Utah. he assured that development would be paced by his company and added:
"Whenever we stop building, that the end of the line. We love Salt Lake City because it is always looking for something bigger and better.
"I have faith in the growth of the country, this part in particular, and we are building for the future. It is gratifying to see the interest you have in future expansion of things good for your territory.
"Such interest is probably one of the reasons that influenced founders of Union Pacific to incorporate in Utah. Leaders of the railroad probably felt it would help develop people such as you and that you, in turn, would help develop the railroad."
During his brief talk the U.P. president recalled that he was here shortly after the turn of the preceding decade to form the Utah Division of Union Pacific. The division was created in August 1941.
"Salt Lake City always has been home to Union Pacific and I assure you it will always be." Mr. Stoddard continued. "You are growing so fast we have to hurry to keep up with you. It seems not too long ago that it became my job to establish the Utah Division. This was done by taking part of the system in California and part from Idaho and combining them with the Utah system.
"The Utah Division is one of the best of the Union Pacific System. I am proud of the part I had in forming it. It is not only one of the top divisions but it has the advantage of being geographically and strategically located. I will not say that we'll bring everything (in the way of future development) here, but I will say that we'll get things of the future around close to you."
Referring to the new Diesel plant, which to the veteran railroad executive must be a far cry from the Frisco Lines shop where he started as an apprentice in 1915, Mr. Stoddard said the shop might be a trifle larger than needed at this time.
"But we also might have to expand it in the not too distant future," he said. "About 300 are now employed there and it is expected the number will be expanded to 450. Some 4,000 Diesel and gas turbine electric locomotives go through the shop every month. In addition, the plant, which is equipped with every modern machine for servicing, maintaining and repairing modern transportation units, is capable of handling 20 Diesel locomotives a month for complete overhaul."
Guy P. Backman, executive secretary, Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce, who introduced Mr. Stoddard complimented the U.P. president on the type of administrative and executive personnel assigned to the area.
Gov. J. Braken Lee and Mayor Earl J. Glade welcomed Mr. Stoddard and several members of his administrative staff who accompanied him here for the formal opening.
Gov. Lee speaking for the people of the state said he was "grateful to Union Pacific as a great builder and its addition of nearly two million dollars annually to the Utah payroll through the new facility."
Members of the Salt Lake Rotary and Chamber of Commerce, sponsors of the luncheon and shop tour, expressed amazement over the plant equipment as they saw an overhead crane pick up a gas turbine electric locomotive weighing more than a half million pounds and move it about the vast shop which has 144,000 square feet of floor space.
[photo caption 1] Arthur E. Stoddard, left, president of Union Pacific Railroad, explains to Gov. J. Bracken Lee and Mayor Earl J. Glade the intricacies of one of the hundreds of heavy machines in use at the company's new six million dollar Diesel repair shop.
[photo caption 2] Hundreds of Salt Lake businessmen and professional leaders took part in inspection as Union Pacific Railroad's new shop formally opened Tuesday. Area payrolls enlarged.