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UP INFO Magazine

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February 1971
The following comes from the February 1971 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 3, Number 3, February 1971):

1971 Capital Expenditures Will Total $121 Million -- John C. Kenefick, chief executive officer of the transportation division, announced that Union Pacific's 1971 capital expenditures program for roadway and equipment will total $121 million.

Kenefick said the program is down from last year's $166.9 million investment and reflects the unsettled situation of national rail earnings. He said the figure will be broken down to $20.4 million for road and $100.6 million for equipment.

The equipment outlay will go for 75 new diesel locomotives, 2,619 new freight cars, 182 diesel main engines and $4.1 million of work equipment.

The 75 locomotives ordered are comprised of three groups. One group of twelve consists of 6,600 horsepower EMD DD-40-X (Centennial type) locomotives. The Centennial types are members of the 6900-series. Twenty-three of the locomotives ordered will be 5,000 horsepower General Electric U50-C's; these locomotives bear numbers in the 5000-series. The final forty locomotives consist of 3,000 horsepower EMD SD-40's; other UP locomotives of this type are currently numbered in the 3000-series.

The freight car order will contain 600 high capacity covered hopper cars rated at 100 tons each. The covered hoppers are much preferred by grain shippers over the standard boxcar because of their capacity and ease of loading and unloading.

Other freight cars on order for 1971 include 1,000 70-ton boxcars, 50 feet six inches in length; 100 70-ton boxcars, 51 feet eight inches in length; 50 air slide covered hopper cars of 100-ton capacity, 200 open top hopper cars of 100-ton capacity; 61 solid bottom gondola cars of 125-ton capacity; eight 50-ton gondola cars and 600 mechanical refrigerator cars for Pacific Fruit Express Company.

The equipment order will also contain 50 container chassis used for shuttling containers between West Coast container facilities and the dock areas. This investment reflects the growth in container traffic through UP's Pacific ports.

UP's $20 million roadway program for 1971 calls for the installation of 820,500 new cross ties, 215 miles of new rail and track surface and lining work on 1,200 miles of track.

First ACI Scanner -- Union Pacific has taken another big step into the field of electronic operations with the installation of its first automatic car identification (ACI) scanner and computer at Julesburg, Colorado.

The scanner is located on the south side of the eastbound main line just west of the depot at Julesburg. It will monitor all eastbound trains headed for Bailey Yard at North Platte, and provide the yard with an advanced list of all cars on incoming trains to be double checked against the advance consist report which normally precedes each train.

UP, along with the other railroads in the United States, began two years ago to label all freight cars with rectangular, color-coded identification plates. The high-speed scanner has the ability to read each plate three times as the train flashes by at any speed up to 80 mph

A light from the scanner reflects the color code on each plate back into the scanner. It is then fed into a computer housed in a nearby building. The computer deciphers the reflected color code into a car number and ownership and transmits this information over the microwave communications system to Bailey Yard. There, the information comes out on a teleprinter, listing in order the cars which are in the train.

This accurate double check enables Bailey Yard personnel to program the classification and switching of the train before it arrives in the yard.

John C. Kenefick, chief executive officer of the transportation division, said the unit was installed to develop the potential of ACI equipment as well as provide North Platte with a double check on inbound trains.

East L. A. Yard Progresses -- August 1 is the scheduled completion date of the new $2.8 million retarder yard in East Los Angeles, California. The new yard, which will be able to handle two to three cars per minute over the crest of its hill, is smaller than either of the retarder yards at North Platte or the one at Pocatello.

Capacity of the new facility's sixteen tracks is listed as 571 cars. The automatic, weight sensitive retarders (the first such on UP) and the electrical equipment for controlling the automatic switches was produced by the General Railway Signal Co.

The switches in the yard will be operated from controls housed in a structure located at the crest of the hump. Small retarders at the end of each classification track will prevent cars from rolling completely through the yard.

Though August 1 is the scheduled completion date, first operations in the yard should begin after June 1.

The new retarder yard is a very important addition to Union Pacific operations in the Southwest. The tremendous increase in traffic both into and out of Los Angeles resulting from increased demands imposed by import-export traffic, as well as industrial growth in the area, was severely taxing the older yard. This addition to the East Los Angeles facilities will help solve the acute problems of car handling and result in more expeditious delivery of cars to UP customers in Southern California.

April-May 1971
The following comes from the April-May 1971 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 3, Numbers 6 and 7, April-May 1971):

More Developments In Coal Traffic -- Union Pacific and Eastern Gas and Fuel Associates announced an important forward step in a plan to mine low sulphur coal throughout the Western United States for sale in domestic and foreign markets. This is being done through the formation of Rocky Mountain Associated Coal Corp. and will involve an initial investment of $10 million for the construction and development of additional coal producing facilities in Wyoming. Further substantial investment is contemplated to meet the known demand for Wyoming low sulphur coal.

Rocky Mountain Associated Coal Corp. will acquire from Rocky Mountain Energy Company, a UP subsidiary, the Reliance Mine near Rock Springs, Wyoming, which will be enlarged to 1,500,000 tons per year. Development of several additional mines is being planned for the production of coal from Rocky Mountain reserves.

Chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of Union Pacific Corporation, Frank E. Barnett, said, `This significant development will help meet the growing demand for low sulphur fuel. It represents a major advance in our efforts to develop Union Pacific's Rocky Mountain low sulphur coal reserves, initially in Wyoming, and we are confident it will rapidly lead to a substantial increase in our present Wyoming activities."

Eli Goldston, president of Eastern Gas and Fuel Associates, said that its subsidiary, Eastern Association Coal Corp., regards the move westward as an opportunity to participate in the substantial long-term growth of electric energy generation in this rapidly developing area of the country.

Amtrak (Railpax) -- As of April 16, 1971, Union Pacific has entered into a contract with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation as a result of which, effective May 1, 1971; Union Pacific has discontinued all intercity rail passenger service.

However, UP operates an NRPC train for that corporation between Denver and Ogden on a triweekly basis. This train, operated between Chicago and San Francisco, is routed over Burlington Northern between Chicago and Denver and over Southern Pacific between Ogden and the San Francisco area.

Utah Improvements -- A total of $4.8 million will be spent on the Utah Division, including the replacement of 63.83 miles of main line with continuous welded rail. Strings of the new rail are being installed between Cruz and Champlin.

New 133-pound rail will be installed in .88 miles between Curvo and Gateway. Rail of this weight has already been installed on .75 miles of curves between Pehrson and Lofgreen.

Resurfacing and lining between Ogden and Brigham City and between Wahsatch and Echo will use 29,100 cubic yards of ballast while tie gangs will replace 22,100 ties.

PFE Receiving 1,200 New Cars -- Acquisition of 1,200 new multi-purpose mechanical refrigerator cars for operation by Pacific Fruit Express Company was announced recently by its owners, Union Pacific Railroad Company and Southern Pacific Transportation Company.

The first cars of this $40 million order rolled off the Pacific Car & Foundry Company assembly line at Renton, Washington, about April 1 and the entire 1,200 on order should be in service by mid-July. This order will increase the mechanical refrigerator car fleet to 13,200-half of the entire national supply.

These cars are the most advanced refrigerator cars that modern technology has developed, L. D. Schley, vice president and general manager of PFE, stated. "Along with other refrigerator equipment in the PFE fleet, they will be used to transport fresh, frozen and other perishables from Western growing areas to consuming areas throughout the United States and Canada.

"They will provide constant pre-set temperatures ranging from below zero to plus 70 degrees F. and will provide shippers with the lowest cost per unit in transportation today, if the full capacity of the car is utilized. These high-cube cars can carry 65 tons in a 4,000-cubic-foot chamber," Schley added.

November 1971
The following comes from the November 1971 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 3, Number 12, November 1971):

John C. Kenefick Elected Union Pacific President -- "It was a joy to came back." October 1, 1971 was an important day for Union Pacific Railroad. On that day John C. Kenefick. became the company's president.

Born December 26, 1921, in Buffalo, New York, Kenefick was the son of an attorney. As a boy, he was fascinated by trains and, in fact, subscribed to Railway Age when he was 12. Early in life he decided he wanted a career in railroading. When it came time to attend college, he chose Princeton because it was a good school and he majored in mechanical engineering because he thought it would be useful in railroad work. After graduating from Princeton and serving three years as a Navy officer, primarily in the Pacific, Kenefick went to work as a machinist's helper in the New York Central roundhouse at Buffalo, New York. In six months he left NYC, and heeding Horace Greeley's advice, loaded his possessions in a 1939 Buick and headed west.

Kenefick came to Omaha and succeeded in landing a job in UP's mechanical department. He was hired as a draftsman in the section that designed and made drawings of locomotives. After a year, he left the mechanical department and hired out as a brakeman-he thought it would be a good way to learn more about the railroad business. In six months he was appointed assistant trainmaster at Kansas City, and he later became trainmaster at Salina. In 1952, Kenefick joined the Denver & Rio Grande Western where he served in various capacities, finally becoming division superintendent at Alamosa, Colorado.

In 1954, he went back to New York Central where he served as a trouble shooter. He held various jobs as assistant superintendent and superintendent. He rose through the ranks and became general manager of the New York District. Kenefick was named general manager of transportation for the system in 1958, assistant vice president-operations in 1965 and vice president-operations in 1966. Effective with the merger of the New York Central and the Pennsylvania railroads on February 1, 1968, Kenefick became vice president-transportation for the Penn Central.

John Kenefick returned to Union Pacific on May 1, 1968, as vice president-operations. He said, "it was a joy to come back." Kenefick became executive vice president in 1969, was elected chief executive officer of the transportation division September 1, 1970 and became president October 1, 1971. Union Pacific's new president is a firm believer that the more an employee knows about UP, the more valuable he will be to the company. He applies that rule to himself, as well, having recently completed an eight-day inspection tour of the Eastern and South Central Districts. He summed up his approach by telling INFO, "You can't see the railroad from 35,000 feet in the air!"

Little Mountain Branch Opened -- On September 27, the Little Mountain branch was opened for service. Approximately 13 miles in length, the trackage serves the Great Salt Lake Minerals & Chemical Corporation located on the shores of Utah's Great Salt Lake.

Council Bluffs One-Spot -- During the month of October, it was reported that the new car repair facility located in Council Bluffs was approximately 73% complete. Work was also underway on the new diesel house and fueling and sanding facilities in Pocatello.

Evanston Reclamation Plant Closes -- Union Pacific will transfer the functions of the Evanston, Wyoming reclamation plant and store to Cheyenne. Transfer allowances and other protective benefits are being worked out for the employees of the Evanston plant and store who will be affected.

PICL At Green River -- Installation was begun of the new PICL system to be incorporated at various major yards and terminals. The first terminal to be included is Green River. The new PICL system is designed to be an integral part of the future COIN II, as well as improve the quality of present COIN I reporting. A report on the new PICL system will be featured in a future issue of INFO.

Ford Fast Train -- On November 18, Union Pacific will begin receiving at Denver unit trainloads of Ford Motor Company parts for assembly line production at Milpitas, California. Operating on an extremely fast schedule from Flat Rock, Michigan, to Milpitas, the train is designated FAST for Ford-Auto-Service-Train. (The original source states the origin as Flat Rock, Illinois)

Beginning in January, 1972, UP will begin receiving this train for a six month period at Kansas City. Concentration of auto parts into a single-unit train operated on close schedule has enabled Ford Motor Company to reduce in-transit inventory of parts.

8444 Completed -- Steam locomotive No. 8444, fresh from the Omaha shops, made a round trip from Omaha to Valley, Nebraska, on November 3, and again on November 7. On board the first trip were president Kenefick and his guests, Omaha mayor Gene Leahy and commander of the Strategic Air Command, General Bruce K. Holloway.

Ore Shipment Moves Over New Track -- Union Pacific raised its operating track mileage from a little under 9,473 miles to a little over 9,473 October 27, when the first train crossed over a section of rail completed just minutes before. Built to accommodate a unit train which made its initial trip October 24, the 751-foot Thenard Connection in the Wilmington district of Los Angeles joins the UP's San Pedro branch with Southern Pacific trackage leading to Los Angeles harbor.

The first train carried the second of a planned 100-a-year, 5,000-ton shipments of iron ore to the Port of Los Angeles bulk loading facility. The ore is from the Standard Slag Company's mine at Beck Springs, about 20 miles southeast of Tecopa, California. John Harmon, the Standard Slag Company's western division manager at Reno, Nevada, said the ore has been sold to Tonan Trading Company, Tokyo, agents for Japanese steel mills.

Trucked 49 miles from the mine in northeast San Bernardino County to Cima, California, the ore is loaded into a 50-car "unit train". A 15-hour, 280-mile rail haul brings it to the bulk loader at Berth 49 for transfer to the holds of ore-carrying vessels.

UP has ordered 55 new ore cars especially for the service at a cost of about $900,000 and has assigned four 3,600 horsepower locomotive units to handle the train. Until delivery of the new cars at year's end, the ore is being hauled in gondolas.

The train is known as the "CUW" (Cima Unit West). The CUW with its opposite and eastbound empty train, the CUE; is one of seven UP unit trains in coal or ore service and the second unit train in export service.

Frank Acord -- Frank D. Acord has been appointed chief mechanical officer, effective October 1. Acord, a 35-year veteran, joined the UP at Cheyenne, Wyoming as machinist apprentice in 1936. After being promoted to machinist in 1940, he became enginehouse foreman at Ogden in 1944. Serving as general foreman at Provo, Utah; district foreman at North Platte, Nebraska. and master mechanic at Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Cheyenne, Acord was named mechanical superintendent of the eastern district in 1962.

Becoming assistant general superintendent of motive power and machinery in 1966, he was appointed general superintendent, motive power and machinery in Omaha, June 1, 1970.

John McDonough -- John F. McDonough, a 22-year railroad veteran, has been named mechanical superintendent of shops in Omaha, effective October 1. Coming from the Penn-Central Railroad, McDonough has been general shop superintendent at their locomotive shop in Cleveland, Ohio since 1969. Previously he worked in various positions for the New York Central Railroad, starting in the road's mechanical department and later being appointed general shop superintendent in 1967 in East Rochester, New York.

December 1971
The following comes from the December 1971 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 4, Number 1, December 1971):

More On Auto Parts -- Beginning December 7, at Chicago and December 8, at Council Bluffs, and daily thereafter, General Motors assembly line parts for the Warm Springs-Fremont, California assembly plant as well as autos and parts for Oakland, California, will be operated as a unit train routed CRI&P-UP-SP on an expedited schedule of 62 hours from Chicago to destination. General Motors traffic moving through Kansas City will be added to the main segment of "ARRO", as the train is designated, at North Platte. The benefits to General Motors will be one day less transit time and a corresponding reduction in the inventory on the traffic moving via Chicago.

New Power For 1972 -- Orders have been placed with Electro-Motive Division of General Motors for 50 3000-HP SD40-2 diesel electric locomotives for delivery in January and February, 1972. The SD40-2's will be numbered 3123-3172. Orders have also been placed with General Electric Co. for 20 3000-HP U30-C diesel electric locomotives. The GE units, numbered 2810-2829, are scheduled for delivery April through June, 1972.

Shop Renovation Plans Underway -- Preliminary planning is nearly complete on the $4-million renovation of the Omaha shops. The plans, announced earlier, call for a complete remodeling and rearrangement of the 150,000 square foot main machine and boiler shop building and the installation of more than $1.6 million worth of new equipment. After completion of the project, Omaha shops main function will be the repair of diesel components.

Council Bluffs Repair Facility -- The half million dollar, one spot car repair facility at Council Bluffs is scheduled for completion by January 1, 1972.

Maintenance Of Way Progress -- According to engineering department reports, this year's maintenance of way programs had accomplished the following as of November 12, 1971: 210.15 miles of new rail laid; 563,488 cross ties installed; 710.11 miles of track surfaced and lined.

Frank Bruner -- Frank D. Bruner has been appointed assistant chief mechanical officer, effective October 1. Bruner joined the UP in 1949 as electrician at Ogden. He was appointed general foreman at North Platte, Nebraska. in 1954. Four years later he was named supervisor of turbine power in Omaha followed by his appointment as mechanical superintendent of eastern district. In 1968 he was named mechanical superintendent of the UP system. He was then appointed assistant general superintendent of motive power and machinery in 1970.

January 1972
The following comes from the January 1972 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO, Volume 4, Number 2, January 1972)

Box Car Program -- Union Pacific's executive committee has authorized the construction of 375 box cars in company shops. The 50'6", 70-ton capacity cars, featuring combination 14' plug and sliding double doors, will replace a like number of older 40' box cars being retired.

Cars To Greatest Show On Earth -- Thirty UP passenger cars have been sold to Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, Inc., for use in their circus trains. The big circus, which still moves by rail, purchased 14 baggage cars and 16 coaches.

CoB One-Spot Facility Open -- January 18, saw the opening of the new Council Bluffs car repair facility previously reported on this page.

Omaha Realignment Begins -- Realignment of the tracks from the Missouri River bridge to 16th St. in Omaha is underway. The new alignment will allow for more convenient movement of freight trains through Omaha.

July 15, 1972
Union Pacific, along with Burlington Northern and Southern Pacific, began operating a new train, called The Overland Mail to improve mail delivery by the U. S. Postal Service. (UP INFO, Volume 4, Number 9, August 1972) (The new trains were symboled as OME and OMW, for Overland Mail East and Overland Mail West)

It is 7:15 p.m. and the Overland Mail departs Council Bluffs on its run from Chicago to Oakland, California. The date? It's July 15, 1972, and one of the most illustrious names in rail-postal history is being revived.

The new fast mail train, running daily, eastbound and westbound, over the 2,000-mile route, promises up to three days earlier delivery of parcel post and bulk mail.

Officials of the U.S. Postal Service and the three railroads sharing in the operation of the train said that the new service will reduce westbound transit time from 58 to 50 hours and eastbound time from 71 to 50 hours.

The Overland Mail will carry approximately 15 per cent of the Postal Service's bulk mail volume. It runs over the Burlington Northern from Chicago to Council Bluffs, over Union Pacific from Council Bluffs to Ogden, and over Southern Pacific from Ogden to Oakland. Intermediate stops are made at Omaha, Cheyenne, Ogden, and Sacramento.

At these exchange points, other rail and truck routes will provide connecting service to six other mail distributing areas. They are Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Denver, Salt Lake City, Portland, and Los Angeles.

The new train is part of the U.S. Postal Service's program to improve its transportation network involving the utilization of trains, trucks and planes.

December 1972
The following comes from the December 1972 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine:

More One-Spots Approved--Construction will begin soon on three more one-spot car repair facilities. The new one-spots will be located at Albina, Kansas City and North Platte. The Kansas City and North Platte installations will feature a "rabbit" car-moving system hitherto not included in the other one-spots. The "rabbit" uses a cable to move cars through the repair area, automatically stopping them at the appropriate repair spot. After repairs are complete, the cars will be moved to a holding area.

Equipment For 1973--Box cars, open top hoppers and bulkhead flats are among the new cars to be acquired in 1973. A total of 900 boxcars will be added to UP's fleet, including 500 70-ton, 52-foot insulated cars, and 100 each 60 feet 9 inches, 100-ton plain wall cars; 60 feet 9 inches, 70-ton high roof appliance cars; 60 feet 6 inches 100-ton insulated cars; and 40 feet 6 inches wood floor cars for zinc loading. For use in serving the ever-expanding coal market, 300 open-top, triple cross dump hoppers of 100-ton capacity will be added. Also included are 50 new 62 feet bulkhead flat cars of 100-ton capacity.

At Cheyenne--The trackage rearrangement at the west end of Cheyenne will be placed in service in the spring. Once the improvements are complete, control of the area will be handled from the CTC office.

Pocatello Car Shop--Springtime will also see the beginning of operations at the new Pocatello heavy car repair shop. Construction is well underway on the facility changes and additions.

Salt Lake City One-Spot Progress--Construction continues on the new Salt Lake City one-spot car repair facility. It is expected that the one-spot will be placed in service in January 1973.

Albina Progress--Mechanical Department office and locker rooms located in the old store building at Albina are nearing completion. Demolition of a portion of the old machine shop will start in January. Demolition will not begin until a new end wall has been constructed on the portion that will be retained.

Granger, Wyoming--The trackage realignment at Granger will be completed and put in service sometime in January.

January 1973
The following comes from the January 1973 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 5, Number 2, January 1973):

Traction Motor Transporter -- At a time when everything is being containerized, the shipping of company material is no exception. For years, Union Pacific has been shipping mounted traction motors to different points over the system on wooden blocking in open gondola cars. Built over 50 years ago, these cars are today outdated and have seen years of service.

Covered gondola cars are currently being modified in the Omaha shops to carry both mounted traction motors and to ship containerized material. Two of the gondola cars are already in service with three more to come. In all, there will be three for Salt Lake City service and two for North Platte service. Three of the converted gondola cars will be used exclusively to ship traction motors, with a capacity of ten motors each, while two cars will be modified to each carry a total of six traction motors and miscellaneous containerized material.

Each car is capable of carrying either 13,000 pound GE traction motors or 11,000 pound EMD traction motors. All the cars have removable bulkheads for loading and unloading. The roof is divided into three sections for easy removal. When the car roof is intact, the words, "KEEP THIS CAR MOVING -IMPORTANT COMPANY MATERIAL" can be read printed across the car top.

When all five cars are in operation, there will be a car coming into Omaha and one leaving Omaha every day. Since speed is essential, it is estimated that the approximate time to complete a one-way trip can be cut from the previous seven days to one and one-half. This is divided into 31 hours of in-train time, two hours to load and unload and three hours of switching to complete a one-way trip.

The car weighs 70 tons; is 57 feet 1 inch long, 10 feet 8 inches wide and 10 feet 10 inches in height. When loaded to capacity, the cargo is valued at $108,000.

February 1973
The following comes from the February 1973 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, February 1973)

Growth At Clearfield-Freeport -- A new railroad office building at Clearfield Freeport Center was opened on January 16, 1973. The new building combined the offices of UP, D&RGW, and the Western Weighing and Inspection Bureau. UP's offices had formerly been in UP's Clearfield depot. The offices of the other organizations had been in smaller buildings at the Freeport Center.

March 1973
The following comes from the March 1973 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 5, Number 4, March 1973):

1972 Sets Record -- During the year 1972 Union Pacific Railroad set a new all-time record in the transportation of freight. Our railroad moved over 51.8 billion ton miles of freight. This total exceeds all previous records set in the 104 years since the driving of the golden spike.

Addition To 1973 Capital Expenditures -- UP's 1973 capital expenditures program has been expanded by an additional $19 million to a total investment this year of $139 million. The additional money will be spent for 600 new 100-ton covered hoppers and 20 additional 3,000 horsepower locomotives.

The cars will help bolster UP's supply of grain hauling equipment. The locomotive order is comprised of ten General Electric U30-C's and ten EMD SD40-2's. These equipment increases bring UP's '73 acquisitions of covered hoppers to 1,000 units and brings the total locomotives to be added to the fleet to 80.

Green River One-Spot -- Another of the successful one spot car repair facilities will be added to UP's growing list of modern repair plants. The one-spot will be similar to six others either in operation or under construction at various places on the system. Cost of the Green River one-spot will be nearly one-half million dollars.

New In The Past Two Months -- Since the first of January, UP has taken delivery on 891 pieces of new equipment. Leading the list was a delivery of 400 100-ton covered hoppers from Pullman-Standard. Other cars received were 300 open-top 100-ton hoppers from Bethlehem Steel; 100 60-ft 100-ton box cars from Gunderson, Inc.; 35 60-ft. 70-ton box cars also from Gunderson; and 54 40-ft. 70ton box cars from Albina shops.

Also added were a 250-ton diesel powered derrick, numbered 903050, and a 60-ton truck-mounted Holmes crane. Both derrick and crane have been assigned at Hinkle. The new derrick, manufactured by American Hoist & Derrick Co. of Bay City, Michigan, is the first 250-ton machine on the Northwestern District. When fully equipped, the derrick cost in excess of one-half million dollars.

Salt Lake City One-Spot Opens -- March 2, saw the opening of the new Salt Lake City one-spot car repair facility. The $640,000 installation is the second of seven planned one-spot plants to be placed in operation.

New UP-C&NW Run Through -- Effective March 2, a new schedule designed to handle high-class traffic such as containers, piggyback and other merchandise was established between Chicago and North Platte, via Fremont, Nebraska. The train operates from Chicago five days a week, Friday through Tuesday. At North Platte connections are made with already scheduled trains for west coast destinations.

April 1973
The following comes from the April 1973 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 5, Number 5, April 1973):

New Era Of Freight Car Repairs, Salt Lake -- Maintenance of locomotives and cars has been undergoing dramatic changes on Union Pacific in recent years. The opening of another new one-spot gives us a good opportunity to make a comparison between the new and the old. Salt Lake City's one-spot will, as in Council Bluffs, replace the old rip track operation.

The opening of the Council Bluffs one-spot marked the beginning of UP's new era of freight car repair. The new Salt Lake City facility is the second such plant to be opened on Union Pacific property. Others are either planned or under construction at several locations on the system.

Traditionally, repairs to freight cars were performed by spotting the bad order cars on repair tracks. The car men would then take the necessary tools and materials to each car and then make the repairs. This system, at best, was inefficient.

In the "one-spot" operation, the cars are moved through well-tooled, well-stocked repair stations-in effect reversing the sequence of events by bringing the car to the repairman, his tools and materials. The new system is designed to achieve substantially increased efficiency and productivity and at the same time provide vastly improved work areas for the employees.

The Salt Lake City "one-spot" car repair facility consists of a 114 x 22-foot car repair service canopy with three tracks running the length of the structure. Two of the tracks are equipped with built-in jacking systems, jib cranes, air, lubricating oil, grease, gas for cutting torches and power for arc welding. All of these utilities are piped to each repair station.

A 30 x 170-foot shop building adjoins one side of the car repair service canopy, in which are offices, a carpenter shop, blacksmith shop, locker and washroom facilities.

October 1974
The following comes from Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 6, Number 11, October 1974):

Aspen Tunnel: A Report -- Sometime near the end of 1975, construction crews will complete renovation of the Aspen Tunnel giving Union Pacific Railroad two broad passageways through the rugged western Wyoming terrain. Finished originally in 1901, the mile long tunnel has been a bottleneck for oversize loads in recent years.

The $6 million effort calls for enlarging the bore by dropping the floor five feet, a move that will enable the tunnel to accommodate high and wide loads. This action will simultaneously make room for overhead wires if the line through the area is electrified. In the course of construction, new 133 pound continuous welded rail and a new drainage system will be installed and repairs made to the existing tunnel lining.

Located in Wyoming's Wasatch Mountains just east of Evanston, the Aspen Tunnel rests on Union Pacific's double track mainline. During the rebuilding operation, traffic is being routed through the companion Altamont Tunnel, which has for years accommodated loads too high or wide for the Aspen Tunnel.

Track was removed from the 5,941 foot tunnel in July in preparation for excavation work that has already begun at both the east and west portals. Work on the portals of the tunnel will be completed first as a precaution against damage during the remainder of the construction period. And at these locations, the old concrete floor and part of the walls have been removed and a new floor and walls poured.

Excavation and clearing operations will proceed from both portals to the center of the tunnel. To lower the top of the rail five feet, nine feet of concrete and natural tunnel floor material is being removed. The old concrete floor, varying in thickness from two to eight feet, is being blasted away in 10 foot sections. As the supporting floor and walls are removed, the remaining tunnel lining is being held in place with horizontal struts and underpins.

Except for problem areas such as a point near the east end of the tunnel, old flooring and walls will be removed completely before new walls and floor are poured with work beginning at the center and moving to both ends.

The 23,000 cubic yards of concrete estimated to complete the project will be mixed at a batch plant situated on the hill through which the tunnel courses. A 12 inch shaft, 340 feet deep, was drilled through the hill piercing the tunnel lining just east of the center point. Inside the vertical shaft are an eight inch steel casing (through which concrete will be pumped into the tunnel), a two inch water pipe, and a pair of communication wires.

To secure the quantities of water needed, a water well was drilled adjacent to the batch plant. Using geological maps maintained by the original construction crews three-quarters of a century earlier, engineers were able to accurately predict and locate water at a depth of 500 feet (100 feet below the base of the tunnel) in a layer of fractured sandstone. The amazingly accurate geological information recorded from 1899 to 1901 is proving to be valuable as it details the materials and formations the excavation will encounter, and it gives indications of water levels, locations of gas formations and a geological blueprint of the area through which the tunnel passes.

Outside of the tunnel proper, earthmoving machines are at work broadening the approaches to the tunnel. Some 364,000 yards of fill will be moved at the east approach alone.

The first parts of the Aspen Tunnel were dug in 1899 to shorten the mainline through the area by 10 miles and reduce the grade. Work on the tunnel itself was completed in 1901, but it was 1914 before the concrete lining of the tunnel was applied.

During the course of construction, the tunnel claimed eight lives. Two men were killed in August, 1900, when a heavy slab of shale fell on them from the roof. A month later, two more men died when their drill struck a stick of dynamite that had not detonated. In December, 1900, a gas explosion resulted in the death of four men. Today automatic monitors continuously check the tunnel for a build-up of gas.

Approximately 115,850 cubic yards of material was excavated from the tunnel proper in the original excavation. In 1899, when the digging began, four tunnel headings were opened simultaneously-one each from the east and west ends and two more in a vertical shaft that had been sunk near what was to be the center of the tunnel.

Work on the tunnel is being conducted by an outside contractor working under the supervision of Union Pacific resident engineer Dave Monson. The excavation is proceeding 24 hours a day, six days a week. And the tunnel will be heated so that work can continue through the winter season.

April 1975
The following comes from the Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO, Volume 7, Number 5, April 1975):

Old Salt Lake Route Dedicated -- A 70-year-old oversight was rectified Jan. 30 when the State of Nevada and Union Pacific commemorated the completion of the line that linked Salt Lake City and Los Angeles - and along the way gave birth to Las Vegas. The occasion was the dedication of Nevada Historical Marker No. 195 near the point 28 miles south of Las Vegas where in 1905 the last spike of San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad was driven. "The Salt Lake Route" as SPLA&SL was called, made up what now is most of the South Central district.

This time there was considerably more ceremony than was evident at the actual event. Some 60 participants, reporters and special guests, including Old- and Junior Old Timers and auxiliaries' representatives and several retirees with service from the early 1900s came from Vegas aboard a short special train. UP's first female engineer-trainee, Bonnie Leake, was at the throttle. A hundred or more drove out.

Harold Brandt, South Central district general manager, delivered the principal address. He told the assembly of the impact railroading had on the region and compared railroading in 1905 with that of today. Leo Maskill, California division superintendent, welcomed the group and after the pledge to the flag by Warren Neustrom, GTA Las Vegas, and the invocation by The Rev. Jerome Blankinship turned the program over to Dr. Ralph Roske.

President of the Southern Nevada Historical Society, Roske sketched the early history of "The Salt Lake Route", introduced guests and displayed a one-inch replica gold spike that had been furnished in 1905 by Mrs. Ralph E. Wells, wife of the road's first general manager. William Swackhamer, Nevada secretary of state, read a proclamation from Gov. Mike O'Callaghan declaring the date to be "Union Pacific Day".

The marker was unveiled by Wilbur E. Wieprecht, Nevada State Parks System, and Jack Parvin, Nevada Department of Highways. With a Nevada outline shape, the 10-foot tall marker's plaque reads:

THE LAST SPIKE

"This site is near where workers drove the last spike which completed the railroad between Salt Lake City, Utah and Los Angeles, California. It was driven January 30, 1905. This was the last 'transcontinental' line to Southern California and one of the last lines built to the Pacific Coast. There was no formal celebration at the time of the last spike. The men on the spot gave some recognition to the event.

"Las Vegas owes its existence to the railroad then known as the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, as the men in charge laid out the town and established a division point there, taking advantage of a good supply of water."

July 1975
The following comes from Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 7, Number 7, July 1975):

The Name Without A Town -- By Al Krieg -- 70 years ago, when the old Salt Lake Route - now Union Pacific - was pushing track toward Los Angeles, it was simply siding No. 33 where trains could pass. It was 24 railroad miles south of Las Vegas, and aside from the tracks, there wasn't much there but a boxcar with office space in it for Erie L. Parker, telegrapher.

When the railroad was near completion late in 1904, employees were invited to submit station names for these sidings - 62 of them about five miles apart between Caliente and Daggett - so that a timetable could be printed.

Parker put his name in the suggestion box.

That was the last he thought about it until the booklet appeared and there was "Erie."

After diesels displaced steam locomotives and pushbutton railroading afforded by CTC routed the telegraph, some of these sidings were not needed and were removed. Erie still is there, though, and until a few weeks ago, a sign declaring it to be so remained on its post in the desert landscape.

These free-standing boards have been replaced with signs on the CTC instrument houses.

The elder Parker's grandson, Robert L. "Bob" Parker, quality control supervisor for Southwest Gas Corp., Las Vegas, recently noticed the old sign was gone, felt it should have been preserved and told Union Pacific so.

UP section man at Sloan, Rocklyn D. Roofe, had felt the same way about the old sign when it was removed three weeks ago and stored it until section foreman L.D. Barnum learned of Parker's interest in the relic.

At an informal presentation, it was handed to Parker by UP's Warren Neustrom, general traffic agent, and Tom Wingstad, trainmaster in charge of the Las Vegas-Yermo territory.

Parker has said that he will pass it along to his grandmother, Erie's widow, who lives at Phoenix.

Both Mrs. Parker and her husband were telegraph operators. They moved to Los Angeles in 1912 where he became a locomotive engineer on Southern Pacific, running between Los Angeles and Yuma for 35 years.

Mrs. Parker's sister, Mrs. Georgie Griffeths, Upland, California, also lived at Erie where her husband was the section foreman.

January 1976
The following comes from Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 8, Number 2, January 1976):

Aspen Tunnel Open Again -- When "Scotty" Durrant, general manager-Eastern District, piloted the 71car SLX-8 through the Aspen Tunnel on December 9, 1975, his was the first train through in 18 months.

The Aspen Tunnel has been the focal point of construction efforts over the past year and one-half that saw $6,000,000 invested in an operation to enlarge its bore. Now completed, it will compliment the companion Altamont Tunnel and provide a second passageway through the Wasatch Range capable of accommodating oversize loads.

A good deal of fanfare accompanied the opening. With Durrant in the right hand seat, engineer S. O. "Sod" Dean was free to bring forth a few strains of "We're a Great Big Rolling Railroad" on his harmonica accompanied by conductor Wilcox, brakeman Layman, and fireman Hicks as the train rolled through the tunnel.

On hand for the reopening of the tunnel were Eugene Rigdon, trainmaster, Lynn Jensen, Wyoming division engineer, Dave Monson, project engineer, and Durrant.

May 1976
The following comes from Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 8, Number 6, May 1976):

Big Slide -- When part of the mountain fell into a valley at about 7 a.m. on March 19 at Uintah, Utah, it buried both east and westbound main lines. In at least one area, though, fortune was on the side of UP. It occurred near a place where a contractor was working with large earth moving equipment. Using this equipment to clear the way, the westbound main was back in service by 12:30 p.m. The eastbound line opened to traffic again by 11:30 that same night.

December 1977
The following comes from Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 6, Number 1, December 1977):

W.I.P. - Newest On Line Station -- The newest station on the UP system was officially dedicated recently just outside Ogden, Utah.

Beneath a bright new sign which designates the station as "WIP," for Weber Industrial Park, railroad and Weber County officials shared in a traditional groundbreaking ceremony, using a plated and engraved shovel presented by UP traffic manager Bill Whalen to the Weber County Industrial Development Bureau for use in future groundbreakings for new industry in the industrial park.

The 475-acre industrial area was established by Weber County to attract new industry into the area. Upland Industries and UP railroad personnel worked closely with the county from initial planning sessions right through to final establishment of the park.

Buildings for one industry have been completed and three others are now under construction in the industrial park, as are roads, curb and gutters, water sewer lines, storm drains and other facilities. Spot tracks will be built as needed to serve industries that will require rail transportation. Officials expect traffic will eventually amount to 1,000 or more cars from industries in the park.

April 1979
The following comes from the April 1979 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 11, Number 4, April 1979):

A new LeTourneau straddle crane was to be delivered to the Los Angeles intermodal terminal early in April. The crane, purchased for $430,200, brings to four the number of overhead cranes in use in the terminal, plus one piggy packer. The additional crane is needed to handle the steady increase of trailer traffic in and out of Los Angeles. R. W. Wright, general manager-trailer-container operations, said the LeTourneau crane is the first of its type purchased by UP. It operates with electric motors, rather than a hydraulic system. Wright said the electric motor crane is believed to be more efficient and dependable.

Refrigerator trailers owned by the Pacific Northwest Perishable Shippers Association began moving on the Union Pacific during March. The association has brought more than 200 trailers to use between the Pacific Northwest, Chicago, St. Louis and Memphis. The eastbound trailers carry frozen fish, frozen foods and perishable fruits and vegetables. Westbound, they carry merchandise traffic. The concept of shipper association-owned refrigerator trailers is new, and it is expected to provide railroads a greater share of the perishable traffic. In addition, since there is round-trip traffic arranged for the trailers, there is full utilization of the equipment.

May 1979
The following comes from the May 1979 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, Volume 11, Number 5, May 1979):

Union Pacific will spend a record $153 million to purchase 200 new locomotives that will arrive later this year and in early 1980. "We simply need more power to handle the rapid expansion of our freight business," said John C. Kenefick, president of the railroad. "Last winter's severe weather put a tight squeeze on our existing fleet and we don't want that to happen again."

The 200 locomotives represent the second largest number purchased since the railroad converted to diesel power in the early 1950s. They include 160 EMD models SD40-2 and 40 GE models C30-7. Deliveries begin in September and end in March of 1980.

The new locomotives, each with 3,000 horsepower, will range in price from $726,000 to $811,000 each. This order comes not long after other large purchases of locomotives. In 1977, UP purchased 90 locomotives. In 1978, it added 100 and had already placed orders for 150 locomotives to be delivered this year. This is an investment of $373 million for 540 locomotives in this four-year period.

Omaha's new freight car truck shop is another step toward centralizing of the railroad's specialized repair facilities. The shop is supplying the entire railroad with rebuilt freight car trucks. "We're doing more work, and we're doing a better job," said a Mechanical Department spokesman. By centralizing the work, UP is able to use assembly line procedures and highly trained employees to improve efficiency.

Grain hauling records set in 1978 are already being broken in 1979. In 1978, UP moved more than 11 million tons of grain, a 22 per cent increase over the year before. So far this year, UP has hauled 25 per cent more grain than a year ago. During the last week in April, UP increased carloadings of corn by 34 per cent, wheat by 61 per cent and all other grains by 50 per cent over 1978.

Union Pacific and other California railroads began an Operation Lifesaver program in that state on April 17, 1979. The grade crossing safety information campaign was kicked off in Sacramento at the Golden West Safety Congress.

Union Pacific is upgrading more branch lines in Nebraska. -- Besides the work which has been underway since last year on the North Platte Branch, the company has ordered extensive improvements on two other branches; Cedar Rapids and Albion.

More than 50 men working on the Cedar Rapids Branch are renewing ballast with a "sledding" machine which lifts up track and grades away old ballast At the same time, old ties are removed. Following completion of sledding, a gang of more than 100 track-laying employees will move into the area and begin replacing ties and 80-pound rail with 133-pound rail. The heavier rail will accommodate the bigger loads expected on these branches. In addition to the 45-mile project between Spalding and Genoa, 13 miles of track relaying will be done from Genoa to St Edward on the Albion Branch.

June 1980
Daily carloadings were down 8 percent in May 1980, compared to May 1979; 2,861 cars for 1980 compared to 3,093 for 1979. The number of trains per week through North Platte fell 21 percent, with 345 trains eastbound and westbound in 1980, compared to 434 in 1979. The tonnage moving through North Platte on June 1, 1980 compared to June 1, 1979 was down 25 percent, with 254,462 tons in 46 trains in 1980 and 338,153 in 61 trains in 1979. Also on June 1, 1980 there were 176 serviceable locomotives in storage and 2,294 cars in storage, including 341 DF boxcars and 430 flatcars. (UP INFO magazine, June 1980)

July-August 1981
The following comes from the July-August 1981 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine (UP INFO magazine, July-August 1981):

Brady Depot -- The Brady, Nebraska, depot, measuring 30 feet by 50 feet, was moved to North Platte in 1976, and in 1981, moved again to the Western Heritage Museum.

Valmy Coal Train -- A new unit coal train to the North Valmy Generating Station, began moving on July 2, 1981. Coal was loaded at Sharp, on the Utah Subdivision. The trains were made up of 65 cars, and UP delivered three trains per week to maintain a 90-day supply.

Wood Products By TOFC -- Union Pacific began tests moving wood products by trailer-on-flat-car (TOFC) in February and May 1980, as a return eastbound move for empty westbound flatbed trailers. The tests were for various tie-down methods that would ensure no damage to the plywood and dimensional lumber wood products. Regular shipments from Boise-Cascade in Emmett, Idaho, began in November 1980. The shipments also came from LaGrande, Oregon, where trailers trucked from the mill in Elgin, Oregon, were loaded on to flat cars. Shipments from both mills were bound for the Boise-Cascade distribution center in Denver, Colorado.

Shipments of particle board to Chicago began in April 1981 from the Boise-Cascade plant in Baum (near LaGrande), Oregon, and from the Willamette Industries plant in Albany, Oregon. Boise-Cascade was shipping two trailers per week.

Helper Locomotives -- Union Pacific began using helper locomotives regularly between Yermo and Riverside, California, in April 1981.

August 1982
The following comes from the August 1982 issue of Union Pacific's INFO magazine:

UP donates depot. -- LaSalle, Colorado, celebrated July 31, as Union Pacific Railroad officially donated its 72-year-old depot to the city. LaSalle has set aside more than $50,000 and enlisted dozens of volunteers to renovate the depot for use as a community center and museum.

Merger argued. -- Oral arguments in the merger of Union Pacific, Missouri Pacific and Western Pacific were made July 22 before the Interstate Commerce Commission. During the day-long session, final arguments in support and opposition of the merger were presented by 21 parties representing the merger partners, other railroads, states, the Departments of Transportation and Justice and other interested individuals and organizations.

The oral arguments concluded the application process that began on September 15, 1980. The ICC will rule on the UP/MP/WP merger on or before October 20, 1982.

September 7, 1982
The following comes from the September 1982 issue of INFO magazine:

As of September 7, a total of 8,326 cars were in storage across the system. These included 1,119 plain boxcars (112 40-foot and 1,007 50-foot double-door plain boxcars), 1,272 DF cars, 1,144 UPFE mechanical refrigerator cars, 1,640 open top hoppers, 419 small covered hoppers, 2,377 large covered hoppers, 292 plain flatcars and 63 specially equipped flatcars. This is 1,870 more cars than were stored as of August 9.

As of September 10, 632 freight locomotives were stored across the system, 546 serviceable and 86 unserviceable. That is 19 fewer than were stored as of August 9, when 569 were stored serviceable and 86 were waiting for repair.

The diesel fuel consumption rate for July was 1.8830 gallons per thousand gross ton miles, 1.4 percent above the July, 1981, rate.

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