Friday, September 30, 2016


Wrapping up my trip back to the Salt Lake region for Great Basin Getaway, I had an opportunity to take in some “12 inches to the foot” (full-sized) rail equipment.  On Friday afternoon after we had completed operation on Rob Spangler’s excellent WP 8th Sub layout, we did some railfanning around Ogden.  We caught the Utah Central Railway switching a mill and then doing some street running.

Utah Central Railway is a shortline that has the switching contract with BNSF to service industries along the Wasatch Front.  BNSF gained the right to serve these industries as part of the UP purchase of the SP-DRGW in 1996.

That truck running along the street beside the track is driven by the roving conductor.  That is the way it is done these days.

Later that Friday afternoon and then again on Sunday, after the conclusion of major Great Basin Getaway activities, several of us visited the Ogden Depot Museum.  The museum has quite a collection of rail equipment.

UP 833 is one of the feature attractions.

Alongside is a UP “Centennial.”  These big diesel locomotives were delivered to UP in 1969—the Centennial of the Golden Spike.

SP is represented by a rebuilt SD45.  Ogden was the exchange point between the SP and UP—the Transcontinental Railroad partners.

A Cargill SW1 represents the many other rail activities in the region.

The museum has quite a collection of railroad cranes.

This former UP steam switcher likely served the Ogden Depot once upon a time.

Finally, my four-person carpool on Sunday decided to cap our experience by going out to Promontory—the Golden Spike site.  We got there just in time for the “1 pm show,” wherein the National Park Service reenacts the meeting of the steam locomotives featured in the famous photograph of the joining of the rails.

The Golden Spike site at Promontory, Utah.

The National Park Service has functioning steam-powered replicas of the two locomotives—the Central Pacific Jupiter and the Union Pacific 119—that they use for daily reenactments.

I look forward to returning to Utah for future model railroad operating events.  I also look forward to the joint Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society and Union Pacific Historical Society convention at Ogden in May 2019—the sesquicentennial of the Golden Spike!

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