Sunday, September 12, 2010

Yellow Near Sparwood

If you wish to follow along in Google Earth, here is the kmz file for download.

June 20th, 2010

Back in June I was in Elko British Columbia for a weekend long bachelor party for one of my friends. I was aware that the Cranbrook Sub was close to where we were going to be, but I had not made any plans to do any serious railfaining as we were all going to be pretty busy having so good fun that the best man had in store for us.

On the second day, we were on the Jaffray golf course and I was taking pictures of everybody, I'm not much of a golfer. I knew there was a rail line in the area but didn't know that it was so close to the golf course. As we were on the fourth or fifth hole, I could see the top part of the first distinctively yellow UP locomotive come out from behind the trees. I don’t recall how many there were or if they were all UP locomotives. I do know there was more than one. The weird thing is I never heard the train coming which is what surprised me the most. Unfortunately I never got a picture of the train as I was busy trying to photograph action shots of some of the other guys swinging their clubs.

On my way back home, just past Sparwood I saw the tail end of a stationary potash train. When I got to the lead end, I saw five yellow Union Pacific SD90 locomotives. I just had to turn around and take some pictures.

The interesting thing that I noticed as I was taking pictures, was that the locomotives were identified on the cabs as SD9043AC which apparently are SD90MAC’s produced with the smaller prime mover as I later found out from a friend. Also on the cab were the words “UNDER WARRANTY”.

After doing a bit of research, I found some info on Wikipedia about these particular SD90’s which is quite interesting. EMD introduced the SD90MAC in 1995 with the 6250hp (4660kW) 16 cylinder H engine which proved to have some technical problems. So EMD shipped the locomotives with the 4300hp (3210kW) 16 cylinder 710G engines and assigned the model SD90/43MAC. Apparently railroads were given the option to upgrade to the 6250hp engines, but rarely done because of reliability issues with the engine. You can read more about the SD90/43MACs and SD90MACs on the Wikipedia page.

EMD Designation SD90/43MAC
Prime Mover EMD V16 710G3B
Power Output 4300 hp (3210 kW)

Here are some individual photos of the five SD9043AC locomotives. The Locomotive numbers are 8306 in the lead, 8268, 8260, 8289, 8277. Notice that 8306 is the only one with the trapezoid window shade and the other four have rectangular shades. Also, 8260 was the only locomotive not facing forward.

Here is a shot of all five locomotives hooked up to the potash train.

It is very exciting to see locomotives from other railroads that you would not otherwise see without having to travel, most times, a fair distance from home.

Goggle Earth kmz file.


Zartok-35 said...

The Union Pacific SD90s seem to rome freely from Spokane and Kingsgate all the way across the Crowsnest, usually on Canpotex trains to and from Portland.
I always see at least one SD90MAC when I go up there....but I've never seen 5 of them!

jddc.trains said...

Ya, I was pretty excited to have seen them sitting there. I took a trip down to Lethbridge over the weekend and saw more UP locomotives down there. I think there were 3 or 4 in Kipp Yard by the shops, and 2 more latching up to a train getting ready to go back west.

Alexander said...

Good post, they look pretty good.

jddc.trains said...

Thank you.