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Model Train Blog

Ode to Utah Coal, vol. 4

March 26, 2017

A confession: when I began the series entitled Ode to Utah Coal, it was not my intention to entrench the series with nostalgia and the ways in which the Utah Railway is unique as a western operator.  But, that is what the blog has become--and as a topic, I don't believe that it is parochial. When the Utah Railway operated its last coal train over Soldier Summit this year, it ended a 105 year service record. That is remarkable, and it seems relevant to bookmark this change with a few notes here. But now, let's turn things on their head.   Rather than look at what is unique about the Utah Railway, this blog explores something that was unique to the...

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Ode to Utah Coal, vol 3

March 19, 2017

  In my first 'Ode to Utah Coal' blog, I wrote about those rare moments when, as if by transcendence, we are aware of change as it happens in the now. My last blog discusses Utah Railway's cachet as an operator of unique locomotives. At the time these were written, I did not foresee how well these topics would intersect for events that would transpire this week. In 1952, the Utah Railway acquired six RSD-4s. In 1974/1975, they acquired an additional six RSD-12 and 15s. These ran in heavy, drag service until 1982--which made them rare birds for a western operator. However, Utah Railway's cachet goes beyond its Alco fleet. In 1985, the Utah Railway rostered four ex-BN F45s--an odd grab that, I assume,...

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