Ode to Utah Coal, vol 3

 

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, saved these locomotives from the torch. These operated until 2001 when the Utah Railway acquired Australian-built SD50s, and these are completely unique.

Also in 2001, Utah Railway performed a coup d'etat on Motive Power Industries (MPI); it acquired all six MK5000Cs. MPI designs, manufacturers and re-manufactures locomotives. The MK5000C is the product of an ambitious push in the manufacturing segment of MPI's business. In 2003, the Caterpillar prime movers of the MK5000Cs were replaced, and they were redesignated 'MK50-3'. Utah Railway 5004 MK50-3 awaits assignment in Martin, UT in the James Belmont photo above.

Beautiful, isn't it? 

These MK units are resplendent with the Utah Railway paint scheme on their flanks. This week, four MK50-3 units were removed from the property, and the future of the others seems uncertain. 

As we all know, change happens--it is an endless plight for the romantics among us. But today, it feels again as though the absence is something that will truly be missed--Utah Railway MK units over Soldier Summit.

Here is to the memories.

 

 Blaine Hadfield

 **Update: In the original blog posted on March 19th, I wrote that all of the MK units in Utah Railway paint schemes were removed from the property. However, when I drove through the Utah Railway yard on March 20th, Utah Railway #5003 (one of the MK units in Utah Railway paint) was among other locomotives in the service facility.  Evidently, some of my information was wrong about which of the four MK units stayed and which units left.  I have updated my blog post accordingly.


6 Responses

rOBERT r hARMEN
rOBERT r hARMEN

March 20, 2017

The Utah Ry roster has a lot more to it. After the initial RSD-4s, they picked up a couple used unit, another RSD-4 plus an RSD-5. Then the RSD-12s came, first as leasers from LASCO. Originally 2014 & 2016, later 600 and 601. The the former AT&SF RSD-15s. When the ALCos were worn out, they grabed 9 former SP SD-45s followed by the BN F-45s. Next withhe SD-45s and ex BN F-45s were worn out so they got the 11 rebuilt SD-40s in the 9000s along with an SD45-2 and another F-45. The 9000s were replaced by the Austrailian SD-50s and the MK 5000s. The 5000s were rebuilt to MK50-3s so the entire fleet used the same prime movers. And now, four have gone east to antoher G&W operation while one orange and one UR gray units stay in Utah for the moment.

Robert

Allen
Allen

March 20, 2017

That’s too bad, I was really looking forward to see those amazing locomotives in the future. Do you know where the MK50-3 locos were taken too?

LaRoye Chisley
LaRoye Chisley

March 20, 2017

Fantastic articles on the Utah Railway. Please continue with these of a very interesting railroad.

Dale
Dale

March 19, 2017

Just saw a couple of these units (MK-5000’s on the northern end of the yard in Ogden about a week ago while attending the train show in the depot down there. Got a couple of pics on my phone but not wanting to trespass, we got the shots just outside the fence so they are not the close up shots we would have liked. Any idea where these units are going? To the torch or another road?

Martin Batistelli
Martin Batistelli

March 19, 2017

“…In 2001, Utah Railway … acquired all six MK5000Cs”.
“In 2003, … they were redesignated ‘MK50-3’.”
“This week, four MK50-3 units were removed from the property. The four units were the last MK units in Utah Railway paint.”

What happened to the other 2 MK5000C/MK50-3 units?

David McMullen
David McMullen

March 19, 2017

I love to read about the Utah railway. I wish they were longer stories, But they are still very interesting.
Thank you again!

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