Ballast Duty – Union Pacific 9029


“It’s going to be something special,” my daughter said while we stood near the railroad tracks and waited. She was right. I’ve mentioned before that Union Pacific trains here on the Colorado Joint Line are rarer catches, so by themselves they’re a little special. When I told her that it was a Union Pacific train, she responded in a matter-of-fact manner: “See?”

Union Pacific 9029 is an EMD SD70AH, which differs from the EMD SD70ACe only in weight. The SD70AH is 427,000 lbs instead of 420,000 lbs. I believe this one is relatively new, because the searches I did on the number bring up an old GE (C36-7) or an old ALCO steam engine. This one is clearly neither of those.

Riding shotgun behind 9029 was Union Pacific 7680, a GE C45ACCTE.

Then came the string of ballast cars, proving once again that my daughter was right. Ballast is loaded into the hoppers and released on the rails in maintenance operations:

And bringing up the rear was an EMD SD70ACe, Union Pacific 8419.


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