These UP Engines in the Arizona desert were spotted by a traveler recently. After some research he found out this is one of UP’s sidings they use for locomotives not being used. An article states there are 292 engines at this location. The siding is located between Tucson and Benson AZ. It seems so amazing that such a big heap of engines is just rotting away unused.
“I work for UP as a conductor in Tucson, AZ. We stored these engines in 2016 during the economic downturn. These are our older units and most of the useful stuff had been taken off prior to being put into this track. It was our old main line that is no longer in use. Over the past 5 months or so we have been taking 6 units out at a time and taking them through El Paso, Texas to Mexico. The worst ones are scrapped while the others were sold to short-line railroads and such (is what I was told by a few managers). I don’t believe many of these are left in that track if any at all as I recently was called on one of these light power moves and there were maybe 40 left and we take out 6 per day. It was really cool to see at first but after a while UP had to put in cameras because people started tagging nearly every unit. If you follow the news, railroads are required to use PTC now and we recently implemented it in half of the Tucson area so these engines are so old it wouldn’t be worth upgrading them to fit the PTC computers. I believe most of the units are old SD-70s and some old SD-40s which were great for their time, but are really only used as yard power now. Most people refer to the track as Ogee Cutoff and it comes out of our main track two just east of where our main one and two cross each other at the high bridge. I wouldn’t recommend going back there now as I mentioned there are cameras and nearly, if not all units are gone now, also steep cliffs next to the tracks!”
Surprising places and things happening all around the world and we are only discovering them at random like this. Thank God for drones, right?