Monday, September 19, 2016

Golden Spike Tower; The Engines

OK, last post I gave an overview of Bailey Yard. Over the next few I'll get into a little more detail because - well - I am a train freak enthusiast.

Of course you can't have a railroad without engines, and you can't have a rail yard without engine facilities.

At small yards this might consist of nothing more than a tanker truck pulled up alongside the engine to top up the fuel and oil tanks, but this is not a small yard!!

Here at Bailey Yard they have the Hinkle Locomotive Service and Repair Facility.

The four run-through tracks, up there in the longer section of the building, can take up to 12 locomotives at a time for everything from scheduled maintenance to changing out components.

For really serious repairs, including changing entire power plants, there are a half-dozen other bays.

Along side the main building are six service tracks where engines take on fuel, oil, and sand as well as have the toilets emptied and the floors swept.

Each service track can handle six engines at a time and up to 90 engines are processed every day.

But that's not the only service tracks at the yard. The eight tracks in the Google Earth image above are in another part of the yard and service east-bound through trains, mostly coal and other bulk freight, which keep the same engines for the entire journey and only stop long enough to top up.

Once the engines are repaired and serviced, they are set out until their next assignment

But before they're set out, they have to be sorted so the right engines end up on the right trains.

And this guy was working his ass off

shuffling engines from track to track

as he worked to get them all sorted out and in the right order.

Next time we'll take a look at the hump yards.

Yep, plural, as in there are two of them!


  1. Thanks for the post! I never thought about how much it takes to make a RR work. Awsome.

  2. You've hit an area I've never thought about. That's an unbelievable operation and one that I will remember when I am sitting in traffic waiting as that long line of train cars pass through.

    1. Yep, we love our stuff, and it has to get to us somehow. When I'm stuck at a crossing counting cars because there's nothing else to do, I remember that each one of those rail-cars represents 4 to 6 truckloads of stuff, trucks that would otherwise be sitting in line with me. . .

      For even more action I should have the hump-yard post ready by tomorrow.