Big Guys By Robert P Olmsted Union Pacific's largest Locomotives 1949-1997
The Big Guys By Robert P Olmsted Union Pacific's largest Locomotives 1949-1997
Hard Cover with Dust Jacket
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Union Pacific Type 6
Passenger Power 18
Big Boy to Big Blows 24
Double Diesels and the SD45 56
ACs, MACs and DPUs in Kansas 88
UNION PACIFIC'S LARGEST LOCOMOTIVES .. .
Of the many pre-1990s locomotive types and models included herein, most already have been the subject of various books. In-depth books too, solely on that particular type, following through from construction and operations to retirement. The 4-12-2s, Big Boys, turbines, U50/U50C and Centennials all have received their due in print. To the authors knowledge, only the DD35/DD35B and the SD45, of the main locomotives included in this volume, have, so far, not been individually chronicalled. No doubt that will someday be corrected.
So, this title is not an in-depth look at Union Pacific's largest. Rather it is a modest attempt to include all of the Big Guys in one volume, to show one person's photographic encounters across the years.
From the 4-12-2 of the late 1920s, to the Centennials of the early 1970s, almost all of the Big Guys have been Union Pacific's own. While Southern Pacific did acquire three DD35Bs and three U50s, only the SD45 was a production-line model ordered in quantity by other rail companies. But the Big Guys of the 1990s are creations of the builders, of GE and GM, and as such are spread across the rail industry.
What of the future? It appears that for the few remaining years of the Twentieth Century, units in the 4300-6000 horsepower range, AC or DC, will be the locomotives of choice for main line rails. Beyond that, any rail forecast is perilous indeed. Alternative power has been studied, and in some cases tested, but so far, coal, natural gas, propane, electrification ... all have been found wanting. As long as the cost of diesel fuel does not skyrocket, it appears secure for a while as the source of power. But who knows ... maybe someone at UP already has given some thought to setting two 6000-horsepower prime movers on a single frame ... a Super Double Diesel!
Finally a word of thanks to Union Pacific, its management and its employees. No other railroad has done as much to preserve its heritage, to remember the age of steam and of the early diesels. All who are interested in the railroads and rail history owe them much.
Robert P. Olmsted February 1998
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