Monday, April 7, 2008

Union Pacific - Former FP3A

Union Pacific 1454, Argo Yard Seattle, April 1960. Four rectangular and two porthole openings along with chain link fencing, are the hallmarks of the early “Phase II” F3’s.

Although General Motors never referred to “phases” in their catalogs, locomotive enthusiasts created the “phases” to mark the progression of models. 1454 sports the annoying single blat air horn, mark of a true basic model without white-walls or power steering!

UP 1451-1455 were built as UP 964A-968A for passenger service; renumbered to UP 900-904 in March and April 1948. UP 900-902, 904 were re-geared for freight service and renumbered to UP 1451-1452, 1454 in May to November 1953.

I found this unit awaiting assignment at Argo Yard in Seattle. At the time, I didn’t realized how lucky I was to be seeing different railroads in Seattle. We just took it for granted. In 1960 I was one year away from graduation!

Although Union Pacific never laid rails from Portland to Seattle, they signed on the dotted line for track rights over the Northern Pacific, and once in Seattle, they could interchange with the Great Northern for access to Canada.

Note the grab handle under the windshield, but how does one get to it? Well, it turns out they had a ladder with hooks on it, to get to the windshield!

Railroad Stuff: Union Pacific 1454, General Motors F3A, 1,500 hp. Built as UP 967A, September 1947 at LaGrange, serial number 1454. Renumbered 903, renumbered 1454 January 1955. Retired and traded to General Motors in May 1963.

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