The Spencer S. and Hope Fox Eccles Railroad Center is located next to the old Union Station at the junction of Wall Avenue and 25th Street in downtown Ogden, UT. There are several locomotives and other rolling stock on open air display at the Center, which is part of the Utah State Railroad Museum.
I visited the Center mainly to see Northern type (4-8-4) Union Pacific FEF-2 #833, one of three UP 4-8-4s to survive. A second FEF-2, #838, is in Union Pacific's Cheyenne shops and is apparently used to provide spare parts for FEF-3 #844. You can see #844 steaming through North Platte on the Golden Spike Tower page of this website. You can also see the sole surviving FEF-1 #814 on the RailsWest Railway Museum page.
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Above, the Eccles Pavilion.
David Eccles, father of Spencer Stoddard Eccles, after whom the Center is partly named, was a banker and industrialist. In the late 19th Century, he was involved in lumber milling and railroad construction. He and his associates built part of Western Pacific's Los Angeles and Salt Lake line, as well as the Mount Hood Railroad and Sumpter Valley Railroad, which still operates as a heritage railroad (there is a Sumpter Valley Railroad page on this website).
During WWI, Spencer Eccles ran the US "40 & 8" transports, named after the box cars that were used to transport troops to the French front. Each car had "40/8" stencilled on its side, designating that it could accommodate forty men or eight horses, and they were considered by troops to be a particularly uncomfortable means of travel. A "Forty and Eight" veterans organisation, officially named "La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux" (French for "The Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses") was set up in 1920 by a group of American Legion members. The choice of name reflected the common experience of the WWI veterans.
After the war Spencer Eccles and his wife, Hope, settled in Ogden. They and their family members have continued to be active in local business and philanthropic interests.
The Union Pacific passed
through Ogden in 1869 constructing its line west from Omaha, NE, to meet the Central Pacific and complete the transcontinental railway. The meeting place of Promontory, north of Great Salt Lake, was decided by Congress on 10th April 1869 (you can see the location on the Golden Spike NHS page of this website). However, the area was not a hub for local trade like Salt Lake City or Ogden and, in 1870, the junction of the two railroads was moved to Ogden. The first station depot was built there in 1889 and operated until 1923, when a hotel room caught fire and it burned to the ground.
The current depot opened in
1924, laid out on the footprint of the earlier building. It was designed by architects John and Donald B. Parkinson in the Spanish Colonial Revival style (you can see other Spanish
revival style depots on the Kelso Depot and Nevada Northern Railroad Museum pages of this website).
The station no longer serves transcontinental rail passengers, although the California Zephyr still calls at Salt Lake City. Greyhound intercity buses stop at the Ogden depot, as do local buses. It also houses the John M. Browning Firearms Museum and the Browning-Kimball Classic Car Museum, as well as a gift shop, restaurant, train shop, gallery and the Union Station Research Library.
The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
The Union Pacific bought forty-five 4-8-4s from Alco, the first twenty, #800-#819, in 1937 designated Class FEF-1 (you can see #814 on the RailsWest Railroad Museum page of this website).
"FEF" stands for the "Four-Eight-Four" wheel arrangement.
The second fifteen locomotives, #820-#834 delivered in 1939, were designated Class FEF-2.
With increased passenger traffic as a result of WWII, Union Pacific ordered another ten from Alco. Delivered in 1944, #835-#844
were designated Class FEF-3. They were initially fitted with 69.5 sq ft of arch tubes, but these
were removed by Union Pacific in 1945.
#833 is 113' 10" long and weighs 478,860 lbs. The tender weighs 421,550 lbs empty and has a capacity of 235,00 gallons of water and 6,000 gallons of fuel oil. The locomotive has 80" drivers and 25" x 32" cylinders.
#833 has a 100 sq ft grate area and 442 sq ft firebox. With 5,625 sq ft total heating surface, including 1,400 sq ft superheating, it operated at 300 psi, delivering tractive effort of 63,750 lbs.
The FEFs operated over most of the Union Pacific system, initially on fast passenger trains, like the Overland Flyer, Los Angeles Limited, Challenger and Portland Rose, but, as diesels took over passenger services, the FEFs were reassigned to freight service.
FEF-3 #844 was actually the last steam locomotive delivered to the Union Pacific and is the only steam locomotive never retired by a US Class I railroad. You can see it steaming through Bailey Yard, North Platte, NE, on the Golden Spike Tower page of this website.
#833 was retired in January 1962 and held
for historic purposes until Union Pacific donated it to Salt Lake City, in 1972.
Originally on display at Pioneer Park, it was moved to the Pavilion in February 1999 by truck. The cost was $100,000-$120,000, apparently funded by a grant from the Utah Legislature.
Above, the noses of UP #6916, SP SD45 #7457 and UP GTE 8500 #26 protrude past #833. DRGW SD40 #5371 is on the right.
#6916 is one of forty-seven DDA40X units built by EMD for the UP between 1969 and 1971. At 98', the are the longest and most powerful single-unit diesels ever built.
The 'X' stood for Experimental, as the locomotives were to be used as testbeds for technology that would go into future EMD products.
The first DDA40X, #6900, was delivered in April 1969 in time for the centennial celebration of the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory, UT. It hauled the "Gold Spike Limited", arriving in Salt Lake City on 10th May 1969. As a result, the class was nicknamed "Centennial".
You can see #6900 on the Kenefick Park page of this website.
#6916 retired in May 1985, was donated to in October and delivered in January 1986.
Thirteen DDA40Xs survive. #6913 is on the Museum of the American Railroad page of this website, #6915 is on the Southern California Chapter RLHS, #6922 on the UP Challenger #3977, #6930 on the Illinois Railway Museum Yard and #6936 on the Cheyenne Roundhouse pages.
#7457 is one of one thousand, two hundred and sixty SD45s built by EMD from 1965 to 1971. It was built in August 1966 as #8800, the first of SP's three hundred and fifty-seven roster of these units.
All the SD45s were built for US railroads. Buyers included the Southern Pacific, AT&SF, Great Northern and Northern Pacific. With a 645E3 prime mover powering six traction motors they deliver 82,100 lbs continuous tractive effort at 11 mph with a top speed of 65 mph.
You can see photos of the first production model SD45, Great Northern #400 "Hustle Muscle", on the Lake Superior Railroad Museum page of this website. A number of other SD45s are still operating for leasing companies or running for Montana Rail Link, although MRL has been selling their remaining SD45s for scrap.
#7457 was donated to Utah State Railroad Museum in February 2002. Five other SD45s have been preserved in museums.
You can see NW #1776 in its US Bi-Centenary livery on the Virginia Museum of Transportation page of this website. WC #7495 is on the Lake Superior Railroad Museum page and WC #7525 is on the Illinois Railway Museum Yard
#26 was the twenty-sixth of thirty 8,500 hp third generation GTELs (gas turbine electric locomotives) built for the Union Pacific by GE from 1958 to 1961.
Powered by the same engines as jet airplanes, they were the most powerful locomotives ever to run, and the UP calculated a single unit could haul seven hundred and thirty-four freight cars (a train over seven miles long) at a steady 12 mph. Once in operation, they quickly earned the nickname "Big Blows" because of the deafening noise they made.
#26 was delivered in 1961. It weighs 425 tons, is 179' long and ran over one million miles during its nine year active life, hauling heavy freight between Council Bluffs, IA, and Ogden.
The Union Pacific rostered the largest fleet of turbine-powered freight locomotives in the world (at one time, they claimed turbines hauled 10% of their entire freight). They
were initially quite cost-effective, despite poor fuel economy, because they used residual fuel oils ("Bunker-C oils") from the petroleum industry. But, as other uses were found for these heavier petroleum by-products, particularly plastics, the units became too expensive to operate.
#26 retired in 1970 and was sold to Continental Leasing Group in 1971. Later shipped to Intercontinental Engineering Co., Riverside, MO, it was donated to Ogden Union Station Museum in
1986. Moved from Kansas
City, MO, via Burlington Northern trackage in March 1987, it arrived at Ogden in July 1987.
One other UP GTE 8500 has survived: you can see #18 on the Illinois Railroad Museum Yard page of this website.
This Denver & Rio Grande Western SD40T-02 built in 1975 by EMD is one of three hundred and twelve built between 1974 and 1980, the majority (two hundred and thirty-nine) for the Southern Pacific and its subsidiary, the Cotton Belt. Seventy-three were bought by the D&RGW.
When I visited in October 2009, #5371 was standing at the old Union Station platform. It has recently been moved into the Pavilion between UP #6916 and SP #7457.
The SD40T-2, along with the SD45T-2, is also known as a "tunnel motor" because the units were designed for more effective operation in tunnels. The major difference with the SD40-2 is that the SD40T-2 radiator intakes are located along the deck to allow fresher, cooler air to enter and fewer hot exhaust fumes to linger around tunnel ceilings.
They have a 16 cylinder 645E3 prime mover powering six traction motors and delivering 82,100 lbs continuous tractive effort at 11 mph with a top speed of 65 mph.
The Denver & Rio Grande Western merged with the Southern Pacific in 1988, which was then purchased by the Union Pacific in 1996. As UP absorbed the D&RGW, the original livery was gradually replaced, and #5371 became the last D&RGW locomotive in full Rio Grande paint operating on the Union Pacific system. It was also the last SD40-T to be in active service on any US railroad.
#5371 was retired in December 2008 and donated to the Utah State Railroad Museum the following year.
#401 was built in 1959 as ATSF #823. Seventy-five of these 2,400 hp RSD-15 switchers were produced by Alco from 1956 to 1960 powered by an Alco 251 16-cylinder four-cycle V-type prime mover. Fifty were delivered to the AT&SF.
#401 retired in May 1975, and had several different owners, including Utah Railway, before it was donated to the museum.
#7277 is a 100 ton, 660 hp switcher built by Alco in 1941 for the US Air Force.
Five hundred and forty S-1s were produced between 1940 and 1950, by both Alco and its Canadian licensee, the Montreal Locomotive Works. They were equipped with Alco 539 6L prime movers powering six GE 731 traction motors delivering 46,000 lbs continuous tractive effort at 5 mph with a top speed of 60 mph..
S-1s were sold to many different railroads both in the US and abroad and quite a few still survive.
Utah Central Railway's #1236 was built by GE for the US Air Force in 1953, along with UCRY #1237, next on this page. Both locomotives were originally numbered USAF #1236 and USAF #1237. Three hundred and eighty-two of these switchers were built from 1940 to 1956, often replacing steam locomotive switchers.
In the 1940s, dieselisation was just beginning in the US, and railroad unions sought to protect firemen's jobs that were increasingly threatened by the introduction of diesels, which did not require "firing". One agreement made with employers was that diesels weighing 90,000 lbs or more must roster a fireman as well as an engineer. The 44-ton locomotive neatly got around this requirement.
GE's 44-Ton switchers were sold extensively abroad, as far afield as Australia and Sweden, as well as within the US. Most were built with two Caterpillar D17000 V8 180 hp motors. #1236 was donated to the museum in 1990 and still bears its USAF livery.
UCRY #1237 and UCRY #1236 were both built by GE for the US Air Force in 1953 as #1237 and #1236. #1237 was donated to the museum in 1990, at the same time as #1236. For technical information on this 44-Ton switcher, see the details about #1236 on the left.
Utah Central Railway is a shortline railroad that still serves Ogden and surrounding areas. It began operations in 1992 as a private switching railroad over lines owned by Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Utah.
The UCRY became a common carrier in 1995 on trackage acquired from the City of Ogden, and expanded in 2001 and 2004 by acquiring additional ex-Union Pacific and D&RGW trackage.
It interchanges with the Union Pacific Railroad, as well as BNSF trains running over the Union Pacific via trackage rights.
This 44-ton switcher was built by the Davenport Locomotive Works, of Davenport, IA, in about 1953. Not much is known about its service history, other than that it worked at the US Army's Twin Cities Arsenal in New Brighton, MN, then at Hill Air Force Base near Ogden, as well as at Tooele Army Base, UT.
#1216 weighs 91,270 lbs, is 33' 9¾" long, has a 400 hp engine and top speed of 42 mph. It was donated to the museum by the US Army.
The Davenport Locomotive Works began producing locomotives in 1902, starting with a range of small steam locomotives. It went on to produce the first gasoline-fuelled locomotive in 1924 and the first diesel locomotive in 1927, a 30-ton diesel-electric for the Northern Illinois Coal Company of Boonville, IN. It acquired the H. K. Porter Company in 1950 and then produced Porter locomotives in addition to its own extensive range of diesel locomotives in all industrial types and sizes until the works closed in 1956.
You can see another Davenport 44 tonner, Lincoln Sand & Gravel #44, on the Monticello Railway Museum page of this website
#X-250 was built by the Industrial Brownhoist Division of Bay City, MI in 1967. Originally assigned to Little Rock, AK, it was retired in 1995.
Industrial Brownhoist began as Industrial Works in 1873. It built its first crane for the Chicago & Western Illinois in 1883 and went on to become a major producer. After a hundred years of production and a number of changes of ownership, the plant finally shut down in 1983. You can see other Industrial Brownhoist cranes on the B&O Museum Yard & Car Shop page of this website, the Nevada Northern Railroad Museum, Monticello Railway Museum and Lake Superior Railroad Museum pages