You've Seen Yesterday, Now See the Future
Monday, April 19, 2010 at 3:00AM
Joe Perry in Events, Exhibit, Media, National Train Day, News, Railroad Photography, Technology, Union Pacific Railroad, Union Station

You may have seen the numerous videos and coverage of Union Pacific’s legendary steam locomotive, UP No. 844 which is currently on duty leading the Valley Eagle Heritage Tour train or perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who saw her firsthand, either track side or on display during the tour.  Maybe even you have fond childhood memories of the steam behemoths roaming the country during the days of yesteryear. If you have then you will agree that it is truly a sight to behold.  What amazing machines steam engines are.

Now On May 8, 2010, you can see the newest in railroad motive-power technology, the Generator-Set (or Genset) switcher which is Union Pacific’s latest environmentally friendly design to join its fleet.

UPY 2681 - A Railpower RP20BD (RP20GE) 2000-horsepower Genset Switcher

The Union Pacific Railroad is exhibiting these 2000-horsepower locomotives during the festivities at several locations as part of the National Train Day celebration.  According to the Union Pacific, the Genset locomotive is scheduled to be on display at least these locations:

Union Pacific pioneered the Genset concept in 2002 and performance testing of a prototype Genset locomotive began on December 5, 2005, at Union Pacific’s Proviso rail yard near Chicago, Illinois.  UP currently has more than 160 such units on its roster.

Soon these locomotives will be more prevalent and in-service throughout the country.  That’s good news for us all because painted on the side of the locomotive are the words “Ultra Low Emissions Diesel Genset Switcher.” Based on these specifications, that is no idle claim:

Be sure to stop-by your local rail event location on National Train Day, May 8, 2010, to check out the latest in railroad technology and services.  See you there!

Article originally appeared on railroad photography and blog by joe perry (
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