random thoughts on railroad photography, railfanning, technology, and such

Entries from March 1, 2010 - March 31, 2010


Union Pacific Railroad Unveils No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America Commemorative Locomotive

UP 2010, Special Locomotive Celebrates Scouting’s 100-year History

Houston, Texas, March 31, 2010 – Union Pacific Railroad today unveiled the UP No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America Locomotive, created as a tribute to the organization’s centennial celebration. The UP No. 2010 honors Scouting’s 100-year impact on the nation and the many Scouting enthusiasts in Union Pacific’s work force and communities.

“Union Pacific and the Boy Scouts of America have played leadership roles in shaping America’s history. With the UP No. 2010, we are proud to celebrate 100 years of Scouting, progress and patriotism,” said Robert W. Turner, Union Pacific senior vice president-Corporate Relations.

“We are deeply honored by the tribute Union Pacific has given to Scouting through the creation of the commemorative locomotive,” said Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. “We also owe a great deal of gratitude to our UP employee Scouting alumni base, which has spearheaded the movement to create the UP No. 2010. Their efforts mean that for years to come, the locomotive will serve as a reminder of the impact millions of Scouts have had on this country for 100 years.”

A very rare honor, Union Pacific has created only 14 commemorative locomotives in its nearly 150-year history. The Boy Scouts-themed locomotive is decorated with a series of four distinct graphics:

  •     The national Boy Scouts of America logo
  •     The BSA’s 100th Anniversary logo
  •     The words “100 Years of Scouting”
  •     Ten emblems representing stages of Scouting and an 11th emblem for the 2010 National Scout Jamboree

Union Pacific No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America Locomotive

The Union Pacific No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America Locomotive was built at the General Electric plant in Erie, Pa., and delivered to North Little Rock, Ark., as UP No. 7469. In the process of having graphics applied in honor of the Boy Scouts of America’s 100th Anniversary celebration, the locomotive was renumbered to UP No. 2010.

Because it is one of the newest, most reliable and most fuel-efficient locomotives in the Union Pacific fleet, the UP No. 2010 likely will carry service-sensitive consists such as automotive and intermodal trains traveling from facilities in Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Marion, Ark., to West Coast facilities in Los Angeles, Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

Model:  GE 4400-horsepower “C45AC”
Weight:  207 tons
Length:  73 feet, 2 inches
Width:  10 feet, 3 inches
Height:  15 feet, 6 inches
Maximum Speed:  75 miles per hour
Engine Diesel:  12-cylinder
Emblems:  11, representing 10 “stages of Scouting” and National Scout Jamboree



iPhone Art - "Now Arriving Track 11"

I arrived at Los Angeles’ Union Station during my commute today in time to see Amtrak’s westbound Sunset Limited (Amtrak #1) terminate its 1,700 mile journey from New Orleans a full fifteen minutes ahead of schedule.  The northbound Coast Starlight (Amtrak #14) waits on Track 12 to depart shortly to Seattle.

Here’s what she looked like to me as she pull into Track 11:

“Now Arriving Track 11”


And You Thought I Was Smart!

Apple iPadAs I reported on my Facebook page yesterday, I received an email shipping notification from Apple stating that my iPad had shipped. As is typically the case with a shipping notification, based on the tracking number, UPS stated it had no notion of the packages location initially but did state it was aware of the shipment. So this morning I checked again.

I expected the package to have originated from the Bay Area of California. Silly me, I was wrong.

Here is the tracking information:



Local Time





9:45 P.M.




9:42 P.M.




4:45 P.M.


Tracking results provided by UPS:  03/30/2010 1:33 P.M.  ET

Turns out the iPad is being shipped directly from the country of manufacture, China!

That got me to thinking about the journey my iPads are on:

  • Where the heck is Shenzhen?
  • How far away is it?
  • How long would a direct flight from there to my home take?
  • If my iPad were sound, how long would it take to reach me?
  • Better yet, if my iPad were light traveling in fiber, or even in a vacuum, how long would it take to reach me?

I know, these are the standard questions everyone asks themselves when the are waiting for a package to be delivered.  Sorry if I am boring you…

Where does one turn to glean the answers to the questions that plagued me? Had I any math skills whatsoever, I could probably compute the answers myself, but I have none. (I grew up during the computer revolution.) Instead I have THE INTERNET! The Wizard of Oz can’t even match the internet.

I took to my iPhone an called up one of my dearest and most interesting applications. That application is called Wolfram|Alpha which is a front-end to a unique query/answer engine of the same name that is described by its creators, Wolfram Research, as a “computational knowledge engine.” Now I can’t do the engine, nor its inventors, any justice with a description here. Your best bet is check it out firsthand and walk through some of their demonstration queries to get a glimpse of the stunning and valuable contribution they have made to the web and its users. So, back to my story…

I “asked” Wolfram|Alpha about the distance between Shenzhen, China and Ontario, California, my hometown. Here is the output from my query:

Results from “Ontario, CA to SHENZHEN” query asked through Wolfram|Alpha

Pretty cool, huh?  When my iPad finally reaches me on Saturday it will have traveled over 7,300 miles and nearly 1/3 of the circumference of the earth.
And you thought I was smart!