Once upon a time, the local was called the Rocky Local (DRGW and Espee days) and ran west out of North Yard on Tuesday's and Thursday's. It would serve some industries in Arvada, Mesa Oil on the Chem Spur west of Leyden, and Rocky Flats. When Rocky Flat shut down and was subsequently dismantled and cleaned up, there was a spike in rail traffic. In 2005, the West Local ran five days a week and would take as many as fifty cars out to the site.
Today, with the Rocky Flats cleanup project complete and Mesa Oil moving to a new location in Denver, the one or two industries in Arvada and a single industry on the Rocky Spur (TXI Aggregate) are all that remain for the local to serve. Now, the local runs only on Wednesdays. And, as you will can see in this picture, the three covered hoppers the local is hauling to TXI is a far cry from the fifty cars from almost a decade ago.
Posted By Webmaster On Thursday, January 30, 2014 At 11:47:50 AM (PT)
The power on the West Local (on Wednesdays) is also used as the power on the South Local (on Tuesdays and Thursdays). The South Local is, in general, more demanding that the West Local. Rather than constantly assembling/disassembling the power, UP generally keeps the three units together, even on light days like this one.
Posted By Dave On Thursday, January 30, 2014 At 10:51:00 AM (PT)
I wonder why three units for three hopper cars? Symmetry - or is there really a logical reason?