DRGW 5371 To Be SAVED! News Story Posted By Kevin (Click Name To Email)
Thursday, November 30, 2006 - Yep, that's the word. While it hasn't been confirmed yet, it comes from a reputable source. Apparently the patch kit for DRGW 5371 (to change it to UP 8627) arrived in Roper as it was supposed to. However, on the day the kit was supposed to be applied, a letter showed up at Roper signed by Union Pacific President Jim Young. The letter stated that 5371 was to remain as 5371 as long as it was capable of running.
Furthermore, when it does suffer a major failure at some point in the future, rather than being scrapped, it will be donated to the Utah State Railroad Museum in Ogden for display. Assuming this is true (and, as of this posting, DRGW 5371 is still in UP's system), the last Rio Grande F9 (5771) and the last Rio Grande Tunnel Motor (5371) will both be preserved - on opposite ends of the system! Supposedly, 5371 will be returning to Helper to continue in service until the previously stated "major failure" occurs.
This is a real class act on the part of Union Pacific. In the past, in the Davidson era, it was standard UP policy that no DRGW equipment would be donated. A huge thanks go UP and Jim Young for this one!