(Click on the photo to enlarge)
This engine is one of a dying breed.
When Union Pacific bought the ailing Southern Pacific
railroad and added their equipment to the mix of regular
UP stuff (as well as those from other RRs previously
assimilated by 'The Borg'), many of the engines had to be
re-numbered to keep the roster from having duplicates.
With over 8000 locomotives (not to mention all of the
various types of boxcar, hopper, flatcar, etc) keeping
your numbers straight is very important.
This particular unit is one of only a few handfuls that
have escaped the process, retaining the original SP
paintjob with no ugly yellow 'patches' of paint over
the numbers and logos.
One possible reason is that #8577 never ventures out
onto the open road, instead being used exclusively to
move cars and engines around the busy repair shops just
northeast of downtown San Antonio.
It's only fitting, since they were Southern Pacific's
shops in the first place.
(That's them in the background)
In the world of railfan photography, getting a picture
of an unpatched SP unit is something to brag about.
But this engine is almost always within a quarter mile
of where I caught it here, so I have a few dozen pics
of it so far.
This particular view is my favorite because not only was
it lit fairly well, but the shops behind places it
nicely in it's native habitat and the crew member at the
rear reminds us that people make the railroads run.