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Southern Pacific Railroad West Colton Yard at Bloomington, CA

Southern Pacific West Colton Yard sign at Bloomington, CA

Southern Pacific's new Bloomington Yard (West Colton) officially opened on February 23, 1973. My submarine had just completed its overhaul at Bremerton and I had three hard hats from the ship yard. So equipped with hard hats and bags to conceal our cameras, three of us took off for a visit on February 14, 1974. Names have been withheld to protect the guilty.

Southern Pacific Railroad West Colton new hump power

One of the new features of the yard was new hump power. Two brand new SD38s sandwiched a converted Alco. Slug 1000 had been a Century 628 and was converted into a slug at the Houston shops. I saw this set going west on a freight train in Arizona in September 1973 when the new hump and bowl at West Colton finished testing.

Southern Pacific Railroad West Colton new hump slug

West Colton Yard is six miles long. It has nine receiving tracks that can hold 1800 cars, 48 classification tracks (between 2400 feet and 3300 feet long), and 12 departure tracks on the east end that can hold 2000 cars. Disk 53