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2007 UP Commerce Family Day

Union Pacific Family Day at Commerce

Locomotive and Mechanical Facility

October 20, 2007
Story and photographs copyright 2004 by Richard Elgenson
RailNews Network

Many railroaders are chained to their cell phones waiting for that call to report to work.    Most of the calls the railroads make to me involve slightly more advance notice to report to work.  In this case it was about one month ahead of time.  It is always nice when the railroad calls you with an invitation to their open house.  Can you say let's have lunch?  I made a note on my calendar and waited for Saturday October 20, 2007 for the Commerce Union Pacific Family Day.  Our weather is just so predictable.  My friend in Alaska had a difficult time believing I had mowed my lawn in mid October.  With Santa Ana winds predicted, this day was just a mildly warm day before the 95 degree heat expected in 2 to 3 days from now.  Arriving early, I was happily surprised with the sight of a heritage paint scheme locomotive.  I had never seen UP 1989 in southern California before, so it was a welcome sight.

Since this is a family day, let's start with the people of Union Pacific. In addition to train crews, a railroad employs and utilizes many support people.  They range from mechanical people to police officers, hostlers to supply people, maintenance-of-way to marketing folks, safety to accountants.  As a volunteer for Operation Lifesaver, I usually attend in the safety capacity of this type of event.  After a round of greetings from the hosts of the event, I got to work.  This event lived up to its promise of a great time.  Two credit unions were present in addition to a kids area, Operation Lifesaver, health care, kids identification table, the UP Police Department,  a vintage car club and a catered lunch.


The Union Pacific Police Department was close to the entrance.  Officer Jorge Villaescusa and crew showing off some of their equipment including body armor, knee pads and helmet.  I overheard one visitor asking why the police would need knee pads.  The reply was for surveillance while crawling on the ground.  The officer in the center of the photograph is holding the police "bible" otherwise known as the California State Penal Code. 


The kids area was tucked away behind the catering and bounded by the car department and mechanical.  They had many types of games to keep the kids occupied rangring from ducky pond to ring toss and a clown.



If you hurt yourself watching the kids have fun, nurse Judy Navaarette was on duty.  I had my blood pressure taken which was nice and low.


The Operation Lifesaver booth had some interesting looking people at it.  The young girl in the lower right photograph was having a great time blowing bubbles.



UP arranged for a flyover by the Goodyear Blimp.  Not really!


Above, early guests socializing before the buffet lunch.  Lunch was very good, consisting of pulled pork or beef brisket, mashed potatoes, beans, chicken and cole slaw.


The Commerce crew arranged for the Union Pacific Mini Parade Train which provided rides  to all as well as the very impressive Rio Grande heritage locomotive UP1989.  According to Darrell Hart, Foreman General I, Transportation, at Commerce, "some of our employees stated they rode the same train back in the mid 1950's."  Two generations of EMD "power" are pictured below left.


Family Day Page 2

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