Toyota shut down their massive NUMMI auto plant in Fremont, California at the beginning of April 2010. This facility was originally built by General Motors in 1962 and operated into the early 1980s. Southern Pacific constructed a fair-size railroad yard alongside to service the auto plant, naming it Warm Springs Yard.
GM and Toyota formed NUMMI (New United Motors Manufacturing Inc.) in 1984. The last car built here rolled off the assembly floor on April 1, 2010. More history about NUMMI can be found on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NUMMI
Unfortunately I was unable to catch BNSF's last train to visit Warm Springs on Friday, April 9th. BNSF exercised trackage rights and generally ran a train from Richmond to Warm Springs Yard six days a week. I captured some shots of BNSF's move a few days before. I'll post those in another gallery.
In the afternoon of Saturday, April 10th, I was fortunate to witness the last Union Pacific train to depart the yard. It was a cloudy, windy and somewhat dreary day. The crew was preparing their train and asked if I would mind sharing the images with them. Right then I knew I'd need to record the events best as I could, despite having forgotten to charge both of my camera's batteries (one is the back up) earlier in the day. This gallery includes only a few of the pics I captured.
The last UP train to depart Warm Springs Yard was symbol AWSNGR-09. Motive power consisted of EMD SD70M #4528 and GE C44-9W #9588 (ex-SP #8124). Train length 6257 ft, weight 3457 tons, 272 axles. Both units faced long-hood forward, so the crew decided to run the whole train to the Fremont golf driving range, where they'd detach the lead unit, turn it around on the wye at Niles. Afterward they would proceed north with their train back to Oakland.
My first visit to Warm Springs Yard was with a friend in 1979. In 1990 when I moved from the Peninsula, where I'd grown up, over to the East Bay (bought a house in Fremont), Warm Springs was one of several railroad facilities I visited regularly. In fact, I've taken many thousands of photos here over the years. I'll miss stopping by this yard, which now sits empty, awaiting an uncertain future. We will see what the future holds.
To see an aerial view of the NUMMI facility, go to Google Earth and search for NUMMI Fremont, CA
UPDATE May 2010: Union Pacific has begun using the yard to store un-needed freight cars. Everything from ARMN reefers, insulated box cars, Centerbeam flat cars, gondolas, even the occasional double stack car can be found on the yard tracks. I'll post some pics soon.