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Englewood Ghost Town

March 28, 2012

I covered a wedding in East Houston this past March 10, 2012. As is my custom when I have a bit of spare time between the ceremony and reception, I swung by UP’s Englewood Yard just to see what was going on.

As I approached the yard office, something didn’t seem right. It took me a few moments to realize why. The yard office parking lot was completely empty of vehicles! No limos in front. No employee cars parked under the Wayside overpass or anywhere, for that matter.

This is what the yard office is supposed to look like, taken on Feb. 4, 2012.:

I was actually wondering if there was some special holiday that I had completely overlooked! Once I was satisfied that March 10, 2012 is just a normal Saturday, I just had to figure out where the heck did all the UP employees go? They had to be around here somewhere…

It only took a few minutes of driving along the south side of the receiving yard to find this a few hundred yards east of the Signal Dept. offices:

Talk about some nice digs! This new Englewood yard office is at least triple the size of the of the old one, with a huge, paved (Progress, baby!) parking lot for the TY&E guys. A canopy so the limos can load / unload crews without getting rained on. The crews must be loving the new locker room.  (Maybe not on that last point, crews are notorious kvetchers.)

The old yard office is the last substantial structure left from the SP days.  It wasn’t much to look at even in the mid-1990’s when I would hang out with some of the  SP officers there, (back when that was acceptable). I know it had to be woefully inadequate for today’s requirements, but hopefully the UP will find another use for the old yard office and not demolish it. How about an Englewood Yard Visitors Center?

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