The Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad, when built, was the most highly
energized system in place at the time using catenary powered with
50,000 volts, all of which was supplied by the Page power plant.
Overall, the railroad is about 78-miles in length and really has no
stations or terminals located along its main line except for the coal mine
it serves, mostly located towards the western end of its route. It is
difficult in obtaining information about the railroad given its private
ownership and very secluded location. However, present-day operations
are believed to include three round trips per day from the mine to the
The electric motor the Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad uses is a GE product that was the first new electric locomotive design built in the post-Amtrak era when the private freight railroads no longer operated passenger trains (the BM&LP's were purchased new, however, and not secondhand). This much more powerful motor was designed exclusively for passenger service and meant to replace an aging fleet of electrics that Amtrak had inherited from freight railroads. After almost 30 years of operation the E60 model was retired by Amtrak in 2003 although, aside from those used by the BM&LP, a few have been preserved today, Amtrak #603 and NJ Transit #958. The GE E60 model, a double-ended design (although the BM&LP original models are not this way, they have head-end cabs only), were powerful locomotives capable of producing 6,000 horsepower and 75,000 pounds of starting tractive effort (which is where its name is derived; Electric, 6,000 hp). Two versions of the E60 would ultimately be built, one classified as an E60CP, which featured a steam generator for older passenger equipment Amtrak operated and the E60CH, which was equipped with the more modern head-end electric power for heat and electricity. I am not sure how many of the Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad's motors are painted in company colors but from the photos of the line I have seen it appears that many still retain their original owners' colors.
However, it is said that the company has been repainting the locomotives into Peabody's red, white, and blue livery. In any event, current reports state the company either will be or already has retired its original E60Cs in favor of the newer E60C-2 models purchased from Mexico. Additionally, the railroad has purchased new aluminum hoppers in recent years to keep up with demand and replace aging equipment. Below is a current roster of the Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad.
Black Mesa & Lake Powell Railroad Locomotive Roster
|GE||E60C||6001-6006||Purchased new in the early 1970s||6|
|GE||E60C-2||EA004, EA022-EA023, EA032-EA036 (Evens), EA039||Ex-Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México, EA023 is used for parts||8|
Along with there freight motors they currently own one
diesel, a former Union Pacific U25B that has been rebuilt (I presume
that this unit is kept for either switching duties or use for anytime
the electricity is down/off-line). If you are interested in visiting the Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad keep in mind that the area is very
remote and unpaved roadways cannot only be very hazardous but also
located on private property. However, if you're interested in seeing
the BM&LP it's the only spot in the country where you can currently
see electrics hauling something other than passengers in this country!
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Black Mesa & Lake Powell