RELCO Open House
Saturday, August 6
Susan's cousin Carroll Worthington and I headed
down to Albia on Saturday to accept a public invitation to see the new RELCO
locomotive rebuilding facility and take advantage of a free lunch. The
large (95 acre) site is southeast of the intersection of Hwys. 34 and 5.
When we arrived around 11:00, we found the event so well-attended that
it was hard to find a parking space!
The first thing I noticed was a couple of brand
new EMD units in primer, sitting just north of a paint shop that's still
under construction. In front of the main building was RLCX 3005, a unit I'd seen in the Appanoose County
yard in Albia back in February.
Inside the shop, a large crowd had gathered to
hear some local dignitaries, including Congressman Leonard Boswell. Carroll and I started a walk-around
of the place, which was wide open to those in attendance. There wasn't
much in the way of "crowd control", so it was easy to get close to the locos
and other equipment. The shop has several tracks with a pit under them and an elevated walkway for loco service.
Most of the engines being worked on at the
west end were aged SD's.
At the east end of the building one found wrecked
newer units including, including GE power. Out
of the building to the northeast we found RLCX 1003,
GT 5846 with the new EMD's, and a couple of wrecked KCS locos.
We walked back to the north of the paint shop to get a closer look at the
new engines, EMD 4302 and 4305. The tag on one designated these as "SD-70 ACe".