RailPictures.Net Photo: SCAX 857 Metrolink EMD F59PH at Claremont, California by Kevin Bleich
 
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Photo Location Map Locomotive Details Location/Date of Photo


Metrolink (more..)
EMD F59PH (more..)
Claremont Metrolink Station (more..)
Claremont, California, USA (more..)
September 02, 2019
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
SCAX 857 (more..)
SCAX 356 (more..)
Kevin Bleich (more..)
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Remarks & Notes 
Down to One. Built in 1992, EMD F59PH #857 was one of Metrolink's original locomotives, having been with the Los Angeles commuter railroad since opening day. Since that time, it has seen the railroad evolve from a comparatively small, rush-hour-only operation with three lines to an extensive 500+ mile system with seven lines running (mostly) all day service. It has seen the fleet grow from consisting solely of its sister F59PH units and Bombardier Bilevel coaches to also include F59PHIs, MP36PH-3Cs, and F125s plus Hyundai Rotem cars. It has seen the railroad experience and cope with several high-profile wrecks, particularly the one in Chatsworth, which led to drastic safety changes at the agency, most notably the push to become the first railroad in the U.S. to have Positive Train Control installed on all trains. In 2008, 857 had the honors of leading the Holiday Express Train, visiting stations around the system to spread the holiday spirit. 857 was not one of the seven F59PHs (now F59PHRs) to be chosen by Metrolink to be overhauled in the late 2000s, so it remains an "original" unrebuilt unit. It was also never painted into either the transitional "Metroblank" paint or the newest ribbon paint scheme, remaining in Metrolink's phase 2 paint since the mid-90s (although it has been touched up since).

Now in 2019, 857 is the sole F59PH remaining in active Metrolink service. Its sister unrebuilt F59PHs have all been retired and with more F125 units entering service every month, 857's days are numbered. It is likely that it could be retired by the end of this month and most certainly by the end of 2019. It has seen a lot in 27 years of Metrolink service and 857, along with all of Metrolink's F59s, will be missed once they are gone. Personally, I grew up during the heyday of the F59 and it is a strange feeling to see them all being pulled from service.

In this moment, however, it's just another day for 857 as it leads its train into the Claremont station, at Milepost 33 on the San Gabriel Sub, on a quiet Labor Day - a fitting day to see this unit that is working hard until the very end.
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