These three Union Pacific diesel-electric locomotives were captured in intermodal service in the Mojave Desert of California. Each locomotive weighs 426,000 pounds and carries 5000 gallons of diesel fuel. The electric generator is powered by a 16 cylinder diesel engine. Each of the 6 axles is driven by individual traction motors creating a total of 4400 horsepower. These three locomotives “lashed” together generate 13,200 horsepower. Now that’s “Powerful”!
Continuing with my attempt to post images from our travels this year, I decided that I would meet the challenge for “Industrial” with these photos from the “20 Mule Team Borax” plant located in the outskirts of the town of Boron in the Mojave Desert of California.
This particular open-pit mine is 900 feet deep and 1.75 miles by 2 miles. The borate is hauled from the bottom of the mine in huge trucks costing over $1 million dollars each that can carry up to 240 tons of material.
This operation mines about three million tons of ore to produce one million tons of refined products each year. This refined product can be found in fiberglass, wood preservatives and ceramics; heat-resistant glass used in the space shuttle tiles, flat screen TV’s and laptop computers; motor oil, fertilizers and many more applications including the world famous laundry and household cleaning product 20 Mule Team Borax.
(Remember a click on the image will enlarge it.)
The Processing Plant
A replica of the 20 mule team wagon train used to haul the minerals from the Death Valley, CA mine to the nearest railroad in Mojave, CA. This method of transportation was only used for 5 years.
The modern method of hauling the minerals to the processing plant.