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Back when SD40-2s ruled helper sets on Marias Pass. Here two sets roll back toward Essex in the late afternoon. Today road GEs dominate helper sets, with SD40-2s generally used on work trains out of Essex.

An ex PRR SD-45 and an ex EL SD-45-2 pushing a mixed freight up the hill at Benny, just east of Gallitzin, PA. February 15, 1981

UP AC4400CW 6044 leads an empty coal train eastbound past the yard at Helper, UT

On the morning of April 6, 2005, while the crew of Union Pacific LJP45 (Dirt Train) does some paperwork at the depot, the power gets some servicing at Helper, Utah’s, one-stall enginehouse. Rio Grande Tunnel Motor No. 5371 is over the pit as Machinist Tony Bueno adds packs of lubricant to the traction motors of 5371.


BLE 910 is shouldering into 446's rear end in run 8, making for a convergence of great SD's.

Power from T801 returns to their train after assisting K429 up Duff Mountain. Their train was spotted just around the corner here at Holton just past the southbound signal and will receive a single unit helper for their turn up the mountain.

After helping a southbound loaded coal train up the hill, this three-unit helper set heads back north through Palmer Lake on a pristine afternoon in August of 1983. The three SD40-2's were part of an order delivered in early 1980 and they still look good three and half years later.

Helpers pushing a heavy freight up track 1 get passed by a much quicker moving intermodal train on track 2 at Cassandra Pa..

MPEX SD45-2u 5356 (ex-Santa Fe) plus four other units comprise a Utah Railway mid-train helper set on an IPPX train climbing Soldier Summit, UT.

Rio Grande SD40T-2s No. 5400, 5395, 5342, 5405, 5386, and 5401 are cut 66 cars deep in a 104-car Savage coal train pictured between Kyune and Colton, Utah on Feb. 15, 1999.

By July of 2000, it just didn't get any better than this. Rio Grande SD40T-2s No. 5349, 5345, 5401, 5347, and 5354 help the MDVRO train approaching Soldier Summit, cut in 45 cars deep in the 74 car train.

Taken Out The Window

Tied on the rear of a coal train is this cool helper set in July 2004 at Livingston. As far as I know the MRL's small group of F45's were the last ones operating at the time and 391 looked fantastic. I was leaving town that morning and this view was my final one, when I made it back three years later the F45's were laid up and things weren't nearly as cool as this.

A set of helper units pushes a loaded unit coal train as it begins its journey back down the Manor Branch. The first couple of miles out of Bailey are uphill, so loaded trains get a push from the rear.

Never a dull moment when fishing ..!

A trio of classic EMD F9s pull the Rio Grande Zephyr train No. 17 three miles from its scheduled stop at Helper, Utah on July 14, 1979.


F9A No. 5771 was released from the paint shop at Burnham (Denver, Colorado) a couple of weeks earlier. Doesn't she look GRANDE?

A 4 unit helper set returning to Erwin after helping a coal train up to Altapass drifts down the Toe River valley at Kona in March 1968.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." Jesus (John 14:26)

View On Black


It's unusual for one of my pictures (my previous one) to start talking to me and urge me to get into it some more. This one did. So I sort of "walked into" the picture, cropping the bottom to get closer and focus on what I "saw". I would generally not try to depict the Holy Spirit, as He is like the wind, where you are aware of it but never actually see the wind itself. As far as I know, He doesn't take on a form. In dreams, He's the person you're aware of but can't really see. He teaches and guides, sometimes showing us the future, sometimes explaining the past, but always giving wisdom and pointing to Christ. As magical as this seems, it is better than magic, because it is real. This is my world, my reality.


Btw, there are 12 butterflies in this one too, only arranged differently. Some of them are very well hidden! Hope you can find them (see large).

My little helper while picking and shooting photos....NOT! Soooo many photo bombed

Project 52-week 4

How would it be if you had little helpers to make life more comfortable? That was the initial thought and inspiration for this picture…I could get used to al "little me", cooking & cleaning and doing other chores that i don't like..If only this was no fantasy...

Helper springs were made for pencils, not coilovers.

Two SD50s and an SD40-2 help shove a westbound train of autoracks and intermodals up Sand Patch Grade at the Fairhope Rd crossing, October 16, 1992. Nikon N8008, Fujichrome Velvia 50.

The Crawford Helper set returns westbound as seen from Breezy Point. Four SD60M's and a fuel Tender = an experience not to be repeated.

Taken Out The Window

A three unit set of Rio Grande tunnel motors have been added to the point of the MNYRO as they climb Soldier Summit. The lead unit before adding of the helpers was Rio Grande GP60 3154. Interestingly enough a little bit early this same day I was able to photograph UP 3154 passing Rio Grande 3154 at Helper.

Two big ACs slowly begin their shove on a unit coal train at Ansel.

Joelle informed me that she wanted to learn how to drive a reindeer, just in case that Santa needed help as there are lots of children to get around, so she thought she could be a Helper if she knew how to drive a sleigh

When I have spent some time on the computer, I often get this hulking mass behind me, thats it pop, time to go outside.


I thank him for it.


For scale I am not huge, nor slight, 6' 230lb

NS Helper 6311 and a sister unit trail an eastbound down the hill towards Altoona at MG tower.

A third helper set passes the Amtrak station in downtown Altoona.

MRL helpers push in the middle of BNSF coal train C SXMRBE1 57A.

A solo helper locomotive is heading through Glade City to be tacked on to the next train in need of help on the other side of the summit.

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