Last MRONY On December 8, 2018, EMD SD70ACe-T4 No. 3035 leads the last MRONY (Roper Yard in Salt Lake City to North Yard in Denver) freight at Blue Mountain grade crossing west of Eisele, Colorado. The long freight, powered by an all-EMD locomotive consist and officially symboled MRONY-07, drops downgrade wrapping itself over the mouth of Coal Creek Canyon, with the rear of the train still threading Tunnel 1 in the background.
With UP slowly implementing “Precision Scheduled Railroading,” the railroad announced that it is downgrading Roper yard, with manifest switching operations moving to Ogden, ending MRONY and MNYRO manifest freights. This will mean that Salt Lake to Denver traffic will now be running across the Wyoming “Overland” main line—throwing another dagger at the “Main Line Thru the Rockies.” There will still be tri-weekly MGJNY/MNYGJ freights between Denver and Grand Junction, but the Utah desert won’t see any UP manifest freights anymore.
That lead motor on the point may have some changes coming soon too, as many of UP’s SD70ACe-T4 locomotives are in storage, or heading there shortly. Reports are some of the most recently-delivered new units in the 3090 number series were immediately put into storage before turning a wheel in revenue service!