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Southern Pacific's mechanical department personnel were charged with ensuring that Southern Pacific's locomotives could operate efficiently over mountains, through deserts and swamps, and during extremely warm and humid and cold weather to consistently move goods throughout the system and deliver freight to and pick-up freight from other railroad companies. Not only did the department make repairs for the thousands of freight cars on the system when necessary, but it was a part of the planning process for the purchase of new rolling stock. And up to the start of the Amtrak era, the department has a similar responsibility for passenger equipment.
Southern Pacific locomotive maintenance plant at Hardy Street in Houston with turntable in foreground on September 26, 1986. Photo by David M. Bernstein.
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