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News Photos: Indonesian EMDs begin voyage home after repairs

By Steve Carter | October 27, 2020

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One of two locomotives of state-owned Indonesian rail operator PT Kereta Api is loaded into the hold of cargo ship BBC Asia at the Port of Olympia, Wash.
Steve Carter
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Two Indonesian narrow gauge locomotives have begun their long voyage home after repairs by Progress Rail in Tacoma, Wash., leaving via the Port of Olympia, Wash., on Oct. 23, 2020. The 3-foot, 6-inch gauge EMD GT38AC locomotives of PT Kereta Api Indonesia, the government-owned primary operator of the nation’s railways, came to Tacoma for collision repairs.

With those complete, Tacoma Rail moved the locomotives from the Progress Rail facility to BNSF, which delivered them to short line Olympia & Belmore, a 5-mile Genesee & Wyoming property which connects the Port of Olympia to the national rail network, operating under contract to the Puget Sound & Pacific on Union Pacific-owned right-of-way. The locomotives were moved the final few hundred feet by a port-owned Shuttlewagon, then were lifted by crane into the hold of the general cargo ship BBC Asia.

A few hours later, the ship set sail. Its circuitous route out of the south Puget Sound, weaving through inlets and around islands and points, invites the question: Why the Port of Olympia?  Why not Tacoma or Everett, both closer and with facilities to hand track to dock loading? The reason is simple: price

EMD GT38AC No. CC 20531 is fresh from the paint shop at Progress Rail in Tacoma on Aug. 19, 2020, during its repairs from collision damage.
Steve Carter
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