By Railfan & Railroad Staff
OMAHA — Union Pacific is releasing a specially painted SD70M to honor its Employee Resource Groups. Locomotive 1979 was painted at the Jenks Locomotive Shop in North Little Rock, Ark., and will be traveling the UP system this summer ahead of an Employee Resource Group conference in Omaha on September 1 and 2.
An artist rendering of Union Pacific’s newest commemorative unit.
There are nine different Employee Resource Groups dedicated to supporting diversity within the company. Among the groups represented include veterans, people with disabilities, young professionals, women, Native Americans, Asians, Latinos, and LGBT employees. The Black Employee Network was the first group organized in 1979. In honor of that, the railroad picked SD70M 1979 to be painted in the commemorative scheme. The locomotive features a rainbow of colors and has the words “We Are One” written on the side.
The locomotive will make its debut in Houston on Juneteenth, the holiday marking the end of slavery in the United States.
“Juneteenth is a day of reflection to appreciate, acknowledge and honor the experience of others that came before us,” said Amy Bang, senior manager-Diversity and Inclusion, Workforce Resources. “Owning our past is a reminder that our work to reach equity is not done. We should use the holiday as an opportunity to come together, celebrating our shared humanity and community.”
While UP has released a number of commemorative units over the years — from veterans to the Boy Scouts — it has never released one dedicated to the Employee Resource Groups.