Port Harbor Railroad Corp. unveiled and dedicated two locomotives honoring first responders and U.S. armed forces veterans.
GP40 No. 8955, a former Milwaukee Road unit, and former Canadian Pacific SD40-2 No. 5730 wear paint schemes designed by conductor/student engineer Dominic Montero. His father, St. Louis Fire Department Lieutenant Mario Montero, joined his son for the dedication.
The Port Harbor, a Class III railroad at America’s Central Port, interchanges with the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) and serves industries at America’s Central Port, a former Army supply base in Granite City. Several Port Harbor employees are current or former first responders or veterans. CEO and Vice president of marketing and customer solutions Carl Yount was a Marine Corps staff sergeant who saw combat in Vietnam.
The preparation and painting work were done by Quality Rail Service in Madison, Ill., about a mile away from the port. Master painter Kevin Scifres lead the repainting projects on both units, suggesting improvements.
“I’m very proud of my son, and it’s dear to my heart that he really thinks that highly of our first responders and veterans,” the elder Montero said.
Dominic Montero said the locomotives are “our little but still kind of our big way to say thanks to our first responders and our veterans and tell them how much we appreciate them. The cherry on top was seeing how thrilled my Dad was; he was the inspiration behind it … I am excited that people can drive by and see the locomotives and know we are honoring them.”
“These are two beautiful locomotives,” Yount said. “We wanted to increase public awareness of our veterans’ service and sacrifices, and our first responders who serve us every day.”
“It’s nice to see that first responders and veterans are appreciated and these folks care enough to spend money showing that,” said Dan Walford, a railroad fan, photographer and a 24½-year Navy veteran who served as a flight officer on P3 Orion aircraft.