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[DRGW] Notes and thoughts on GJ rails this weekend Jim Griffin drgwlpd@yahoo.c... [DRGW] (DRGW@yahoogroups.c...) 2017-05-10 14:56:00
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From: Jim Griffin drgwlpd@yahoo.c... [DRGW] (DRGW@yahoogroups.c...)
Date: 2017-05-10 14:56:00
Subject: [DRGW] Notes and thoughts on GJ rails this weekend

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As previously noted, we spent last weekend around Ruby Canyon and Grand Jun=
ction. =C2=A0Since I only visit the region every couple or three years, it'=
s interesting to see how things change in former Rio Grande Land.
- The main railfan goal of mine for the trip was the Potash Local, and I wa=
s completely skunked. The westbound movement went by FAR earlier than I had=
expected, hitting Utaline before 9:30 AM (didn't ever hear it on the scann=
er). =C2=A0Due to various family activities I never had a chance to catch i=
t on the way to Moab. =C2=A0We left Arches too late in the evening to overt=
ake it returning-- or so I thought! =C2=A0Pretty sure I saw it go by in the=
darkness at about 8:30 PM. =C2=A0At least, it was a very short freight mak=
ing a lot of racket. =C2=A0If that was it, I wonder what kept them so long =
on return?
- The MNYRO train described the other day was enormous, but mostly empties.=
=C2=A0Only saw one such movement, on Saturday. =C2=A0Never actually saw an=
ything eastbound but that's probably just my own bad luck.
- Amtrak, same as always. =C2=A0It was nice to see a heritage unit, even if=
only from a distance. The new baggage cars are odd-looking, though! =C2=A0
BNSF seems to be on the same schedule as always-- westbound in early aftern=
oon, eastbound in early morning. =C2=A0Again, my timing was cursed, always =
a minute or five too late to photograph anything. They still keep a couple =
of locos down by the depot, two GEVO's this time.
- Cisco, UT-- the famous "ghost town"-- is NOT a ghost town, people! =C2=A0=
There are humans living there. =C2=A0In fact, some of them politely request=
ed that we stay near the roads and not wander around on what was still priv=
ate property. =C2=A0Granted there are a great many derelict structures and =
vehicles, but somebody's making a go at re-settling the place. =C2=A0My est=
imate is at least four properties have residents now.=C2=A0
- Cisco, again: there's still a D&RGW section shack standing, of standard c=
ompany design and in use by UP. =C2=A0There was also a Rio Grande flatcar o=
n the house track, in MOW service. =C2=A0It was wearing two sets of D&RGW l=
ettering, simultaneously. =C2=A0The silver MOW paint had basically faded of=
f, but all the heraldry, reporting marks, and data had survived-- original,=
and repaint, so they were stacked all over each other. =C2=A0I'll link to =
photos later. =C2=A0Incidentally, the track through Cisco is in first-class=
condition.
- Grand Junction itself: Depressing. =C2=A0The near-collapse of the North F=
ork coal industry has left the yard incredibly empty. =C2=A0No strings of c=
oal hoppers at all. =C2=A0I did hear mention on scanner of a train out at t=
he mine on Monday, so there was that much at least, but the yard was very v=
ery quiet. About all that was there was general freight cars, and not a lot=
of motive power. =C2=A0Downtown, I saw the famous string of deadlined swit=
chers. =C2=A0What I didn't realize is that they were nearly all UP GP15-1's=
. =C2=A0There are also a few EMDX and Helm 38's and 40s and a couple of oth=
er oddballs. =C2=A0Admittedly I couldn't see what was out to the west of th=
e formation, but I was expecting SW's and there were none that I could see.
- Montrose branch: The building products place just south of Delta and the =
one between Olathe and Montrose are both still in business, each with sever=
al cars spotted on spurs. =C2=A0I didn't get into Olathe proper. =C2=A0In M=
ontrose the wood chip operation seemed to be gone (again) or at least quies=
cent, but there were four mill gondolas on the spur that were all chock-ful=
l of scrap metal. =C2=A0I didn't get downtown where tanks are sometimes spo=
tted.
So, to summarize: west of GJ there are three trains each way per day, plus =
the Potash turn on Sunday. Local to Fruita a couple times a week? =C2=A0Loc=
al to Montrose weekly. =C2=A0East of GJ you can add in a rare coal movement=
and the Minturn local, frequency unknown. =C2=A0Occasional special movemen=
ts of frac sand and other oddballs, and that's about it. =C2=A0A sad under-=
utilization of a mighty fine piece of railroad, it seems...
All for now,Jim G

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<div style="color:#000; background-color:#fff; font-family:Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, Lucida Grande, sans-serif;font-size:13px"><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992">As previously noted, we spent last weekend around Ruby Canyon and Grand Junction. &nbsp;Since I only visit the region every couple or three years, it's interesting to see how things change in former Rio Grande Land.</div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992"><br></div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr">- The main railfan goal of mine for the trip was the Potash Local, and I was completely skunked. The westbound movement went by FAR earlier than I had expected, hitting Utaline before 9:30 AM (didn't ever hear it on the scanner). &nbsp;Due to various family activities I never had a chance to catch it on the way to Moab. &nbsp;We left Arches too late in the evening to overtake it returning-- or so I thought! &nbsp;Pretty sure I saw it go by in the darkness at about 8:30 PM. &nbsp;At least, it was a very short freight making a lot of racket. &nbsp;If that was it, I wonder what kept them so long on return?</div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr"><br></div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr">- The MNYRO train described the other day was enormous, but mostly empties. &nbsp;Only saw one such movement, on Saturday. &nbsp;Never actually saw anything eastbound but that's probably just my own bad luck.</div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr"><br></div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr">- Amtrak, same as always. &nbsp;It was nice to see a heritage unit, even if only from a distance. The new baggage cars are odd-looking, though! &nbsp;</div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr"><br></div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr">BNSF seems to be on the same schedule as always-- westbound in early afternoon, eastbound in early morning. &nbsp;Again, my timing was cursed, always a minute or five too late to photograph anything. They still keep a couple of locos down by the depot, two GEVO's this time.</div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr"><br></div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr">- Cisco, UT-- the famous "ghost town"-- is NOT a ghost town, people! &nbsp;There are humans living there. &nbsp;In fact, some of them politely requested that we stay near the roads and not wander around on what was still private property. &nbsp;Granted there are a great many derelict structures and vehicles, but somebody's making a go at re-settling the place. &nbsp;My estimate is at least four properties have residents now.&nbsp;</div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr"><br></div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr">- Cisco, again: there's still a D&amp;RGW section shack standing, of standard company design and in use by UP. &nbsp;There was also a Rio Grande flatcar on the house track, in MOW service. &nbsp;It was wearing two sets of D&amp;RGW lettering, simultaneously. &nbsp;The silver MOW paint had basically faded off, but all the heraldry, reporting marks, and data had survived-- original, and repaint, so they were stacked all over each other. &nbsp;I'll link to photos later. &nbsp;Incidentally, the track through Cisco is in first-class condition.</div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr"><br></div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr">- Grand Junction itself: Depressing. &nbsp;The near-collapse of the North Fork coal industry has left the yard incredibly empty. &nbsp;No strings of coal hoppers at all. &nbsp;I did hear mention on scanner of a train out at the mine on Monday, so there was that much at least, but the yard was very very quiet. About all that was there was general freight cars, and not a lot of motive power. &nbsp;Downtown, I saw the famous string of deadlined switchers. &nbsp;What I didn't realize is that they were nearly all UP GP15-1's. &nbsp;There are also a few EMDX and Helm 38's and 40s and a couple of other oddballs. &nbsp;Admittedly I couldn't see what was out to the west of the formation, but I was expecting SW's and there were none that I could see.</div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr"><br></div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr">- Montrose branch: The building products place just south of Delta and the one between Olathe and Montrose are both still in business, each with several cars spotted on spurs. &nbsp;I didn't get into Olathe proper. &nbsp;In Montrose the wood chip operation seemed to be gone (again) or at least quiescent, but there were four mill gondolas on the spur that were all chock-full of scrap metal. &nbsp;I didn't get downtown where tanks are sometimes spotted.</div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr"><br></div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr">So, to summarize: west of GJ there are three trains each way per day, plus the Potash turn on Sunday. Local to Fruita a couple times a week? &nbsp;Local to Montrose weekly. &nbsp;East of GJ you can add in a rare coal movement and the Minturn local, frequency unknown. &nbsp;Occasional special movements of frac sand and other oddballs, and that's about it. &nbsp;A sad under-utilization of a mighty fine piece of railroad, it seems...</div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr"><br></div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr">All for now,</div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr">Jim G</div><div id="yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1494425666279_9992" dir="ltr"><br></div></div>



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