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Posted Wednesday, December 12 2018 at 1128 h MST
Due to Union Pacific's move towards Precision Scheduled Railroading (yes, that one, the "brain child" of E Hunter Harrison at CN), they have announced that the former Rio Grande Roper Yard in Salt Lake will be downgraded and that it will no longer switch general manifest traffic.
A consequence of that move is the elimination of the last through manifest freights over the former Rio Grande system. MNYRO / MRONY (North Yard - Roper manifests and vice versa) have been cancelled, and all through traffic will travel via Wyoming. The last trains ran last week. Kevin Morgan caught the last MRONY coming into Denver on Saturday, and his pictures are posted on Wally's . For those who are members of Trainorders, SP8595 posted photos of the last MNYRO crossing the desert on the 6th in this thread.
Aside from the Potash Local running out to Brendel and down the branch, there will no longer be any UP manifest freights between Grand Junction and Helper. Apparently UP has been running some export coal westbound from GJ, so that may continue, the BNSF manifests will still run (typically ~2-4/day), and of course the two daily Amtraks. The desert just got a little quieter. - NDHolmes
SO LONG, DRGW 3080
Posted Tuesday, November 20 2018 at 2239 h MST
D&RGW 3080, now Wheeling & Lake Erie 304 and upgraded to a GP40-3, was wrecked in a head-on collision with WE 106 (a high-hood GP35 built as Southern 2661) outside Akron, OH, yesterday. Fortunately, none of the crew were injured, but the wreck will almost certainly be the end of 304 / ex-3080. The frame appears to be significantly bent, and the front end is demolished. My guess is that 106 is also a lost cause as well, given its advanced age and severe front end damage.
For those who are Trainorders members, there's photos of the incident [here]. - NDHolmes
D&S ACQUIRES TWO NEW DIESELS
Posted Wednesday, August 22 2018 at 2343 h MDT
The Durango & Silverton, faced with future shutdowns due to the hightened fire danger brought on by persistent drought here in the southwest, has signed a $3.2M contract to have two new 2000hp narrow gauge diesels built. The two new motors will be built by Motive Power Equipment & Solutions of Greenville, SC, and will be designated MP2000NG. Internally, they will be Caterpillar 2000hp diesels powering GE 764 traction motors. Delivery is expected next spring. The full press release is available [here].
On the other hand, the D&S is also working to put D&RGW K-37 #493 back on the rails, but converted to an oil burner. This, too, should allow them to operate through excessively dry weather without the fire danger of coal cinders. - NDHolmes
D&RGW 5401 MOVES TO CRRM
Posted Wednesday, August 22 2018 at 2254 h MDT
Nearly eight years after UP donated D&RGW SD40T-2 #5401 to the Colorado Railroad Museum, the engine was moved from her storage location in Coors' Golden, CO, brewery yard to the museum today. A Coors switch crew brought it to the interchange, at which point BNSF took over using a pair of SD40-2s to move it close to the museum. Side boom cranes lifted the motor off live rails and set it on panel track running down the center of 44th Street and into the museum grounds.
Jeff Taylor has a number of photos of the move on his Instragram feed. Be sure to click the forward and back buttons to see all of them.
D&RGW 5401, still wearing the UP 9871 patch, now rests next to D&RGW 683, the last surviving standard gauge D&RGW steam engine. - NDHolmes