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THE LAST RIO GRANDE UNIT
Posted Tuesday, January 31 2006 at 2200 h MST
DRGW 3100, having gone into Denver Diesel (aka Burnham) on Monday for its regular inspection, has now officially been patched. That leaves DRGW 5371 as the only unpatched Rio Grande unit out there. Even 5371 is living on borrowed time, and will be up for patching as soon as it goes in for its 92-day inspection sometime this month. Thanks to Seth H for confirming the patch. - NDHolmes
MOFFAT OPEN AGAIN
Posted Monday, January 23 2006 at 2108 h MST
Tyler Eaton reports via the DRGW list that the Moffat is once again open for traffic as of a bit before 1600h today, Monday, 23-Jan-2006. The first train through will be BNSF 722 east. - NDHolmes
C38AChe PROTOTYPE IN DENVER
Posted Sunday, January 22 2006 at 2155 h MST
One of the prototypes for GE's 78-unit locomotive order for the new Tibet railway in China has shown up in Denver, delivered by the BNSF. The units are officially known as GE C38AChe, apparently, per Sean Graham-White on the Loconotes list. I'm told the plan is to take it up the Moffat for high altitude testing. However, I find "high altitude" a little ironic, considering where these units are targetted for service. Some 600 miles of the new Qinghai-Tibet Railroad sit at above 13,000 feet (yes, 13,000, that's not a typo), and the line peaks at 16,640 feet. By comparison, the Moffat crests at a mere 9239 feet. Paul Z. posted photos of the engines in Denver today in this thread on Trainorders, and for those not T/O subscribers, Clarence Matthews posted photos on RRPictureArchives.net from the units passing through Garden City, KS, yesterday. - NDHolmes
TUNNEL 31 DERAILMENT, SKI TRAIN STRANDED
Posted Sunday, January 22 2006 at 2137 h MST
I'm out of touch for two days and things get interesting. About 1300h on Saturday, 21-Jan-2006, about 14 cars of an eastbound loaded coal train (CBRIR-17) came off the tracks at MP 40.3, near Tunnel 31 (actually, in the tunnel) and just east of Rollinsville, CO. Unfortunately, that trapped the Ski Train and its 700 passengers on the west side of the derailment with no way (by rail) to get back to Denver. By Satuday night, chartered busses were shuttling some of the passengers back, and others arranged their own ride home. Channel 9 is reporting that about 100 people are still stuck in Winter Park as of Sunday night.
Since the derailment wasn't projected to be cleaned up until mid-Sunday, Amtrak 6 was sent back at Grand Junction on Saturday, and both Amtraks went via Wyoming on Sunday. In fact, the 6 coming into Denver tonight is a "super Zephyr", consisting of two trainsets (Saturday and Sunday's trains) coupled together.
Here's the Ski Train's official press release. Some of the local media coverage on the derailment and Ski Train disruption: Denver Post and Denver Channel 9, - NDHolmes
NEW TRIP REPORT - THE A&M AND OTHER SHORTLINES
Posted Thursday, January 19 2006 at 0117 h MST
Last summer, I made two significant trips to Springdale, AR, to photograph the all-Alco Arkansas & Missouri in action. These occurred in June and September, and each afforded me a couple days of photography. While I was putting the trip report together, it dawned on me that for about the last two years, I've been building up photos of various south-central US shortlines from my trips to Dallas/Fort Worth and Memphis. Most of these weren't substantial enough to warrant their own trip report, but I figured that it would all work well together as a "Shortlines of the South Central US" trip report, in which the A&M fit perfectly. However, the A&M coverage is so substantial that it warrants top billing...
This is the single largest trip report I've ever put together. It's taken me nearly two weeks of continuous work to write and (maybe) edit. 230 pictures, 14 chapters, total size 890 megabytes of photos... So, go ahead, dig in! - NDHolmes
ANOTHER DOWN - DRGW 3110 PATCHED
Posted Wednesday, January 11 2006 at 1038 h MST
3110 fails to trace this morning, meaning that it has probably been patched at Roseville. The plan was to renumber it to UP 1347, but I don't have confirmation yet that it did indeed get that as a new number. That leaves only 5371 in Utah and 3100 in Denver, which is also due to be patched shortly (to 1350).
These numbers don't match the original renumbering plan because the MP15s holding the original numbers have yet to be moved. Thanks to Seth on the DRGW list for the heads up on the new numbers. - NDHolmes
SLRG OFFICIALLY SOLD
Posted Wednesday, January 4 2006 at 1451 h MST
It's true, RailAmerica has sold the San Luis Rio Grande, a relatively young shortline formed from Rio Grande lines stretching west from Walsenburg through the San Luis Valley, reaching South Fork on the west and Antonito on the south. The new owner is Permian Basin Railways, which is owned by Iowa Pacfic Holdings, LLC. Their new web page is here. The RailAmerica press release can be seen here. - NDHolmes
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