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  • LAST SKI TRAIN FOR THE SEASON TODAY
    Posted Saturday, March 30 2002 at 0520 h MST
    The last Ski Train for the Winter 2001-2002 season runs today (Saturday, 30-Mar-2002). It should just be the three F40PHs for power, but you never know. Either way, I'll be aboard and hopefully some of you out there will be as well. Thanks to Wes Cox for chance to go on today's run. Update (3/30 - 2130h): I just got around to loading my photos from today's run. For those of you that couldn't make it out to see the train, here's a shot sitting at Fraser, loading on all the skiers at Winter Park, and calling it a season with this winter's final arrival at Denver Union Station. - NDHolmes

  • YOU'VE BEEN YAHOO'D!
    Posted Thursday, March 28 2002 at 2259 h MST
    While it's not directly related to the D&RGW itself, it's something that will affect a great many followers of the Grande that subscribe to the DRGW list on YahooGroups. Yahoo, quite behind your back, has signed you up for a small pile of spam, junk mail, and telemarketers. To set things right again: Go to My Groups and click on Account Info, verify your password if it asks you to, and your Yahoo ID card comes up. Click on 'Edit your Marketing Preferences' and change all those Yes's back to No's! Click Save Changes. For those of you that have had it with Yahoo and their barrage of advertising, I've been building a mirror of the D&RGW list that should be quite a bit faster than Yahoo with none of the ads - take a look here. My mirror obscures all posters' email, so nobody's at risk for spam, and doesn't allow anyone to post - but at least you can read in peace. Over the next few weeks I'll be adding more functionality to it, but for right now it's an escape from Yahoo for those that have had it. A huge thanks to somebody for pointing this out to a great number of lists. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5370's CAB IN PUEBLO
    Posted Saturday, March 23 2002 at 1314 h MST
    DRGW 5370 was one of the several tunnel motors destroyed in runaways on Tennessee Pass in the 1990s. It was scrapped in Pueblo somewhere around 1995, but apparently the cab lives on. JB Bowers of Pueblo spotted this relic on the north side of the Business US 50 bridge over the BNSF yesterday on his way to work, so I decided to drive down and get a few photos for everyone. These were all taken from the US 50 Business Route bridge on Saturday, 23-Mar-2002. Photo #1, #2, #3, #4. Does anyone know who owns this particular scrap yard? - NDHolmes

  • ZDVRO/ZRODV RETURN FOR ONE DAY ONLY
    Posted Thursday, March 21 2002 at 2256 h MST
    Paul B of MWR just notified the D&RGW list that ZDVRO/ZRODV will run over the former Rio Grande system rather than through Wyoming for one day only - Friday, 21-Mar-2002. Nothing special powering them, but this may be one of the last opportunities to see a Z train running on the ex-Grande. - NDHolmes

  • SD40T-2 PRESERVATION NEWS
    Posted Thursday, March 21 2002 at 1609 h MST
    Dave Abeles, Preservation Liaison from the RGM&HS, posted the following news this morning concerning the effort to preserve a tunnel motor:
    "Just about an hour ago, I forwarded a letter to Union Pacific along with a letter from the Pueblo Railway Museum formally requesting information on the proceedures necessary to secure the donation of a T-2 from UP to the Pueblo Railway Museum. Included was a letter from the museum that stated their commitment and availability of space.

    Now comes the waiting, and hoping...keep your fingers crossed. :) UP considers each such request separately, but donations are the exception rather than the rule. Time will tell. Here's to the 'Grande!


    I'd suggest that this is a very good thing for the Society to be involved in. If you've been waiting to join, this just might be a good reason - and be sure to mention to them that this prompted you to join! Publishing information is important, but right now I'm very glad to see them lending a hand to the preservation effort - while there's still something to preserve. -
    NDHolmes

  • MISCELLANEOUS BITS
    Posted Sunday, March 17 2002 at 2159 h MST
    One of the first things I thought I'd mention is some recent concern from the RGM&HS about memberships. Putting together publications such as the Prospector and the Green Light is a big effort, both from a labor and from a financial aspect. If you like what you see so far, why not pay the relatively trivial membership fee and give the Society a hand? They could certainly use your help right now in the first year, trying to cover costs and get everything off the ground. After all, it's only a year, and I guarantee you'll be pleased with what you get in return.(As a note, they live at drgw.org, this is drgw.net - being member #1005 is currently my only stake in the Society. This website is still a separate money sinkhole that comes from my pocket.) Secondly, for all of you carrying around a Palm OS-based device, I've created a downloadable version of timetables for the ex-D&RGW Colorado lines. See my personal software page. The source data file is there, too, so if anyone would care to add Utah or the rest of Colorado's railroads, please email your changes back and I'll include them in future versions. Finally, Photo of the Day is back since I've been out railfanning along the former D&RGW lines again, but once again I'll be running out of new material quickly. If you're a D&RGW fan, I'd love to feature your work on Photo of the Day for other fans to enjoy - just drop me an email and ask about specifics (size, quality, format, etc.) - NDHolmes

  • EX-DRGW 5502 ON MDVPU-17, 5354 RETURNING FROM TX
    Posted Sunday, March 17 2002 at 2012 h MST
    UP 5096 (a patched DRGW 5502) returned to home rails yesterday in Denver, and today (17-Mar-2002) was assigned as the third unit on MDVPU-17. Not wanting to miss an opportunity, my co-webmaster (Michael Petersen) and I went out after it. We managed to catch it a great number of places (and get every roster shot we need...), but a few of the highlights include Castle Rock, the Larkspur bridge, just south of Palmer Lake, and finally heading off into the twilight at Monument. DRGW 5354, after being in Denver Diesel for its routine inspection and sent south on MDVPU last Thursday, will be returning from its weekend Pueblo, CO - Dalhart, TX run. Hopefully that means that perhaps we'll see these two together on the same Denver-Pueblo trains in the coming week. - NDHolmes

  • FEBRUARY ROSTER CHANGES
    Posted Sunday, March 17 2002 at 1958 h MST
    SP 5394 (ex-DRGW 5394) and UP 8593 (ex-DRGW 5400) were both retired in February - both officially on 28-Feb-2002. 5400 is rumored to have suffered a main generator failure while in California back in late January (thanks to D. Conrad for that bit). 5394's reason for retirement is unknown. Other than those two, February was a fairly quiet month. (Thanks to Sean Graham-White for publishing the UP roster changes.) Also of note, SP 5412 (ex-DRGW 5412) was moved to interchange at Valjct, IL - perhaps another one sold to Cycle Systems for parting and scrapping? For those keeping track, as of today that leaves us with 9 SD40T-2s, 20 GP40-2s, and 2 SD50s still working in full Rio Grande paint, a small fraction of the number around a year ago. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5354 ON WEDNESDAY'S MDVPU-13
    Posted Wednesday, March 13 2002 at 2243 h MST
    DRGW 5354, on its first trip after its regular inspection at Burnham (Denver Diesel), joined SP 7129, SP 193, and an unknown UP AC6000W on Wednesday, 13-Mar-2002's MDVPU. While not leading, it was still good to see one of the nine remaining T-2s on the front of the train. The light wasn't so good by the time I caught up with it, but I did manage to catch it twice near Larkspur (#1, #2), then at Greenland, and finally in failing light just north of Palmer Lake. Hopefully it will stick around for a few days on regular MDVPU/MPUDV runs (and hopefully they'll put it on the front...). - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5354 RETURNS TO SERVICE
    Posted Tuesday, March 12 2002 at 1620 h MST
    After a short stay at Burnham (Denver Diesel) for its regular inspection, DRGW 5354 has been returned to regular service. No sign of its next assignment yet, but it's sitting in North Yard at the moment (1620h, 3/12). With any luck it might show up on MDVPU/MPUDV later this week with the two patched GP60s. For reference, that leaves us with nine remaining SD40T-2s still. Thanks to Paul Z. for making a note of this. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 3011 PRESERVATION UPDATE
    Posted Tuesday, March 12 2002 at 1442 h MST
    Kirk O. was nice enough to confirm that DRGW 3011 is indeed one of the three D&RGW GP30s still stored in Loveland (along with 3028 and 3026). Also, RC Farewell, President of the CRRM Board of Trustees, announced the following on the the RGM&HS list at the end of January (I missed it entirely until Keith W. pointed it out): As I noted, CRRM has been moving to preserve examples of classic D&RGW motive power. CRRM is currently picking up ex-D&RGW GP30 3011 for visual restoration / display at Golden. We already have restored ex-D&RGW F9 5771 and a companion "B'. Moreover, we have precedence for "third-party" ownership of displayed items at CRRM, with CRRM acting as a long-term provider of restoration and display space. Also, several readers have emailed the CRRM directly asking about the donation, and the response has been along the lines of, (paraphrased) "Yes, the museum does have it saved, and transportation from Loveland to Golden will be provided. However, about $10,000 will be necessary to move it from the yard in Golden to the museum grounds." So, all of you interested in Grande motive power preservations, take out those checkbooks and make a donation. Their mailing address is available at the bottom of their website. (Remember, they're a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, so it's tax-deductable.) - NDHolmes

  • END OF THE CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR
    Posted Monday, March 11 2002 at 2246 h MST
    While nothing in the wild, wacky world of federal politics is a sure thing, the end of Amtrak's western trains has definitely taken a darker turn if this thread on Trainorders proves to be accurate (and I know the poster - there's no reason to doubt what he says). Get those Zephyr tickets now, get your last rides. You can bet when the "last run" is announced I'll be buying my ticket from Denver to the West Coast. I hope everyone out there takes the opportunity to let your elected officials know what you think the value is of having a national rail passenger system (whether you support it or not is obviously left to your convictions...) I work for an airline, but would still rather drive or take the train when I travel. - NDHolmes

  • WORK WINDOWS FOR THOSE RAILFANNING
    Posted Sunday, March 10 2002 at 1015 h MST
    Someone posted the UP maintenance schedules for the upcoming week to Trainorders, and I thought I'd pass it along. It not only covers former D&RGW territories, but the entire Union Pacific system. Of note on the former Grande are: Rail relay and other work on the Glenwood Springs Sub; Colorado Springs Sub (Joint Line) for concrete tie replacement (a P811 machine) between Sedalia and Littleton and welding between MP 66 and 72; Tie and surfacing work between Lascar and Walsenburg on the Alamosa Sub; Welding on the Green River Sub between GJ and Mack; and detector car work between Lynn and Ironton on the Provo Sub. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5507 COMING EAST TO DENVER
    Posted Thursday, March 7 2002 at 1331 h MST
    DRGW 5507 (one of the two remaining SD50s) is on an eastbound train to Denver as the third and trailing unit. The lead unit is a UP SD70M that I haven't been able to get the number on. The trace is currently predicting a departure around 1600h Thursday (7-Mar) afternoon, but I wouldn't be surprised if it departs earlier. - NDHolmes

  • WHEN WHINERS ATTACK (IN WINTER PARK)
    Posted Wednesday, March 6 2002 at 1306 h MST
    Just when I was thinking the whining, legislating contingent of the anti-things-they-moved-in-next-to crowd had been oddly silent lately, this story from the AP Newswire (as hosted by SFGate.com) tells me they've resurfaced in Winter Park. I must say, though, that I absolutely love UP's response. It's a safety issue, but nobody is going to realize that until somebody dies, and then of course it's the big, evil railroad's fault. "Of course the train just jumped right off the tracks and came after that poor guy... errr, yeah, something like that, Officer..." In the finest tradition of the old west, anybody want to have a mountain-dwelling yuppie roundup? End of ranting for today. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5507 EASTBOUND FOR GJ
    Posted Wednesday, March 6 2002 at 0930 h MST
    I thought I'd mention that 5507 is headed back to Grand Junction this morning. The last time I checked, it cleared Mounds, UT, at 0817h, and you can always check for updates on UP's Public Trace. It's once again probably on a ballast train. Also, for those in eastern Colorado, DRGW 3126 is leaving Denver for LaSalle, CO, so there may be D&RGW power on some of the north central Colorado locals again for a while. - NDHolmes

  • FOUR MORE D&RGW GP40s TO NRE
    Posted Tuesday, March 5 2002 at 2055 h MST
    National Railway Equipment in Silvis, IL, will be taking delivery of four more ex-D&RGW units amoung a group of 30+ Union Pacific units meeting their fate. The units in question are 3060, 3071, 3084, and 3141. 3060 and 3084 are currently stored at North Yard (Denver, CO), and 3071 is stored in California. 3141, according to my records, was moved to Illinois and off the UP system back in November 2001, so I have no idea where it's sitting at the moment. The units are expected to be batched up and handed over to the Iowa Interstate at Des Moines, IA, for shipment to Silvis. The full list, as of right now, includes UP1985, WP1999, UP284, UP1796, UP1981,UP1980, UP1987, UP1986, UP1989, DRGW3141, WP677, CNW5521, UP9963, UP9980, UP9965, UP957 (GP40X), CNW5516, CNW5528, DRGW3071, UP675, UP9956, UP9960, UP9961, UP9966, UP9999, DRGW3060, DRGW3084, and UP638. Thanks to AOH for this tidbit. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5354 EASTBOUND ACROSS COLORADO
    Posted Saturday, March 2 2002 at 1802 h MST
    DRGW 5354 is a trailing unit on MGJDV today. It's the third unit back or so, and was just passing Dell, CO, around 1800h on Saturday. 5354 hasn't been in Colorado for at least two years, and there's been some speculation whether or not it might be dead-in-tow, so get those photos now. Update (3/2 - 2330h): Nick Lyon caught up with 5354 and the eastbound manifest today near Range, CO, and sent me two photos (#1 and #2). The last time I checked, 5354 and train just cleared East Portal, so he'll be into Denver just after midnight if all goes well. Thanks to Nick for his photos. In other news, DRGW 5503 will be coming in to Denver over the KP sometime tomorrow. - NDHolmes

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