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  • TUNNEL MOTOR LEADING AMTRAK IN IOWA?!?
    Posted Friday, April 27 2001 at 1338 h MDT
    There's been a report over on Trainorders that Amtrak #6, the eastbound Zephyr, has a D&RGW Tunnel Motor on the point, and left Osceola, IA, this way around 1350h CDT. Just thought I'd give everyone in the midwest a heads up. Update (0750h - 4/30): It's been confirmed - the unit was DRGW 5410, added at Fraser, CO, after one of the Amtraks had problems... - NDHolmes

  • SLOW NEWS TO NO NEWS
    Posted Friday, April 27 2001 at 0017 h MDT
    I'll be up in Vancouver, BC, on business for the next week or two, so news may be slow to nonexistant. If you have questions/news to submit/etc, I'll still check my email daily. I apologize, but I'm not sure how much connectivity I'll have in Canada. Hopefully when I get back there will be lots of good BC Rail / CN / CP photos to share, but even though that doesn't fit in with the D&RGW focus around here, it'll get a trip report posted when I get home. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW T-MOTORS ON ZRODV-26
    Posted Thursday, April 26 2001 at 1001 h MDT
    ZRODV-26, scheduled to arrive in Denver sometime around 2030h tonight (26-Apr-2001), has the same three tunnel motors that went west yesterday - DRGW 5345/5372/5410. It's my guess, though I'm not sure of this, that these are probably all of the power on this train - eastbound Zs typically don't need more power than this. The trace last shows them passing Green River, UT, around 0854h. Update (1327h - 4/26): Apparently the train passed through Glenwood around ten minutes ago. It looks like 5345 in the lead, followed by 5410 and then presumably 5372. - NDHolmes

  • STATUS UPDATE: LAST DRGW SD45
    Posted Thursday, April 26 2001 at 0916 h MDT
    A tremendous thanks to Bob K. from Texas sent these two photos (Photo #1, Photo #2)to me a while back, but being my usual procrastinator of a self, I forgot to post them for everyone else's benefit. DRGW 5326 is, I believe, the last remaining SD45 in Rio Grande paint, though if anyone else knows of another one, I'd love to hear of it. I last saw it in Indio, CA, and sometime mid-winter it moved to Texas, where it sits in a dead line of units and will most likely be scrapped. Either way, it's not looking so - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5507 AND REPAINT WINGS SD60M IN PUEBLO
    Posted Thursday, April 26 2001 at 0843 h MDT
    DRGW 5507 has shown up in Pueblo, apparently on interchange service with the BNSF. It's due for interchange back to them at Bragdon around 1900h tonight (26-Apr-2001), but no word as to what sort of train it's on, etc. It also appears that the recently-repainted and winged SD60M has found its way to Pueblo from Mesa. That makes me think it's on the rock train, and will probably be around for a little while. Update (1530h - 4/26): UP 2334 (the winged SD60M) is not on the rock train. DRGW5413 is billed Pueblo-Mesa again, but 2334 is not. Oh well. Also, UP5099 (ex-DRGW5505) is on its way to Pueblo from Missouri - look for it tomorrow morning. - NDHolmes

  • JOINT LINE UPDATES
    Posted Tuesday, April 24 2001 at 2325 h MDT
    The Joint Line has definitely become the new hot spot for observing the remaining Rio Grande T-2s in action - 7 of the remaining 25 are currently in quasi-daily service between Denver and Pueblo. Today's MDVPU-24 power consisted of DRGW 5361, 5376, and 5385, lead by UP 4002. Due to trackwork south of Palmer Lake, it departed Denver around 1400h, but was held on the grade just short of Larkspur's main grade crossing until 1809h. Check out Photos #1, #2, & #3 taken of it waiting, as well as Photo #4 of it finally getting underway. 5365 (a newcomer to the J/L) and 5360 will be on Tuesday night's MPUDV. UP 2334, a repainted SD60M (three-windowed variety) with the lightning stripe and nose wings, has been reported in Denver, and quite possibly might get assigned to the Mesa-Pueblo rock train. - NDHolmes

  • SATURDAY MOVEMENTS
    Posted Friday, April 20 2001 at 2358 h MDT
    DRGW 5345 will be headed into Denver sometime tomorrow, but as of 10pm tonight, it had just passed Cisco, UT. Look for a very late arrival in Denver. Also, I have no idea where it is in the consist. The usual gaggle of units is still running the Joint Line, with 5361/5376 meeting 5413 today here in the Springs. A newcomer to Denver, 5365 has returned to its original home after being out wandering for some time, and 3080 is (amazingly) still in LaSalle. Also, a Loram rail grinder (RG311) is sitting at Kelker for the night (Friday night, that is...), and looks like it may be moving north tomorrow. - NDHolmes

  • NEW D&RGW M-o-W STANDARDS POSTED
    Posted Thursday, April 19 2001 at 1629 h MDT
    Not here, though - over on Scott Meier's iDRGW site. these contain many of the standards used to maintenance workers to build things like switches or slide fences, or other such railroad constructs. Very interesting material... - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5400 REPAINTED
    Posted Thursday, April 19 2001 at 0842 h MDT
    It's a sad task to report that North Little Rock has repainted another one. DRGW 5400 arrived at NLR on the 14th of April, and today the trace shows UP 8953 (it's repaint number) as being released from the shop. Sounds like they got another one, leaving us with 25 remaining D&RGW tunnel motors out of the original 73. Unfortunately, they got one with nose lights, leaving us with only 4 with Mars or Gyralights (5413, 5360, 5345, and 5356). Hate to say it, but it's a sign of things that are coming, and coming soon - get out and get those photos now. - NDHolmes

  • TWO T-MOTORS ON MDVRO-18
    Posted Wednesday, April 18 2001 at 1500 h MDT
    Today's MDVRO has two tunnel motors on the front - DRGW 5390 in the lead and 5345 following right behind. After those two is the usual gaggle of UP/SP AC power headed back for Grand Junction. Also, it should be noted that Kelker (south of Colorado Springs) is full of flats again, so it's very likely another military movement will be headed out of COS in the next day or two. Meanwhile, extensive trackwork in and around Colorado Springs continues... - NDHolmes

  • MORE JOINT LINE TUNNEL MOTORS
    Posted Friday, April 13 2001 at 1457 h MDT
    DRGW 5376 and 5361 are on the front of today's southbound MDVPU-13, with two UP units behind them. As usual, it's billed with a departure time of 1700h, but will probably leave sooner. Either way, it doesn't matter, because Daylight Savings Time should give fans enough light until it gets to Palmer Lake. Thanks to Paul Z. for the lineup. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5326 UPDATE
    Posted Friday, April 13 2001 at 0625 h MDT
    The good news is that 5326, last of the Rio Grande SD45s still in black and gold, is still around. Just as the trace says, it's stilling in Houston, Texas. The bad news is apparently its condition has deteriorated even further than when I last saw it, and it's sitting in the scrap/sale line down there. Thanks to Bob K. for dropping me a note on its condition, and hopefully we'll have one or two of his photos of 5326 in a day or two. - NDHolmes

  • WEDNESDAY'S MDVPU - 5376 & 5361
    Posted Wednesday, April 11 2001 at 2224 h MDT
    There's a new unit running the Front Range now - 5361. I caught up with them in Palmer this afternoon (after some very interesting weather this morning shut down the road system and power in many places), followed them through a largely dark Monument, and by the time they arrived in Colorado Springs, the sun was out and everything was good. Strange weather we have this time of year... Thought everyone might enjoy a few photos - not really enough for even a photo trip report, so I just made them news photos. Also, be sure to check today's (Thursday, 12-Apr-2001) Photo of the Day. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5376 AND 5361 ON MDVPU
    Posted Wednesday, April 11 2001 at 1211 h MDT
    Wednesday's MDVPU will have two tunnel motors on it - 5376 and 5361. DRGW 5361 has not been a regular on Joint Line service, so this will be a good chance for those of you who have been following J/L tunnel motors to see a new one. They're currently scheduled to leave around 1445h, but following them may be difficult - I-25 is still closed Denver to Colorado Springs as of 1200h. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW T-2s ON THE MOVE
    Posted Tuesday, April 10 2001 at 1237 h MDT
    Today's lineup for in and around Colorado: DRGW 5360/5372/5385 will be once again taking MDVPU south tonight, and DRGW is somewhere along the Joint Line right now with the usual rock train. DRGW 5410 was cut out of the pair and sent to Burnham for unknown reasons. Also, 5401 and 5345 are working east, last reporting at Mack, CO, a few minutes ago (1156h), due in North Yard late tonight. DRGW 5390 is also working east, and is due in North Yard not so late. It was last traced at Debeque at 1148h. DRGW 3129 and UP 5245 (ex-DRGW 3122) are out on a Pueblo-Portland, CO, local today. UP 8621 (ex-DRGW 5364) is working east from Castilla, UT, to Grand Junction right now, and everyone's favorite vacation destination (Helper, UT) is down to four T-2s again. Finally, DRGW 5384 seems to have taken up residence in my college hometown of Ames, IA, for you midwestern fans. - NDHolmes

  • MK5000Cs 5003 AND 5004 TO THE UTAH
    Posted Sunday, April 8 2001 at 2125 h MDT
    Now I know this really isn't D&RGW news, but many of us Rio Grande nuts like watching the Utah as well, and they did share trackage over Soldier Summit... It looks like 5003 and 5004, in Utah paint, are sitting in Springville as of tonight, and will probably go over the hill to their new Utah Rwy. home sometime tomorrow. For anybody over there, it might be a good chance to see these guys in action on their first run. Thanks to Nolan C. for submitting this one - news from the west end is always appreciated, considering where I live... - NDHolmes

  • NEW PHOTOS ONLINE
    Posted Sunday, April 8 2001 at 1047 h MDT
    Yesterday, DRGW 5413 and 5410, along with a lone UP SD40-2, lead an empty rock train back from Denver to Pueblo. Because of the beautiful weather and a lack of other things that absolutely needed to be done, I decided to go after it. I wound up following it from Littleton (1100h) right down to Pueblo (1830h), and came up with some interesting photographs from angles I hadn't previously used. Anyway, it's now chapter 4 on the same old trip report, located over here. - NDHolmes

  • FIVE T-MOTORS SOUTHBOUND ON THE JOINT LINE
    Posted Wednesday, April 4 2001 at 2142 h MDT
    Today brought five tunnel motors southbound on the Joint Line - 5413 & 5410 on an empty southbound rock train, and 5360, 5385 & 5372 on the front of MDVPU-04. Needless to say, I spent a little time out trackside this afternoon, and got quite a few photos of these guys. Unfortunately, the MoW crew replacing rail at Palmer Lake, CO, didn't get out of there until an hour after expected (1800h vs. 1700h as the original estimate), so I didn't get to see a whole lot of action in the light. Anyway, getting down to the good part, the photos from today are posted at the end of last weekend's trip report, over here. - NDHolmes

  • 5410 AND 5413 NORTHBOUND - JOINT LINE
    Posted Tuesday, April 3 2001 at 1441 h MDT
    Once again, 5413 is northbound from Pueblo to Denver on a rock train, this time joined by 5410. They both left Pueblo around 1330h this afternoon (3-Apr), and will probably be hurrying up the Joint Line. They should be in Colorado Springs around 1500h, and to Denver a few hours later if everything goes smoothly. However, when I was out over lunch, there seemed to be a bit of trackwork going on, so this may delay them a bit (or maybe not!). Thanks to Paul Z. up in Denver for pointing this one out. Oh yes, and it should be mentioned that 5389/5356/5345 are the only power on an eastbound MRODV today, and they passed Debeque, CO, around 1227h. Update (4/3-1445h): It also looks like 5376 will be on the southbound MDVPU today, so it's now three tunnel motors on the Joint Line! - NDHolmes

  • HELPER MOTORS FINISHED
    Posted Tuesday, April 3 2001 at 1011 h MDT
    As suspected, UP has all but done away with helper service over Soldier Summit. Thanks to Wes C. and Paul Z., it looks like UP is now having MDVRO drop any cars that its front end power can't lift over the pass in Helper, and the dirt train from Helper to SLC (with its DPU power) takes them over later in the day. Three of the four motors still stationed there are tied up doing Sunnyside Branch (dirt train) duty for a good part of the day, and the fourth mainly sits around Helper. This leaves no power for helper duty through a large part of the day, even if something does need it (and, reportedly, MDVRO has needed it a few days, as it's stalled on the hill). Good thing I got over to Helper, UT, when I did, but still sad to see them go. - NDHolmes

  • SUNDAY'S MDVPU-01 WITH THREE D&RGW T-2s
    Posted Monday, April 2 2001 at 0002 h MDT
    As many of you are aware, MDVPU yesterday (Sunday, April 1) had three Rio Grande tunnel motors (5360/5385/5372) on the front, along with UP 5993 (an SD60). Needless to say, with the beautiful weather and its route almost through my back yard, I couldn't pass up the chance to go see it. Thanks to Michael Petersen reworking a bit of code today, we now have a new type of trip report - one that's just photos and captions, for when there really isn't much else to say. I've put all the shots from this weekend into just such a trip report, over in the Trip Reports section. - NDHolmes

  • APRIL FOOLS: UP's NEW D&RGW "HERITAGE SD70M"
    Posted Sunday, April 1 2001 at 0000 h MST
    Yes, as most of you realized, this was an April Fool's prank. But funny, eh? You've got to admit, seeing a D&RGW painted SD70M would be really cool... Union Pacific announced late last year that five SD70Ms would be done in paint schemes (and bearing numbers) inspired by each of the different roads it had acquired over the past several decades - SP, WP, D&RGW, MP, and CNW. Luckily for us, the Rio Grande-inspired unit was the first to be delivered, arriving on UP rails in Chicago last Wednesday. Caught here on its way west through Ames, IA, it truly is an interesting interpretation of an updated black and gold scheme. Not sure what exactly the old Grande guys will think of the grey roofline and lightning stripe, or the giant Scotchlight Rio Grande on the side (if they only could have matched the original color better...), but all in all I really like their updated interpretation. If anyone else gets a photo of the unit as it moves around Nebraska, please submit it and I'll post it. - NDHolmes

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