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  • DRGW 3126 PATCHED TO UP 1348
    Posted Wednesday, April 27 2005 at 1422 h MDT
    DRGW 3126 was patched last night (26-Apr-2005) to UP 1348 at Denver Diesel. That leaves 1 SD50 (5507), 3 SD40T-2s (5371, 5390, and 5401), and 11 GP40-2s (3097, 3100, 3105, 3109, 3110, 3111, 3117, 3118, 3121, 3128, and 3129) - only 15 Rio Grandes left. - NDHolmes

  • NEW TRIP REPORT - MONTANA
    Posted Monday, April 25 2005 at 2156 h MDT
    In my effort to start publishing more trip reports again, I've gone back in my archives to some of the large trip reports I've never finished. One of the better ones was from Montana in May of 2003, covering both the MRL and the BNSF's Marias Pass area. This was my first trip with my Canon 10D, and it frustrated me the whole time, consistently trashing shots that should have worked... So I never published the results. Last weekend, I started looking at it again, and decided there was more than enough salvagable material, so here it is... Take a look at it here. - NDHolmes

  • RFTA VOTES TO SCRAP ASPEN BRANCH
    Posted Tuesday, April 19 2005 at 2250 h MDT
    The Roaring Fork Transit Authority voted to scrap the Aspen Branch of the D&RGW. The entity helped save the line from abandonment several years back, in order to protect the corridor for future commuter or freight usage. Since then, it's been free of train traffic, but it has seen numerous speeder trips.

    Several months back, the RFTA issued an RFP for prospective operators of the line. One candidate did apply - Iowa Pacific Holdings, but the RFTA voted 8-0 to discontinue negotiations at the Thursday, 14-Apr-2005 meeting. An article by the Glenwood Springs Post Independent can be found here. The vote was somewhat less favorable, 6-2, in favor of tearing out the line, but still more than enough to pass.

    Some of the local take on the issue... The actual news of the vote, as reported by the Aspen Times, can be found here. They also published a very insightful opinion piece by Jon Busch. Well said, Jon, I don't think I could do better.
    -
    NDHolmes

  • GEORGETOWN LOOP UPDATE - APR 2005
    Posted Tuesday, April 19 2005 at 2230 h MDT
    I couldn't resist taking advantage of the weather last Sunday, and went for a quick run up I-70 to Georgetown to see what was going on at the Loop. The new (at least new to Georgetown) diesel has arrived! This little two axle job, which I believe is ex-Colorado Fuel & Iron #21, was sitting outside the shops (photo). Also visible were a speeder and ex-Kahului #12, still in the shop with its smokebox open receiving work (photo). Some of the refurbished passenger gons were also lined up on the north side of the facilities - you can see them here and here. No sign of any enclosed cars yet.

    It's by no means up to par with the old Georgetown Loop, but Railstar looks to be putting their best efforts forward to making this year a success. So far, I'd have to say they've come farther than I guessed they could last fall. Barring any problems, there should be steam running on opening day, and as many cars full of passengers as #12 can get up the grade. The GLR will hopefully still be able to drawn in the tourists this summer. -
    NDHolmes

  • ROSTER UPDATES & UP SPECIAL
    Posted Wednesday, April 13 2005 at 1010 h MDT
    DRGW 3114 has officially become UP 1367 (full repaint), and long-time dead line resident DRGW 5503 is now UP 9849 (probably a full repaint as well, but not sure). That leaves only one SD50 left - DRGW 5507.

    The UP special left far earlier than I was expecting this morning. It's due in Grand Junction at any minute (around 1030h), and will be in Denver around 1830h tonight if all goes well.

    Update (4/13 - 1434h): The special was past Bond, CO, at 1347h with UP 3963 in the lead. Thanks to Frank Keller and the DRGW list for this. -
    NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5401 ON BC RAIL - PHOTOS!
    Posted Tuesday, April 12 2005 at 2257 h MDT
    One of the last three DRGW tunnel motors, 5401, has been spending its time paying back horsepower to CN in Canada for the last two months. Most interestingly, it's been bouncing up and down the BC Rail system, wandering even up onto the BCR's North End once.

    Finally, somebody's posted photos of this unique event. Over on RailroadForums.com, there are a couple threads of the unit around Williams Lake, BC. First Set from late February - Second Set. Enjoy! -
    NDHolmes

  • A MOUNTAIN OF UPDATES
    Posted Tuesday, April 12 2005 at 2215 h MDT
    Since I've been so diligent about posting news lately, there's a mountain of stuff to cover.

    Probably the most urgent item for local railfans is the movement of CEBX 800, the world's largest Schnabel railcar, to Denver, CO, on Friday. It's hauling a 590-ton hydrotreater designed and built by Jacobs Engineering and Belleli Energy from the Port of Houston, TX, to the Suncor refinery in Commerce City, CO. As of last Saturday, it was in Trinidad, and went out to La Junta, CO, on Sunday. Tomorrow (Wednesday), it will move west from La Junta to Pueblo, and then on Thursday and/or Friday (conflicting reports here...) it'll move from Pueblo up to Denver. This weekend, it'll be lifted off via crane.

    For those interested, I've posted photos of last Saturday's moves around Trinidad in a new trip report here.

    In Georgetown Loop news, Railstar has brought in a steamer - ex-Kahului Railroad 12, a 2-6-2 originally from Hawaii, and most recently from the Silverwood Central (a theme park railroad) in Idaho. It was brought into Silver Plume on a flatbed, arriving on 24-Mar-2005. It's currently undergoing a little work in the shops, and needs to have some clerical boiler issues ironed out before it can be steamed up in Colorado.

    DRGW 3114, thought to be given up for dead at the Jenks Shops with severe truck issues, is back, albeit as a UP unit. It will emerge from the shops as UP 1367, a full-blown repaint. Thanks to CF at UP for this one.

    Chama Steam 2005 has been announced! Events run from Aug 25 to Aug 27, but the highlight will be three steam-powered photo freights between Chama and Cumbres on Friday, 26-Aug-2005. For those interested, registration information can be found here. Even if you aren't interested in CS05, be sure to come out and support the C&TS. Opening day is 28-May-2005, and there will be an expanded schedule this year, since there will be three working locomotives available.

    As far as the Aspen Branch, things aren't looking so good. There was only a single response to the RFP, from Iowa Pacific Holdings for operating tourist and freight over the Glenwood - Carbondale segment. There was an article on it in the Aspen Times, printed online here. The final showdown over the branch may come in Thursday's RFTA Board meeting. For those interested in coming out to support keeping the Aspen Branch intact, the meeting will be Thursday, 14-Apr-2005, at 0830h in the Carbondale Town Hall.

    There will be a returning UP business special, powered by two UP SD70Ms, coming eastbound over the Grande tomorrow, Wednesday 13-Apr-2005. Power will be UP 3963/5226, with 17 passenger cars trailing. Supposed to get out of Salt Lake City tomorrow morning around 0815h. -
    NDHolmes

  • NEXT COLORADO RAILFAN MEET CHANGED!
    Posted Tuesday, April 12 2005 at 2141 h MDT
    Due to an unforseen scheduling conflict on the part of one of the organizers, the next Railfan Meet here in Colorado will be on Sunday, 15-May-2005. Same place (1000h), same place (Railroad Park in Ft. Lupton, CO), just a new day. Sorry for the change. - NDHolmes

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