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  • SKI TRAIN TOMORROW
    Posted Friday, June 29 2001 at 2217 h MDT
    Just found I'll hopefully be on the Ski Train tomorrow, courtesy of Wes Cox. Thanks a million for this one, and if anyone else will be on tomorrow, please say hello (though I have no idea how you'll find me). Update (0900h - 6/30): I thought I'd post some of the photos from yesterday's trip. Not really enough for a trip report, so we'll just make them news photos here. First, just after leaving, we got stuck in North Yard while a coal train removed its DPU power. Then, a shot of the us ascending the Flatirons, and finally arriving at Winter Park. On the way back, many of the photos were a bit blurry (I'm still getting used to this new camera), I managed a decent shot of us just after Pinecliff crossing the river and another photo of the Ski Train about to enter Tunnel 12. In all, a great day. - NDHolmes

  • MODERN OPERATIONS
    Posted Friday, June 29 2001 at 1022 h MDT
    WARNING: This doesn't qualify as news. It's more of a personal rant/editorial. There's been a debate for some time as to whether or not current operations involving either Rio Grande power or ex-RG trackage qualify as RG-related. I plan to keep covering current ops until the very last Rio Grande is either repainted or cut up to be made into soup cans. Then I'll turn back to historical issues, but while I still have a chance to see Grande power in action (and trust me, we all only have another 6-12 months), I can still delude myself into believing it's real, if only for a second. Underneath, I know the Grande is dead and it's UP probably from now until the rails are torn up, and I've come to terms with that. However, I wasn't around to ever know the "real" Rio Grande, though, so I'm making up for lost time. I'm hoping others out there also appreciate our efforts, but if not perhaps I'll go back to focusing on pure Grande only. Update (2200h - 6/29): I'm feeling better now - just a bit of emotional indigestion. Now back to your regularly scheduled RG content. - NDHolmes

  • ANOTHER RENUMBERING
    Posted Wednesday, June 27 2001 at 2047 h MDT
    DRGW 5373 has been renumbered to UP 8628. 5373 was placed at the North Little Rock, AR, shops on 14-Jun-2001, and today it disappeared from the equipment roster, with 8628 appearing. Presumably this is just a patch job, as I can't understand why they'd paint a locomotive they intend to retire, but I could be all wrong. - NDHolmes

  • TWO MORE T-2s RETIRED
    Posted Monday, June 25 2001 at 1053 h MDT
    I guess that makes it yet another Black Monday when there's more bad news to report. Paul Z from Arvada reports that DRGW 5345 and 5347 have been moved to the dead line at Burnham. That brings us down to 19 operating tunnel motors, and 5409 I have concerns about - it's been at North Platte for over two weeks now. We'll see, but as usual, get those tunnel motors now, they won't last much longer. - NDHolmes

  • SP 5504 PATCHED TO UP 5098
    Posted Sunday, June 24 2001 at 1001 h MDT
    Just notifying everyone of a new UP patch job - SP 5504 (ex-DRGW 5504) has been patched up to be UP 5098. Also, I've fixed a few bugs with the email news system - namely the fact that you've all been getting duplicate message for the last week and that links are often mangled in email. Those should be fixed now... - NDHolmes

  • NEW TRIP REPORT - THURSDAY'S MALTA TURN
    Posted Saturday, June 23 2001 at 1528 h MDT
    As it turns out, there really was a local clear up to Malta, CO, on the Tennessee Pass main on Thursday, and of course I'm just nuts enough to take the day off and go after it. There's a new trip report posted in the Trip Reports section with lots of photos and mind-numbing drivel accompanying it. Enjoy! - NDHolmes

  • TRAIN OVER TENNESSEE PASS LINE ON THURSDAY
    Posted Wednesday, June 20 2001 at 2047 h MDT
    I've just received word via the D&RGW list that there may be a train over at least the eastern end of the Tennessee Pass mainline tomorrow. Apparently there's a train called for 0700h out of Pueblo, and Rock and Rail has been given notice to get their equipment off the mainline at Parkdale. I've taken the day off, so if there is a train going that way, we'll have photos tomorrow night. Update (2310h - 6/20): It's currently looking like the power in question will be DRGW 5356, and the new estimated departure is 0600h from Pueblo. - NDHolmes

  • SIX GRANDES ON MDVPU-17
    Posted Sunday, June 17 2001 at 1214 h MDT
    Sunday evening's MDVPU-17 currently is billed to have six Rio Grandes on the front. The units in question are DRGW 5515, 5401, 5413, 5407, 5361, and 5356. The trace gives a departure time of 1700h, but really I'd expect them to leave North Yard around 1500h. Go get 'em! Update (2240h - 6/17): Of course I was out to photograph this very unusual consist. It's the most pure Rio Grande power I've seen since the late 1980s. I've put some of the photos today online in a new third chapter of the latest Trip Report. - NDHolmes

  • NEW PHOTO TRIP REPORT
    Posted Friday, June 15 2001 at 2342 h MDT
    I've posted a new photo trip report containing photos of three different MDVPU trains over the past week - Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Friday's is of special note, since it was lead by DRGW 5515, one of the seven remaining Rio Grande SD50s, and one that hasn't been seen in Colorado for months, possibly years. As usual, it's over in the Trip Reports section. Also of note - the summer Ski Train runs begin tomorrow morning. (Saturday, 16-June-2001) - NDHolmes

  • DRGW SD50 AND GP40 ON MDVPU-13
    Posted Wednesday, June 13 2001 at 1202 h MDT
    I thought I'd mention to everyone that DRGW 5515 (one of the few remaining Grande SD50s) and DRGW 3060 (one of the small-lettered GP40s) will be on today's MDVPU-13, along with three other Grandes. With five Rio Grandes in charge, that should be the only power on the train (no promises, just guessing) No idea where they are in the consist, but these are definitely two rather rare items to see running the Front Range. Thanks to Paul Z. for pointing this one out. Oh yes, the other three in question are DRGW 5401, 5361, and 5356. - NDHolmes

  • RIO GRANDE PHOTOS FROM THE 1970s
    Posted Tuesday, June 12 2001 at 2318 h MDT
    These aren't really news, since they're thirty-ish years old, but they're interesting enough I thought I'd put them up for everyone to see. Dave S., a former Rio Grande Conductor/Brakeman out of Phippsburg, was kind enough to scan some of his photos taken on the job and send these to me. He apologizes for the degraded quality of them, but given the time and the state of color prints at the time, it's very understandable. Photo #1 is of a coal-fired, steam pile driver building a bridge behind a GP30 somewhere up on the Energy branch. Photo #2 looks out through the cab windows of what I'm guessing was also a GP30 at the Edna Mine. In Photo #3, we're looking out the cab down what I believe to be the Axial mine lead. A big thanks to D.S. for these three, and hopefully at some point in the near future we'll see more. - NDHolmes

  • SUMMER SKI TRAIN BEGINS SATURDAY
    Posted Tuesday, June 12 2001 at 1409 h MDT
    This year's Summer Ski Train will begin running next Saturday, 16-June-2001, and continue running through 11-August. Note that it will only run on Saturdays. As usual, departure time is 0800h at Denver Union Station and scheduled arrival at Winter Park is 1015h. On the reverse run, the train will depart WP at 1430h and should arrive back in Denver around 1645h. As usual, coach tickets are $45, and club seats are $70. Kids 13 and under are $25. Have fun, hopefully I'll make it on one of these runs. - NDHolmes

  • NEW PAPER ONLINE
    Posted Monday, June 11 2001 at 2239 h MDT
    After a long drought in scanning time, I've finally gotten back to scanning my pile of Rio Grande paperwork. The first thing on the list is the October 1971 issue of Green Light Magazine, published about and by the Rio Grande itself. For reference, this issue marked 100 years of the Rio Grande, 1871-1971. It can be found over here in the DRGW Info Section, under Miscellaneous Paper. - NDHolmes

  • OFFICIAL UP RETIREMENTS
    Posted Friday, June 8 2001 at 0933 h MDT
    Sorry, everyone, but there are more official D&RGW retirements to report as of the end of May. DRGW 3071, 3075, 3085, 3131, and 3142 were retired as of 25-May-2001, and 5372 and 5360 were officially retired 22-May. Also, 3085 left Denver Diesel (Burnham Shops) on Wednesday, and has been working east to (presumably) some unknown buyer, or else the dead lines at North Platte, NE, or Council Bluffs, IA. In other news, DRGW 3060, presumed dead by some, is apparently moving again according to the trace. It's made its way to North Yard, and is billed for a local move around this morning. We'll see if it's really back or it's just being pushed around. - NDHolmes

  • UTAH NEWS: NREX SD50s HEADED WEST
    Posted Monday, June 4 2001 at 0908 h MDT
    While this isn't exactly Rio Grande news, it's probably of interest to any of us who have ever visited Helper. Two National Railway Equipment SD50s, previously owned by Hamersley Iron in Australia, are being interchanged to the UP in Mt. Vernon, IL, for the trip west. Their numbers are NREX6060 and NREX6064, and are rumored to still be in HI paint rather than Utah paint. UP trace so far doesn't show them having moved. - NDHolmes

  • NEW PHOTOS ONLINE
    Posted Sunday, June 3 2001 at 1016 h MDT
    I've finally gotten around to posting photos of various MDVPU trains over the past week, along with the work train that passed over the Moffat yesterday with DRGW 5342 for power. Take a look over at the Trip Reports section for more. - NDHolmes

  • RAILBLAZER SITE UPDATED
    Posted Friday, June 1 2001 at 2249 h MDT
    Mike B. has expanded his excellent site again, with more photos of the Grande, as well as just miscellaneous and UP/BN photos. Being an former Rio Grande employee, he's got photos on there from places and times the rest of us either can only remember fondly or never saw. I strongly encourange everyone to go have a look. (This is actually a bit old - I forgot to post it earlier this week.) - NDHolmes

  • FOUR T-2s SOUTHBOUND ON MDVPU-01
    Posted Friday, June 1 2001 at 1406 h MDT
    It looks like 5401/5361/5356/5347 will be powering the southbound MDVPU-01 today on the Front Range. Of particular note is 5347, added to the seven motors already on the Joint Line, making two nicely-matched pairs of four to run the DVPU/PUDV trains. It's also of interest that 5347 was reported as smoking severely about a week ago on the way to Denver, and now appears to be fixed as it's out running again. Update (2240h - 5/1): I caught up with the train at Larkspur, and followed it south through Greenland (Photos #1 and #2) and Palmer Lake (Photo #3), meeting D&RGW list member Lou D. while waiting at Palmer. Always good to meet the rest of you... - NDHolmes

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