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  • BNSF OFFICERS SPECIAL SOUTHBOUND ON J/L
    Posted Monday, July 31 2006 at 0928 h MDT
    Per a post on Trainorders this morning, there's supposed to be a southbound BNSF special down the Joint Line today. It was supposed to be out of Cheyenne around 0400h and out of Denver at 1000h. No word on expected arrival at Colorado Springs, but I would guess 2-3 hours after departing Denver. If you're south of Monument, keep an eye on the Joint Line Cam for a heads-up. (Update 7/31-1459h): IT'S HEADED SOUTH! Contrary to my earlier assertion, it really did come south. Went by the Monument camera at 1442h. - NDHolmes

  • SL&RG TRUCK-TRAIN COLLISION
    Posted Wednesday, July 26 2006 at 2158 h MDT
    Wednesday's returning La Veta-Alamosa SL&RG tourist train had its run abruptly curtailed this afternoon when a semi truck full of potatoes pulled out in front of it near Blanca. The report is that the tractor scraped along the side of the train and caught fire shortly after the collision. Passengers were evacuated from the train with most returning to Alamosa by bus, but a few were reportedly hauled away in ambulances for what appeared to be "minor" injuries, according to one eye-witness. The original article was posted on Denver's Channel 9 News website. Update (7/26 - 1417h): The Alamosa Valley Courier now has an article with a few more details available [here]

    Update #2 (7/29 - 2200h): The Alamosa Valley Courier has a second article on the collision posted [here], and the Pueblo Chieftain has one [here].

    Update #3 (7/30 - 2000h): On my way back today, I dropped by Alamosa to see if I could find the damaged equipment. Sure enough, the two cars were sitting just east of the depot. The car that took most of the fire damage appears to have been RPCX 5067 - ex-Adirondack Scenic "Little Rapids". RPCX 2970, one of the ex-LIRR coachs, came out with some physical damage - punctures and tears in the side, broken windows, etc. I've added photos of both to their respective pages - RPCX 2970 and RPCX 5067. I suspect that the locomotive involved was SLRG 456, since when I saw it today it had new damage to the front plow. However, otherwise it looked to have come through without much damage.
    -
    NDHolmes

  • IT'S BACK - JOINT LINE CAMERA RETURNS
    Posted Wednesday, July 19 2006 at 2334 h MDT
    After a 14 month hiatus, the Joint Line Camera is back online. Thanks to the help of Rob Beyer - who has been running a live video feed for some time from his own camera - the old camera from Littleton now has a new home. It faces southwest at the Monument, CO, siding, located at approximately milepost 57.7. It's going to take me a few days to get the kinks worked out - particularly with the sensitivity of the motion detection - so please just be patient. So, back in its old place, you can find the Joint Line camera [here].

    I can't thank Rob enough for his help on getting this contraption back online. Hopefully it'll be a great heads-up for interesting stuff moving on the Joint Line, and a way for those far away to see Colorado railroading. -
    NDHolmes

  • NEW TIMETABLES POSTED
    Posted Monday, July 17 2006 at 1626 h MDT
    Yesterday, I managed to get four more old employee timetables scanned and posted. Included in this latest update are Colorado Division #5, Colorado Division #9, Utah Division #8, and Utah Division #9.

    If anyone else would care to contribute scans from their own collections of interesting Rio Grande paper (or anything else D&RGW related, for that matter), please let me know. I obviously can't own everything, and I know some of you have all sorts of goodies tucked away. The only reward is knowing you're helping others interested in the Grande to easily access materials that they might not otherwise be able to see or study. Oh, and you'll obviously get your name in the credits and I'll be eternally grateful for the help. -
    NDHolmes

  • NEW TRIP REPORT - UP 1989's OPERATION LIFESAVER APPEARANCE
    Posted Sunday, July 16 2006 at 1733 h MDT
    I just finished processing and captioning a few photos from yesterday's chase of UP 1989, the D&RGW Heritage SD70ACe. As was reported here, 1989 was moved to La Salle, CO, on Tuesday, 11-Jul-2006. This got our attention, because not only had the unit left its regular assignment of MNYPU/MPUNY, but it was off Rio Grande rails. Originally, much of the railfan community thought it was for an Operation Lifesaver special to Fort Collins. Eventually, though, the truth fell out - the unit would be on public display (and open for tours) at an Operation Lifesaver display in Milliken, CO, on Saturday, 15-Jul-2006, for Milliken Madness Day.

    My photos from yesterday are posted in a new trip report [here]. For another view of the day, Bob Sobol was also out and chasing the run. He's posted his photos over on his own site [here]. Enjoy! -
    NDHolmes

  • UPDATE ON 1989'S SATURDAY DOINGS
    Posted Friday, July 14 2006 at 2256 h MDT
    Turns out there's a half-truth in everything. 1989 has at at LaSalle, CO, for the last few days, not really doing anything special. Based on what "highgreengraphics" has posted on Trainorders.com, UP 1989 did go north for an Operation Lifesaver event. Not a train, mind you, but an event. Apparently it's going to make an appearance at Milliken Madness Days in Milliken, CO, tomorrow from 1600h to 1830h, in conjunction with an OLS exhibit. Sorry I didn't get the posted sooner, but I've been swamped with work and things to do around home. - NDHolmes

  • HERITAGE UNIT ON OP LIFESAVER TRAIN
    Posted Tuesday, July 11 2006 at 2309 h MDT
    As of this afternoon, UP 1989 (the D&RGW Heritage SD70ACe) was hauled north by MNYNP-11 (North Yard to North Platte, NE) and set out at La Salle, CO. The word from Paul Birkholz, via the D&RGW list, is that the unit will be on an Operation Lifesaver special around Fort Collins either Wednesday or Thursday. That's all I know, folks. As usual, if I hear something, I'll pass it along, and if you happen to photograph the move, I'd appreciate photos... (Update 7/12 - 0900h): Note, I messed this up yesterday. Paul said Wednesday or Thursday, my brain translated that to Thursday or Friday. So, it's today and Thursday, not the end of the week. (Update 7/12 - 1330h): Bill P. dropped me an email earlier today. Upon asking around at LaSalle, he found that 1989 was to go north to *Greeley* this afternoon, not Fort Collins. It may still go to Fort Collins, but if you're up there today, look in Greeley instead. No word on what equipment will be used for the Operation Lifesaver move. - NDHolmes

  • RGS 4-6-0 #20 HEADED FOR PENNSYLVANIA
    Posted Tuesday, July 11 2006 at 2303 h MDT
    Rio Grande Southern 4-6-0 #20 will be leaving the Colorado Railroad Museum sometime before the end of the month. It will make the cross-country truck trip to Strasburg, Pennsylvania, where the intention is to have the Strasburg Rail Road shop restore the unit to operating condition. Don't worry, once completed, the unit will return to Colorado.

    For those not familiar with the unit's history, RGS 20 is actually the second unit to bear that number. The first RGS 20 was ex-D&RG Class 60 #260, and was scrapped in 1916. This unit was built in 1899 by the Schenectady Locomotive Works as Florence & Cripple Creek #20. It was purchased by the RGS, along with sisters 22 and 25, in 1916. The unit ran up until the end of the RGS 1952, at which point it was purchased by the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club. 20 was eventually placed on display at the CRRM, where it remains today. For those older movie fans, you may have seen #20 - in 1950 this unit briefly became the "Emma Sweeney" in A Ticket to Tomahawk.

    (Update 7/12 - 1000h): From a post by Dave Schaaf on Trainorders this morning, the following was announced by RMRRC President Jimmy Blouch at Tuesday night's Rocky Mountain Railroad Club meeting: Ownership of RGS 20, business car Rico, and D&RGW narrow gauge caboose 0578 have been transferred to the CRRM, effective 31-May-2006. There is a benefactor who has not only donated funds to restore 20 to operating status, providing the work was done at Strasburg, PA, but also to fund an endowment to cover 20's expenses afterwards to ensure it continues to run. This is amazingly great news. -
    NDHolmes

  • HERITAGE UNIT RETURNS TO DENVER
    Posted Sunday, July 9 2006 at 2245 h MDT
    After spending the weekend working the North Fork coal trains (handling two to the mine and back), UP 1989 is being returned to Denver on tonight's MRONY-09. Matt Darling sent a few photos he took of the unit's stay in GJC, including two right after its arrival on Friday, as well as of it hauling the Valmont coal empties up to the mine on Saturday afternoon. I've put them in a gallery [here]. In addition, for those of you with Trainorders.com accounts, Tyler Eaton has some excellent photos of its return from the mine Sunday morning in [this thread]. - NDHolmes

  • NEW D&RGW MATERIAL ONLINE
    Posted Sunday, July 9 2006 at 2225 h MDT
    I spent a great deal of time today running some of the pile of D&RGW paper through the scanner... Some of the new material includes Passenger Timetables [link] from 1-Apr-1946, 1-Feb-1947, 24-Apr-1955, 1-May-1968, and 15-Jun-1969, as well as a good amount under the Miscellaneous section [link], such as a bills of lading, a Rio Grande Junction clearance ticket, a new issue of the Green Light from October 1972, and the real jewel for the day - a 1-Jan-1891 Denver & Rio Grande rule book. This week I hope to start working on scanning some older timetables from the Grand Junction Division.
    -
    NDHolmes

  • SL&RG LA VETA PASS TRIP REPORT POSTED
    Posted Saturday, July 8 2006 at 1301 h MDT
    I finally have my photos posted from my ride on the San Luis & Rio Grande's new passenger service over La Veta Pass. The regularly trips actually started on Memorial Day Weekend, but I was out of town. The soonest I could ride was two weeks later, on Friday, 9-Jun-2006, the day before I rode Goose 5. As a special bonus, High Iron Travel's Caritas was still on the railroad, and for a nominal increase over the normal fare, passengers could ride it as "parlour car" service. Caritas is beautiful inside and a very comfortable ride, but most importantly, she has an open air rear platform - an excellent vantage point for someone with a camera...

    A quick write-up on the trip has been posted as in the introductory trip summary [here], or you can jump straight into the photos [here]. Don't forget - you can ride the train yourself (though not the Caritas, as she's left the property) by booking through the SL&RG's official website [here]. -
    NDHolmes

  • UP 1989 ON FIRST TRIP WEST
    Posted Thursday, July 6 2006 at 1720 h MDT
    UP 1989, the D&RGW Heritage SD70ACe, is making its first trip west today. Since the unveiling, the unit has been confined to the overnight North Yard-Pueblo manifests. Today, it's part of a small westbound going to Grand Junction, known as MNYGJX-06. It's the lead unit of eight, with the others being UP6198, UP5611, UP7059, UP6031, UP7223, UP5577, and UP8023. Kevin Morgan just reported, via Tyler Eaton and the D&RGW list, that the move was westbound out of C&S Junction at 1700h. (Update 7/6 - 1826h): I mistakenly reported it as the fourth of eight units earlier. Turns out it's on the point, I just can't read... Update #2 (7/6-2230h): Kevin managed to get some great photos of 1989 in the lead at North Yard, then again at Blue Mountain and Crescent. They're on his website [here].
    -
    NDHolmes

  • WILD GOOSE CHASE 2006 - RGS 5 ON THE C&TS
    Posted Sunday, July 2 2006 at 2156 h MDT
    I finally got back home today and had the chance to finish up work on my photos from riding and chasing RGS Galloping Goose 5 over the C&TS in mid-June. Goose 5 arrived in Chama on 7-Jun-2006, and spent the next five days hauling fans over various parts of the line. The Saturday run I had tickets to ride went from Antonito over the entire route to Chama. In addition to photos from being onboard, I stuck around for Sunday's Goose run from Chama to Osier and back, just to capture some action shots of the Goose, beyond what the run-bys of the previous day offered. You can find the introduction, including a brief history of Goose 5, [here], or just skip straight to the photos [here]. (I think I got everyone's names and credits right, but if anybody finds I errored, please let me know. I'm trying to work off notes on a hotel notepad, scribbled in haste three weeks ago.)

    There are two more trip reports in the works - one of my ride over La Veta Pass the day before riding the Goose and one of two weeks spent photographing the Alaska Railroad. Hopefully at least the SLRG report will be done in the next few days. -
    NDHolmes

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