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  • DRGW 5391 OFF TO THE SCRAPPER
    Posted Thursday, September 27 2001 at 2117 h MDT
    DRGW 5391 left the dead lines in Council Bluffs, IA, this morning, bound for Kansas City and is supposedly headed for some unknown scrapper. It arrived at KC around 1855h this evening, and presumably will be delivered tonight or tomorrow. Can anyone provide the name of the scrapper that bought the unit, or any other information about its disposition? Update (10/1 - 1500h): Upon sitting in KC for a couple days, it turned east and was interchanged at Valjct, IL. Presumably this means that it's going to Cycle Systems for scrapping in Virginia. Working on contact info... - NDHolmes

  • TWO T-2s ON MDVPU-25
    Posted Tuesday, September 25 2001 at 1622 h MDT
    DRGW 5361 and 5401 left Denver at 1530h today, presumably with 5401 leading and 5361 right behind, same as Sunday. Expect them in Palmer Lake by 1730-1800h, and the Springs about 30 minutes later. For those of you on the Front Range, it's a beautiful day - get out and see 1/7th of the remaining T-2 fleet. - NDHolmes

  • 5401 JOINS 5361 ON MDVPU/MPUDV
    Posted Sunday, September 23 2001 at 2127 h MDT
    It looks like black and gold may be returning to the Front Range, if only for a little bit. After DRGW 5401 returned to Denver for its routine inspection, it apparently has been reassigned (at least temporarily) to the daily Denver-Pueblo trains. On Friday, it was trailing 5361 behind some UP GE, but today somebody did us all a favor and put the nice, clean 5401 right up front. A few photos (warning - all are 960x640 or 640x960): sitting at North Yard, passing Louviers, Castle Rock #1, #2, #3, and the last light of the day at Tomah Road. - NDHolmes

  • D&RGW POWER RETURNS TO MDVPU/MPUDV
    Posted Thursday, September 20 2001 at 0423 h MDT
    DRGW 5361 is back on the Denver-Pueblo trains this week, after temporarily being shifted to the Pueblo-Dalhart (TX) run last weekend. More excitingly, though, 5361 lead yesterday's (19-Sep-2001) southbound MDVPU. The weather yesterday was, for the most part, excellent, and provided good shots from Castle Rock down through Greenland to Palmer Lake. - NDHolmes

  • AMERICAN ORIENT EXPRESS IN DENVER
    Posted Tuesday, September 18 2001 at 1024 h MDT
    The AOE deadheaded into Denver this morning powered by Amtrak 8 and 71. Apparently the train is scheduled to leave westbound over the Moffat on 20-Sep-2001 following behind Amtrak 5, the westbound Zephyr. Thanks to Joe McMillan for posting this bit to the DRGW list. - NDHolmes

  • BITS FROM THE WEEKEND
    Posted Sunday, September 16 2001 at 2223 h MDT
    DRGW 5401 is headed east to Burnham for a regular inspection. As of right now, it's still sitting in Grand Junction, but will probably move east tomorrow. DRGW 5361 has moved off the Joint Line and did the Pueblo, CO, to Dalhart, TX, run yesterday. Hopefully it will return to the MDVPU/MPUDV trains during the week. The Alamosa local still has 3105 on it, and is running Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday for those interested. I'm thinking I might take Thursday off to go check on it. Of the three remaining Grande SD50s, two are in the shops right now. 5503 is safe for the moment, but I'd get my shots sooner rather than later on these guys. I'd guess there won't be any RG SD50s left unpatched after the end of the month. Other than those bits, news is slow right now - this might be a good or a bad thing - so I thought I'd post another link to a site with some great Rio Grande photography - part of the "Great Plains Rail Gallery" over here. - NDHolmes

  • HELP WANTED - SAVE A T-2
    Posted Friday, September 14 2001 at 1031 h MDT
    The idea of saving a Rio Grande T-2 gets kicked around every now and then, and with them rapidly going in dead lines and to scrap dealers/rebuilders, now might be the time to get efforts under way to actually do something about it. While the RGM&HS might seem the logical choice to pursue this, they've stated they don't have the resources or ability at the moment to do equipment preservation. The main problem here is that I have no idea about the business and legal side of setting up an organization to handle such an effort - technical, now that I can handle... If anyone out there has been or knows anyone who has been involved with equipment preservation efforts (especially diesels...), I'd appreciate any thoughts/notes/help you could provide. Heck, even if you're just interested in helping with such a project, let me know. Right now I'm just trying to get a feel for all the complexities of trying to set this up - no guarantees I'll even go forward, or that it's even possible, but I figure it's at least worth investigating. - NDHolmes

  • ARGENTINA, RAILROAD & RAILFAN, AND DRGW 5390 LIVES
    Posted Thursday, September 13 2001 at 1131 h MDT
    Colorado Springs' own Frank Keller has the cover article in November 2001's Railfan & Railroad magazine, which should be on the stands shortly. It covers the surviving Rio Grande power and where it's commonly found on the ex-DRGW lines. I got my copy in the mail yesterday, and it's excellent (though a bit out of date in terms of what is still running and where it's running, due to the delay in getting anything published). Also, Paul Birkholz of Mountain West Rail has posted several photos of the DRGW GP40s that were sent to Argentina to work on a mining railroad. They're now 66-inch gauge and ride on A1A trucks. Very odd critters indeed... In better news, DRGW 5390 has survived it's trip to the dead line at Burnham, and is now back in North Yard awaiting assignment. In what's been a very bad week, it's nice to have this one small piece of good news to report. - NDHolmes

  • AMTRAK #5 WRECK NEAR WENDOVER, UT
    Posted Thursday, September 13 2001 at 1123 h MDT
    Apparently Amtrak's #5 has rear-ended a coal train somewhere out near Wendover, UT, sometime around 0550h this morning. It appears there were no serious injuries, beyond a few broken bones and some people treated for smoke inhalation. No doubt this will just serve to tighten railroad security further if any irregularities are found. Update: I don't know where I originally got the idea it was #6 - apparently it was #5. Also, Amtrak has written this press release about the incident. - NDHolmes

  • OF TERRORIST ATTACKS AND AMERICA
    Posted Tuesday, September 11 2001 at 1353 h MDT
    While this is way off-topic in this forum, it's still my site and from time to time I'll do this. After the horrific attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon this morning, I decided to change today's Photo of the Day to honor those Americans killed this morning, and remind all of us what happened the last time the USA was wounded on our own soil. Take a moment to pray for their families, as well as those severely injured - also for our leaders, that the response may be appropriately measured, swift, and clear to the handful of individuals responsible for this attack. Declaring war on a whole nation is easy - it's hard to declare war on specific individuals you can't identify without killing innocent individuals around them. My initial response is to turn whoever might be responsible into a smoking crater, but let's hope a more effective, rational approach plays out. On the railfanning front, everyone might want to lay off for a few days. UP (and presumably everyone else) is strictly enforcing security measures, and many crews are reporting anybody and everybody near the property to security. Just because we change things for a few days doesn't mean the terrorists have won - only if it impacts our long-term freedom have they beaten us. We're the USA, we'll rebuild, we'll win. I hoping the next time I'm in NYC to see a new pair of WTC towers, built bigger, stronger, and better than ever. It may just take a bit. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5501 GONE
    Posted Thursday, September 6 2001 at 0945 h MDT
    DRGW 5501 has been repainted to UP 5095 at UP's North Little Rock, AR, shops as of early this morning. That leaves us with three intact and running SD50s, 14 SD40T-2s, 21 GP40-2s, and 2 GP60s (40 units left, total). Several are moving towards shops or in shops, so expect the now-usual attrition rate of 1-2 per day for the immediate future. At this rate, they'll all be gone in two months. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 3104 NEWS
    Posted Wednesday, September 5 2001 at 1340 h MDT
    After nearly a week of searching for its new number, Mike B. (of Railblazer fame) has finally solved the mystery - DRGW 3104 became UP 1355 at Roseville on 28-Aug-2001. I'm assuming it's a patch at this point, but I don't really know. - NDHolmes

  • YET ANOTHER GONE - DRGW 5506
    Posted Tuesday, September 4 2001 at 1708 h MDT
    DRGW 5506 was either repainted or patched today at North Little Rock, and has become UP 5100. I'm betting on a repaint, based on its length of stay. DRGW 5501 has also been there for some time, and I'm anticipating it will be officially changed within the next day or so. After that, there are only three left - DRGW 5503, 5507, and 5515. 5503 and 5507 are probably okay for a bit, but 5515 is headed for North Platte, where presumably it could also be painted. - NDHolmes

  • ANOTHER PATCH JOB - 5407 GONE
    Posted Tuesday, September 4 2001 at 0926 h MDT
    DRGW 5407 was patched to UP 8599 this morning at Hinkle. That leaves us with 14 black and gold operating tunnel motors at the moment - get 'em now, there's a couple that will probably go shortly. At this rate, another month or two and they'll all be patched or painted. Thanks to Jim Harrawood for this one. - NDHolmes

  • THREE MORE ROSTER CHANGES
    Posted Monday, September 3 2001 at 1814 h MDT
    Another tunnel motor gone - DRGW 5342 was most likely repainted (but possibly patched) to UP 2882. The reason it's not in the 85xx and 86xx series like the rest of the tunnel motors is that it went through an extensive rebuild program in mid-1997, but was never repainted. Also, SP 5393, ex-DRGW 5393, was patched or repainted at Hinkle, OR, on 29-Aug-2001. It became UP 8586. DRGW 3104 was patched at Roseville sometime between Aug 20 and Aug 31. It's unclear what UP unit number it was assigned. - NDHolmes

  • NEW TRIP REPORT POSTED
    Posted Monday, September 3 2001 at 1711 h MDT
    After much delay, I'm finally getting caught up on stuff. Number one on the list is the California trip report, and it's finally on line - all seven sections. Long trip report and lots of photos even if you don't want to read all my mindless drivel - the link is here. Enjoy! - NDHolmes

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