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  • ANSCHUTZ BUYS MANITOU & PIKES PEAK
    Posted Monday, September 19 2011 at 1149 h MDT
    While not directly D&RGW-related, I saw over the weekend (thanks Chris and other Nathan) that Philip Anschutz has purchased the Oklahoma Publishing Company. Part of the assets owned by the company are the Broadmoor and the Manitou & Pikes Peak Railway here in Colorado Springs.

    As for the D&RGW connection, Anschutz was of course the owner of the D&RGW via his purchase of Rio Grande Industries in 1984. He later purchased SP, and sold the whole enchilada to Union Pacific in 1996. He's also currently Colorado's richest resident, and for years, Anschutz's company ran the Ski Train.

    In other news, we can soon expect to see optical fiber laid to the top of Pikes Peak, and shortly after railway cars repainted in Armour Yellow and then sold to the Canadians. (I'm joking - I hope - but go look at the history of Qwest, D&RGW/SP/UP, and the Ski Train if you're missing the point.) -
    NDHolmes

  • AMTRAK ZEPHYRS RESUME DEN-CHI
    Posted Thursday, September 15 2011 at 1358 h MDT
    Amtrak's California Zephyr service between Denver and Chicago will be restored starting with Thursday's (15 Sep 2011) eastbound train 6 leaving Emeryville, CA, and with the westbound train 5 leaving Chicago tomorrow (Friday, 16 Sep 2011). - NDHolmes

  • JANSEN UPDATE
    Posted Sunday, September 11 2011 at 2253 h MDT
    Enjoying what little decent convertible weather is left for the year, I drove down past Jansen today and thought I'd post a few shots of Cline Mining Corporation's progress on their loader. As you'll recall, Cline is the new owner of the New Elk Mine, which sits out at the west end (near Stonewall, CO) of the former Colorado & Wyoming line out of Trinidad. Of course the line's current owners, A&K Railroad Materials, pulled almost all of the track in 2003, so Cline is being forced to load up near the BNSF connection at Jansen.

    I first posted photos of the loader construction in late March, and those can be found [here]. The loader is now up and running, and there's a pile of coal that's been delivered from the mine. Today's photos can be found [here]. Cline has been quiet about their production so far (other than nebulous announcements around New Years that they'd "begun production"), but the railfan rumor mill says they've actually shipped at least one 20-car test burn. -
    NDHolmes

  • 463's BOILER BACK FROM ALABAMA
    Posted Sunday, September 11 2011 at 2229 h MDT
    D&RGW 463, one of two surviving K-27s, has been inoperable since 2002 on account of needing boiler work to be 49 CFR 230 compliant (as well as needing a thorough overhaul). While the running gear work is being done in Colorado (currently in Monte Vista, by a

    The boiler work was shopped out to Historic Machinery Services in Alabama. The boiler shell was shipped down there in late 2009, and the HMS crew took care of the necessary overhauls and repairs (including scaling, ultrasounds, tubes, tube sheets, and a new smokebox). The newly overhauled boiler was returned to Colorado on 9 Aug 2011, and the team working on 463's restoration set it onto the frame on 12 Aug 2011. Photos of the event can be found on the Friends site [here]. Looks like maybe we will have 463 back under steam in 2012. -
    NDHolmes

  • OURAY COUNTY RAILROAD DAYS
    Posted Sunday, September 11 2011 at 2214 h MDT
    As a follow-up to the previous story about RGS 4 running for the first time, I thought I'd pass on a little more information. This upcoming weekend (Sep 15-18) will be Ouray County Railroad Days at the [Ridgway Railroad Musem]. The official schedule can be found on the museum website [here].

    • Thursday and Friday - Guided hikes of the old Silverton Railroad grade on Red Mountain, with each day covering a different segment.
    • Saturday - Open house at the Ridgway Railroad Museum all day, along with various symposia held in the afternoon and evening at the Ridgway Town Hall. See the website for a list of presenters and topics.
    • Sunday - Guided "dirt fanning" car trips of the abandoned RGS and D&RGW Ouray Branch grades, lead by Ridgway Museum guides. Contact them for details, as space seems to be limited to eight cars
    • .

    Jim Pettengill, VP of the museum, [posted to NGDF] that short rides on now-operational RGS 4 may be a possibility for Saturday as well. Hopefully I'll see some of you over there. -
    NDHolmes

  • GOOSE 4 RUNS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SIX DECADES
    Posted Sunday, September 11 2011 at 2200 h MDT
    Rio Grande Southern Goose 4 has been in Ridgway for several years now, after the Telluride Volunteer Fire Department (4's owners) reached an agreement with the Ridgway Railroad Museum in 2008 to restore it. The museum has not only made great progress documenting the original counstruction and doing the carbody restoration, but has also managed to refurbish the drive train.
    On Saturday, 20 Aug 2011, Goose 4 moved under its own power for the first time since being placed on display in 1953. This means that not only did six of the seven original RGS Geese survive, but they're all operational again! I haven't yet seen the restored RGS 4 in person, but by what I've seen in the pictures, they've done a beautiful job. Video from the first movements can be found [on the Museum website]. -
    NDHolmes

  • AMTRAK ZEPHYRS RESUMING DEN-EMY
    Posted Friday, September 2 2011 at 1349 h MDT
    Amtrak will be resuming California Zephyr service between Denver, CO, and the western terminus of Emeryville, CA, starting tomorrow, Saturday, 2 Sep 2011. Service across Nebraska into Chicago won't resume until later in September.

    I know, you're all thinking, "But I didn't know the Zephyrs had been annulled." That's because your webmaster is a horrible sloth that's been spending his whole week working long hours rather than posting news stories. The short version is that #5-26 hit a crane in Nebraska last Friday, 26 Aug 2011. That, combined with the excessively late trains due to BNSF flood reroute traffic congestion, led Amtrak to annul all service for the last week. -
    NDHolmes

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