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  Trip Report: WCNRHS Aspen Branch Speeder Run - Chapter 1
  Speeders on the Aspen Branch
9am Trip, 2-Nov-2002
  From: WCNRHS Aspen Branch Speeder Run Dates: Nov 2, 2002 Author: Nathan Holmes

Photo 1
Getting ready for the 0900h run, three of the four motorcars, along with the two trailers, are sitting on the branch at Glenwood Springs, CO.
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Photo 2
And the final, fourth car arrives.
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Photo 3
Everything's on the rails - just have to hook up the trailer to the front motorcar and things will be underway.
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Photo 4
The flangeways in most of the Glenwood crossings were filled with mud, rocks, and debris. During the first run, making it across often involved one or two of us pushing.
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Photo 5
Leaving Glenwood along Colorado Hwy 82.
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Photo 6
The welded rail of Glenwood soon ends as the branch continues south.
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Photo 7
Looking forwards through the windshield of our car at the leading ex-CN car.
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Photo 8
One of the younger passengers enjoys the ride inside car 3081
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Photo 9
Passing over the last major grade crossing in the Glenwood area, we're making a quick stop before heading out into the open section of the line between here and Carbondale.
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Photo 10
The line crosses over the Roaring Fork near the end of the run at Carbondale, CO
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Photo 11
A little under an hour after we left, the last car pulls to a stop at Carbondale.
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Photo 12
My wife and I at Carbondale, with the stupidist look in the world frozen on my face.
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Photo 13
Everyone's turned and ready to head back down the line to Glenwood.
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Photo 14
Okay, intermission's over, everyone back to the cars...
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Photo 15
On the way out, we hit a piece of asphalt stuck to the rail at this grade crossing. Rather than risk more damage from hitting it a second time on the way back, the drivers stopped to pick it off with a sledge.
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Photo 16
In Iowa, we typically call this a hayrack ride - though usually it involves a hayrack and a tractor...
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Photo 17
Number one reason to take the WCNHRS up on the offer if they ever repeat this run - how many other times are you going to get a view like this on the Aspen Branch?
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Photo 18
Just another nameless curve north of Carbondale
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Photo 19
Pushing back through the south end of Glenwood - the flangeways, being mostly clear this time, aren't giving us much trouble except for this crossing
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Photo 20
Just imagine if this was light rail - that big ol' four lane over there might not be so clogged during certain parts of the day.
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Photo 21
At almost noon on the dot, the four cars arrived back at Glenwood Springs, across from the high school football field.
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Photo 22
Since things were running behind anyway, there was no time wasted in turning the cars and loading on the 1100h passengers.
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Photo 23
Seen near where the old Hwy 82 diverges from the modern one south of Glenwood Springs, the weather for the second ride was not nearly as pleasant as the first (despite the sleet hitting us in the face on the way back). Also, apparently one car was bad-ordered for the second trip due to a clogged fuel line.
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Photo 24
Disappearing into the snow, the three cars on the 1100h run head towards Carbondale. Meanwhile, I'm headed back to the hot springs for a little while - it's cold out here!
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All the images here are Copyright 2002 Nathan D. Holmes (maverick@drgw.net)
Note this doesn't mean you can't use them - In fact, I encourage people to use and enjoy them.
I'm placing them under the same license as RailARC images. Please feel free to copy, use, and distribute anything you find here, as long as I'm given credit for its creation.
All shots in this trip report were taken with a Canon EOS D30 with a Sigma 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 lens or a Canon 75-300mm f4-5.3 IS/USM.