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    Posted Tuesday, January 29 2002 at 1956 h MST
    DRGW 3075, in very sad shape, was part of a so-called "funeral train" over the Iowa Interstate between the UP interchange at Des Moines, IA, and National Railway Equipment in Silvis, IL on Sunday, 27-Jan-2002. Thanks to a few people back in Iowa, I managed to get a few photos of the movement. TE Gault sent this shot at Grinnell, IA and Dan Sorce managed a few shots at Iowa City (Photos #1, #2, #3, and #4) The unit isn't in good shape at all - the dynamic brakes are missing, as are the fans, and many of the internals have been cannibalized. Thanks to both for their photos and the chance to put them up here. - NDHolmes

    Posted Saturday, January 26 2002 at 2306 h MST
    As mentioned earlier, UP 1900 lead today's (Sat, 26-Jan-2002) Ski Train due to the continued problems with AMTK 242. 1900 is, of course, DRGW 3154 patched. With just enough light left, I caught the Ski Train emerging from East Portal around 1630h. Also of note today was the sighting of DRGW 3155 patched to UP 1901 at North Yard. DRGW 3154 was definitely the better job for DRGW fans - no large yellow block on the nose under the shield. At least they left the Rio Grande lettering alone... Also of note today was a locked axle on UP 7384 just west of Rollinsville. SP 244 West had just passed West Rollins (after a meet with BNSF 4462) when the crew noticed smoke from axle #5 on the second unit - 7384. They managed to push it back through the switch so traffic could go around on the siding, and last I heard they were greasing the rails all the way through the switch and back to the house track to ease 7384's set-out. - NDHolmes

  • UP 1900 (ex-DRGW 3154) LEADING SKI TRAIN
    Posted Saturday, January 26 2002 at 0921 h MST
    Well, it's finally happened, but unfortunately too late to get a clean shot of a Grande leading the Ski Train. AMTK 242 is still in the shop with turbo problems, so once again UP has had to add power to the Ski Train. This time it's an appropriate choice - UP 1900, ex-DRGW 3154. The only downside is that it was patched this week, but it's still an interesting sight on the front. It will also probably lead tomorrow (Sunday, 27-Jan-2002). Thanks to the Colorado Zephyr and Trainorders for this bit. - NDHolmes

    Posted Friday, January 25 2002 at 2309 h MST
    UP 8629, ex-DRGW 5374, was renumbered at Fort Worth, TX, in the last few days to UP 2897. At the moment I don't see any others in imminent danger of being patched, but you never know - I thought Burnham was safe until they painted 3154 and 3155 the other day. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, January 24 2002 at 2057 h MST
    DRGW 5375 was patched to UP 8630 sometime between 19-Jan-2002 and today (24-Jan-2002) at Jenks Shops in North Little Rock, AR. That leaves nine fully-painted and operating Rio Grande T-2s on the system. The GP60s are confirmed patched, despite what UP's computer says, and that leaves us with only 20 GP40-2s, 9 SD40T-2s, and 2 SD50s. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, January 24 2002 at 0239 h MST
    DRGW 3154 and 3155 were patched yesterday (23-Jan-2002) at Burnham to UP 1900 and UP 1901. DRGW 3156 was fully repainted several year ago, leaving us with no full Rio Grande GP60s at this point. The two units I thought would be the last surviving class of Rio Grandes have gone yellow - being outlived by their much senior SD40T-2s and GP40-2s. However, even these units are going fast - there are only 10 T-2s left at the moment, and will probably be nine shortly (5375 is an expected patch at Jenks). I haven't counted GP40s lately, but would guess there are 12-15 of them left. The usual get them while you can most definitely applies - I doubt more than two or three will make it to 2003, if any. - NDHolmes

    Posted Sunday, January 20 2002 at 2001 h MST
    Tom McConnell was kind enough to scan two CDs worth of timetables and track charts last summer, but every time I'd get around to working on them something else would pop up and the CDs would go back on the shelf. No longer is this the case - after a good amount of work this weekend, I've gotten the first installment formatted and up on the website. Check out the new additions in the Employee Timetable and the Maps and Charts sections. All of the Fourth/Alamosa Division timetables are new, along with the 1963 and 1970 track charts. There's quite a bit of material I haven't even gotten to yet, but hopefully within the next few weeks I'll get the rest of it online as well. A big thanks to Tom for doing all the scanning on these - there's material in there I probably wouldn't have ever obtained without his help (not to mention the zillions of hours I didn't have to spend scanning it). - NDHolmes

    Posted Sunday, January 20 2002 at 1508 h MST
    There now appear to be six strings of cars stored on the old Tennessee Pass mainline - three at Walcott, one at Sage, and two more set out somewhere yesterday. The current theory from the DRGW list is that these strings are being stored due to the slump in coal demand right now - caused by generating plants overstocking near the end of the year (2001). Personally, I think this won't last more than a month or two, but then again the string at Vallie has been there for over half a year now. - NDHolmes

    Posted Saturday, January 19 2002 at 2251 h MST
    Not that Ski Train F40 failure is anything even notable any more, but 242 bit the dust Saturday morning and was replaced by UP SD60M 6134. 242 headed on over to Burnham for a little work. No word on its status, so it's reasonable to assume the 60M might be back for Sunday's (20-Jan-2002) train as well. The curious part here is that the DRGW GP60s showed up in Denver just in time for Ski Train season, which I presumed to mean that ANSCO used their connections (read: Philip) to make sure the GP60s were close when the F40s died. They were both in North Yard this morning, but UP chose one of their own SD60Ms to lead the train. Thanks to the everyone in this thread on Trainorders.com for the information. - NDHolmes

    Posted Friday, January 18 2002 at 1442 h MST
    Yet another GP40 is destined to the Wheeling and Lake Erie. DRGW 3085 was seen moving east at Proviso Yard on 12-Jan-2002 with black spray-painted lines through the number, but nobody knew quite where it was headed. I've read somewhere that it, too, is destined for the W&LE. - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, January 16 2002 at 1035 h MST
    Paul Birkholz of MWR and Todd Busse report that Union Pacific has now brought an empty coal train up to Wolcott, CO, on the west side of the Tennessee Pass line. UP 7291, 7068, and 6574 provided the power for the move, and probably will be taken back to Grand Junction. This is in addition to the train reported parked the other day at Sage. Update (1/16 - 1350h): Todd B has added a bit - the train was sitting on the main line at Wolcott, and some example car numbers are UP 44435, UP 45347, and CTRN 424. Trace cars for the train in Sage include CNW 19100, CNW 19008, CNW 870550, and DRGW 16219. He also reported that an eastbound empty passed through Eagle, CO, around 1230h today with what looked to be the cars from Sage. This is all a bit odd, but interesting. Thanks to Todd for all these reports. - NDHolmes

    Posted Monday, January 14 2002 at 2251 h MST
    As promised about a week ago, I finally managed to finish and post a new trip report. This one's only about a third DRGW content (the MPUAA and Alamosa-Antonito local in the San Luis Valley), but it also includes BNSF action from northern and central New Mexico, along with Union Pacific's Olympic Torch Relay Train between Belen and Albuquerque, NM. For those interested, it's posted over here, and be sure to click the "See More" link to actually get to the photographs after you've read the introduction. - NDHolmes

    Posted Monday, January 14 2002 at 1857 h MST
    Sometime between Thursday (10-Jan-2002) and Sunday (13-Jan-2002), UP towed another line of empty coal cars up the old Tennessee Pass mainline, this time on the west side. According to Tom McConnell (via the DRGW list), there are around 100 cars sitting in Sage right now. This is probably the first traffic past Gypsum since the Herzog operations. (Did anyone happen to see this movement or have more exact knowledge of its timing and purpose?) - NDHolmes

  • UPDATE ON 3080 AND 3131
    Posted Wednesday, January 9 2002 at 2157 h MST
    Steve Kaslik has been kind enough to provide the latest update on the progress of DRGW 3080 and 3131 towards their new home on the Wheeling and Lake Erie. He writes: This is looking South on the GTW Holly Sub in Ferndale, Michigan January 4th, 2002. This is train 246 (Battle Creek, Mich-Lang/Toledo, Ohio). Thanks, and if anyone else sees these two moving across Ohio, please let me know - especially if you happen to get a few photographs. - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, January 9 2002 at 1145 h MST
    Another bad month for tunnel motors - DRGW 5413 was retired at Houston, TX, on 19-Dec-2001. UP 8610 (ex-DRGW 5352) was retired the day after Christmas (26-Dec-2001), also at Houston. That leaves us with 13 working, painted tunnel motors, only one of which has working nose lights. For reference, a year ago there were 28 operating T-2s in Rio Grande paint. At this rate, they'll all be gone before we see 2003. In addition, DRGW 5385 was repainted (patched, I believe) to UP 8638 on 8-Dec-2001. - NDHolmes

    Posted Sunday, January 6 2002 at 1954 h MST
    After being tacked on yesterday's MDVPU-05 and not being dropped off, DRGW 3118 returned to Colorado Springs today sandwiched between two UP SD9043MACs on an northbound empty coal train from Pueblo. A few photos for those interested: Going under Main St. in Pueblo, highballing north just past Pueblo Jct., continuing north near Pinon, coming through the switch at Buttes, CO, and finally placed in Colorado Springs. Nice (and strange) to see a three-decade-old GP40 in with the biggest and best EMD and GE have to offer, even if it was just idling the whole trip. - NDHolmes

  • STATUS OF GP40s 3080 AND 3131
    Posted Saturday, January 5 2002 at 2232 h MST
    3080 and 3131 have both been off the system for several weeks now, but it was a bit of a mystery what had happened to them. 3080 supposedly had been sold to the Wheeling and Lake Erie, but I hadn't heard a word on 3131 or even in what direction it was headed. Good news arrived via email today, though - Steve Kaslik of Port Huron, MI, saw both of them headed south on a GTW train into Lang Yard in Ohio yesterday, 4-Jan-2001. This suggests that perhaps the W&LE bought both of them - it certainly would be better than if Cycle bought them... Additionally, our own Brad Logan managed to catch 3131 at Proviso Yard in Melrose Park, IL, on 24-Dec-2001. Two photos of it can be seen here and here. - NDHolmes

    Posted Friday, January 4 2002 at 1020 h MST
    Just thought I'd mention a few updates I managed to finish over the holidays. One year after it was first created, Photo of the Day's underlying software has been completely rewritten, so that all the pages of back images are now available. In addition, it automagically skips over any missing images, so there's no longer all those broken images where I ran out of images to upload or just plain got lazy. Potentially more usefully, I've also reworked the diesel roster and completed unit class detail pages on a large number of the units. Hopefully I'll be able to finish the missing unit classes this weekend. The thing I need now are photos of specific units for when I start on the unit detail pages. I have many of the remaining units covered, but all of the early units (basically anything with four axles) I need lots of help on. If you're a long-time Rio Grande photographer, I would really appreciate any contributions of images you'd like to make - specifically roster-type shots, but anything good would be appreciated. You'll of course be well credited, but aside from the gratitude of myself and other DRGW fans, I can't really offer you much. Coming in the next few weeks will be a new trip report, more scanned timetables and DRGW paperwork, more diesel roster details, and hopefully photographs of some of the older classes of units. We need your help, though, if you have photographs of these classic units. - NDHolmes

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