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    Posted Monday, October 31 2005 at 2041 h MST
    Looks like DRGW 3129 didn't survive its routine inspection. As of tonight, 31-Oct-2005, DRGW 3129 no longer exists, but I don't have its patched number confirmed yet (it's slated to be UP 1445). I'll update this tomorrow when I get it. That leaves only four Rio Grandes in untouched paint - DRGW 3100, 3110, 3121, and 5371. (Update 11/2 - 0830h): I might have jumped the gun a bit - turns out 3129 hasn't yet been patched, but is in the shop and the patch is ready to go... - NDHolmes

    Posted Sunday, October 30 2005 at 2225 h MST
    Nothing like a wet day in the Colorado mountains to bring the rocks down on the Grande and foul up operations. Today's rocks of the day landed about 200 feet west of the east Shoshone switch, blocking the mainline through Glenwood Canyon. According to Jay on the D&RGW list, the largest one was about the size of a coal car. Regardless, Amtrak 5 (the westbound California Zephyr) stopped at Dotsero on the east side of the Canyon (Photo), and 6 (the eastbound Zephyr) stayed in Grand Junction until they were sure they could clear the mess.

    Since my wife was on 6 and I was supposed to pick her up in Denver, I figured I'd just run out to Glenwood, pick her up, get photos of whatever came down, and save us all some time since otherwise I'd be waiting in Denver until around 2300h for 6 to arrive. They released 6 from Grand Junction eastbound around 1430h, and it pulled into the depot in Glenwood Springs about 1620h (Photo). Turns out by the time I got there, little remained of the rocks, and they were behind an embankment so you couldn't really see it from the highway anyway. Regardless, here's a photo of the spot in question. -

    Posted Friday, October 28 2005 at 0937 h MDT
    DRGW 3117 was patched on Thursday, 27-Oct-2005. It's now UP 1368. That leaves one tunnel motor and four GP40-2s (3100, 3110, 3121, and 3129). - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, October 26 2005 at 2310 h MDT
    The Royal Gorge Route Railroad (otherwise known as the Canon City & Royal Gorge) recently acquired three dome cars for service through the Royal Gorge. These are no normal domes, but rather full-length dome cars. Two are ex-Milwaukee Pullman-Standard Super Domes (HALX 50 and 56), and the other is an ex-ATSF Budd Full Dome (HALX 507). Prior to this, they were in service for Holland America on their McKinley Explorer service in Alaska. The CCRG has a good write-up on the history of the cars here.

    Today (Wednesday, 26-Oct-2005), the CCRG sent the F7s over to Pueblo to pick these cars up and bring them back. While I wasn't able to go see this event, Nathan Zachman of Colorado Springs did manage to catch it. He sent along a photo of the move at MP 147.1 (Adobe, CO), and promises there will be move.

    Posted Wednesday, October 26 2005 at 1012 h MDT
    As expected, the second-to-last SD40T-2 got patches yesterday. 5390 was sent to Chicago's M19 shops for repairs following an electrical fire. As part of the repairs, a patch was on the list of things to do. Yesterday, Tuesday, 25-Oct-2005, DRGW 5390 became UP 8583. That leaves only a single tunnel motor, DRGW 5371, still working in Helper. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, October 25 2005 at 1007 h MDT
    Interesting news out this morning is that the Georgetown Loop is getting #111, a narrow gauge Baldwin Consolidation (2-8-0) that has been sitting in Breckenridge. The 111 came from IRCA originally, a 3-foot railroad operating in Guatemala. At some point, it became part of Don Drawer's collection in Fort Lupton, CO, until his passing. In 2002, it was auctioned off and purchased by the City of Breckenridge, CO. The city cosmetically restored it and placed it on a piece of track sitting on the old DSP&P grade headed to Boreas Pass.

    On Monday, apparently the pieces came together, and 111 was lifted from its rails to a flatbed for the journey out to the Ulrich Locomotive Works at Strasburg, CO. Denver Channel 4's website has the story here. According to the story, Breckenridge has been promised a replacement for 111. Now, since the CHS already has C&S #9, and C&S 30 (aka RGS 74, DB&W 30) torn apart, I'm guessing that things aren't going so well on the restoration of one or all of them. (Update 10/26): According to Dan Adler, 9 is coming right along, and should be in service next season. Maybe they really are just out looking for more power. No word yet on ex-C&S 30.

    This has been in discussion for over a year, but this is the first I've heard of anything happening on it. Thanks to Jay on the Goat for pointing this story out. -

    Posted Monday, October 17 2005 at 0009 h MDT
    In celebration of another season on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic coming to a close today (Sunday, 16-Oct-2005), I've finally managed to post my photos from two weeks ago. The aspens weren't quite at their peak yet, but some stands near the summit were about as brilliant as I've ever seen. Add to that narrow gauge steam and a a perfectly clear, warm fall day in the Rockies, and you have a generally great day. Take a look at the results here. - NDHolmes

    Posted Saturday, October 15 2005 at 1438 h MDT
    Really this is two separate news bits. The first is the news that the Moffat is, once again, blocked. Some large rocks came down in Byers Canyon this morning, just west of Hot Sulphur Springs. Apparently they've blocked the track as well as taken out communications and power lines. While US 40 runs through the canyon, access will again be hard, as the road is always on the opposite side of the river from the railway.

    In other news, Amtrak 6, the eastbound California Zephyr, has four special private cars on the rear today as it makes its way across Colorado. The cars are Silver Lariat, Silver Rapids, Silver Iris and Silver Solarium, which are headed east to Denver. The four will then return from Denver to Oakland on Amtrak 5, starting on 18-Oct-2005 (but via Wyoming, since that's one of the maintenance windows on the Moffat). No word of what the plan is with derailment news... -

    Posted Tuesday, October 11 2005 at 1044 h MDT
    Rumor has it there's been a derailment of seven empties in Gore Canyon, near Tunnel 36. I'll post details when I get them. Thanks to Tim for posting this to T/O. Update (10/11 - 1854h): This was probably MRONY-08, lead by UP 4125, 5200, 4057, and SP 354. Reportedly there are 7-9 cars derailed, four of which are inside the tunnel. Thanks, CZ! - NDHolmes

    Posted Saturday, October 8 2005 at 2325 h MDT
    The American Orient Express will head west over the Moffat Route from Denver, CO, on Sunday morning, 9-Oct-2005. The word is that it will depart between 0800h-0830h and follow Amtrak's California Zephyr westward through the mountains. That said, the forecast for the mountains is snow tomorrow, so chasing it may be out of the question. (Thanks for reminding me, Wes.) - NDHolmes

    Posted Friday, October 7 2005 at 1450 h MDT
    Over the next few weeks, you'll see quite a bit of overhauling around here. Summer is winding down and it's too cold to go ripping around the country in my convertible, thus I might actually spend time at home and work on this stuff. (I haven't spent a weekend at home in the last six weeks.) The initial changes are done - DRGW.Net is now backended by two types of content management systems (gallery and pmWiki) that will dramatically speed my ability to publish and edit content. I've already converted the main page, as well as the timetables. Over this weekend, I hope to get the rest of the "DRGW Info" content converted and dump the old cumbersome system. It will also allow me to delegate parts to others, should I find any volunteers/suckers that would be willing to undertake the task. Probably the biggest new undertaking will be a list of all the branches and a brief history of each - timeframe, reason for being, operations (if I can figure it out), etc. Other things I'm looking for are more timetables, track charts, old photos, any sort of interesting scanned paper, stories, etc. If you want to help, just drop me a line.

    Oh, and I just felt the need to remind everyone again - I'm horrible about responding to email. It's not that I don't like you or don't appreciate the tidbits you send in or that I don't try, it's just that I'm a horrible person who has way too many hobbies, is usually completely burned out after work, and lacks adequate mental discipline. I often forget to call my own mother back, so don't feel too bad... I really usually do my best to respond to as many as possible.

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