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    Posted Tuesday, October 25 2011 at 1533 h MDT
    America West Resources, Inc., announced today the lease purchase of the Wildcat loadout on the Utah Railway. Located a few miles west of the Martin shops (near Helper, UT), the loadout was the last source of trains along the Utah Railway's mainline until its shutdown in early 2010. AWR intends to use it to load out thermal coal from their Horizon Mine, located about four miles west of the Wildcat loadout. The press release is [here]. - NDHolmes

  • THE 2012 C&TS OPERATOR IS...
    Posted Wednesday, October 12 2011 at 1018 h MDT
    As many of you know, the Bi-State Commission issued an RFP several months back soliciting a new operator for the Cumbres & Toltec next year. I've mostly tried to stay out of offering any commentary on it, as there's a lot of opinions and few facts released and I'd like to maintain the friendly relationships I have with many of the parties involved.

    Of the responses the Commission received, they selected two groups to continue to the final selection process - the Royal Gorge Routes folks (Lindsey Ashby and son-in-law Mark Greksa) and Al Harper's American Heritage Railways (basically the Durango & Silverton). Reports on various forums indicate that the RGR team has dropped out of the running in the week or two. That leaves only the D&S proposal. So, there's a very strong chance that Al Harper's team will be running both ex-Grande narrow gauges in Colorado for the next few years. Stay tuned for the official announcement - it's supposed to come out of the Commission meeting in early November.

    Of course the big question that nobody can yet answer (except maybe the Commission) is what this means for the relatively unfettered yard access fans have enjoyed for decades in Chama. So if you want to go have one last stroll around the yard, I'd do it soon before the snow flies. I did mine a couple weeks back, photographing everything in sight. The end of the C&TS season is this Sunday and there's a double-header scheduled for Saturday, and with predicted good weather it would be a great time to get one more look at the current operation. -

    Posted Wednesday, October 12 2011 at 0953 h MDT
    UP 844 is starting off on a month-long tour of the southwestern US in a little under three weeks. Its first leg will take it from Cheyenne into Denver on 29 Oct 2011, and then to Colorado Springs on the 30th and Pueblo on the first of November. From there, it heads down to Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California before coming back up the LA&SL and heading home across Utah and Wyoming. (No, sadly it won't take the Moffat home.)

    The full detailed schedule can be found [here]. It's scheduled to be on display all day in Colorado Springs on Sunday, 31 Oct 2011, so if you don't want to join the madhouse chasing it, you can still come out and see it. -

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