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    Posted Monday, November 27 2006 at 1727 h MST
    All four commissioners on the C&TS Bi-State Commission have been replaced, effective immediately. The press release, issued jointly by Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) and Gov. Bill Owens (R-CO), is posted on the New Mexico governor's website [here]. A different version with a few more details on the Commission's changing role is posted by Bill Owens' office over [here].

    As far as the makeup of the new Commission, Randy Randall of Santa Fe, NM, and J. Leonard Martinez of Albuquerque will be the new New Mexico commissioners, while Lon Carpenter of Grand Junction and Peter Foster of Durango will represent Colorado. The new commissioners were chosen, according to the press release, partially to meet the new requirement that appointees have at least five years "in an oversight role in a major business enterprise". Carl Turner, one of the former NM commissioners, will stay on board as the official lobbyist for the group.

    Other parts of the Commission's role are being overhauled - notably it's relationship to day-to-day operations on the line. The new arrangement would put the Commission in a grander, long term oversight role, turning over routine operating functions to the management company (the CTSMC, in this case). It also brings in a liaison from each state's economic development office, and offers the assistance of the departments of transportation for both states.

    (If only we could have one nice, quiet winter, when everything was just on autopilot and there was certainty about the future... What is it about this little railroad that creates so much strife and turmoil? I'd love to not post another similar story in Dec 2007. Hopefully this is a step towards that end.) -

    Posted Tuesday, November 14 2006 at 0054 h MST
    Since today, Monday, 13-Nov-2006, will likely be 5371's last revenue run with Rio Grande reporting marks, I thought it fitting to post my photos from this weekend's trip out to Helper. (Yes, I know it's after midnight and now Tuesday, but I'm running a little behind.) For those interested in seeing 5371's final weekend in action, including pushing M-NYPV over Soldier Summit (at least as far as Kyune) and a trip out to Wash and back on Friday's Dirt Train, the new trip report can be found [here].

    In a week or so, we'll likely see 5371 roll out of North Platte as UP 8627. It's not a done deal yet, but chances of escape this time are very, very small.

    Update (11/17 - 1310h): The unit is showing Placed at Roper, and does not seem to be going on to North Platte as expected. Maybe what I'd heard about Roper not doing triennials was wrong, and 5371 will escape unharmed again. -

    Posted Thursday, November 9 2006 at 1339 h MST
    DRGW 5371, the final remaining unpatched Rio Grande unit, is on very borrowed time. Having escaped the patch numerous times during 92-day inspections at Roper, it's unlikely to survive this next one. As of midnight on 13-Nov-2006, it will be due for its three year (triennial) inspection. Three year inspections are not done at Roper, and as such the unit will be headed for North Platte, NE. While there, away from its guardian angels in Utah, it will almost certainly be patched.

    There's a chance it may move out of Helper earlier (likely north via Salt Lake/Ogden, then east on the UP Overland Route), but I'm taking my chances and heading out tonight to see it one last time. So, if you're around Helper this weekend, be sure to take one last shot of 5371, the last of the Grandes. (And if you see a guy in a black CR-V chasing it, wave.) -

    Posted Sunday, November 5 2006 at 2352 h MST
    I'm often making small updates - posting a photo or two here and there, adding a new scanned item, writing an overview of some branch line, but usually they go largely unnoticed due to the fact that they're buried deep in the site. So, for those wondering what I've accomplished this weekend (other than hunting down the repainted UP 1364 on Saturday), I thought I'd highlight a few:

    Posted Saturday, November 4 2006 at 2012 h MST
    UP 1364 (ex-DRGW 3109) was just a patch job until the last month or so. Back in August, it made its way to UP's North Little Rock shops, where it apparently had a significant amount of work done and was also fully repainted. I caught up with it today in Denver, and [this] is what it looks like now. - NDHolmes

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