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    Posted Friday, November 30 2007 at 2104 h MST
    As some of you have noticed, the Joint Line Cam has been acting strangely for a couple weeks, and as of five days ago, shut down entirely. Unfortunately, after a bit over 14 months of service, the Axis 210 camera bit the dust a couple days ago. I've poked it, I've prodded it, but it's just plain dead. It powers up and appears to initialize everything, but never starts the network interface. Unfortunately, the camera is a rather pricey bit of equipment, so it may be a bit until I can get it replaced. On the other hand, I guess I know where the proceeds from the calendars are now going. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, November 29 2007 at 1407 h MST
    On a whim, I decided to put some of my photography into a 2008 calendar for both myself and a few of my rail enthusiast family and friends. After I got all done putting it together, I was so impressed with the result that I thought I might be able to actually sell a couple. Plus, with the way volume discounts work out with the printer, it's cheaper for me to order a dozen or more, rather than just the handful I need. So, I thought I'd gauge interest and see if anybody would actually buy such a thing. I know, it's a bit late - most of you are probably not the procrastinators that I am, and bought your 2008 calendars months ago. But, if you're interested, I've posted a page about it over on my personal website: Rails Through the Rockies 2008 - The Photography of Nathan D. Holmes.

    Normally the news section is for just that - news. Don't worry, this isn't an effort to to commercialize www.drgw.net. This website is still the same old time-squandering financial black hole it has always been. It's just that this calendar guy has some pull with the news guy (it's good that all my personalities are on speaking terms), hence the shameless product promotion. -

    Posted Wednesday, November 28 2007 at 1147 h MST
    Around 0200h this morning (Wednesday, 28-Nov-2007), two cars on a northbound BNSF coal empty derailed near the Palmer Lake, CO, switch. Most of the damage seemed to have been to the northbound track at the County Line Road crossing, and UP crews had things opened again this morning around 1100h. KRDO has an article about it [here], and thanks to a phone call from Nathan Z this morning, I have a few pictures posted [here]. - NDHolmes

    Posted Saturday, November 17 2007 at 1101 h MST
    On Thursday, Earl Knoob announced on NGDF that the San Luis & Rio Grande has acquired two Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0s. #18 and 20 served on the Grand Canyon Railway after their freight-hauling career was over, and were swapped to the Mount Hood Railroad in April 2007 for a Northern Pacific/SP&S 2-8-2. The Mount Hood ceased steam operations on 31-Aug-2007, putting the two back on the market.

    18 is fully operational, but 20 has been used as a parts source. Earl states that it's not beyond restoration, but it's definitely a "project". 18 can produce approximately 9000 more pounds of tractive effort than SL&RG's current 2-6-0 (#1744), and thus can handle a longer train over La Veta, when necessary. To give you some idea what they look like, here are photos of [GCRY 18] and [GCRY 20], as seen in Williams, AZ, when I was there in 2005.

    Earl also mentions acquiring dome cars for the run. The Trains Magazine Newswire yesterday reported that in addition to the two steamers, 5 ex-Santa Fe Budd-built "Big Domes" are being acquired from Holland America. These will likely be the twins of some of the cars sold to the Canon City & Royal Gorge in the last couple years - likely candidates being HALX 508-513. There aren't many details on this yet, but it should be an exciting addition to next year's train.

    There's no information yet on when any of this equipment will move to Alamosa, but when I hear something I can pass along, it'll be posted right here.

    Update (11/21 - 1425h):I just received word from Ed Ellis that the cars will be HALX 509, 510, 511, 551, and 554. The domes and the two steamers are expected in Alamosa by the end of the year. -

    Posted Friday, November 2 2007 at 1217 h MDT
    I haven't managed to do much on the site lately, but over the last few weeks I have added albums for two photographers who were nice enough to contribute photos.

    The first is Larry Todd of Pueblo West, who has contributed scans of some of his Rio Grande photography in Colorado during the 1970s and 1980s. You'll find a new gallery of his work [here]. He's also allowed me to use scans of a number of slides I've purchased from him, and thus you'll note a number of his shots helping to fill out the GP35/GP40/GP40-2 roster photos, such as [this one].

    The second is the late Robert Dewey Speake. His son, John Speake, offered a number of photos his father took on a hike through the Royal Gorge on 31-Jul-1925. I've posted these unique old shots [here], along with the original, handwritten captions on the back. Of particular note is a shot of the Gorge siding, including the structures that were once there. I can't remember too many photos taken here - most in the Gorge were taken more up toward the hanging bridge. -

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