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  • WELCOME TO 2001
    Posted Sunday, December 31 2000 at 2103 h MST
    Well, it's not quite here yet, but in a few hours it will be 2001. Hope everyone looks back on 2000 with no regrets. If nothing else, we've gone yet another year (eight months beyond the supposed "deadline" for having all ex-DRGW units patched to their new numbers) and there is still plenty of 10+ year-old Rio Grande power out there, most of it looking good to excellent for its age. Best wishes to all of you and to friends and family in the new year. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, December 28 2000 at 1432 h MST
    Paul in Arvada reports that 5385 and 5389 are on the point of today's MDVPU-28, along with a trailing UP SD50M. It departed Denver around 1:45, so figure 2.5-3 hours to the Springs. Also, for those out west, 5349, 5371, and 3084 will be leading MDVRO-28 today. - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, December 27 2000 at 1806 h MST
    Looks like the new Ski Train F40PHs are having a few problems. The 26-Dec run was apparently afflicted by all orders of calamity, including being almost two hours late leaving Denver. Two problems were discovered after heading for Tabernash to turn the train - first, the dynamics were not working at all, and secondly, the #4 axle on 242 was having severe bearing problems. So, 242 was apparently set out at Tabernash and UP6649 was later at Rollins added to restore dynamic braking capabilities. Many thanks to Joe McMillan for these Ski Train bits. Also, MRODV-27 apparently has five Grandes (3121/5349/5356/5371/5385) on the front, and will be arriving in Denver early tomorrow morning. - NDHolmes

    Posted Monday, December 25 2000 at 1116 h MST
    Well, okay, maybe that's going a bit overboard for the season. Thought I'd mention that NS 8717 / 9217 / 2538 / 8421 are apparently working in and around Canon City today for Rock & Rail (or maybe they're just using them to block in the CC&RG?), according to a post I saw earlier on Trainorders. Also, it looks like the lost tunnel motor in Pueblo (DRGW 5389) will be getting un-lost later as it's scheduled to return up the Joint Line later today. Besides, if you're reading this on Christmas, go spend time with family and friends! (Or go chase that T-2 up the J/L, which is what I'd be doing if I were in Colorado today.) - NDHolmes

    Posted Sunday, December 24 2000 at 1251 h MST
    Unfortunately, the day I leave Colorado they send tunnel motors everywhere! No less than five motors came in on MRODV Saturday morning, and one of them even went south on the J/L through the Springs - and I'm in Iowa, freezing to death. On the bright side, I did see 3111/3105/3100 in south Denver Friday afternoon when I left, and plenty of trains across Nebraska. I'll put up a trip report when I get back. Looks like the lost T-motor in Pueblo will actually be returning to Denver on Christmas, expected to arrive at North Yard around two in the afternoon. Everyone have a Merry Christmas! - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, December 20 2000 at 1545 h MST
    Looks like there will be four tunnel motors up front on tonight's MDVRO - 5360, 5390, 5389 & 5371. Other than that, it's been a fairly slow week here as far as D&RGW news goes. The bad news first: Looks like 5405 & 5386 may have joined T-motor 5406 in the junk line at North Yard. Neither has traced beyond Burnham in a while, and last weekend when I was up there I noticed 5405 coupled up to 5406 and another junky-looking UP SD40. Now the good news: Jim Griffin (from the D&RGW list) has posted quite a few great photos of a pair of Grandes leading a mixed through the Big Tens and Rocky on his website. Paul from MWR has posted a teaser photo from last weekend's outing to Helper. (Have I mentioned how much I hate Colorado winter weather and how it seems to close roads at the most inopportune times? ;) Scanning continues on paperwork around here, and we should have something after Christmas on the new historical paper section. - NDHolmes

    Posted Saturday, December 16 2000 at 2100 h MST
    For those of you who didn't know or didn't remember, this morning was the first run of the winter season Ski Train from Denver to Winter Park. While I wasn't brave enough to go fight the very strong winds and biting cold this morning, several people were. One such brave soul posted a photo over here at Trainorders. In other news, it seems I'm stuck here this morning - I-70 over the mountains was closed last night, so I had to pass on going to Helper (however, I didn't discover this until I'd driven clear to Georgetown...) Hopefully Paul over at MWR will post his photos of this weekend when he gets back. - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, December 13 2000 at 1516 h MST
    Okay, so maybe here in 2000 we won't resort to forts, guns, and sabotage, but there are some pretty serious disputes and accusations flying here. Paul from Mountain West Rail has pointed out an article in the Pueblo Chieftain this morning concerning a dispute between the CC&RG and Rock & Rail over the use of the Royal Gorge trackage. Apparently, R&R isn't paying its share of the track upkeep (around $50k, according to the article) and has been blocking the line with a hi-rail truck on weekends to prevent the CC&RG from operating. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, December 12 2000 at 1101 h MST
    There's now a study going forward on the proposed 100-mile branch from Rifle, CO, towards Rangely, CO, and Utah. Today's Grand Junction Sentinel has a rather interesting article on it here. Thanks to Bruce from the D&RGW list for pointing out this one. That's about it - it's looking like a slow week. Update: Err... Rangely's in Colorado, not Utah. Sorry for the typo. - NDHolmes

    Posted Monday, December 11 2000 at 1642 h MST
    It's now pretty much confirmed - 5406 is dead at Burnham. No word yet on disposition, for now it's just sitting in the backlot with a good number of other deceased units. For those watching live T-motors, 5360 and 5385 rolled into Denver this morning, and 5371 and 5390 will probably come in tomorrow morning. A reminder: The Ski Train's first winter run will be next weekend, with the new F40s (hopefully). However, yours truly will be in Helper with a number of other D&RGW fans, weather permitting. Until then, I'll be in Memphis, so news updates may be a little slow/non-existant for the rest of the week. In other news, I'm finally making progress on the "historical paper" section of the site, and it should be up "soon". Also, our new server is looking good so far, and will probably be cut in sometime in January to replace the current aging machine back in Iowa. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, December 7 2000 at 1742 h MST
    Coming from Paul in Arvada via the DRGW list: "It appears that DRGW SD40-2T 5406 has been scrapped. It has been sitting at Burnham for a few weeks and recently has been moved to the South of the engine repair facility and sits among other scrapped engines." ... "So far, no engine has been moved back from that area, most have been there for quite a few months, some even longer." Well, it looks like 5406 might be joining 5404 in the dead lines. Such a shame, glad I saw it still running several months back in Helper. Anybody know what a scrap SD40T-2 costs? - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, December 7 2000 at 1116 h MST
    Sounds like the F40s should have arrived in Denver this morning, though I can't confirm that for sure. They were indeed spotted on yesterday's westbound Zephyr out of Chicago, all three trailing the actual power. (Thanks to Bill from the D&RGW list for this one...) I'll update this when I know more... - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, December 6 2000 at 1029 h MST
    Have heard a "reliable" rumor that the Ski Train F40s will be on tonight's westbound Amtrak #5 (the Zephyr) out of Chicago. If that's true, they should be arriving here in Denver very early tomorrow morning. Also, a quick update of D&RGW power around the system: Looks like the two GP60s are still working north on the Joint Line right now, despite the fact they were supposed to be in North Yard at 7am. There are 13 units in or bound for Denver/Burnham, 2 on the Alamosa local, 5 in Grand Jct., 1 each in LaSalle and Rolla. In addition, there are 18 other units in or bound for Utah, making 40 D&RGW units in home territory. Pretty good for the Grande being gone as long as it has... - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, December 5 2000 at 2218 h MST
    Following up on posting photos of the UP Engineering Special passing over the Joint Line earlier today, I've put up a few photographs. Unfortunately, the dense but patchy clouds really did a number with the lighting today, so they're nothing spectacular. Larkspur, CO: (1600x1200 / 800x600 ) Palmer Lake, CO: (1600x1200 / 800x600 ) - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, December 5 2000 at 0737 h MST
    UP8151 will be leading some sort of special up the Front Range today. They left Stratford, TX, at at 6:36am, are expected in Pueblo at 11:50, Denver at 2:15pm, and Cheyenne way after dark. Word from the DRGW list is that it's running ahead of schedule right now. Thanks to BNSFBarker for this one. Paul B. beat me to reporting the moving DRGW power of the morning - DRGW 5390 & 5371 are on MRODV-04 right now working east across western Colorado. Update (12/5 - 1543h): Caught up with it over a very long lunch. Passed Monument, CO, at 1340h; Palmer at 1355h, and Larkspur at 1404h. I'll have photos posted sometime tonight. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, December 5 2000 at 0733 h MST
    From the LocoNotes mailing list, Bryan Jones caught and posted photos of the new F40s on the move. You can see them over here on his website Also, conceptual view of what the lettering may look like can be found on the Ski Train site. Update (12/5 - 1701h): The three have departed Beech Grove, IN, on Amtrak's #851, bound for Chicago. For reference, since I didn't mention it before, their numbers are 289, 283 & 242. Still don't know reporting marks, though, so I can't figure out how to trace them. Anybody have a clue? - NDHolmes

    Posted Monday, December 4 2000 at 1448 h MST
    Kevin Morgan reported hearing a rather unusual scanner conversation this morning (12/4) from Dispatcher 82 (and thus the Moffat Line). A highrailer reported a four-foot section of rail missing in the north rail. No word on exactly where, the scanner didn't catch that part of the conversation. However, the truck was patrolling from west Rollins to west Tolland at the time, so it's possible it was missing from the rails in the siding at Tolland. Still, where exactly do you lose four feet of rail?!? In other news, I managed to get up to the derailment at Palmer again over lunch, and will post more photos when I get home. - NDHolmes

    Posted Saturday, December 2 2000 at 1507 h MST
    Somewhere between 3:30-4am this morning (12/2), a southbound, loaded UP coal train hit a broken rail about 300m north of County Line Road in Palmer Lake. The two lead units (UP 7153/7078), as well as the first five cars, stayed on the tracks, but behind that some 10-14 cars piled up. Ironically, the first two cars to jump the rails were D&RGW. Certainly it won't be cleaned up today, but UP has a small army of men and machines working on it. My guess is that because only coal gons were involved (and many of them look like they'll probably be pushed aside, written off and cut up), though, the southbound main will reopen sometime tomorrow. Just a guess. Hopefully I'll get pictures of the derailment as well as the three TMs in Denver this morning posted soon. Update (12/3 - 0127h): The trip report is finally up, the post is out the the D&RGW list. Ugh. Sleep need, now. Zzz... - NDHolmes

    Posted Friday, December 1 2000 at 1634 h MST
    Looks like DRGW 5390/5385/5371 will be arriving in Denver together tomorrow (12/2) morning. The tracer currently has them due in at around 10am, I don't know how accurate this is. If, in fact, I get up in the morning and find that there really is time to go get them, you can count on the fact I'll be headed for Denver early. In other news, DRGW3060 is apparently out of Burnham and in operable shape, as it's in LaSalle, CO, at the moment. Also, DRGW5342 will be headed west from Denver to Roper this afternoon (12/1), arriving late tomorrow. That's about all the news that is news at the moment, except that hopefully this weekend I'll get some of our first scanned "historical paper" posted: two timetables and a D&RGW teletype operator's manual. - NDHolmes

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