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    Posted Saturday, December 27 2008 at 2103 h MST
    Nothing like old news, but I managed to get my pictures from the C&TS Chama-departure Christmas Trains sorted and posted tonight. As many of you will recall, the C&TS has run Christmas specials in the last few years, and this year I went down on 6-Dec-2008 to capture the two sold-out Chama runs. The results are posted [here].

    Also, a belated Merry Christmas to all of you out there. I've been out visiting family for the last week, and I'm a little behind on posting things. -

    Posted Thursday, December 11 2008 at 2229 h MST
    Chris Nuthall recently sent me a link to his website, to which he's recently added a good number of albums covering classic Rio Grande action in Colorado during 1981/2, 1985, and 1988. In addition, he's got a number of pictures from the electric Henderson Mine. There's some good stuff in there, and so I thought you all might like to see it - have a look at his site [here]. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, December 11 2008 at 2208 h MST
    The Durango & Silverton has announced that they'll be offering season passes for their trains next year. The pass will be good for unlimited standard class travel through the 2009 season, and will offer the holder discounts on other special trains. Priced at $99 for adults and $49 for children, the pass is only $20 more than standard passenger fare for adults and the same price for kids. You can find more details about it [here].

    Posted Thursday, December 11 2008 at 2204 h MST
    The SL&RG has undergone a slight roster change. The last F40M-2F on the railroad, SLRG 459, shipped out to New York in late November. In its place is new arrival HLCX 1000, a GP38M-3 rebuilt from an ex-Seaboard Air Line GP40 core and in patched-up UP paint.

    Also, the railroad has built or acquired an open-air rider flatcar, SLRG 5327. Nathan Z. has reportedly seen it in service late in the 2008 season, but I first spotted it while passing through town on 6-Dec-2008. You can see it [here].

    Posted Thursday, December 11 2008 at 2154 h MST
    After several requests, some more persistent than others, I finally decided to finish up the 2009 Calendar I'd been working on. Given the relative success of the 2008 project, I started putting together images for the 2009 version several months back. Given the nearly 20% increase in printing costs and additional increases in packing and shipping costs this year, though, I shelved the whole thing as uneconomical. Given the apparent dearth of good narrow gauge calendars this year, I was convinced to reopen the project.

    So, here's the deal - since making any money at all on the deal would either involve jacking up the price to impractical levels or once again expending a significant amount of time collecting payment, ordering in bulk, repackaging, etc., I've essentially decided I'm just doing it for fun. At cost. Let's see, that's nothing plus nothing, carry the nothing, erm, uh... Yes, I'm making exactly zilch on the deal. Consider it a bail-out of your 2009 calendar needs.

    For those interested, the new calendar is posted [here] on my personal website. If you click the "Lulu Buy Now" link, you can order your own copy directly from my printer.

    Posted Sunday, December 7 2008 at 1917 h MST
    I hadn't realized this until this morning, but yesterday marked the fortieth anniversary of the final run on the San Juan Extension and with it, marked the end of real Rio Grande narrow gauge operations (excepting the isolated Silverton Branch).

    On December 6, 1968, D&RGW 473 made its way west from Chama to Durango with five boxcars of company material (presumably parts and tools from Alamosa), K-36 481 dead in tow, a gon of pipe, three passenger cars, and caboose 0540. Meanwhile, 483 headed back from Chama to Alamosa with a pair of cabooses. With that, the SJE ceased operations. As all scrapping was done by truck in 1970, no further trains ever plied the Chama-Durango segment of the route.

    Posted Monday, December 1 2008 at 2055 h MST
    As many of you know, RGS Galloping Goose 4 was moved from Telluride to the Ridgway Railroad Museum early this past summer for a full cosmetic restoration. After years sitting in Telluride, Goose 4 was the most original of the six remaining geese, but also was in rough shape. When it gets done, it should be in comparably good shape to RGS 5, but unfortunately it will not be made operational.

    On the way back from Railfest last fall, I went by Ridgway to shoot a few pictures of it. You can see them [here]. Progress has been made since then, as the Ridgway museum's website shows the freight box completely torn down and the frame primed. You can follow their progress on [their website]. -

    Posted Monday, December 1 2008 at 1005 h MST
    BNSF's trackage rights Denver-Stockton train suffered a minor derailment near Granby, CO, this morning, blocking traffic on the Moffat line. As a result, the morning westbound California Zephyr (Amtrak train #5) has been rerouted via Wyoming today. #6 appears to still be coming east on the Moffat in anticipation that the derailment will cleared in time, as Amtrak's website doesn't show the dreaded "Service Disruption" message when tracing it. Thanks to Kevin Morgan for posting this to Trainorders.com this morning. - NDHolmes

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