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    Posted Monday, February 9 2009 at 0014 h MST
    Over at the Goat, Jay has let the proverbial cat out of the bag - RGS Galloping Goose 5 will be returning to the Cumbres & Toltec for eight days of runs this year.

    The first set of runs will take place on June 18-21, with the Goose running Chama to Antonito on the 18th, making Antonito-Osier-Antonito runs on the 19th and 20th, and then returning Antonito to Chama on the 21st. The price for the first set of through runs will be $90 (including bus return), and the Antonito round trips will be $79.

    The Goose will then return to the railroad for four days in the fall, repeating the above set of trips on October 1-4. Pricing for all fall trips will be $95. -

    Posted Monday, February 9 2009 at 0006 h MST
    Obviously MK50-3 #5005 is already in the garish orange paint scheme of parent company Genesee & Wyoming, but last December, SD50S 6064 showed up in orange paint as well. Rumor has it that two more units will be painted by the end of April, and the rest of the fleet will be done by the end of 2009. So, if you've been waiting to shoot the Utah, you might want to do it sooner rather than later. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, February 3 2009 at 2052 h MST
    The Durango Railroad Historical Society - the group that restored and now operates D&RGW 315 - announced this morning that they've received a $179,655 grant from the State Historical Fund of the Colorado Historical Society. The grant will provide approximately 75% of the budgeted cost for rebuilding the Silverton Northern track from the two stall SN enginehouse (on the west side of the Durango & Silverton yard) up Cement Street, tracks in both stalls of the enginehouse, a connection with the D&S's Shenandoah Loop (the outer yard track currently with a string of high-side gons stored on it), and a section south of the engine house on the former SN that will be used to display restored cars. This will give the DRHS a direct rail connection from the SN enginehouse - 315's winter storage site - to the outside world, eliminating the need for trucks and temporary track to get the old 2-8-0 in and out of the facility.

    Also of note is that the Galloping Goose Historical Society of Dolores is permanently loaning about 2000 feet of track materials to the project, reducing the cost by about $98k. Back in 2001, the 423rd Transportation Company from Fort Carson (right here in Colorado Springs) transported approximately ten miles of surplus track materials from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal to Dolores, CO. The GGHS planned to use the material to rebuild part of the RGS mainline. However, seeing as that has yet to pan out (due to some reluctant property owners along the route), it's good to see some of the stockpiled material being put to good use.

    Jim Granflaten has posted the complete announcement on the NGDF in [this thread].


    Posted Monday, February 2 2009 at 1030 h MST
    The Heber Valley Railroad, operators of the isolated remaining segment of the D&RGW Provo Canyon Branch, has rebuilt former US Army RS-4-TC 4028 and repainted it into a paint scheme very similar to what the Grande used on their switch engines.

    Paul Liddiard has been posting a number of shots on Trainorders.com of the new unit, so unfortunately only subscribers will be able to see them. No other photos have yet surfaced on the internet. For those interested, the pertinent threads are [here] and [here].

    In other notes, their MRS-1 is currently undergoing a rebuild, so we may see it emerge in a similar paint scheme. -

    Posted Sunday, February 1 2009 at 2236 h MST
    After UP retired all seventeen Rio Grande SD50s during the summer of 2007, I lost track of them. I thought they'd been moved to Metro East Industries in St. Louis, but others have reported that they went to Progress Rail.

    Two of them - ex-DRGW 5507 and 5517 (both in UP paint, as UP 9851 and UP 9861) - have gone to the Southwestern Railroad on their southeast New Mexico line, the ex-BNSF Carlsbad Sub. Both have had red/grey lettering applied over the "Union Pacific" and a small red/grey Zia logo placed under the cab window, but otherwise are basically still UP yellow. See RRPictureArchives.net for pictures of them - [SW 9851] and [SW 9861].

    As for the other fifteen, they're still unaccounted for. If you've seen them or have any idea of their current whereabouts, please drop me an email. -

    Posted Sunday, February 1 2009 at 2224 h MST
    The Durango Railroad Historical Society has announced that 315 will be making one trip on the C&TS this year. A two day photo special will operate on September 13-14, 2009, from Antonito to Chama and back. Sunday's Antonito to Chama westbound will be all gons and a caboose, whereas Monday's eastbound will be a short mixed. Passengers for the charter will ride in a steam-powered chase train, facilitating an all-freight car consist for the 315.

    The price is $695 for both days if you book before 30-Apr-2009, and $795 if you book afterwards. For an additional fee of $75 per day, you can get one of the limited seats in the caboose. Lodging in Chama is included for Sunday night, as well as lunch at Osier both days and a night shoot in the Chama yard. A go/no-go decision will be made based on ticket sales around 30-Jun-2009, so get your tickets early.

    This is, at this point, the only announced trip for 315 this year. My understanding is that after the very full schedule last year, the DRHS guys are ready to take some time off. So, if you want to ride behind the 315, don't wait - this may be the only 2009 trip, and George's note from the DRHS says there won't be a 2010 C&TS trip.

    All ticketing is being handled by the C&TS, so give them a call at 1-888-CUMBRES (1-888-286-2737). -

    Posted Sunday, February 1 2009 at 2208 h MST
    After BNSF's G-BNVGAT derailed on Friday, I decided to head up Sunday afternoon and snap a few pictures of the derailment cleanup in progress. I know, I know, I'm really behind in posting these, but for those interested, there's fifteen shots of the cleanup activities [here].

    As of the 25th, the main track was restored, and they were working on re-pouring the damaged retaining wall. I haven't heard whether the northbound light rail main has been reinstalled since then. -

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