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    Posted Saturday, March 31 2001 at 2144 h MST
    Saturday afternoon brought two different tunnel motors to the Joint Line: DRGW 5413 was the third unit on a Pueblo-Denver rock train, and DRGW 5376 (recently brough back from the dead) was leading the southbound MDVPU-31. There really wasn't sufficient material to write a whole trip report, so I quickly put together a page with just the better/more interesting photos and some descriptions. It's located over here. I was just thankful for a little sunlight around here this afternoon, and a few T-2s thrown in only makes it better. Also, speaking of new photos online, Paul Z. of Arvada has posted some of his exceptional work over here on Mountain West Rail, mainly focused around the Tunnel District just west of Denver. I'd strongly recommend it. And speaking of outstanding photographs, Jim B. has posted one of the second-to-last Ski Train of the season over on Trainorders. - NDHolmes

    Posted Saturday, March 31 2001 at 1123 h MST
    5390 left Grand Jct. around 1100h this morning headed into Denver. Aside from the action clear out on the west end of the system, that's about the only black-and-gold thing moving today, aside from 3111 moving around GJ. Also, remember that today is the second-to-last run of the Ski Train for the season, tomorrow obviously being the last. Best of luck and good (and safe) railfanning to you all! - NDHolmes

    Posted Friday, March 30 2001 at 1200 h MST
    It looks like the three lead units on today's MDVRO will be Rio Grande tunnel motors. DRGW 5389 should be leading, followed by 5356 and 5345, and then two UP units. It's expected to leave North Yard around 1600h, but this sometimes changes significantly (to sooner or later). Looks like a good day out there. - NDHolmes

    Posted Friday, March 30 2001 at 0839 h MST
    Thanks once again to (a href="http://www.mtnwestrail.com">Paul B., we have some additional info on the KCS coal train that went west to Utah the other day. Power is 1 KCS, 1 TFM (KCS's Mexican segment), and 4 BNSFs. The numbers are: BNSF 4837, 5390, 4444, 5471; KCS 2039, and TFM 2614. The loaded train is due to leave Savage, UT, at 0730h today, and is supposed to be in Grand Junction sometime around 1430h. This means it might show up in the early morning light in Denver tomorrow, otherwise it will be before dawn. Now, if MoW windows and trackwork slow it down, all bets are off. I'll post anything additional I learn. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, March 29 2001 at 2224 h MST
    I have no idea how the guy got it or even who the seller is, but I thought I'd make a mention that there's an SD40T-2 builder's plate for sale on eBay here. Unforunately, it's a Southern Pacific tunnel motor, but I thought many of you might be interested in it anyway. BTW - it's off frame number 786265-13, SP 8242. This unit was retired 19-Dec-2000 by Union Pacific. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5376 MOVES
    Posted Thursday, March 29 2001 at 2209 h MST
    DRGW 5376 also headed down the Joint Line today (separately from 5413, I might add), and is currently in Pueblo. I guess this means UP is comfortable with the repairs and ready to send it on the road again. Who know where it will go next, but will probably see at least one more Joint Line run back to Denver. I should also mention that 5410 is headed into Pueblo from Texas, and will arrive shortly, along with 3105 coming in from from Alamosa, CO. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, March 29 2001 at 1232 h MST
    It looks like DRGW 5413 left Denver around 1139h today, and depending on trackwork on the Joint Line he still should make Pueblo in the light. It's a good chance to see an SD40T-2 on the Front Range in good, solid daylight. - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, March 28 2001 at 2322 h MST
    Quote directly from from Paul Birkholz of Mountain West Rail because I'm too tired to rewrite it: "The E-KCAGJC9-27 with about 100 empty coal cars is headed over the Moffat Route right now. The train departed CS Jct, CO (near Denver) at 22:38 on Wednesday evening. Car numbers are between EDEX 99300-99399 if you want to find it via the BNSF public equipment trace. Reports on Trainorders.com (link below) indicate this train arrived in Denver led by two Kansas City Southern AC4400s and another four BNSF C44-9Ws were added to the train before it left Denver." Thanks Paul for posting this to the D&RGW list. For reference, GJC is the BNSF code for Grand Junction and KCA is a generating station in Missouri. BTW, the Trainorders link is here. - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, March 28 2001 at 2310 h MST
    DRGW 3109 is working its way to Denver Diesel (Burnham) for (reportedly) a blown turbocharger. Hopefully it will be replaced, and the unit will not be sidelined along with the numerous other troubled Grandes. However, at the moment, 5356 and 3109 are tied down at Pinecliff, and I'm not sure when they'll be moving again. Not a whole lot to report on the power front today. 5376 is still shuttling between 36th Street Yard and North Yard, but I expect it to leave the area in the next few days. 5401 and 5345 have both been to Burnham recently, but both are supposedly just in for routine work, so no worries there hopefully. That's about all - everything else is moving normally. Be sure to check Locotrace if you're looking for other units' whereabouts. - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, March 28 2001 at 2305 h MST
    UP MoW forces have been out working on the Joint Line through Colorado Springs (and elsewhere) quite extensively the last couple days. Back on 19-Mar-2001, a crew was out with the UP 2188 dropping off hundreds of new ties for installation, and there have been ballast trains around as well. Today, a crew was working on the line east of Mark Dabling St., just north of Rockrimmon, and several other crews were seen all the way up to Castle Rock. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, March 27 2001 at 2109 h MST
    I've gotten the new roster format to the point it's workable. It's certainly not done yet, but I've filled in a few units' detail pages (5345, 5347, 5377, 5389, 5390) so you all can see where we're going. I don't guarantee anything's ready for prime time yet, but if you want a sneak preview of what I'm working on, take a look at the prototype for the SD40T-2 roster page. As usual, feedback is welcome/encouraged before I get too far along in this project. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, March 27 2001 at 1642 h MST
    I've now heard second and third-hand information now that several of the tunnel motors at Burnham may be repaired and returned to service, presumably because of the continuing Union Pacific power shortage. DRGW 5376 has already been repaired and is in the 36th Street Yard in Denver, and the current rumor is that two more may be repaired soon. That's all I know - thanks to several people for contributing this bit. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, March 27 2001 at 1555 h MST
    This coming weekend, March 30-April 1, will be the last run of the Ski Train for the season. From their website, it looks like there might be a few seats remaining of you haven't gotten your ride yet this winter. It looks like the summer runs won't start until June 16, so this will be your last chance to see the new F40PHs in action for several months. Note the summer start date is not yet confirmed, according to them... Just a friendly reminder! - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, March 27 2001 at 1543 h MST
    I thought I'd mention for everyone's benefit that DRGW 5389 and 5410 left South Denver atou 1516h, and thus "should" be in Colorado Springs between 1745h and 1900h, so right after sundown. No promises, no guarantees, just my experience and observation that it's usually between 2.5 and 3 hours from South Denver to here. Can't wait until Daylight Savings Time takes effect next week, will sure help the chances of getting these runs in daylight. In completely unrelated news, I'm expecting to roll out the new DRGW.NET roster pages in the next week or so. It will allow fans to easily cross-reference a unit in DRGW, UP, or SP paint, trace it, see roster shots of it from most angles, and provide a ton of other useful information such as modelling details, specifications, acquisition and repaint dates, and hopefully soon a history of where the unit's been running lately. Hopefully, with some luck, I'll get the SD40T-2s up tonight. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, March 27 2001 at 1213 h MST
    Here's what I know about today's lineup - the quick version so you all don't have to digest the trace information yourselves. First the Denver area: DRGW 3080 is still running out of Lasalle, CO, and 3100/3121/3128 are working the Denver local job. DRGW 5410 and 5389 will be on tonight's MDVPU, and 5360/5376 continue to sit in or around North Yard. 5401 has been moved to Burnham for work. DRGW 3118 and 3097 are also moving in and about the Denver area. Moving south, DRGW 3129 and UP 5245 (ex-DRGW 3122) are working out to Florence today, while 3105 is on the Alamosa run, as usual. 5413, 5385, and 5372 are sitting in Pueblo and presumably will return on tonight's MPUDV. Helper is still down to four units - 5347/5354/5371/5407. Today's eastbout MRODV has DRGW 5356 on it, same as the last couple runs. That's about it for the Utah-Colorado area today. - NDHolmes

    Posted Monday, March 26 2001 at 1308 h MST
    I'm sure some of you have noticed the extreme slowness of locotrace over the last couple days. It seems to take forever to update, today taking nearly six hours to gather all the data together! The problem is some connectivity issues we're having between the DRGW.NET webserver (which lives at my house) and the current (and soon to be retired) RailARC server, which is still back in Iowa. So, I've changed locotrace to count the number of photos the new test RailARC server instead, and all is much better. However, the counts are not 100% accurate as to how many photos of the unit are contained in RailARC, due to the photo collections on the production and test systems being different. I should be able to get the two machines synchronized in the next few days. - NDHolmes

    Posted Sunday, March 25 2001 at 1953 h MST
    It looks like DRGW 5376 has been repaired - on my trip to Burnham today, it was no longer amoung the dead, and the trace indicates that it's been moved to North Yard. This is after sitting in the dead line with the other known dead units since late October 2000. Even though it was dull and dreary in Denver (and snowing, on the way home), I've decided to post a few photos for those who don't get up that way very often. The first is the recently-dead 3085 sitting at Burnham - it's easily viewed from the RTD light rail station. North Yard was full of Grande power today - 5389, 5410, 5401 (coming in on today's MRODV), 5376, 3100, 3121, and 3128. I'll post an operations update tomorrow morning. - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, March 21 2001 at 2030 h MST
    Thought I'd mention that DRGW 3003, in sad shape and headed for the scrapper, was photographed by E.M. Bell as it crossed Kentucky. The photos were posted over at the Trainorders Media Library, and are certainly a sad way to see the 30s go. Thankfully, it appears that 3006 will be saved... - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, March 20 2001 at 1703 h MST
    According to Kevin Morgan via the D&RGW list, the Moffat is closed due to a dump-truck sized rock slide (weighing an estimated 30 tons) covering the tracks between Gore, CO, and Azure at milepost 108. Dispatcher 82's estimate is that the line will be shut down for 24-36 hours. Yes, this is down in the heart of Gore Canyon, so it's going to be a pain to get men and equipment down there to work. More updates as I get them. Update (2/20 - 2035h): For those of you who don't know Gore Canyon, I've posted a photo looking down on a loaded coal train in the very late eighties/early nineties, on the trip that first exposed me to the Rio Grande. This photo looks down on approximately MP 109-110. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, March 20 2001 at 1516 h MST
    From Bruce on the D&RGW list, we've learned that UP is talking about tying down the eastbound Z in Bond, CO, and turning Amtrak #6 (the eastbound Zephyr) at Glenwood. With that, there must have been some relatively major incident east of Bond, but no word as of yet as to what exactly happened and where. As usual, stay tuned for more as it becomes available. In other news, I'll be in Memphis for the next three days, so I'll try to make updates whenever possible, but they'll probably be slow. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, March 20 2001 at 1046 h MST
    Yesterday, a MoW crew was out again with UP 2188, a string of gons, and some backhoe-become-crane-looking things placing more ties along the single track through Colorado Springs. Presumably UP is getting ready to do some serious tie replacement in the next few weeks along their single-track section through the northern part of town. I've posted a photo of the crew working along Mark Dabling Blvd. just north of the Rockrimmon bridge. Also, apparently due to this trackwork and several other projects along the Joint Line yesterday, the four T-2s didn't actually get into town until after dark. When I went down to the yard after work, there were coal trains stacked up everywhere, and a call from Mike D. here in the Springs confirmed they were sitting at Palmer, waiting on a signal to proceed south. - NDHolmes

    Posted Monday, March 19 2001 at 1443 h MST
    The same set that went north yesterday on an empty coal train - 5377, 5389, 5345, and UP8629 - are headed south again today with the MDVPU-19. They just left North Yard at 1350h but haven't passed South Denver yet. Expect them in Colorado Springs between 1730h and 1830h I'd guess. - NDHolmes

    Posted Monday, March 19 2001 at 0813 h MST
    DRGW 5360, after suffering unspecified mechanical failures around Crescent on Friday, was sent to Burnham. No word yet on what failed or if it will be repaired or put in the ever-growing dead line, but as soon as I find out anything I'll post it. Thanks to Mike and the D&RGW list for this bit. - NDHolmes

    Posted Sunday, March 18 2001 at 2320 h MST
    I didn't have time to post it here before running out the door today, but four of the tunnel motors that had accumulated in Pueblo as of late were sent back north on an empty coal train this afternoon. The train, led by UP7290 and SP100, gave DRGW5389/5377/5345 and UP8629 (ex-DRGW5374) a ride back to North Yard. I actually missed them coming out of Pueblo, and didn't catch up with them again until Colorado Springs (Photos #1 & #2) and then again in the middle of heavy snow at Palmer Lake (Photo #3) Sorry they aren't better, but the weather and my timing were lousy this afternoon. Also, I apologize for Photo of the Day being a little late the last couple days - I've been extremely busy, and sometimes it's slipped my mind before I go to bed - I promise, I'll do better. - NDHolmes

    Posted Friday, March 16 2001 at 1357 h MST
    Looks like today's the day for the EMD test train to move from Plainview up to East Portal - reportedly they're a little behind due to test equipment difficulties. The post over at Trainorders reports that the road to the tunnel (Rollinsville - East Portal) has received around three feet of snow lately, and as a result is snow-packed and icy, so take it easy up there. Thanks to Mike (MMM) and the Colorado Zephyr for posting this bit. Also, they note that UP 8559, a Phase II SD90MAC, is in North Yard, and will be headed down to Pueblo in the next day or so - might be something to watch for. Now, for today's D&RGW movements: For those up around Denver, 5342 will be coming over the mountains sometime in the early morning hours, and 3080 has been assigned to LaSalle up on the Denver-Cheyenne main. Also, 5360 is set to depart for Roper later today on the MDVRO. For those of us a bit further down the Joint Line, DRGW 3129 and UP5245 (ex-DRGW3122) are out switching around Florence again today; 5385 and 5372 are expected to power tonight's MDVPU and join the five other significant tunnel motors in Pueblo today (5413, 5389, 5377, 5345, UP8629(ex-5374)). Also of note is that Helper currently has five motors - 5407/5401/5371/5354/5347. As usual, there's the usual fleet of seven units in Grand Junction. Have a good weekend! - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, March 15 2001 at 1928 h MST
    Thanks to Michael, the DRGW.NET Locotrace pages have been upgraded to follow ex-D&RGW units as well as those still moving around in black and orange/gold. We thought this might be of use in following both patched units, SP units, and UP units in the interest of getting photos of them for modelling details, roster shots, or whatever. As always, feedback is appreciated. As a note, the map still only shows the placement of the remaining (as originally painted) D&RGW power. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, March 15 2001 at 1021 h MST
    On the way to work this morning, I noticed DRGW 5372 as the second unit in the power for a southbound rail train, sitting just short of the Uintah Street bridge here in the Springs. No camera this morning, though. According to the trace, it's working south towards Pueblo, probably to deliver the scrap rail to Oregon Steel (the old CF&I works south of Pueblo). I also have no idea where the rail came from, but the only major rail renewal project I know of is the North Fork branch (and believe me, it's a major project). Also, it looks like there will be some track work in Colorado Springs shortly - yesterday a lone UP SD60 with a string of high-side gons was setting out bundles of ties between Fontanero and Cimmarron (streets). Of special interest was a Western Pacific gon in the consist - just unusual to still see one of these in WP paint. - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, March 14 2001 at 1151 h MST
    According to Paul Z., there are two rail trains sitting in Burnham. No idea where they're headed (perhaps track renewal work at Burnham?) As mentioned yesterday, DRGW 5360/5407/5410 are the power on the westbound Z train, which passed Debeque around 1122h. DRGW 5372 is headed down this Joint Line sometime this afternoon. Moving north, DRGW 3080 is getting to be a regular on the Denver-Cheyenne run, last reported in Carr, CO, at 0947h. Also a regular, DRGW 3105 is on the Alamosa run again today. Helper is down to four units again, and UP's computer has once again lost 3111 and 3126, but based on yesterday's data, they're both still black and gold and still running. Finally, 3097 is doing local work around Denver today. Good luck, go get 'em, it's a beautiful day on the Front Range - and time is most definitely running out. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, March 13 2001 at 2327 h MST
    Thought I'd post a couple news photos of yesterday's MDVPU-12, which had DRGW 5413 in the lead and 5377 third in the consist. The photos are DRGW 5413 #1, DRGW 5413 #2, and DRGW 5377. Enjoy! Tomorrow (Wednesday, 14-Mar-2001), the word is that ZDVRO will draw DRGW 5360/5407/5410, and will probably depart North Yard around its usual 4am. DRGW 5389 and 5345, along with yellow-ized sibling UP8629 were on Tuesday's MDVPU, and will probably return on tomorrow's MPUDV. 5413 and 5377 are returning overnight, and will be in Denver early Wednesday morning. - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5507 FOUND!
    Posted Tuesday, March 13 2001 at 0839 h MST
    After not showing up on the trace for some weeks now, it appears that DRGW 5507 is supplying power to the BNSF. It was seen in Needles this morning on the BNSF (symbol: U TPLBAR) at 0015h. Thanks to a crewmember on Trainorders for posting this. This seems to be a growing pool - first it was 5515 and 5507, and now (as we saw Sunday) 5508 has joined the interchanged power fleet. Hmmm... In other news, 3105 is headed for Alamosa today, 5360/5407/5410 are headed into North Yard late this evening (presumably a Z train, based on the estimated transit time), and 5342 is on a much slower moving manifest, due into North Yard early tomorrow. Also, Helper is down to four units again - perhaps one of the set of three above will be dropped off there. As usual, be sure to take advantage of locotrace to follow them. Finally, has anyone seen 3111 and 3126 in the last week? They've stopped tracing. - NDHolmes

    Posted Sunday, March 11 2001 at 0800 h MST
    DRGW 5508 left Denver at 0630h this morning on a train bound for Walsenburg, CO, taking it right down the Front Range on the Joint Line. No word where it is in the consist yet. I'm headed out to try to catch it, hopefully there will be photos of it tonight. Update (3/11 - 1036h): It's actually spliced into a BNSF train, between BNSF 4536 and 4995. It passed through Palmer Lake around 0930h, and over Baptist Road in Monument around 0950h. Click the city links for a couple photos from this morning. - NDHolmes

    Posted Sunday, March 11 2001 at 0033 h MST
    Finally, I've finished the Helper Trip Report. Hopefully it doesn't contain too many errors, as I really didn't proofread it as closely as I should have. One thing I want to apologize publicly for - I lost my trip notes on the way home, and consequently can't remember the name of Frank's friend and travelling companion through Helper to Winterail. If anyone can help me out here, please do - I'd like to get that fixed up. Enjoy! - NDHolmes

    Posted Friday, March 9 2001 at 2204 h MST
    DRGW 5356/5385/5407 will probably be coming down into Denver tomorrow morning, well after sunrise. However, with the forecast being the way it is, they may be descending in the middle of a snowstorm. Don't look for me up there, anyway. In other news, DRGW 5389 made its usual southward run along the Joint Line tonight as the third unit back. Just ahead of it was UP8629, better known to the rest of us as DRGW 5374. Check out Saturday's Photo of the Day for a look at the train at Palmer Lake last night... - NDHolmes

  • DRGW 5413 AND 5377 ON MDVPU-08
    Posted Thursday, March 8 2001 at 1815 h MST
    DRGW 5413, on one of its first trips since spending several weeks sitting at Burnham, is leading tonight's southbound MDVPU train. It left Denver around 1600h, and should be in Colorado Springs any minute now (it's currently 1815h). The third unit in the consist happens to be DRGW 5377. When was the last time you saw TWO tunnel motors coming south? In other news, the earlier special today consisted of CEFX GP20D #1501, GP15Ds 2001 and 2002, and UP 4367 (one of the flared-radiator SD70Ms). Along with the power was the EMD BuddTest Car. Thanks to several people from the DRGW list for piecing this all together. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, March 8 2001 at 0801 h MST
    Looks like UP has a shipper's special on the Joint Line and eastern Moffat today. It's due to leave Pueblo at some point, head north, and then west to around East Portal. No word on when, what the power is, or why its running. That's about it, aside from MDVRO-07 with DRGW 5385/5407/5356 and MRODV-07 with DRGW 5342/5372, both travelling across Utah today. Update (2/8 - 0900h): This is NOT a passenger train as some have theorized. This is some sort of test freight. It's set to depart at 0930h from Pueblo - though we're not sure what the power is yet. Paul from MWR claims it to be UP8210 and SP203, but Mike M. (another DRGW list member) has posted that the UP computer still doesn't show power assigned. The rumor mill claims it may be a test run for GM-92, the so-called SD89MAC being tested at the TTC right now. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, March 6 2001 at 1204 h MST
    First, the good news - the trip to Helper was extremely productive, and I'll get the trip report written/posted sometime later tonight. Included are a dirt train powered by three T-2s (with working nose lights!), a westbound MDVRO with only five Rio Grandes on the front, a RG GP40-powered local in Fruita, a brief look at the North Fork Subdivision, and the usual BNSF and Utah Ry. tidbits. Now the bad news - DRG 5405 was officially retired 27-Feb-2001, and in my absence 3085 has been committed to the dead line at Burnham. Get 'em while you can, the remaining D&RGW units are living on very borrowed time. - NDHolmes

    Posted Friday, March 2 2001 at 0744 h MST
    DRGW 5345 has been returned to Helper after some time in Denver - presumably it was either in need of help or was due for its regular inspection. That makes six motors in Helper again. Also, 3154 and 5356 are returning to Denver. They last traced in Helper, and will be crossing eastern Utah/western Colorado today. Hopefully I'll catch them on the way out to Utah this afternoon. With that note, I'm off - news will probably be slow or nonexistant until Tuesday. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, March 1 2001 at 1456 h MST
    According to Paul Z. from Arvada, DRGW 3085 has been added to the dead line at Burnham as of either yesterday or today. For those keeping track, that's two units in the last week that have been sidelined. Also, DRGW 5345 is headed back for Roper this afternoon, and 5389 is headed down to Pueblo fairly early on (1530h departure time NYard). In contrast with our earlier hopes, 5502 also turned around and headed back for Idaho. Still only five units in Helper. Which reminds me - the Helper trip is now a go for sure - I'll be there Friday night through as late as possibly Monday afternoon. If anyone else will be around (other than those I've already spoken with), drop some email my way before noon tomorrow. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, March 1 2001 at 0754 h MST
    DRGW movement news today: DRGW 3121 is on the Alamosa run, expected into Alamosa around 0730h. DRGW 5502 is sitting in Roper, so if you all pray to the UP power gods, we might see it come east over the Moffat, though I'm not holding my breath. 5371/5372 are working locals out of Grand Junction, and 5356/3154 are headed from Grand Jct. to Roper today. There are now only five units remaining in Helper - and don't expect them to be there more than a few more months (or such goes the rumor mill). DPU has apparently been successful, by all accounts I've heard. So, with that in mind, I'll be venturing out to Helper this weekend, probably with a few other list members. I should be there most of Saturday/Sunday/Monday. - NDHolmes

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