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    Posted Monday, March 31 2003 at 2053 h MST
    A new update on the rumor mill surrounding the Alamosa line and its possible sale - there was a post to the D&RGW list tonight further supporting the rumor that RailAmerica has purchased the line. It goes on to state that the new shortline will be named the San Luis Rio Grande Railroad, and that the job application process is already starting. Other information seen in the last few weeks says that it will interchange with the UP at Walsenburg, CO. (Update (1040h - 4/1): Nope, the rumor's good, no April Fools Joke here. If you don't believe me, take a look at the RailAmerica employement page here. San Luis Rio Grande it is indeed.)

    In other SLV news, the Denver & Rio Grande Railway Historical Foundation, the group that has acquired the line from South Fork to Creede, now has ex-SP 7863, some sort of old GE. It's apparently being readied for service. -

    Posted Wednesday, March 26 2003 at 1459 h MST
    In what's quite possibly the best news in months, if not years, for narrow gauge fans, the New Mexico government has a little over $1 million for the C&TS next year - $710k for operations, $300k for capital expenses. Gov. Bill Richardson signed into law several budget bills allocating this money, so it looks like it's a done deal. The best part is that there aren't any strings requiring Colorado matching (because my state is in such a mess that there's no chance of getting any money this year), so the railroad can actually get and use the funding. See the Friends News for teh announcement. Also, the Durango Herald has a general interest story about the ongoing winter work on the D&S fleet. - NDHolmes

    Posted Saturday, March 22 2003 at 1808 h MST
    I decided I had to get out for a little railfanning today or I was going to go nuts. No sooner had I gotten to Monument than I met a southbound BNSF Denver-Barstow with two new Holland America Ultradomes on the back (Kenai - HALX 1050 - and Knik - HALX 1051), bound for operation as private tour cars on the Alaska Railroad. I also found the Rio Grande-powered plow train that's been working the eastern Moffat for the last few days at the west end of North Yard. The plow train consists of DRGW plow AX-41 powered by DRGW 3100 and UP 1900 (ex-DRGW 3154). My hope was to catch it in action, but it didn't run during daylight hours today. The only thing I did manage to get a decent shot of was Amtrak #5 as it rounded the curve outside Pinecliff. Shortly after this, the engineer put it into emergency due to a rather large rock on the track outside Tunnel 30. Fortunatley, the pilot knocked the rock off without any issues, and after inspection of the track for damage, normal operations resumed. That's not to say there weren't problems out there today - tripped slide fences and dead intermediate signals seemed to be the norm, based on what I heard on the radio. - NDHolmes

    Posted Friday, March 21 2003 at 0821 h MST
    The Cumbres & Toltec will be running four days a week this year starting on 14-Jun-2003 due to locomotive maintenance and other issues. The current plan is that eastbound trains will depart Chama, NM, for Antonito on Saturdays and Tuesdays, and westbound trains (the same train, turned) will run Antonito to Chama on Wednesdays and Sundays. Tickets will be $62 for adults, $32 for kids 2-11, and season passes will also once again be available. Per Jay Wimer, coach season passes will be $109, and parlor car passes will be $189. In addition, a $2 fire surcharge will be added to season pass holders for every use of the pass. Updated (3/22 - 1815h): Note - those ticket prices should have been $62 and $32 to include the $2 fire suppression surcharge. They've been updated. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, March 20 2003 at 2158 h MST
    I've done quite a bit of work on the past news archives this evening, completely replacing the software that originally made them work. In the process, I've improved their look-and-feel, as well as added a new searching function. This should help those looking for back news articles about a specific event or unit. To see what's changed, take a look at the Past News page. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, March 20 2003 at 1344 h MST
    Joe M., by way of Paul B. and the D&RGW list, reports that there's been a large rock slide just east of Tunnel 14 on the Moffat. Reportedly several of the rocks are the size of pickups, and it's going to take a while to clear up. Amtrak 6 is being unloaded and turned at Glenwood, and at last report 5 is being held at Plain awaiting a cleanup estimate. Updates as I get them... Update (3/20 - 1350h): And the first update is that 5 is headed back to Denver, and a BNSF manifest stuck on the west side of the slide will be headed back to Salt Lake. Two other BNSF manifests, in addition to the stuck one, will also be detouring over UP's Wyoming mainline. Oh yes, and the plow train is again working east of the slide area with two Rio Grande units for power. Thanks to Paul B. for the update. - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, March 19 2003 at 1849 h MST
    It's been reported on the D&RGW list that at 1610h, UP dispatched a westbound plow train from North Yard headed up by none other than DRGW 3100, UP 1901 (patched DRGW 3155), and UP 1900 (patched DRGW 3154) pushing a D&RGW spreader. The train will proceed west to Tabernash, be wyed, and then return to Denver. Amtrak 5 is through the worst of it, and at Fraser was only running five hours and thirty-nine minutes behind. Amtrak 6 should be just getting into the mess, and was running 3:29 behind before hitting it (at Glenwood). Apparently there are virtually no working switches between Denver and East Portal - they're all frozen. Add to that the random soup of tripped slide fences, red signals and other CTC ailments, and it's going to be a fun few days clearing up all those trains. At last check, Rollins had 86.8 inches of snow from this storm. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, March 18 2003 at 1711 h MST
    Paul Z. just posted the following to the D&RGW list: "Last I heard, at about 2:00 p.m., Amtrak was just leaving Pinecliff. They stayed at Crescent for many hours waiting for some signals to be repaired (power at tunnel 10 was out) and the plow to come through.Also UP is not able to get crew vans to the trains for relief crews, they are using a locomotive on the line to shuffle crews around." The plow in question is apparently one of UP's big ballast regulators. It started from Plain and was working west over the KP. (Thanks to Paul B. and Joe M. for that bit.) Rollinsville apparently already has three feet of snow, and it's expected to continue through tomorrow.

    As of 1300h, the Joint Line was operating without any major issues. There was a malfunctioning switch heater at South Academy, a couple broken angle bars, and problems with the signaling at Crews. Aside from that, though, trains were continuing to move without any real issues that I heard of. -

  • DRGW 3130 REPAINTED TO UP 1446
    Posted Thursday, March 6 2003 at 0929 h MST
    Sometime yesterday, DRGW 3130 officially became UP 1446 after apparently receiving a new alternator and a full paint job at UP's Jenks Shops in North Little Rock, AR. That leaves 18 D&RGW GP40-2s out on the rails in original paint. Thanks to Frank K. and Jim H. for the updates. - NDHolmes

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