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    Posted Thursday, March 22 2007 at 1932 h MDT
    As has become usual, Colorado has dropping the ball when it comes to putting up funding for their half of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic. Instead of the $1.35 million that had been requested for the badly-needed track repairs, the railroad will get $80k for shop rehabilitation. I'm not exactly sure what the shops need, but it seems that after decades of neglect, the track is in greater need of repair. Read all about it [here] in the Pueblo Chieftain.

    For those of you in Colorado, remember that if you want to see money for the C&TS, you need to make it known to your legislators. Like any good politician, they'll pay attention if enough people make enough noise about an issue. If you're not happy with the way the budget came out this year, writing them isn't a bad idea... -

    Posted Wednesday, March 21 2007 at 1509 h MDT
    La Veta Pass will see steam-powered passenger service again this summer for the first time in decades. The San Luis & Rio Grande has purchased Southern Pacific 2-6-0 #1744 (a 1901 Baldwin, SP class M-6) from Rio Grande Pacific Corp, with the intent to use it on the Saturday and Sunday runs over La Veta. RGPC had overhauled the engine for its New Orleans & Gulf Coast "Big Easy Steam Train", which only ran for only a few months before shutting down. See Earl's announcement on NGDF [here] for more details.

    Posted Wednesday, March 21 2007 at 1421 h MDT
    Earlier today, a BNSF passenger special made its way up the Joint Line from Raton early this morning to Palmer Lake a bit before noon. The special came from Topeka, KS, yesterday, and is headed for Denver this evening. No word yet where it'll go from there. I managed to get out over lunch and grab a few shots - they're posted over [here]. - NDHolmes

    Posted Tuesday, March 20 2007 at 1127 h MDT
    The Savage Bingham & Garfield Railroad has filed with the Surface Transportation Board to acquire several branches from Union Pacific in Utah, at least some of which are ex-Rio Grande. The lines in question (from the STB filing) are UP's Garfield Branch between milepost 4.66 at Welby and milepost 17.10 at Magna, the Bacchus Branch between milepost 0.00 at Kearns (junction with the Garfield Branch) and milepost 2.01 at Bacchus, the Bingham Industrial Lead between milepost 0.18 at Midvale and milepost 6.60 at Bagley Spur, and various UP wye, yard and team tracks in the vicinity of Midvale, for a total of 20.87 miles. The Bingham Industrial Lead will actually be sold to the Utah Transit Authority for light rail use, with the new SBGR retaining a freight easement over the line while light rail traffic is not operating.

    Nearly all of this trackage consists of ex-DRGW lines. The Garfield Branch was obviously the Rio Grande's Garfield Branch, the Bingham Industrial Lead consists of the few remaining miles of the former DRGW Bingham Branch, the Bacchus Branch was formerly known by the DRGW as the Bacchus Spur. This is the domain of today's Midvale Tramp, a local that runs the branches out of Roper.

    For those interested, I've reposted the two important STB documents from Docket 35002 (the one involving this sale) - the application (including some illegibly scanned maps and track charts), and the STB decision from 15-Mar-2007. -

    Posted Tuesday, March 6 2007 at 0029 h MST
    The realignment of the North Fork Sub through Delta, CO, is finally becoming a reality. The current alignment takes coal loads and empties through a number of grade crossings on the west side of a residential area, and then through the sharp curve on the north leg of the wye. The new rerouting - a total distance of around a mile - will eliminate these crossings and nearly all of the curvature, giving trains a straight east-west shot across the north end of town. Right now, the grade and bridge are complete. The project is just waiting on UP to lay track, which is supposed to start in April and be completed by June. I've posted photos taken last weekend [here]. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, March 1 2007 at 1535 h MST
    Attached to the back of today's BNSF H-DENKCK (Denver-Kansas City) was a set of brand new double-deck DMU cars - a power car and a coach. These were built by Colorado Railcar up in Ft. Lupton, and are bound for Tri-Rail in Florida. You can read more about the cars on Colorado Railcar's page [here]. Thanks to Nathan Z for the heads up on these...

    I've posted my photos from today (between Monument and Colorado Springs) over [here]. -

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