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    Posted Sunday, March 22 2009 at 2243 h MDT
    New Mexico is once again coming through for the Cumbres & Toltec. On Friday, the NM Senate approved HB-154, a $134M spending package that includes a million dollars for "track rehabilitation and improvements to the Cumbres and Toltec scenic railroad." This is in addition to the $99,200 that they've already appropriated for operating expenses in this next season. Well done to all involved! (And thanks to Dick Cowles for letting us all know over at the [NGDF].)

    While Colorado's legislative season isn't quite over (another six weeks), I'm not tremendously hopeful of my state contributing much again this year. Still, if you're a Colorado resident, you might write your state congress critters and suggest that they step up to the plate - especially since we all just got stuck with substantial vehicle license tax increases. -

    Posted Sunday, March 22 2009 at 2213 h MDT
    On Wednesday, 16-Apr-2008, a wildfire ripped through Ordway, CO, on the former Missouri Pacific line east of Pueblo - the route that the Rio Grande used to reach Kansas City in the 1980s. Two wooden trestles on the line were amongst the many structures lost in the area.

    Most of us thought that would be a death knell for the line as a through route. The current owner - the V&S Railway - doesn't operate much on the west end of the line, and they certainly don't do through traffic. Also, V&S is closely affiliated with A&K Railroad Materials, one of the nation's largest railroad scrappers, so many of us have doubts about their long term goals for the route. Suspecting the worst, many of us thought this might be used as an excuse to tear out the western end of the route.

    I'd been told that a month or two back, they'd pulled a couple strings of auto racks up there to be stored. As it turns out, the Pultney siding is full of them, and there's another sizable string blocking the main about two miles short of Ordway. I was just going to run down and get a shot of the burned-out bridge to show why they couldn't have shoved them further. Then something strange happened - the bridge wasn't missing any more. A trip over to the other side of town revealed that the other burned-out bridge at milepost 845.0 has also been repaired with culverts and fill.

    It would seem that the ex-MP Towner Line isn't quite done for yet.

    Photos of the autorack strings, as well as the two rebuilt bridges, can be seen in [this gallery]. -

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