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    Posted Sunday, April 29 2007 at 2222 h MDT
    UP almost has the Delta Bypass ready to go - new track now extends the entire length of the new grade, and the new switch is cut in at the west end. All that's left is ballasting and tamping, setting up the crossing signals, and then switching the track over on the east end. I've updated the gallery with a few photos taken last Thursday night - see [here]. - NDHolmes

    Posted Wednesday, April 25 2007 at 1248 h MDT
    Chuck Conway was kind enough to submit a number of photos years ago when this incarnation of the site was still fairly young. Primarily, they were a look at the Rio Grande in the 1970s and early 1980s. A few months back, Chuck emailed me again, asking if he could add a few more. What resulted from that was a reworking of his existing material into something he could manage himself rather than wait on me, and as a result, he's now uploaded a large number of excellent photos of our favorite railroad from all around Colorado.

    So, please wander over here to have a look around his wonderful photos: Chuck Conway's Rio Grande in the 1970s. -

    Posted Wednesday, April 25 2007 at 1240 h MDT
    While things have been a little slow around here lately (largely due to yours truly being busy with other, non-railroad related things), I have managed to add a bit of new content to the site lately. High on the list:


    Posted Wednesday, April 25 2007 at 1120 h MDT
    Sitting between US Highway 191, Utah Highway 279 and the Colorado River just north of Moab is the site of the former Atlas Mineral Corporation's Moab Uranium Mill. ([Here] on Google Maps) Founded in the 1950s to mine a nearby rich uranium ore body, the mill closed in 1984 and left some 12 million tons of tailings behind, all mildly radioactive due to all manner of left over radioisotopes. While capped, the threat remained that the pile would be swept into the Colorado by flooding. In 2001, the Department of Energy assumed responsibility for cleaning up the site.

    The current plan is to load tailings into special covered railcars on a new spur at the east end of Bootlegger Tunnel. This is just a short haul up the hill to the north of the site. From there, the waste will travel 30 miles north to Brendel (aka Crescent Junction), where it will be unloaded and deposited into an engineered storage cell for permanent disposal. The haul will occur, obviously, over the former Rio Grande Cane Creek Branch. For more information, see the DOT exemption granted for hauling this stuff.

    Regardless, two Whitcomb RS4TCs have been sent west to handle the cleanup - OFHX 1250 and 1258. These were previously used to clean up the Fernald, Ohio, uranium mill. I've read that they are (or at least will be) considered contaminated, so they'll be stored in a fenced area at the end of the branch. (Thanks to CP1400 on RailroadForums.com for that.) At least 1258, and reportedly also 1250, has arrived in Grand Junction. Matt and Wayne Darling [sent photos] of the OFHX 1258 in last week's Potash Local. It was apparently left behind, though, and will likely go out on this Friday's train.

    Posted Monday, April 23 2007 at 1550 h MDT
    "PumpkinHogger" on Trainorders.com spotted an interesting B39-8E at Union Pacific's Neff Yard in Kansas City this morning. The unit is SLRG 8577, the third ex-LMX GE for the railroad, and is freshly painted in a very attractive maroon and yellow SLRG paint scheme complete with a flying "Rio Grande" on the side. To see his shot of the unit, [click here]. - NDHolmes

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