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    Posted Saturday, April 26 2008 at 0029 h MDT
    For those who don't know, what has to be some of the least photographed railroad and railroad equipment is located at the AAR's Transportation Technology Center just northeast of Pueblo, CO. The facility, originally built by the FRA but now privately owned by the American Association of Railroads and operated under contract by TTCI, performs a large amount of basic research on railroad technologies for the FRA, the railroads, railroad equipment manufacturers, and even railroad shippers. It's also usually off limits to anyone not working on one of their projects, and a fairly strict "no photography" zone. Much of the strange equipment inside never leaves the grounds, and due to the large amount of private property surrounding the grounds, also seldom gets seen by rail enthusiasts. Needless to say, with all that research, there's also a lot of weird hardware hiding in there.

    Last Saturday (19-Apr-2008), the AAR and TTCI had an open house to celebrate 25 years of AAR ownership, and 10 years of operation by TTCI. For this one day, a part of the grounds were opened up to friends and family invited by the employees. Thanks to the efforts of an engineer out at the TTC who also happens to be a member of our monthly slide show group, a few of us got the opportunity to have a look inside this unique facility.

    So, for those interested, the photographic results of the trip are posted [here]. Thanks to both the AAR/TTCI and Duane for the opportunity to do this - we all had a great time out there. -

    Posted Tuesday, April 22 2008 at 2206 h MDT
    As many of you know, Rio Grande caboose 01414 has been at the Feather River Rail Society's Portola (CA) Railroad Museum for some time, on indefinite loan from its previous owner. The new owner of the caboose - Bill Parker - emailed me a few days ago and is looking for any photos that any of you might have of the car in service on the Grande. If any of you can help him out, I'd greatly appreciate it. Bill's done a great deal of behind-the-scenes stuff for my website over the last couple years, so please dig through your slides and negatives and do what you can to help him out. Since any address I post here gets overrun with spam rather quickly, just [email me] and I'll forward your message along. - NDHolmes

    Posted Thursday, April 17 2008 at 1314 h MDT
    On Sunday and Monday, April 13 & 14, UP ran their 2008 engineering special eastward across the former Rio Grande system, complete with DDA40X 6936 on the front. I've posted my photos from chasing it from Pocatello to Denver in a new trip report [here]. - NDHolmes

    Posted Friday, April 11 2008 at 2258 h MDT
    Late last year, the Colorado Historical Society announced that due to problems with getting their engineers to sign off on the Loop's pin-truss bridge, it would need to be replaced before the 2008 season. Apparently, despite little to no sign of deterioration and the fact it came off a standard gauge C&S coal branch, the engineers weren't comfortable with approving a bridge for which they had none of the original material specifications.

    On 29-Nov-2007, the Colorado Historical Society obtained a $399k emergency supplemental allocation from the Limited Gaming Fund in order to fund replacement of the bridge. The funds are apparently being put to use, as a quick stop by the loop today shows the previous bridge deck gone and new abutments in place. The reported plan is to place new I-beams capable of handling the load on their own, and reattach the sides to keep the appearance. Photos of the work as of today can be seen [here].

    Posted Monday, April 7 2008 at 1504 h MDT
    The name should need no introduction to any Rio Grande enthusiast - Richard H. Kindig was one of the most prolific photographers and historians of not only the Rio Grande, but of Rocky Mountain railroading in general. Images from his medium format negatives have graced the pages of many of the significant works on Colorado narrow gauge - particularly those involving the DSP&P / DL&G / C&S lines. Without his spectacular photography and documentation (both on the narrow and standard gauge lines of the Rocky Mountain west), much of that era would have been lost to time. Those of us who never had the chance to see it in person owe him an eternal debt of gratitude for capturing these moments in time.

    In honor of his contributions in documenting the history of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter proclaimed March 1, 2008, to be Richard H. Kindig Day. A few photos of Mr. Kindig and the event held in his honor at the Colorado Railroad Museum can be found [here]. He has also been recognized in the past with the 1984 Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Photography Award (the first ever given), and by Trains magazine in their 50th anniversary issue as one of a small number of notable photographers who had made significant contributions over the years.

    Born on 13-Feb-1916, Mr. Kindig was a bit over 92 when he passed away earlier this afternoon.

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