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    Posted Wednesday, September 29 2010 at 1119 h MDT
    If you ever wanted your own Grande wide vision steel caboose, now you can buy one. Somebody in Las Vegas is selling 01512, one of 15 built in 1966. It has a "buy it now" price of $17k, which seems a bit high to me, particularly when you add moving it on top of that. There's a make an offer button, too, so maybe they'd take something lower.

    So, if anybody's interested, here it is - eBay #260668930617. -

    Posted Tuesday, September 28 2010 at 1733 h MDT
    I saw on [NGDF] today that the body of Silverton Northern caboose 1005 - originally Denver & Rio Grande 17, a 2-axle narrow gauge bobber caboose built in 1880 - returned to Silverton on Friday, 24-Sep-2010.

    Fritz Klinke has posted photos of the unloading [here]. The caboose was originally Fritz also states that the San Juan County Historical Society has received a grant from the Colorado Historical Society to restore the car, and they intend to make it operational. Nothing of the original running gear remains, so they have a lot of work ahead of them. Restoration will take place in the other bay of the Silverton Northern enginehouse, opposite D&RGW 315. -

    Posted Thursday, September 23 2010 at 1606 h MDT
    On my way back from Oakland last Sunday, I drove along the Grande from Salt Lake eastward to check on the progress of the Utah resignaling project. As reported back in June, Union Pacific is replacing the signals along the former Rio Grande mainline from Helper, UT, eastward to Brendel, UT. They seem to be working from west to east, with the most progress being shown near Helper.

    So far, signals are up and partially in service at the CTC control points for Maxwell and Price. Wellington is partially complete. Masts and other parts have been delivered to East Wellington, Wash, Mounds, and Green River. Floy, Solitude, Sphinx, and Desert show very little work, aside from new bases delivered and sometimes driven into the ground. The state of Vista, Woodside, Grassy, and Cedar is unknown (didn't go check them - short on time). In addition, the new intermediate signal boxes are up along the entire replacement area.

    It looks that all of the intermediates will be coming down and replaced by the new four-post boxes. In addition, all of the masts will be replaced at the control points, and any dwarves controlling siding ends will be replaced with full height masts. The signal heads seem to be a mix-and-match affair. In some cases, such as West Wellington, it appears that the old Rio Grande GRS heads were reused. However, in other places, the new heads appear to be recycled UP US&S heads with the larger background target, but still with the show shield.

    I've posted photos of some of the changes [here]. -

    Posted Wednesday, September 1 2010 at 1551 h MDT
    On Tuesday, 31-Aug-2010, the regular westbound C&TS passenger train struck a maintenance-of-way motor car near milepost 311, just east of [Mud Tunnel]. The motorcar and crew were apparently out as part of the tie maintenance project. The two maintenance workers sustained severe cuts, bumps, and bruises on their shoulders and legs as a result of the collision, and were sent to the Conejos County Hospital in La Jara, CO, for treatment. Fortunately for both men, a full recovery is expected.

    The C&TS press release can be found [here]. -

    Posted Wednesday, September 1 2010 at 1249 h MDT
    I saw this on NGDF this morning from Russ Sperry, and thought I'd pass it along in case anyone has information that might help with recovering the heralds:

    "Sometime during the night of 08/30 - 08/31, the magnetic tender heralds donated to the C&TS for the celebration of its Fortieth Anniversary Season were stolen from engine #488 while it was resting overnight at Cumbres Pass. A reward of $1,000 is hereby offered for information leading to the arrest & conviction of the thief or thieves responsible for this crime. An additional and separate reward of $250 is (also) offered for the return of the two heralds, each approximately 24" x 27", consisting of vinyl colors applied to a magnetic base, as shown [here].

    Please contact Alan Loomis, C&TS Charter Specialist at 575/209-0212, or myself, Russell B. Sperry at 805/642-9676, if you have information which could lead to the recovery of the above property and/or the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this crime."

    Update (Sep 1, 1343h): Nathan Z added that the magnets were in place at Big Horn on Sunday, 29-Aug-2010, and were missing when the regular westbound train pulled in to Cumbres on 30-Aug-2010. So looks like they were stolen earlier than suspected, likely on the Antonito end of the line.

    Update #2 (Sep 2, 2315h): It appears that the culprit may have been nothing more than high winds. Confusion about whether the engine had the logos when it arrived at Cumbres suggested they'd been stolen. A combination of Nathan Z's evidence that they were already gone, and finding one in the weeds at milepost 287.5 suggests Mother Nature may be our thief. -

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