News & Current Events

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August 7, 2002

In Remembrance
Jackson C. Thode

We are sorry to advise that Jackson C. Thode died Saturday, August 3, 2002, at home after a long illness. Jack was a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club. He carried membership card number two. Jack was a very active member during his entire sixty-four years of membership in the club. Jack's railroad career with the Denver & Rio Grande Western spanned forty-two years and he retired in the position of Chief Budget Officer. Jack will be missed greatly by all, but his legacy will always remain with us. We will print a complete biography covering Jack's life in the September issue of Rail Report.

There will be a train at Thode's funeral at 2 pm. Saturday, August 10, at the Little Ivy Chapel in Fairmount Cemetery.


June 10, 2002

Amtrak Detours via Wyoming Account Colorado Wildfire

Amtrak operated two number 5's (California Zephyr''s) out of Denver on Sunday, June 9th due to the Glenwood Springs fire on UP's Glenwood Subdivision. UP 6871 was on the point of Amtrak 5 of June 7th. The train had returned from Glenwood Canyon account the large fire west of Glenwood Springs, CO. The second #5 had UP 6606 with Amtrak 83-184-154. This train had domes PUGET SOUND and SIERRA HOTEL in the middle of the train. Both trains moved north on the Greeley Subdivision to run via Wyoming. Both trains rolled through the Commerce City area just before noon about ten minutes apart.

C&TS Steam Train Not Running Account Fire Danger

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad did not operate the weekend of June 8-9, 2002 due to concerns about starting a wild fire. The 64-mile line along the Colorado and New Mexico state line loads passengers at Antonito, CO, and Chama, NM. Channel 7 from Denver, CO, reported the trains was not operating on the former Denver & Rio Grande narrow gauge line.

A wildfire was threatening Glenwood Springs, CO, that same weekend. The Coal Seam fire was started by an underground fire that has smoldered for years west of Glenwood Springs. The fire took off eastward towards Glenwood Springs, jumping the Union Pacific''s Glenwood Subdivsion track, the Colorado River and Interstate 70 on June 8, 2002. Several homes in West Glenwood and trailers at the Storm King Trailer Court were destroyed.

(Editor note: fires continue to burn on June 10 and appear to be getting worse.)

Railroad To Open with Modified Schedule
Posted By: C&TSR Commission
Date: May 20, 2002

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad will open its 32nd season this Saturday, May 25,
with a modified train schedule. The season opening modified schedule is being
implemented due to railbed enhancement work needed at two locations on the railroad
line. The need to accomplish these enhancements before operating passenger service
over these two locations was identified during Federal Railroad Administration railbed
inspections concluded May 18.

The two locations needing work are about three quarters of a mile west of, and about
two and one-half miles east of, Osier, Colorado, where the trains normally make their
lunch stop. The improvements at these two locations are part of a multi-year track
upgrade program that started in 2000 with funding provided by the United States
Economic Development Administration and the states of Colorado and New Mexico,
which own the railroad. It is estimated that this work, already underway, will take several
weeks to complete.

Until the work is completed, all Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad trips will originate from
and terminate in Chama, New Mexico. Service will be daily, starting May 25. Further
details concerning the revised schedule will be provided by the railroad operating
company, the Rio Grande Railway Preservation Corporation, (505) 756-2151. (Friends
of the C&TS)

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View of UP's Turkey Creek Bridge trestle fire on April 12, 2002. Train was eastbound coal load from the
Somerset Mine, CO. Photo taken by someone in KS and forwarded for your viewing..

Ski Train Completes Winter Season

Ansco's last winter season Ski Train wound up the season on Saturday, 3-30-2002. No train on Sunday since its Easter. Train ran with the three leased Amtrak F40PH's, 242, 289 & 283. Great dispatching had the train
almost on time into Winter Park. Trip back was smooth and arrived back in Denver on the advertised.

Hugh Wilson, Sr, made his last run as a car attendant on March 30. He wrapped up ten years of working on the train.

Noted four NS (one Conrail blue with three black units) at BNSF's Denver Diesel Shop while rolling by on Saturday morning 3-30-2002, about 7:20 AM. They were all coupled together.

Summer Ansco trains begin June 12 running Saturdays only through August 17, 2002. Plan your weekend getaways accordingly.

Ex-DRGW 5502 Working Joint Line

Union Pacific (UP) patched number 5096 proudly retains its Rio Grande lettering on its long hood. The SD-50 unit began working between Denver to Pueblo, CO, area in March 2002. UP 5096 was ex-Denver & Rio Grande Western RR 5502. Looks like the new UP SD70M 5000's will prompt another renumbering.

John Bromley from UP, Omaha, NE, confirmed that another 100 SD70M units are headed for UP service. They will be roster numbers 5000 and to 5099. There are some units on the roster in the 5000's and they will be

The UP's 1000-unit EMD SD70M order is nearing completion. Late March found UP 4900's assembled in Mexico joining the UP fleet. These later deliveries feature radiator flares and the large American flag decals on their long hoods. (Thanks, Chip)

Artrain at Arvada, CO

Artrain USA, the nation's only traveling art museum on a train, arrived at Olde Town Arvada, CO, on March 27, 2002. BNSF moved the train from McCook, NE, to Arvada. They have constructed a temporary "no switch" six
car lengths siding for the five-car Artrain near the old flour mill museum.

Track was moved over to spot the cars, and then moved back into alignment on the BNSF's Golden Line (used by the BNSF Beer Runs to Golden, CO). "Artistry of Space," a fine arts exhibition housed in five railcars, will take up temporary residence at Olde Town Arvada. Admission is free to the Artrain, which will be open to school children starting Tuesday, April 2nd from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The public is invited starting April 4 - 7, 2002. The train is expected to leave Arvada on April 8th.

Artrain USA does not own a locomotive; the nation's railroads generously donate the services of equipment and crews to transport Artrain USA from community to community.Artrain USA has five cars: three gallery cars, a studio car and a caboose.

Artrain USA has just acquired three new gallery rail cars for this exhibition. Car one (ARTX 101) was a 1949 built New York Central sleeper car, and cars two and three were 1949 built Pennsylvania Railroad twin diner kitchen and table cars, respectively. In 2000, Artrain USA replaced the gift shop/studio car with a 1947 New York Central baggage dormitory car. The caboose will serves as an office for the Artrain USA onboard staff and as an efficiency apartment for a staff member during the train's transit.

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John Hammond sent a couple of pictures of dedication of the new roundhouse and turntable at the Colorado Railroad Museum. Sorry I didn't get these posted more quickly.

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What's changed about the Denver & Intermountain Caboose? It's marker lights are back where they belong. Two D&IM fans bought them from the widow of the gentleman who owned them and donated the markers to the Colorado Railroad Museum. Money has also been donated to purchased materials to start rebuilding this car. Now if we could only get one of the steeple cabs from South America...  Photos by John Hammond

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The weekend of February 23-24 was the dedication of the new roundhouse and turntable at the Colorado Railroad Museum and Georgetown Loop No. 40 was the star of the show. The 40, recently returned from it's visit to the White Pass & Yukon, looks sharp with the new paint and white striping. No. 40 will be used this season at the Loop so you get a change to ride behind the great little engine. Photos by John Hammond

BNSF 8-40BW 558 was on the Laurel, MT, to Fort Worth, Texas train (H LAUFTW1 14). Pike's Peak towers over the train at Colorado Springs, CO, on the Joint Line on Friday, Feb. 15, 2002. The two helpers that were on the head end were cut off at Bijou Siding at Colorado Springs. South of Colorado Springs train had three 500's for power all elephant style, 558-552-504 (two worn warbonnets and a Heritage II paint scheme). Photo by Chip

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New General Electric built AC44CCTE Union Pacific 5742 and 5716 with waving American Flags were on the North Platte, NE, to Nampa, ID, (train M NPNA 07) near Borie, WY. The last rays of sun found the train climbing Sherman Hill on track 3. Train had 122-cars. Looking good!   Photo by Chip

Union Pacific SD70M's UP 4526, UP 4527, UP 4528 and SD60 UP 6015 roll eastbound west of
Julesburg, CO, Saturday Jan12.
Photo by Jolene Sterkel

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Photo by Chip
UP 2002 East Across Nebraska, Jan. 3, 2002
UP's intermodal train from Salt Lake City, UT, that departed Jan. 2, 2002, had one of two UP SD70M's painted for the Winter Olympics. UP 2002 and SD60M 6066 lead a 14 loads and 36 empties train across western Nebraska early that morning. Train is seen passing under a BNSF coal load at Sidney, NE, (yes, train above is blurred, better on video). Quite an impressive paint scheme you need to see in person to appreciate.

Copyright 2000, 2001 Rocky Mountain Railroad Club.