News & Current Events

This page shows interesting railroad happenings as well as breaking railroad news.   Check it often as you may learn the location or schedule of some interesting equipment in time to go out and get some great photographs! If you do go photo 'fanning, please share your pictures with and contact News Page Webmaster Wally Weart.

Photo specs: 800 X 600, max of 1024 X 800 72 dpi or ppi is standard for the web. GIF or TIF is preferred as these are considered lossless versus lossy  (A lossy compression (JPG) method is one where compressing data and then decompressing it retrieves data that may well be different from the original). I reduce some pictures to 559 x 380 if I put them side by side.

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At Palmer Lake

Scott Whitney got to Palmer Lake too late to get the head end of the oil train that was going south. get a couple shots off of the pushers. Note paddle boarder, maybe a water borne railfan? ©2019 Scott Whitney

Colorado DOT may buy former UP Burnham Yard site

Trains Newswire September 18, 2019

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Transportation is close to buying a closed Union Pacific rail yard near downtown Denver, which could figure into the state’s efforts to begin Front Range passenger rail service or could help address a bottleneck in Denver’s light rail system.

Colorado Public Radio reports that Colorado DOT would like to buy 61 acres at the site of UP’s Burnham Yard, a former Denver & Rio Grande Western facility, which closed in 2016. The land could be used in efforts to improve traffic-choked Interstate 25, west of the yard, or could provide access from the south for the proposed Front Range rail service.

Randy Grauberger, project director for the Front Range rail effort, told Colorado Public Radio that any discussion of the land was preliminary. “ But over the years,” he said, “everyone's thought that if Burnham Yard every became available, it would provide additional access for passenger rail system coming up from the south, like the Front Range Passenger Rail concept." [For more on the project, see “Colorado agencies seek proposals to study Front Range passenger service,” Trains News Wire, May 29, 2019.]

The land could also give Denver’s Regional Transportation District room to add a third track at a point where five lines converge at a location on the east side of the yard.

Union Pacific spokeswoman Kristen South said the railroad had received a handful of offers for the yard, and that the railroad is reviewing those proposals

Ex-UP 9001 dome lounge to Adirondack Scenic Rly

UP 9001; to Auto Train 901 in June 1972; to Merle Ervin, Kanakee, Illinois, in December 1981; to Itel Corporation, in January 1982, in service as Green Bay & Western 901, "Trempealeau River" (initial name, "Cross Lake" was not applied); to Fox Valley Western Railway in 1983, a division of Wisconsin Central, car retained red/white colors and number with the later addition of "Wisconsin Central" title; car remodeled in 1997 as Algoma Central (also a division of Wisconsin Central), painted silver and named "Algoma Country".  ©2019 Chip

From Durango

Durango & Silverton K-28 number 473, running as a helper takes water at the Hermosa water tank. It will wait for train number 463 with K-36 number 486. September 14, 2019. Photograph by Jerry B. Day ©2019

D&S fireman Russell Heerdt signals helper engine 473 to back to couple to engine 486, the road engine on train 463. September 14, 2019. Photograph by Jerry B. Day. ©2019

 

 
K-28 number 473 and K-36 number 486 doubleheading with the 14 car train, storm up the 2.5 percent grade at Shalona Lake Crossing just south of Rockwood. September 14, 2019. Photograph by Jerry B. Day. ©2019  

Action on the Joint Line


On 31 Aug, 2019, BNSF 8573 slings a coal empty north through the Greenland Open Space in Greenland, CO. ©2019 Chris Paulhamus

An really different switch engine

On Saturday, Sept 7, I was on Oxford west of Santa Fe  and saw a most unusual  switch move. ©2019 Wally Weart
 
Note that the front end loader has a bucket attachment with coupler. It easily handled 4 loaded scrap gons. ©2019 Wally Weart  

An unusual power combination on the PPL


On Sept.5,  ACe 8535 was backed down and attached to the front at 1645L.Also of note, MOW equip is on the end of today’s PPL. ©2019 David Grothe

Pictures from central and southern  Colorado

Manitou & Pikes Peak Railways snowplow 22 was donated to the Pueblo Railroad Museum and is displayed outside their shop building. ©2019 Larry Dilts Manitou & Pikes Peak Railways historic fully restored coach 104 is also at the Pueblo Railroad Museum. It still belongs to the M&PP but is being temporarily stored at the museum where it is protected inside the maintenance building. ©2019 Larry Dilts
 
When we think of mines, we usually do not think of the miles of railroad operated underground. The Mollie Kathleen mine in Cripple Creek operates a short section of railroad as part of their mine tour demonstration. The train is moved by a compressed air locomotive. The tour guide said that one mine he had worked at operated trains that could haul up to 200 miners. ©2019 Larry Dilts On August 28, the Cripple Creek and Victor Railroad was running trains with Porter built 0-4-0 number 3. The railroad built a bridge over Irene Avenue using an old turntable. ©2019 Larry Dilts
Passing by the old Anaconda Mine site the train was returning to Cripple Creek. A few years ago the railroad built a wye near the end of the line so now trains turn around for the return trip to Cripple Creek. ©2019 Larry Dilts On August 28, the North Pole Railroad number 56 at North Pole amusement park in Cascade, Colorado was basking in the morning sun before the first train ride of the day. The railroad has a steel bridge but it is no longer used for public trips. It is used only occasionally when the locomotive parks on it for under carriage maintenance. ©2019 Larry Dilts

A unique locomotive


Kyle RR ran three rare Utah Railway MK50-3’s; 5006, 5002 and 5004, from Goodland, KS, to Limon, CO, August 29, 2019. The westbound train was setting out empty covered grain hoppers at Burlington, CO, passed 1929 Ford Model A. ©2019 Chip photo.

News and some unique trains

On August 26th, Larry caught an eastbound K&O freight passing through Horace, Kansas. The Horace depot is showing years of wear and neglect. Only a few years ago, the station sign was still on the depot. Trains are still only running west as far as Towner. ©2019 Larry Dilts On August 26, 2019 the Colorado Pacific was working on rebuilding the highway crossing in Sugar City, Colorado. It appears that the spikes have been reinstalled except for the highway crossings. The only other work seems to be between Olney Springs and NA Jct. Some culverts are being replaced or repaired. No one was working on the 26th so it appears that the CP is not overly concerned about getting the line running. In talking with an employee at one of the small Kansas elevators, KVCN is planning on building a large elevator in Sheridan Lake, Colorado. ©2019 Larry Dilts
Grumman built an air levitated test vehicle with speed capable of 300 mph. Some of the technology was classified and was used in the space shuttle. ©2019 Larry Dilts Rohr built a test vehicle with passenger seating. It reached speeds of 145 mph but was limited by the short section of track it had for testing. ©2019 Larry Dilts
 
 
Garrett built another test vehicle which reached speeds of 255.7 mph. This was a linear induction motor research vehicle. ©2019 Larry Dilts  

Fire!

BNSF 9150, SD70ACe came to a stop at Castle Rock, CO, on Colorado's Joint Line, with a fire in the engine compartment. Smoke was visible in the area of the train shortly before the fire department received the call to respond around 943am. Castle Rock Fire and Rescue (CRFD) responded, arriving to find some flames coming from a stack on the unit. With high voltages possible on the unit, and the desire to minimize damage to the unit, dry chemicals were used to put out the fire. As crews made their way along the side of the locomotive, the amount of smoke increased significantly, though a lighter color. Crews extinquished the fire relatively quickly, though trains did not begin moving again on the Joint Line to later afternoon. Note, the arial ladder was put into position as an additional egress route if needed by crew on the top of the locomotive.  All Photos ©2019 Tim Tonge  
   
 
   

Through the flood waters


The Colby Kansas area has had about 11 inches of rain in the last two weeks. The result has been some minor flooding. The UP units parked on the mainline at Cornerstone Ag were high and dry but the county road behind the units was under water. This is the second time this area has flooded this summer. Although the soggy conditions made it harder for the train crew to do their work, the train was not in danger. August 25, 2019. ©2019 Larry Dilts

Klondike Kate in Como

On August 17, as part of Como Days, "Klondike Kate No. 4 participated in the event. Trips were  made about every 15 minutes and she was quite the star of the show. The engine was originally built by Baldwin for the Klondike Mines Railroad and ultimately wound up working for the government building part of the Alcan Highway as well as working on the White Pass & Yukon. The engine passed through a number of hands including the Georgetown Loop before being purchased by the group restoring the Como Roundhouse. An interesting side note is that five of the of the original engines from the Klondike Mines Railroad still exist. One is in Whitehorse, three are in a museum in is in Dawson City, Yukon Territory and of course the one in Como ©2019 Walter Weart
©2019 Walter Weart Denver, South Park & Pacific's stone roundhouse built 1881 is background for Klondike Kate #4 at Como, Colorado, 16 August 2019 ©2019 Chip
As part of Como Days, the Denver Brass had a concert. Note the C&S logo on the drumhead. This was to commerate the original C&S band. The primary organizers of this restoration project are also the couple who are principally responsible for the Denver Brass. ©2019 Walter Weart

DTC .04 is going to be restored.

Denver Tramway .04, the very last Trolley to operate in Denver, arriving from Leiyen after midnight July 2.. The car will be restored to its 1950 appearance and displayed in the Olde Town area of Arvada.

Disher Trucking arrive to load the.04. The heavy duty fork lift will be used to remove the track panel on which the .04 sat.  ©2019  Susie Weart Steve DIsher backs the trailer into position to start loading. ©2019  Susie Weart
The .04 is fully on the trailer. ©2019  Susie Weart The .04 is loaded and ready to roll. ©2019  Susie Weart
The .04 as it appears now. ©2019 Walter Weart The .04 in happier days at the end of the line in Arvada. Arvada archives

An incident on the  BNSF Front Range sub


On my way home on August 12, I  was stopped by a BNSF WSRX unit coal train at the crossing at 88th Ave. They had no sooner cleared the crossing then I could tell that there was a heavy brake  application being applied and they came to a halt about five car lengths to the north of the crossing. I headed north on Wadsworth and took this picture from the American Furniture Warehouse parking lot. Motors 6367, 6222 and 9281 stopped behind the warehouse. I waited for a bit but it appeared as though there was going to be some delays so I thought I'd head for home. The track in the foreground is the no longer used siding that belonged to the previous occupant of this furniture store. Jake is really in the trucking so I doubt that this will ever be used however if he had a private business car, what a great location.  ©2019 Walter Weart

A neat 4014 shot and an unusual locomotive

Pending
Sunrise 8 August 2019 at Sidney, Nebraska-  Union Pacific 4014 was ready to wrap up its Great Race to the Midwest tour.  Westbound special left Sidney about 8:40 AM Thursday morning for a noon arrival at Cheyenne, WY. Chip ©2019
Westbound BNSF 2828, GP39-2, was built by EMD as a GP30 - Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 942 in May 1962. BNSF 2828 led the Hudson Turn past the National Western Complex headed into BNSF â??s 38th Street Yard, Denver, CO, 10 August 2019. @2019 Chip

An interesting train


On the grounds of the Julesburg Railroad Station Museuma tourist train is displayed . It looked like it was 18-24 inch gauge. The history of it is rather interesting. Jack Sawyer, a Nebraska farmer, built it in the 1960s and ran it occasionally on his farm. He donated it to the museum in 1969 for the UP centennial. The locomotive is a steam locomotive. ©2019 Larry Dilts

News from Nebraska

On May 6, 2019 I stopped at Maywood, NE to check on Maywood Coop. Unfortunately the yards were quite and unused for quite sometime however in North Platte I found Maywood Coop 7515 works the elevator there. I since learned that the NKC east of Wallace, NE is out of service and probably will be abandoned to Holdrege, NE. That eliminates the Maywood, Curtis, and Moorehead elevators leaving only the North Platte elevator.  ©2019 Larry Dilts On May 7, 2019 I traveled the NKC from Holyoke, CO to Grant, NE. That section of the NKC is doing well. At Venago, NE, the Scoular Grain Company has their own unit (RLCX 1608) to switch the elevator although it has not been used for a few years. Scoular is using the BNSF to switch the elevator.  ©2019 Larry Dilts
Venango, NE is just across the Colorado/Nebraska state line.  ©2019 Larry Dilts On May 7, 2019, a BNSF unit train was loading at Scoular's elevator in Venago. BNSF 7669 was moving the cars through the loader while BNSF 6554, 6934, and 7053 were waiting at the east end of Venango yards. Not only does the BNSF coal train servicing the Gerald Gentleman power plant north of Wallace but the NKC also services the ethanol plant at Madrid and a number of large elevators along the line and BNSF services Scoular Grain at Venango, NE.  ©2019 Larry Dilts
At Grant, NE, the NKC services their locomotives. Inside the shop was NKC 3129.  ©2019 Larry Dilts Larry also ventured along the NKC's Imperial branch which is isolated from the rest of the NKC. This branch is doing fair with shipments of popcorn, grain and liquid fertilizer. They are running to Imperial once or twice a week. On May 7, 2019 NKC (OMLX) 3061 was parked waiting for a crew the following morning.  ©2019 Larry Dilts

The 4014

May 6, 2019 at North Platte, NE, UP 4016 gleamed in the late afternoon sun. Once the gates closed to the public it was easy to shoot over the fence to get a clear shot.  ©2019 Larry Dilts On August 7, 2019. after a brief stop at Ogallala, NE UP 4016 headed west for its trip back to Cheyenne. ©2019 Larry Dilts

Stored power

Stored UP 3083, Tier 4 SD70ACe-T4, at Sidney, Nebraska, 8 August 2019, Progress Rail Tier 4's mostly stored across the UP. UP 3025 is with Big Boy UP 4014 8 August 2019. ©2019 Chip.

A colorful consist


On August 3, Kyle was working near Limon with an interesting and colorful consist. ©2019 LimonRail

At the end of the Rainbow


On August 6, 2019 BNSF 9017 is parked on the spur/stub track in Spruce, CO as an encroaching thunderstorm rolls in from the north. BNSF usually keeps one locomotive here to act as a helper unit for trains that stall out on the ascent toward the Palmer Divide. Ironically, on this particular evening, a northbound Q-train stalled out/stopped just after passing the Divide...not sure if this guy was dispatched to help as Chris left as the storm got closer.  ©2019 Chris Paulhamus

Activity at the Stock Yards

National Western Complex redevelopment is underway in 2019. Near the Livestock Exchange Building is the Denver Rock Island Railroad tracks, National Western Drive and Denver & Rio Grande narrow gauge stock car 5654. Tracks and National Western Drive will be removed/relocated in coming months/years past redevelopment takes place. 3 August 2019 at Denver Stockyards, Denver, CO. ©2019 Chip.
The Denver Union Stock Yard Company livestock exchange building was built in 1916. At right some stock pens have been removed in early 2019.

In the storm


On  29 July, 2019, BNSF 9009 leads a coal train out of Monument, CO and away from a severe thunderstorm that's intensifying a few miles to the north. . ©2019 Chris Paulhamus

An abandoned track? The question answered!

During a recent visit to the Royal Gorge, I saw this track  which is obviously out service but can any of the viewers tell me what this was one used for? Contact News Page Webmaster Wally Weart. ©2019 Walter Weart  Larry Dilts writes that the track belonged to the old Royal Gorge Scenic Railroad which was part of Buckskin Joe's. Apparently the property has sold and the buildings removed.

Near Limon

UP 8877 East coal load 2x1 passed Limon, Colorado, 6:45 AM July 25, 2019. Train West Elk Mine, Colorado, to Longhorn, Texas- C WELH-23.   ©2019 Chip

Update about the Colorado Pacific's Towner line.

West of Chivington, Colorado, Musselman & Hall Contractors had a Hi-Rail truck on the track being used for tie replacement work.  ©2019 Larry Dilts East of Arlington, Colorado, Musselman & Hall were installing new spikes through this section. This is where V&ST had removed them so they could remove the rails.  ©2019 Larry Dilts
V&ST's (SMNR) Alco was moved off the mainline west of Ordway, Colorado to the siding in Ordway. I don't know if the VS&T still owns the locomotive or not. At any rate, it was moved out of the way so the contractors equipment could utilize the mainline.  ©2019 Larry Dilts The Colorado Pacific will be operated by the K&O. The K&O ends at Towner and connects with the Colorado Pacific. They have been servicing the Bartlett elevator in Towner for years. On the 13th, a K&O crew were switching the elevator. It looked like they had 50 or more cars to load.  ©2019 Larry Dilts
Bartlett Grain closed their Haswell, Colorado elevator however Scoular Grain acquired it and is getting ready to receive cars once the Towner line is up an running. In anticipation, they have moved a Trackmobile to the elevator for switching hoppers.  ©2019 Larry Dilts

4014 on the move

Before departing Cheyenne on its first trip east, the Big Boy picked up a few covered hoppers to assist with braking, seen from the Logan Ave. overpass. ©2019 Mike Harriman Miles east of Cheyenne 4014 passes the station sign for Egbert, WY and would be stopping in Pine Bluffs for servicing. ©2019 Mike Harriman

The Denver & Rock Island


Denver Rock Island RR 553, rebuilt switcher to an SW900, ex-Coors C987, eex-Rock Island 525 model SW was built 7/1938 frame number 7543-4. DRIR 553 works the Denver Stockyards. Trackage to be relocated due to National Western Complex redevelopment. LivWell Headquarters building is next to DRIR 553. Denver Stockyards July 12, 2019. This trackage will be removed during the National Western Complex expansion project. ©2019 Chip

The Georgetown Loop on July 9

I was in Georgetown on July 9 and took a few pictures of the Loop. 111 leads its train down the hill to Devil's Gate and after running around the train, starts back to Silver Plume. ©2019 Walter Weart
There was a fair amount of activity in the yard as this locomotive was idling coupled to the second train set. The Loop is planning to run two trans on busy weekend days to accommodate the record level of ridership  ©2019 Walter Weart The 11 was waiting for its next assignment. ©2019 Walter Weart

A visit to Sterling

I was in sterling on July 4 and saw these RCL SD40 – 2s switching the yard. Most of the day in sterling the weather was misting and foggy so that is certainly affects picture quality. ©2019 Walter Weart

 

This is a very unusual structure, obviously built out of black car bodies. I am guessing it was some type of gravity assist return for cars for the grain elevator but I'm not sure how they got them to the top of the incline since I could not see any evidence of wire rope or cable. If anyone has some ideas on this please let me know and I will update the listing. ©2019 Walter Weart

 

 I was not aware that the Union Pacific served sterling but obviously they do as SD40n was shut down for the holiday. ©2019 Walter Weart ©2019 Walter Weart Here are the remains of the Great Western Sterling sugar mill "Dinky" This was one of several Dinky's that the sugar company operated at the various mills and I'm sorry that this one is in such dismal shape. I guess nobody loves it. ©2019 Walter Weart

A KCS visitor


One 30 June, 2019 KCSM 4137 leads a northbound coal empty off the siding at Academy on the U.S. Air Force Academy, CO. ©2019 Chris Paulhamus

On its way to a new home

David Sheppard spotted something red on a southbound BNSF manifest stopped at signal south of Castle Rock. It was the fourth unit out, GMTX 150, an EMD SW1500.  ©2019 David Sheppard

Colorado Pacific RR progress 

Former Missouri Pacific signals at milepost 848.0 turned away (out of service). Colorado Pacific RR renovating line for service scheduled to start July 2019. West of Ordway, Colorado, 27 June 2019. ©2019 Chip Former Missouri Pacific line near milepost 848.0 (out of service) is being renovated.  Colorado Pacific RR returning line to service starting July 2019.  West of Ordway, Colorado, 27 June 2019.  Railavator employed to bring rail line back. ©2019 Chip

Gensets on the move


Caught these three Gensets (3GS21B) tagging along on a northbound manifest holding the Main on the U.S. Air Force Academy, CO. Not sure where they were going or what BNSF's plans for them are, but they were definitely something different to see on the Joint Line. ©2019 Chris Paulhamus

From New England

The Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire is in the process of restoring the original Boston & Maine/Maine Central “Flying Yankee” trainset built in 1935. Retired in 1957 under its last operating name “Minute Man” the equipment was moved to the Hobo Railroad in 2005. The goal is to return the trainset to operating condition, but the process has been slow and limited by funds available.  ©2019 Dave Goss On Sunday morning, June 23, Amtrak’s “Vermonter” is seen leaving the station in Waterbury, Vermont after a two minute stop to pick up a few passengers. Originating in St. Albans with daily service to Washington DC, the train operates largely on time over former Central of Vermont tracks to Boston, New York and the nation’s capital. The semaphores are not operational, but they look good on this classic unstaffed station. ©2019 Dave Goss
Taken during a fairly heavy rainstorm, Amtrak’s Ethan Allen awaits its next trip. The unoccupied station at Rutland, VT was closed and the locomotive just humming on high idle until departure about five hours later. ©2019 Dave Goss

Activity on the Moffat Sub

Eastbound BNSF 9236, SD70ACe, led Union Pacific’s West Elk Mine, CO, coal load across Colorado headed to Cora, Illinois. The 101-car train was set up with distributed power; 2x3x1, passed Parshall, CO, 20 June 2019. Photo by Chip

Restoration progress on the 168

The restoration crew expects to have Denver & Rio Grande 168 restored to operation late 2019 at Alamosa Colorado ©2019  Chip

 

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