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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Amtrak in the snow


AMTK 1105 at Crescent near tunnel 18.  ©2022 Erik Lindgren

A special caboose


The Department of Energy and US Navy had the Rail Escort Vehicle (REV) built to be part of a future train that will transport spent nuclear rods. This specialized rail car was built by Portland, Oregon, based Vigor Works LLC. The project includes the whole consist including the 12-axle Atlas car and buffer cars. IDOX 030001 was moved by Union Pacific into Colorado where BNSF took over the move to the Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, CO. Car has a builder date of November 2019. Near La Salle, CO, January 17, 2022. ©2022 Chip
 

THe Ski Train starts a new season

Amtrak‚s Winter Park Express made its first run to snowy Winter Park Ski Resort January 14, 2022. Train laid over at snowy Fraser, CO. Eastbound BNSF 6847 moved the Provo, Utah, to Denver train past the parked Winter Park Express just before noon. ¬©2022 Chip Amtrak's Winter Park Express made its first run to snowy Winter Park Ski Resort January 14, 2022. Locomotives ran around their train at snowy Fraser, CO. Westbound Amtrak train 5, the California Zephyr, passed the parked Winter Park Express. ©2022 Chip
 
Sunrise January 14, 2022 saw Amtrak's Winter Park Express run over Union Pacificís Moffat Tunnel line to Winter Park Ski
esort. Amtrak 76 and 171, P42DC, handled the 7-car Superliner train past UPís Utah Junction shortly after sunrise. ©2022 Chip
 
   
   
   
   

A Warbonnet in the sunrise


The first warm glow of a January sunrise under the Great Divide in full Alpenglow softly illuminate a venerable Warbonnet warrior at East Portal, CO 1/9/22

The Ski Train arrives

Amtrak 45, P42DC, lead four units and the Winter Park Express set into Denver, Colorado, January 12, 2022.  Winter Park Express started service January 14, 2022.   ©2022 Chip Amtrak's Winter Park Express arrived Denver via Amtrak train 5, the California Zephyr, January 12, 2022. Three cars have advertising wraps on them. ©2022 Chip

RTD serves the Stock Show


Denver RTD N Line had 4-car train running for the National Western Stock Show opening day Saturday, January 8, 2022. commuter trains were stopping at the National Western Complex station. Note new stock pens all have electrical outlets - portable generators are no longer required. ©2022 Chip

A Canadian leader should right at home with the heavy frost


Tim Tonge caught this train Palmer Lake, CO on January 9..  Everything was covered with heavy frost/ice.  ©2021 Tim Tonge

Heavy iron


Army vehicles M88A2 HERCULES (Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lifting Extraction System) and M1A2 Abrams tanks moved north on the Joint Line on UPís Colorado Springs Subdivision December 26, 2021. The Fort Bliss, Texas, to Orchard Training Center, ID, was north of Palmer Lake, CO. Note the old flyover. ©2021 Chip

At sunrise


Sunrise January 8, 2022 found Rocky Mountaineer RMRX 8020 idling away at UP's 36th Street Yard, Denver, CO. UP was busy spotting intermodal cars at the Denver 40th Street Intermodal ramp. ©2022 Chip

A meet at Eldridge

I was in Golden today, January 5, and noticed that the "Beer" train was about leave for Denver. As I crossed Edlridge, I noticed the Golden Switcher has pulled down the Coors lead so I thought there might be a meet.

The brakeman stands by the switchstand to give eastbound Beer train roll by inspection. Once it has passed, he'll align the switch
 to let the Golden Switcher back on the main.
The eastbound train is about to cross Eldridge
.
and rolls by the Switcher. The Switcher is back on the main, heading to Golden. While it is very difficult to see, the Beer train passing the Cemetery.
 
On its way to Golden. All pictures  ©2022 Walter Weart  

Different graffiti


A CMO grain hopper at Cornerstone Ag In Colby, Kansas, had this interesting graffiti painted on the side of the car. ©2022 Larry Dilts

A Canadian visitor


CP 8137 West got a fresh BNSF crew at Denver's 31st Street Yard for their run north on BNSF's Front Range Sub Sunday morning, 2 January 2022.  Train  shown  at Sand Creek Diamond, Commerce City, CO.  Unit sand train to Fort Collins, CO.  ©2022 Chip

Amtrak meet with freight train


Eastbound BNSF Provo, Utah, to Denver train met westbound Amtrak train number 5, the California Zephyr, at Utah Junction north of Denver, Colorado, about 8:30 AM, December 31, 2021. Amtrak canceled long distance train departures December 31 origination cities like Chicago that included the California Zephyr. No train number 5 crossed Colorado on January 1st-! ©2021 Chip

Action along Kyle

Kyle Railroad used two Utah Railway MK 50-3 locomotives; 5003 & 5002, on their westbound train to Limon, Colorado, Wednesday, December 29, 2021. Train picked up loaded grain cars at Arriba, Colorado and had 87-cars between Arriba and Limon, Colorado. ©2021 Chip Kyle Railroad used two Utah Railway MK 50-3 locomotives; 5003 & 5002, on their westbound train to Limon, Colorado, Wednesday, December 29, 2021. Train picked up loaded grain cars at Arriba, Colorado and had 87-cars between Arriba and Limon, Colorado.   ©2021 Chip
Westbound Kyle Railroad had 87-cars behind Utah Railway MK 50-3 locomotives; 5003 & 5002. Train was westbound going to Limon, Colorado, Wednesday, December 29, 2021. ©2021 Chip
 
Westbound Kyle RR train had Utah Railway units 5003 & 5002 passed Genoa, CO, along Old Highway 24 on December 29, 2021. The 87-car train was headed to Limon, CO, where 20-loaded covered grain cars were interchanged to Union Pacific. ©2021 Chip  
Union Pacific had empty grain cars at Limon for waiting grain elevators at Flagler and Stratton, CO. ©2021 Chip


 

 

Military hardware on the move


Army vehicles M88A2 HERCULES (Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lifting Extraction System) and M1A2 Abrams tanks moved north on the Joint Line on UPís Colorado Springs Subdivision December 26, 2021. The Fort Bliss, Texas, to Orchard Training Center, ID, was north of Palmer Lake, CO. Note the old flyover. ©2021 Chip

A late arriving Zephyr


Amtrak 51 lead 14-hour 30-minute late California Zephyr, train 6, out of Denver, Colorado, December 28, 2021. Train was delayed by heavy snow on Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, the day before. Amtrak passed BNSF 1675 at Irondale, Colorado, near Commerce City, Colorado. ©2021 Chip

A Warbonnet


Bob Thiele caught this Warbonnet on the Joint Line on December 24. Note the orange cab A/C unit, probably not many color matching units in stock anymore. ©2021 Bob Thiele

UP power at Limon


T
his UP power was idling at Limon on December 23.  ©2021 Limonrail

The Golden Switcher

After dropping a long cut of boxcars at the warehouse ,the Golden Switcher returns to the main and will go switch the lumber
 reload yard. ©2021 Walter Weart
Note sign on the cab. It reads :"Casper Road-Switcher" with a drawing in the middle. ©2021 Walter Weart

From Colorado Springs

I was in Colorado Spring on December 18 and stopped to photograph the now empty station. The restaurant has been closed for several years but the 168 which sat across from the building is now running on the  C&TS. ©2021 Walter Weart The Colorado Springs switcher had the day off. Nice to see a caboose which is not a billboard for graffiti. ©2021 Walter Weart

Action in Kansas

On December 14, 2021, a four unit Kansas & Oklahoma consist passed through Scott City, Kansas. The units were running light. There were three separate K&O paint schemes.
  In Garden City, Kansas, Wind River Grain operates a GP40 at their grain facility located on the east side of town. There were no markings on the unit so I do not know the history. The unit is remote controlled. A couple of years ago this unit replaced the former Garden City Western GP9 200
December 14, 2021. BNSF GP40X 3031 was taking a string of tank cars to the Wind River Bonanza Bio Energy plant on the east side of Garden City, Kansas.
 
This is just for fun. Merry Christmas. 6 pictures ©2021Larry Dilts

Colorful consist


The Buffalo and Utah engines, bracket an ex-BNSF motor.  Must of had a nice load to have these big fellas to pull.©2021 Limonrail

Some Midwest  Action
I traveled to and from Suburban Chicago over December 16-20 and got in a bit of railfanning.
F. W. Hall Printing has a very large plant in Roshcelle, IL and, at one time, was a major rail user. Their Whitcomb 45 tonner is now on display at the Roschelle Railroad park. The park is located in the apex on the diamonds where  the UP's exC&NW Omaha - Chicago line cross the BNSF's ex CB&Q Minneapolis -Chicago line. The Iowa Interstate freight was in the passing siding near Amana, IA.
.
Tucked in behind the  road power was this Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Gen-set. Gen-sets have fallen from favor and this one may
be off to the  scrap line.
The grain elevator in in Lexington, IA has this SD-9 as their plant switcher. The paint scheme suggests that in may have come from the Montana Rail Link. Most elevator complexes have their own power. I couldn't get much closer as this in a very active location.
Peavey Grain in Cozad, NE has this SD-7 (?) as their switcher. The engine is stored in the elevator complex so I asked for permission to take this picture. While photographing the switcher, this westbound Intermodal train rolled by at track speed.
The UP station at Cozad is a significant landmark, the 100th Meridian.  It was the 100th meridian west, the longitude he identified as the boundary between the humid eastern United States and the arid Western plains. West of Covid, a merchandise freight rolls towards North Platte
 
A local which had done some switching in Covid is on the roll, parallel to the merchandise train. All pictures   ©2021 Walter Weart  

 Some Visitors from Mexico


David Grothe caught this this train in Castle Rock at 11:45 on December 14. ©2021 David Grothe

A commuter car passes through Denver on its way home


Stadler commuter car moved from BNSF Denver to UPís North Yard, Denver, Tuesday, 14 December 2021. Flatcar TEXX 89199. The car was tested and released from the Transportation Technology Center. Eventually, will operate on Californiaís Bay Area Electrification. Now headed back to Salt Lake City, Utah. ©2021 Chip


Rocky Mountaineer power arrives in Denver

Rocky Mountaineer 8020, GP40-3, was shipped from Canada to Denver, Colorado, via Union Pacific arriving UP's North Yard December 12, 2021. The unit was moved over to UP's 36th Street Yard, Denver, next day. ©2021 Chip  
 
Rocky Mountaineer 8020, GP40-3, was at Union Pacific's 36th Street Yard, Denver, Thursday, December 16, 2021. Locomotive moved from Canada to Denver. ©2021 Chip  

UP (Rocky Mountaineer) locomotives are back to original

©2021  David Mangold ©2021 David Mangold
 
David Mangold saw the change from the  RockyMountaineer to the UP logos. ©2021 David Mangold  

Sky Railway


Sky Railway (operating on former Santa Fe Southern) began public excursions on Friday, December 3, 2021. On Saturday morning, December 4th, invited guests rode the train across trestle near the 'Flintstone Houseí (upper left). Caboose is SFS 562 former Santa Fe 1972 Ce-9 built in 1943. Unique paint scheme was painted during summer by renown artist Joel Numina. ©2021 Chip

The Beer runtaking the Golden Switcher power in to Denver

Saturday's (Dec 4) Beer run has the power for Golden Local tucked in behind the road power. Likley going to  the shop for the 31 day inspecction. ©2021 Walter Weart

Canadian visitors includes a CN Heritage unit

Canadian Pacific 9727 had an Ottumwa, Iowa, to Wellington, Utah, unit loaded 80-car frac sand train at BNSFís Tonville Siding, Lochbuie, CO, at sunrise November 29, 2021. The BNSF train also had two DPUís; Norfolk Southern 1101 and UP 6285. ©2021 Chip BNSFís Sweet Grass, Montana, to Bakersfield, California Export Grain from Canada. BNSF 8545, CP 7014 - Heritage unit-!, CP 8076, DPUís CP 7058 BNSF 8214. Train had 97 loads, 13,313 tons, 5,833 feet. Train was held (photo) at Sterling, CO, over the Thanksgiving weekend. BNSF 8545 South ran down the Joint Line on November 29th enroute to California. ©2021 Chip

 A Warbonnet


BNSF 676, C44-9W, still wears her Santa Fe inspired warbonnet colors proudly. Her La Crosse, Wisconsin, to Denver, CO, bare train (61-cars) was tied down at Keenesburg, CO, November 29, 2021, awaiting her turn into the Mile High City. ©2021 Chip

A "Beer" train


A "Grenstein" Green locomotive leasds a an inbound Coors train on Saturday Novembers 27 ©2021 Walter Weart

Canadian visitors in Denver

Canadian Pacific 8622, AC44CW, and CP 8892, ES44AC, led a BNSF 100-car unit grain train past Denver, CO, November 23, 2021. The train ran 2x2 with rear DPUís. The CP train entered the USA at Sweet Grass, Montana, and was headed to Fresno, California. ©2021 Chip
 

BNSF in Denver


BNSF 559, Dash 8-40BW built October 1990 then rebuilt December 2018, were on the BNSF's Market Street job tied down Thanksgiving morning near E. 60th Ave., Commerce City, Colorado. ©2021 Chip

A Kyle locotive


Eastbound Kyle RR Utah Railway 5002, MK50-3, worked Flagler, CO, Monday, November 22, 2021. ©2021 Chip

A really interesting picture


Southbound BNSF lntermodal train headed to Long Beach, CA, rolled down the Joint Line at Evans Avenue south of Denver, CO. LEFT-The BNSF mid-train DPUís were on a double sized coal empty parked at South Denver and stretching almost to Englewood, CO. ©2021 Chip.

A new car at the Pikes Peak Historical Street Railway Foundation museum.


Manitou & Pikes Peak Railway number 17 Car at the Pikes Peak Historical Street Railway Foundation museum. ©2021 Larry Dilts

The ski train is back for the 2022 season with fares starting at $29

Both pictures  ©2021 Walter Weart  

All aboard the Amtrak Winter Park Express ó your ticket between Denver and the foot of the slopes at the Winter Park Resort, voted North Americaís best ski resort and Coloradoís top adventure town.

The ski train will run each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from the weekend of January 14 - 16 through the weekend of April 1 - 3. One-way fares start at $29, with kids fares (aged 2-12) starting at just $14.50.

Pack your skis as a carry-on for no additional charge. During boarding, skis will be placed in a dedicated baggage storage.

While onboard, youíll enjoy a trip in Coach class ó featuring wide, reclining seats with a big picture window, ample legroom, and no middle seat. Be sure to visit the bi-level Sightseeing Lounge ó offering panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains and Moffat Tunnel upstairs and cafť service with snacks and drinks for sale downstairs.

The Winter Park Express travels between Denver Union Station (DEN) and Winter Park Resort (WPR). To book a trip, use these station codes in the fare finder above (or download the Amtrak app).https://www.amtrak.com/winter-park-express

A different train for a different kind of trip

Train Cars Repurposed; AREA 420 marijuana grow operation. Former Southern Pacific 1043 caboose, class C-40-1, built 1937. Ex-RPCX 1043. Sold by Iowa Pacific bankruptcy trustee from Alamosa, CO, collection. Five railcars have been purchased by Whitney Justice for AREA 420 Train. Moffat, CO, November 8, 2021. ©2021 Chip

AREA 420 Train includes former Southern Pacific (SP) caboose 1043 - SP built 50 Class C-40-1 #1000 - 1049 in 1937. The production C-40-1's were 35' 7/16" over striker castings. As originally built, they had large underframe mounted toolboxes which were removed in later years, and replaced with battery boxes or possibly fuel tanks. Caboose roof walks and end ladders were removed on some, and some cabooses even had windows plated over. Due to their longevity they received marker light and radio antenna upgrades. Pre-war lettering style was simply the road name initials, post-war SP decided to spell out the company name in Roman script. In 1955 saw the introduction of 'Billboard' or block lettering and painting of the end walls or bulkheads in Daylight orange. AREA 420 marijuana grow operation is located at Moffat, CO, west side of Highway 17, November 8, 2021. Other cars; UP 904276, nee-UP 5751 postal storage car and ex-Missouri Pacific 894 dome coach car last used on Minnesota Zephyr Dinner Train named St. Croix.
 

A Canadian Veteran


Canadian Pacific 8750, ES44AC, led BNSF's Omaha, Nebraska, to Tacoma, Washington, intermodal train up BNSF's Front Range Subdivision November 6, 2021 at Broomfield, Colorado. Note BNSF installed a radio tower on the West end of Broomfield Siding. ©2021 Chip

CB&Q No. 638


C&S No. 638 still looks good on November 4th in the early morning.  It was on December 16, 1962 that Mickey Hanson, C&S Road Foreman of Engines, took No. 638 and the six-car train on the last excursion of this venerable Consolidation to Trinidad.  The 2-8-0 stayed in that city and has been preserved as seen here.  No. 638 led many Club excursions in the 1960s.  ©2021 David Goss

 "Foreign" locomotives in Denver


BNSF unit sand train had Canadian Pacific 8750, ES44AC, and Ferromex 4057 on a 2 x 2 DPU setup. Train was in Denver,CO, Sunday, October 24, 2021. The train went north on BNSFís Front Range Subdivision to Fort Collins, CO. ©2021 Chip

Around Colorado

Fiery sunrise at Barr Siding, CO, BNSF 5329 East on the Tacoma, Washington, to Omaha, Nebraska, train S TACOMA1-09D. 18 October 2021. Copyrighted ©2021 Chip BNSF 3679 at Denver Locomotive Shop and Amtrak train 5, the California Zephyr, passed each other 8:20 AM, Denver, 19 October 2021. Herders making moves with BNSF 3679 ©2021 Chip .
 
The Royal Gorge Route CRRX 603, ex-ESWR 603 SD40-3, was along the Arkansas River east of Parkdale, Colorado, October 17, 2021. The 17-car train now sports a uniform paint scheme-! There was only one locomotive on the west end unlike in the past where a locomotive was on both ends of the train. The SD40 six wheel adhesion works better in the Royal Gorge-!

Since August 2021 The Royal Gorge Route trains have not operated to Parkdale, CO, area. Concerns about wheel wear due to an out of service rail grease device prompted The Royal Gorge Train to reverse their trains near milepost 168 near the abandoned pump house. ©2021 Chip

 

Rocky Mountaineer

I tried the Rocky Mountaineer 10-car train with UP 5105 and 5107 units. My trip started at Moab, Utah (7-Mile Siding on UPís
Cane Creek Subdivision), for the two day trip to Denver, CO, October 11, 2021. Train came off the Cane Creek Subd at
Crescent Junction, Utah, with the Book Cliffs in the distance. ©2021 Chip
BNSFís Market Street Job had BNSF 521 and 559, B40-8W, working near Sand Creek Junction at Commerce City, CO, October 7, 2021. Local departs BNSFís 38th Street Yard at Denver five days a week. ©2021 Chip
 

News from Nebraska Part 2


 
October , 2021, Hastings, NE. Near downtown, is the abandoned UP yard and freight house.  It appears to me that when the UP began shipping Powder River coal, they rerouted their  line to the east skirting the eastside of town to  avoid all the street crossings through town.  ©2021 Larry Dilts OMLX 3149 was being used for power on the NKC west of Holdrege, NE. It was parked on the west side of Loomis, NE. Trains are not run west of Loomis anymore except to moved stored coal gondolas and 2 bay covered hoppers. ©2021 Larry Dilts
At Norton, Kansas on October 8, 2021, an eastbound Kyle mixed freight, with Utah 5005, leading was crossing South Archer Avenue. ©2021 Larry Dilts October 8, 2021 east of Dresden, Kansas was a Kyle mixed freight with B&P 3333, 3319, and 3344 providing the power. On the Kyle, it is unusual to see a pure set of any railroads locomotives and in the same paint scheme no less. It has been rumored that the Kyle was getting rid of all the former SP T2s. I havenít seen any for quite sometime. It is not common to catch two trains on the Kyle either. ©2021 Larry Dilts
In Hastings, NE two tracks are filled with stored UP SD70Ms.b©2021 Larry Dilts On October 8, 2021, BNSF 2122, 6463, and 1482 are still stored in Holdrege, NE. The units are in poor condition. They have been stored there for at least 10 years  ©2021 Larry Dilts

President Roosevelt stops in the Royal Gorge

In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt had his picture taken at the Hanging Bridge in the Royal Gorge.The gentleman who has portrayed President Roosevelt for over 20 years has retired.  His retirement
party was a chartered car on the Royal Gorge. The highlight of the trip was recreating this picture so a few reenacters with period correct clothing recreated the scene as closely as possible.

The original 1905 picture of President Rossevelt in the Royal Gorge, Note the 3 rail track in place at this time. Photographer unknown The 603 awaits the reboarding of the special passengers before continuing on its journey. ©2021 Walter Weart
While there were no ladies in the original picture, Don wanted the include those who had worked with him in the past. ©2021 Walter Weart The men are awaiting the photographer's instructions. The gentleman in the center is taking over the role of President Roosevelt.  ©2021 Susie Weart

 

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