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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Snow on the Joint Line

Tim Tonge went to Greenland on January 13 and was able to photograph two trains in the snow. ©2019 Tim Tonge

On 13 Jan.,  2019, BNSF 9266 works up the grade with a loaded coal train through Greenland, CO after a recent dumping of heavy, wet snow.  ©2019 Chris Paulhamus

At Denver

A derailment at the 31st St. Yard. This one much more minor than the previous week. A bulkhead flatcar and load came off the tracks, blocking the lead to the engine service terminal.  ©2019 Mike Harriman Amtrak Phase 3 Heritage unit #822 lead the California Zephyr into Denver Union Station for servicing. #5 also picked up private car "The Patron Tequila Express"¯ for the trip west.©2019 Mike Harriman

Military on the move

UP 7522 East on snowy 11 January 2019 on Limon Subdivision moved Fort Carson equipment to Corpus Christie, Texas. Train passed Rob Thain's (passed away December 2018) place east of Strasburg, CO. ©2019 Chip

The UP's D&RGW Heritage unit on the Moffat Sub

Last weekend (Jan 5-6) there was lots of action on the Moffat Route, including 2 heritage units. UP 1989 left Denver Friday morning, and only made it as far as Rocky before mechanical problems overtook the train, and on Saturday morning, it was still sitting at Rocky. Then Sunday the SP Heritage unit UP 1996 was a mid train DPU on a loaded coal train, also seen at Rocky leaving the siding after meeting #5.  ©2019 Mike Harriman


BNSF 23rd Street Xing, Denver, CO, 2 January 2018. Four center beam cars tipped over near South Platte River bridge. BNSF Salt Mine job was pulling the cars with BNSF 1684-remained on the rails was near Prospect Junction. Straight lined-! View from Park Avenue West highway overpass. ©2019 Chip

The Ski Train consist on its way to Denver

On Janaury 3, Amtrak #5 includes the Winter Park Express consist in front of the normal consist, passes near the 88th Ave. grade crossing on the Brush Sub.  ©2019 Mike Harriman

New Years Day on the Front Range Sub

Alan Schenkel was out New Years Day and caught some activity including B-ALTSCZ (Alliance, TX to Scoby MT) approaching the Fort Collins North Yard   ©2019 Alan Schenkel    A Meet at Fort Collins' North Yard.  ©2019 Alan Schenkel 
S-TACOMA passing the Anheuser-Busch brewery.  ©2019 Alan Schenkel  The Anheuser-Busch switcher.  ©2019 Alan Schenkel 

On the Joint Line with old code line poles

On Dec 18, BNSF 9148 and a sister ACe lead a southbound coal train under the North Gate Bridge on the Air Force Academy, CO. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

A neat shot

An on time Eastbound California Zephyr streaks across the 66th Ave. Grade Crossing in Arvada, on the evening of December 30. ©2018 Mike Harriman

A warbonnet on an oil train

On Dec. 28, David Grothe caught this Southbound tank train in castle rock at 0945L.  Warbonnet and ACe leaders. ©2018 David Grothe

NS 9-1-1 on the road

On December 28, UP 7149 North approaching the local power in La Salle, Colorado ©2018 Alan Schenkel Brief stop just north of Greeley, Colorado  ©2018 Alan Schenkel
Newly expaned frac sand operation at Eaton, Colorado ©2018 Alan Schenkel Last shot at Eaton ©2018 Alan Schenkel

Some Front Range pictures

On Dec. 18, Mike Harriman took a few pictures and the first is of a BNSF freight with an NS visitor from the east  heads downgrade at Leyden.  ©2018 Mike Harriman The California Zephyr met the BNSF freight at Leyden, and is now continuing westward. ©2018 Mike Harriman
BNSF Golden Yard where 2 former ATSF cabeese can be seen, as well as a pair of sun weathered H2 MAC's and a former BN cascade green SD40-2. ©2018 Mike Harriman

A windmill blade train

BNSF 9687 East moved unit wind blade train past Erker Grain at Fort Morgan, CO, December 14, 2018. Train was headed to O’Neil, Nebraska.  ©2018 Chip

Progress on "Big Boy"

November 2018 installing rivets on UP 4014, Alco built Big Boy, at Cheyenne, Wyoming  ©2018 Chip

Action at Pueblo

UP 8991 with the North Yard, Denver, to Pueblo, CO, train M NYPU-06, arrived the afternoon of December 7, 2018.  Train had made pick-up at Kelker, CO, which prompted a dog catch late in the day.  Note Arkansas River dike has been lowered. ©2018 Chip

Changes on the Moffat

Unfortunately (for railfans, at least), UP's PSR has claimed another victim. For decades, at least one manifest has regularly run across the Rio Grande (or former Rio Grande) between Denver and Salt Lake City. For the past two decades, since the UP/SP merger, the train has been the MNYRO and MRONY. A manifest between North Yard (east end of the Grande) and Roper (west end of the Grande). With PSR, UP seems to have deemed Roper Yard (in Salt Lake) to be redundant to North Yard (the one in Salt Lake City) and Ogden. Sounds like UP plans to reduce operations at Roper and traffic between Denver and Salt Lake will now run through Ogden via the Overland Route.

The final MNYRO departed Denver this past Wednesday. Alas, it left after dark. The final MRONY departed Salt Lake yesterday and descended the Moffat on12/09/18 during late morning and early afternoon. I was thrilled I had the time to get out and get a few shots. The train was 108 cars and just north of 6,700 feet.

Where as the MNYRO and MRONY had been a thrice-weekly train, it would appear that UP will now run a thrice-weekly MNYGJ and MGJNY between North Yard in Denver and Grand Junction, CO. But it sounds as though UP manifest in the Utah Desert and over Solider Summit are now a thing of the past. Granted that decision could be reversed at any point...but for now.........

An SD70ACe-T4 leads the final MRONY through a Form B on the main at Cliff (UP Moffat Tunnel Sub). A bridge over South Boulder Creek was replaced by UP. While main construction is complete, MOW is still working on cleanup in the area.  ©2018 Kevin Morgan The head end of the MRONY is getting close to the east end of Rocky, but there is no sign of the tail end in the frame just yet back at Little Ten Curve. Going to miss these massive manifests on the Moffat.  ©2018 Kevin Morgan
And lastly, a shot of the train as it passes by the intermediate signal at MP 14.5 west of Leyden.  ©2018 Kevin Morgan

Action along the Joint Line

On 08 Dec 2018, Matt Adamski got several shots of a coal load led by a pair of ACes, one of which being an Eastern Thoroughbred.  ©2018 Matt Adamski


On 8 Dec, 2018, BNSF 6371 leads a southbound coal train as it makes its approach toward the North Gate Bridge on the U.S. Air Force Academy, CO. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

On the Joint Line at Greenland

UP 3056 SD70AceT4, at Greenland on Tuesday, Dec 4. ©2018 Tim Tonge

A ballast train on the Joint Line

Matt Adamski had a little time last Saturday to go out on the Joint Line and chased a southbound ballast train from Littleton to Castle Rock. Here are a couple shots from Sedlaia and Castle Rock.  ©2018 Matt Adamski

Union Pacific action in Kansas

Grain is big on the Union Pacific's Kansas Pacific mainline through Kansas. On November 20, 2018, a unit grain train was loading at the Cargill high speed loadout on the west side of Ogallah, Kansas. Cargill has stopped using their own switcher to shuttle the cars and now use the UP for this work. While one unit was switching the other two were spotted on the siding in Ogallah. Cargill's switcher has been transferred or sold. ©2018 Larry D. Dilts
On November 26, 2018 another grain train was loading at Cargill. This time it was loading the Cargill elevator on the east side of Wakeeney only eight miles west of Ogallah. Although the elevator still has its own switcher, the UP is switching this elevator as well. Due to the blizzard the day before, shuttling cars through the loader came to a halt. ©2018 Larry D. Dilts
On November 26, 2018. the Oakley local was westbound through Park, Kansas on its way to Oakley. The Oakley power is taken to Salina, Kansas on Saturday returning to Oakley the following Monday. The UP still calls Park, Kansas "Buffalo Park". I presume Buffalo Park is the original name in that the Kansas Pacific was first in the area. The railroads had a big say in the naming of towns along their lines. ©2018 Larry D. Dilts

A special Union Pacific train will participate in the funeral of President H.W. Bush.

4141 for been stored at North Little Rock, AR, since the 41st President visited the unit. More information is available at Picture ©2018 Union Pacific

On the Joint Line

On 25 Nov, 2018 BNSF 8561 rests on Main 1 in The Sag near Spruce, CO for a northbound to clear off the single-track main south of Palmer Lake. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

On the G&W (Kyle)

Kyle RR eastbound Utah Railway 5003 MK50-3 departed Flagler, Colorado, 6:45 AM Thursday, November 29, 2018. Kyle's Goodland Subdivision. Train LISA-29 to Salina, Kansas. ©2018 Chip
Kyle RR's Utah Railway 5003 MK50-3, CORP 4074 SD40T-2, and Kyle 6843 SD40-2, moved the Limon, CO, to Salina, KS, (train LISA-29).  Train was east of Flagler, CO, November 29, 2018 just after sunrise.  ©2018 Chip

On the Moffat Sub

Nov 27, Mike Harriman  photograped a BNSF manifest with 3 GEVOā€'s up front slowly climbs around the curve leading to Tunnel #29. ©2018 Mike Harriman The same freight at Tolland, Oddly, the higher I went up in elevation, the sunnier it got! ©2018 Mike Harriman
UP crews were still working on the new concrete bridge at Cliff. Handrails were added to the North side. And it looks like the siding track was still under the wood bridge, about to be replaced with the concrete panels lined up. In the background a UP crane will lift the sections. ©2018 Mike Harriman

On the Joint Line

On 25 Nov, 2018 BNSF 6918 leads an empty vehicle train south into Colorado Springs, CO. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

Matt Adamski shot these photos  just north of Palmer Lake...the ACe was in the house track while the auto loads were headed to Big Lift. ©2018 Matt Adamski 

It's still a caboose!

BNSF shoving platform lettered Burlington Northern (BN) 12277 was parked next to Groupo Cementos Chihuahua (GCC) at their Irondale Terminal near Commerce City, Colorado, November 23, 2018.  ©2018 Chip

A new bridge over the South Boulder Creek

Amtrak 6 on train number 5, the California Zephyr, crossed newly installed (November 2018) concrete and steel bridge over the South Boulder Creek at Cliff, Colorado, Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018. ©2018 Chip

A "Light" engine move

12 Nov, 2018, BNSF 1826 leads a pair of SD40-2s in the form of the Pikes Peak Local runs light through Larkspur, CO after the second significant snowfall of the season. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

A lucky catch

Northern Sun (ADM) sunflower plant at Carusso, Kansas operates former Kyle SW8 1103. This unit is difficult to photograph in that it spends most of its time on the back side (east side) of the plant. ADM also operates a GE 25 ton locomotive which is generally easily seen on the west side of the plant.  ©2018 Larry D. Dilts

A different work train

SPS Georgetown Rail Equipment Company (GREX) 6000 used by BNSF to remove old railroad ties at Denver, Colorado, 14 November 2018. BNSF did major tie replacement project in Denver area October 2018. Power unit built on SW9 frame ex-MBTA 1900, ex-SCL 141, ex-ACL 659. GREX 6000 handled slot train loaded with discarded ties. ©2018 Chip

Not your usual train!

As reported earlier, Savage Transloaders has opened a facility at Kelker on the southeast side of Colorado Springs for shipping containers. On November 13, 2018, a string of loaded container flats were at the facility. The facility uses a Rail King rail mover to move the cars through the facility. It is on the left. In the right background is L. G. Everist Incorporated's Trackmobile. They unload bulk materials at their facility. ©2018 Larry Dilts The containers and container flats are interesting. The containers are labeled "super heavy." They are smaller than most containers and only six are loaded on each three truck flatcar. The flats appear to be designed for heavier loads. From what I have been able to ascertain, the containers are filled with dore buttons which are bars of gold and silver alloys that require further refining to separate the gold and silver. The buttons are coming from the Cripple Creek and Victor Cresson Mine and being shipped to a refinery the location of which I was not able to find.  ©2018 Larry Dilts

Along the Joint Line

On 12 Nov, 2018, UP 8419 is on the rear of a northbound CSUX coal empty as it shoves into Palmer Lake, CO following the second significant snowfall of the season. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

In the snow

On 12 Nov, 2018 BNSF 8778 leads a southbound coal train just south of Monument, CO during the last few gasps of the second significant snow storm of the season. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

A little further along the line

Mike Harriman sent this picture of the same train that Larry Dilts saw in Colorado Springs, but on the other side of the divide a few hours later, seen here near Sedalia.  © 2018  Mike Harriman

Action in Colorado Springs

An empty BNSF coal train was headed north passing under Fillmore Street in Colorado Springs November 12, 2018. There were two lead units followed by three distributed power units bringing up the rear.  © 2018 Larry Dilts

Some photos along the Joint Line

 A loaded BNSF coal breaks the silence of a quiet morning in Sedalia, CO as it grinds upgrade just before sunrise. © 2018  Mike Harriman Another loaded coal, this time with the sun up, crosses one of the original ATSF stone culverts in Castle Rock, this was taken right behind Castle View High School. © 2018  Mike Harriman
Wrapping up a great Saturday of trains, a BNSF manifest heads south at Big Lift with an NS visitor GEVO third out, in a few moments, the train will duck under the Titan Parkway road overpass. © 2018  Mike Harriman

The UP's C&NW heritage unit

Union Pacific 1995, Chicago & Northwestern Heritage unit, led Roseville, California, to North Platte, Nebraska, train up Archer Hill east of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Sidney Subdivision November 8, 2018.  © 2018  Chip

Waiting for clearance

On November 9, Mike Harriman saw this southbound BNSF manifest waiting for MOW work to be completed at Littleton . The power is  BNSF 6328 leading, CEFX 1042  the blue unit, and BNSF 4000. © 2018  Mike Harriman

Pictures from Durango

The Heritage RailFall Conference special whistles for the Shalona Crossing north of Durango. © 2018 Jerry B. Day

The Heritage RailFall Conference ran a special on the Durango & Silverton November 5th, The train was powered by K-36 number 482 with concession car 212, coach San Juan, glass top car Sky Knight, and parlor cars B2 Cinco Animas, and B3 Nomad. Train was all red except for the 212.

Riders on the Heritage RailFall Conference special enjoy the rear platform of the B3 Nomad parlor car. © 2018 Jerry B. Day
Southern Pacific narrow gauge 4-6-0 number 18 arrives at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad yard. The #18 is from the Eastern California Museum located in Independence, CA, arriving November 3rd. The engine was unloaded on a ramp constructed by the shop crew. The engine will run on the D&S until next June. It will be used to train D&S engine crews on oil fired engines and will be used for D&S crew training. 208  © Jerry B. Day D&S diesel number 1 uses a former D&RGW 6500 series flat car to move the SP 18 off the truck. November 3, 2018. 2018 © Jerry B. Day

Tunnel motors in Limon

A pair of ex SP tunnel motors lay over in Limón during the weekend of November 3-4. ©2018 LimonRail The equipment in the background belongs to the museum but the wedge plow looks like it's ready for this winter. ©2018 LimonRail

A KCS visitor to Denver

KCS 4162 on North Yard Siding going into North Yard, Denver, 12:10 PM, November 2, 2018. 2018 © Chip KCS 4162 pulled into UP’s North Yard, Denver, CO, about 1:00 PM, Friday, November 2, 2018 near 48th Street overpass. KCS 4162 on North Yard track one. UP main on right. Savage Mine, Utah, coal load destined for Memphis, Tennessee. 2018 © Chip

Along RTD's G Line in Arvada

RTD test train was westbound near the Olde Town station  © 2018 Dave Schaaf
Eastbound BNSF beer run and RTD test train at Old Town Arvada Station at mid-day on 1 Nov 2018.  2018 ©  Dave Schaaf

The Joint Line after a snowfall

Tim Tonge was out to take some pictures after the very short lasting fresh snow, Oct 31, 2018. All shots  were taken in the Castle Rock area. 4 pictures  © 2018 Tim Tonge 

Reflections at Palmer Lake

BNSF 8416: Palmer Lake, Colorado, November 1, 2018, 8:40 AM Coal empty E DOCBTM-007 to Black Thunder Mine, Wyoming. ©2018 Chip
Calm water November 1, 2018 at Palmer Lake, CO.  Northbound BNSF 4659 on Clovis, NM, to Denver, CO, train S CLODEN1-31.  Train had intermodal doublestacks and on the rear 14-auto racks for Big Lift.  ©2018 Chip.

On the Joint Line

On 20 October 2018, BNSF 9100 leads a faded H2 MAC and a string of empty coal hoppers north through the Greenland Open Space in Palmer Lake, CO. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

MK units on G&W eat of Limon

Kyle leaves Limon to begin the climb to Genoa. The cow birds make an irrelevant fan sideline. ©2018 LimonRail

Two pictures of interest

BNSF's 31st Street Yard Office and Tower are undergoing renovation work September & October 2018. October 25, 2018 at Denver, Colorado. ©2018 Chip 5565 GP38-2 joined the BNSF locomotive fleet in Colorado. She's likely based out of Longmont, Colorado. October 25, 2018 at Denver, Colorado.  ©2018 Chip

Two Heritage painted locomotive on the move to a new home

Former Pan Am Heritage units now RPCX 77 and RPCX 52. The 77 is in Boston and Maine heritage paint and the 52 is in Maine Central paint. Both ex-Boston & Maine GP9s were headed to Utah via BNSF. Heber Valley RR has purchased the GP9’s-no rail connection - they will be moved via highway for thelast leg of their journey. BNSF’s Lincoln, NE, to Denver, CO, moved the units dead in transit past Keenesburg, CO, October 28, 2018. ©2018 Chip

A "monster" empty coal train

David Grothe was trackside to catch this "monster" coal train with Two ACes for lead power. ©2018 David Grothe Mid train power was ACe, SD70MAC, ACe, ACe. ©2018 David Grothe
This was two coal trains combined into one huge one.  
ACe, SD70MAC for rear power. ©2018 David Grothe

An old Santa Fe GP-30

SW 2422 on Denver to Laurel, Montana, train H DENLAU backed across South Platte River 9:05 AM at BNSF's 31st Street Yard, Denver.  ©2018 Chip

MK power at work in Limon on a rainy day

MK ex Utah Railroad power is switching in Limon and the G&W ex Kyle Railroad ©2018 Limonrail

A colorful visitor on The Moffat Sub

UP 1988 leads an eastbound coal load around the bend toward a clear intermediate signal west of Center Bond where the Craig Branch joins with the mainline. ©2018 Kevin Morgan UP 1988, the "Miss Katy" unit, looks out of place in the Colorado High Country! MKT (Missouri-Kansas-Texas, the railroad that Katy represents) was a plains railroad. Not many grades to found compared to here at Kremmling. ©2018 Kevin Morgan
The eastbound Zephyr is making its way through the siding at Tabernash around an eastbound coal load with UP 1988 on the point. With the sun moving into the western sky, the light is just perfect near the east end of Tabernash. ©2018 Kevin Morgan Coming past the Fraser depot, UP 1988 is rolling east at about 12 MPH. With four units and 78 cars, the train is probably right around 2.0 HPT, which is about the bare minimum to crawl up the 2% grade coming up between Fraser and Winter Park. ©2018 Kevin Morgan

On the Joint Line

A work train splits the grade crossing at first sunrise in Castle Rock.  ©2018 Mike Harriman

Boxcar art

There has been some interesting graffiti art showing up on the Kyle lately from Balcones Recycling. The Santa Claus car was painted for Balcones and is slowly being overwritten by graffitti. The other two cars are painted probably by someone associated with Balcones. The car in Limon has the Balcones Recycling logo painted on the car. The other has Plains Capital Bank which is located in the same area as Balcones in the Dallas-Austin, Texas area. The art of all three cars is associated with recycling.

Photo 1 ATW 95096 Colby, Kansas, October 19,2018.
Photo 2 ATW 95112 Limon, Colorado, October 1, 2018.
Photo 3 ATW 95089 Colby, Kansas, October 19, 2018.
3 pictures  ©2018 Larry Dilts 

On the Joint Line

On October 18, Mike Harriman caught a loaded coal train passing a work train at the Littleton Trench. Then a NB BNSF stack train, followed closely by a (nearly) UP unit “waste train” not sure what to call these yet! 3 pictures  ©2018 Mike Harriman 

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