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.

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Activity at Limon


The Kyle was rolling into Limon on March 31 ©2020 LimonRail


Amtrak suspends service between Denver and Reno


Short and baggageless number 5 heads into somber gray skies at Pinecliffe on March 29. Last for how long? Worth the hike into the steep north side of the canyon, was hoping for sun and was delivered sad skies on a sad last run of scheduled passenger service out of Denver in the entire Moffat Road's long history. ©2020 D M Lindgren


Amtrak Superliner dining car and lounge were on 6-car (baggage car removed) California Zephyr, train 5, at Fort Morgan, CO, stop Sunday, March 29, 2020. Coronavirus impact had reduced passenger loadings and shortened train consist during March 2020. Train 5 that originated in Chicago, IL, was to terminate at Denver, CO, on March 30th. No Amtrak service nor substitute bus service between Denver and Reno, NV. Train 5 would become train 6 out of Denver. ©2020 Chip

locomotive UP 1995, the C&NW heritage unit, on the Joint Line and the Moffat Sub

Union Pacific Heritage 1995 made a quick overnight trip to GJ last night and in my usual obsession to get snow shots I left before sunrise and I was blessed with it as a rear facing DPU. Made for a special shot in many places east of east portal this morning. ©2020 D M Lindgren
 
Tim Tonge caught 1995 between Castle Rock and Greenland ©2020 Tim Tonge
Bob Thiele was at Palmer Lake ©2020 Bob Thiele
David Grothe was at North  Meadows Pkwy bridge in Castle Rock.  ©2020 David Grothe
For those that pay attention to rolling stock, this train had some Cotton Belt hoppers, an SSW Golden West Service hopper, and even a Western Pacific 3-bay hopper. ©2020 David Grothe On 25 March, 2020, UP 1995 leads a massive MNYPU (North Yard (Denver), CO - Pueblo, CO) south through Castle Rock, CO.

This train was reported to be in the neighborhood of 606 axles, one of the longest Denver-Pueblo manifests I ever recall seeing. In fact, this is the first train I can remember that didn't entirely fit in the straight stretch of track here. BTW, those autoracks you see back there are part of a northbound BNSF train on Main 2. ©2020 Chris Paulhamus

 

 A weed sprayer on the Joint Line

Bob Thiele caught this hi-rail weed sprayer At Palmer Lake, c=going south sprayed to just past the switches and got off at County Line crossing.  Bob Thiele

A sand train with CP Power

After receiving some info on this south bound sand train, Ben Helsel decided that if he could get shots of it, he would. As we were on US24 crossing the tracks near Union Ave in Springs and the BNSF 9314 was just passing under the bridge. The train had to go south to Pueblo and managed a few shots  at Pinon and also at North Pueblo. This shot is at the Ray Nixon Plant area in Fountain.  BNSF SD70ACe 9314 leads the 6 others and 100 empty cars south here making track speed. Train symbol was U IRCMQA0-081, Irondale Co to Minnequa Co. Had 100 empties, was at 2688 on Tonnage and was 4194ft in length. Power for those interested was BNSF 9314-BNSF 9233-CP 8921-CP 8056-BNSF 9179-BNSF 5634 and BNSF 8760. All pictures ©2020 Ben Helsel Pinon
Pueblo  yard at Pueblo

An interesting consist on the PPL

Bob Thiele caught the Pikes Peak Local at Palmer Lake on March 23.  Note the last cars are to distribute the concrete ties on the flat car.  ©2020 Bob Thiele

Action near North Yard

Union Pacific 5108, SD70M, waited for Amtrak train 5, the California Zephyr to pass at Utah Junction north of Denver, CO, Sunday, March 22, 2020.  At right, Denver RTD commuter rail train headed into Denver climbed the Utah Junction Flyover.   (Ed. note There is a line of stored locomotives in the left background)  ©2020 Chip
Amtrak 33047 Superliner lounge on 8-car westbound train 5, the California Zephyr, passed Utah Junction north of Denver, CO, March 22, 2020. COVID-19 concerns had only 28-passengers aboard the train when it departed Denver. ©2020 Chip

The last Ski train for the Season

Amtrak train 5, the California Zephyr, 9-cars, left Denver Union Station, Denver, 8:16 AM, Sunday, 15 March 2020. Power was 11 & 4, P42DC units.

Winter Park Express, right with 169, was discontinued after March 14, 2020 run account COVID-19 concerns closed Winter Park Ski Resort and all Colorado ski areas per Governor Polis order.©2020 Chip

Last Amtrak Winter Park Express run account COVID-19 ended runs two weeks early.  Winter Park Ski Resort and all CO ski resorts closed by Colorado Governor Polis effective March 15, 2020.  Train came to pick up folks who stayed over the weekend.  Train left Denver Union Station with no outbound skiers at 10:00 AM and ran directly to Fraser, CO, for layover.  Ski patrol made last run down the mountain.  ©2020 Chip

On the San Luis & Rio Grande


This E-unit was hauling 114 empty coal cars by itself to store them on the west side of the wide San Luis Valley. Photo by Dave Schaaf on 2 March 2020 at Alamosa, Colorado

CSX visitors to the Joint line

Bob Thiele caught these visitors on a military train.Photo ©2020 Bob Thiele
David Grothe saw the train at Larkspur. Photo ©2020 David Grothe

The OY on the CATS

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is celebrating their 50th anniversary.
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic (CATS) RR operated OY from Chama, NM, to Cumbres Pass, CO, the weekend of Feb 29 and March 1, 2020. Train with CATS 487, K-36, returned to Chama before sunset Sunday, March 1, 2020. Photo ©2020 Chip  Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad operated Rotary OY on Saturday, February 29, 2020 between Chama, New Mexico, and the state line (New Mexico and Colorado). They operated the restored rotary over the weekend to kick off their anniversary. Photo ©2020 Chip
Erik Lindgren shared these pictures from OY's outing. Two pictures  Erik Lindgren ©2020

On the Joint Line


On 16 Feb, 2020 BNSF 8043 leads a FerroMex ACe and an Exec MAC south with a manifest through the Air Force Academy, CO. 

This is Academy, one of two passing sidings on the single-track portion of the Joint Line north of Colorado Spring, and the siding itself is looking a little more dippy than I remember it being.  ©2020 Chris Paulhamus

Burnham yard sold


The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Union Pacific have produced a preliminary agreement on the sale of Burnham Yard. High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), which is owned by CDOT, approved a non-binding term sheet on Feb. 19.

The yard was abandoned by Union Pacific four years ago, and the purchase of 59 acres of railyard south of Denver will allow Interstate 25 to expand. A rail line is located just east of I-25, but a sold Burnham Yard will open up space for those tracks to move further east, and additional tracks could be built. RTD has five lines that meet near 10th Street and Osage in Denver, creating delays during rush hour. The purchase of Burnham Yard would allow RTD to construct additional track to alleviate the rail congestion. Photo ©2020 Chip

A military move

Westbound CSXT 942 and 926, ES44AH, passed the abandoned Union Pacific pump house at Kit Carson, CO, February 22, 2020. Train was interchanged to UP at East St. Louis, Illinois, and went to the Colorado Springs area. ©2020 Chip

The Union Pacific Railroad Pumphouse in Kit Carson supplied water for steam engines and is thought to have been constructed in the 1870s. The sandstone block and brick building has a towered board and batten rear addition that once housed the well from which water was pumped, an unusual example of masonry for a railroad utility building and considered the only extant structure of its kind in Colorado. The pumphouse is associated with settlement of Coloradoís eastern plains and the development of the railroad. ©2020 Chip

 

Army vehicles; Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, passed Arapahoe, CO, where a damaged grain elevator sit besides Union Pacificís Limon line. Up front were two CSXT locomotives on February 22, 2020. ©2020 Chip

On the way to TTCI


Siemens passenger special UP 9096 South February 13,  2020 approaching Colorado Springs.  Photo at Monument, CO.  Cars going to the Transportation Technology Center 

Bob Thiele caught this train at Palmer Lake on February 13.  These cars are for California Amtrak trains and Siemens is the builder. The cars will return there after TTCI completes their testing. The cars originated at Florin Ca., which is Sacramento area. ©2020 Bob Thiele

Some great action shots

Moments before sunrise at Roggen, CO February 2020. ©2020 Erik Lindgren  Number5 is nearly into Tunnel 3 on the flatirons December 2019. ©2020 Erik Lindgren 
Winter Park Express is at the very edge of Big Ten curve January 2020.©2020 Erik Lindgren  MNYJG through Byers Canyon February 2020 .©2020 Erik Lindgren 
Sunrise at Owl Canyon northbound Z February 2020. ©2020 Erik Lindgren  Winter Park Express at Moffat Tunnel January 2020. ©2020 Erik Lindgren 

New pedestrian overpass at Palmer Lake


New pedestrian bridge construction continued at Palmer Lake, CO, February 2, 2020. Southbound BNSF 7151, ES44C4, passed under the new bridge with a Joint Line train. The lake was frozen over and ice fishermen were out on the lake. ©2020 Chip

At a frozen Palmer Lake


Northbound Union Pacific 7437, ES44AC, passed ice fishermen on Palmer Lake at Palmer Lake, CO, February 2, 2020. Train came from Pueblo headed to North Yard, Denver, CO. Weather that day was in the 60ís before winter weather returned the next day. ©2020 Chip

Sunrise on Kyle route

Westbound Kyle train had CORP 4075 at sunrise between Seibert & Flagler, Colorado, Saturday, 1 February 2020-Kyle's CORP 4075 & Utah Railway 5004. ©2020 Chip Sunrise - Kyle RR's CORP 4075 & Utah Rly 5004, MK50-3, West of Seibert, CO, Saturday, February 1, 2020. Kyle Railroad in Colorado to start the day. ©2020 Chip

D&S 493 on a test run.

The 493 has been converted to use oil instead of coal and Jerry Day was able to see it on its first test run. ©2020 Jerry Day

A unit grain train being detoured over the Joint Line


A unit grain train is being detoured over the Joint Line due to a track closure in Kansas   ©2020 David Shepard

The PPL with a color ful power mix


Looking like a model train, PPL make its way south with a colorful power mix. ©2020 Chris Paulhamus

From the January Meeting


Our program at the January meeting was presented by Alex Funderburg, who showed us a variety of his digital photos. From left -- Alex's father, Alex himself, Dave Schaaf, and Club president Denny Leonard. Photo by board member Steve Subber.

At the Stock Show

Ranchers customize the leased Denver Stockyard corrals during the Denver Stock Show January 15, 2020 at Denver, CO. The elevated walkway (right) will be closed and demolished in 2020. Walkway open in January 2020-last chance to experience Denver Stock Show in the old Denver Stockyards-BIG changes coming as National Western Complex redevelopment continues. ©2020 Chip Denver Rock Island RR DRIR 553, SW8, meandered through the National Western Complex redevelopment along National Western Drive at the Denver Stockyards, Denver, CO, January 14, 2020. This will be the last year Denver Stock Show will have to deal with tracks along National Western Drive-both will be removed during the Denver Stockyards massive redevelopment. ©2020 Chip

On the Joint Line

An intermodal train near Castle Rock at 1615 with two Norfolk Southern leaders.  ©2020 David Grothe Light power move? On Thursday, one of our members saw on this move and  the first locomotive was a former yellow bonnet GP35 and the second locomotive was a former white face BN GP50.    ©2020 David Grothe

A test locomotive in Colorado

FEC 801 (capable of using Liquefied Natural Gas) under load static test Alamosa, CO, 6:20 PM, 7 Jan 2020.  ©2020 Chip Florida East Coast 801, hybrid GE/WABTEC ES44C4, undergoing high altitude STATIC emissions tests. 7 January 2020 ran base line test. Further testing 8 -15 (?) January 2020 at Alamosa, then back to Florida. Testing by West Virginia University, Ross Ryskamp, PhD.  ©2020 Chip

CN Special Paint Locomotives

I wrote an article for Progressive Railroading magazine on locomotive rebuilding and remanufacturing. One of the companies that I interviewed was Progress Rail which now owns the EMD locomotive manufacturing operation. During the interview, they mentioned that they had just completed the upgrade 30 SD90MAC to SD70AU locomotives for the Canadian Pacific. Included in this upgrade are new traction control systems and cabs. The major components including the diesel motor has been remanufactured for increased performance and reliability. They are quite proud of this opportunity which included repainting these locomotives into new color schemes and five of these were specifically to honor the military. The PR person of Progress Rail gave me permission to share these with you. The photo credit is ©2019 CP Rail

Interesting Pictures

Erik Lindgren was out and shared some of his pictures with us. The silhouette shot is really well done.
3 pictures ©2019 Erik Lindgren 

On the Moffat Sub

UP 5502 East led unit oil train from Wildcat loadout-Utah Railway to St James, LA, at Blue Mountain Drive, Coal Creek Canyon, CO, 2 Jan 2020.  Distributed units 3x3. ©2019 Chip BNSF 3993 Tier 4 west on Denver, CO, to Provo, Utah, train passed Gross Reservoir at Crescent, CO, 2 Jan 2020. ©2019 Chip

An Amtrak Heritage locomotive


Amtrak 822, P40DC Phase III Heritage, handled westbound California Zephyr, train 5, at Rollinsville, CO, December 27, 2019. The 822 worked the California Zephyr on several trips in December 2019. ©2019 Chip

A display in Black Hawk


Steam engine 71, 2-8-0, was decorated for the Holidays near the Blackhawk, CO, Casinos, 27 December 2019 (Editor note: I think this a sister locomotive to those used by the Georgetown Loop Railroad. If any of our members have more information, please let me know.)

Denver& Rock Island power

Hidden away north of Denver, CO, is Denver Rock Island RR (DRIR) 1211, SW1500, built June 1972 ex-Southern Pacific 2646. Unit works the former Denver & Rio Grande Western industrial area known as Washington Park (not a Denver recreational park). Unit usually busy late afternoons into the night. ©2019 Chip

Sunset on the UP


UP 1510 on the Union Pacific to BNSF transfer waited at Utah Junction North of Denver, CO, sunrise 23 December 2019. © Chip

On the Joint Line

On Dec. 29, Chris found SD75M BNSF 261 is on the point of a southbound manifest seen here sitting on the siding at S. Bragdon in Pueblo, CO.   ©2019 Chris Paulhamus On 20 Dec., 2019, BNSF 1659 and BNSF 1933 lead the northbound Pikes Peak Local into the open space just north of Palmer Lake, CO.  ©2019 Chris Paulhamus
(
Editor note: The PPL looks like a model train in this scene.)

Amtrak in the Moffat Sub

©2019 Erik Lindgren ©2019 Erik Lindgren

Union Pacific's C&NW Heritage Locomotive visits Denver

Union Pacific 1995, Chicago & NorthWestern Heritage unit SD70ACe, laid over at UPís North Yard fuel track, Denver, CO, for some maintenance December 21, 2019. Unit departed Denver Dec 23, 2019 headed to Green River, WY. ©2019 Chip ©2019 Erik Lindgren

Copyright 2019 Rocky Mountain Railroad Club.

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