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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A Great Western caboose

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Happy Endings; coffee, crepes & gelato..  Ex-Great Western Railway caboose 1006  at Canon City, CO, 18 October 2019-Opened August 2019 ©2019 Chip
 

Joint Line Action

On 14 Oct ., 2019 BNSF 1929 leads the Pikes Peak Local the wrong way south on the normally northbound Main 2 as it leaves Castle Rock, CO behind a pair of SD40-2s. ©2019 Chris Paulhamus On 14 Oct ., 2019 BNSF 1929 leads a southbound Pikes Peak Local wrong-way down the normally northbound Main 2 in Greenland, CO. ©2019 Chris Paulhamus

 

A steam spectacular at the Georgetown Loop

Monday October 7 marked the end of the steam season on the Georgetown Loop RR. The final weekend of September and first weekend of October saw both 2-8-0 #111 and 2-8-0 #40 in service. No. 12 was brought out for a photo shoot. Georgetown Loop RR steam fleet at Hall Tunnel. Photograph by Mark Graybill

New paint for CRRM 4

The CRRM's 1955 GE center cab was in need of a paint joband we decided on our take on the classic CB&Q scheme. However the logo is lettered for the museums railroad, but Golden City is in the Burlington fon. The the yellow and red stripe on the bottom has yet to be added.  ©2019 Jeff Taylor

D&RG 163 on a trial run

Denver & Rio Grande T-12 4-6-0 number 168, built in 1883 and restored by the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR pulls D&RGW drop bottom gondola 787 and D&RGW Caboose 0503 out of Antonito, Colorado on a test run October 9. 2019. © Jerry B. Day T-12 4-6-0 number 168 running west of Antonito, Colorado with a test train of D&RGW drop bottom gondola 787 and Caboose 0503. October 9, 2019. © Jerry B. Day
The cab interior of D&RG T-12 4-6-0 number 168 inside the C&TS shop in Antonito, Colorado. October 9, 2019. © Jerry B. Day T-12 4-6-0 number 168 waits next to ex-D&RGW K-36 number 488 running on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR at Antonito, Colorado. October 9, 2019. The 488 is three times as powerful as the 168. © Jerry B. Day

Some Colorado action 

Chris drove south to look for the Rock & Rail and he found the power would be tied down on their spur in Portland next to the cement plant there. ©2019 Chris Paulhamus On Sep 19, 2019 BNSF 1952 pulls a long cut of cars out of a yard track in the BNSF Pueblo Yard in Pueblo, CO. ©2019 Chris Paulhamus
On 21 Sept., 2019 after reaching it's destination in Georgetown, CO after a short haul from Silver Plume, CO, Georgetown Loop Railroad No. 111 has cut off from its train in order to run around for the trip back west.  ©2019 Chris Paulhamus

Fall color on the Moffat Sub

Erik Lindgren went up the Moffat Sub and saw some real color, both trees and trains.   6 photos ©2019  Erik Lindgren

Restoration efforts

Restoration of Antonito, Colorado, depot continued in 2019.  Maycroft Construction and Empire Carpentry of Fort Collins, CO, were contracted to do the depot restoration work for the Town of Antonito using History Colorado grants.  Union Pacific sold the former Denver & Rio Grande Western depot to the Town of Antonito in 2006.  Workers on site October 3, 2019.  ©2019 Chip

Antonito owes its existence to the expansion of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. In 1879, the company began extending the track south and purchased the land that would become the San Antonio Junction?and Antonito was the community that built up around it. The Denver & Rio Grande Antonito Depot serviced freight and passengers alike headed to Santa Fe, Durango, Silverton, and New Mexico.

Built in 1880, the depot served for over sixty years as the junction point for the branch line to Santa Fe, New Mexico and the San Juan Extension from Alamosa to Durango and Silverton. It provided passenger and express package services and housed the local office of the Western Union telegraph, and was also the office for railroad freight operations originating or terminating in the Antonito area. The Town of Antonito purchased the depot from Union Pacific in 2006, and has taken steps to preserve the building ever since. The depot was placed on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places list in 2007.

Restoration completed on Denver & Rio Grande 168-! The Denver & Rio Grande 168, 4-6-0 built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1883, was retired to Colorado Springs, CO, Antlers Park, August 1, 1938. The 168 was D&RG class 47. Thanks to the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR restoration crew. First operation was September 27, 2019. Efstathios I. Pappas oversaw the restoration to operation at Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR Antonito, CO, shop. In the distance was C&TS 488, K-36, at Antonito, CO, October 3, 2019. ©2019 Chip.
Micheal Harding used router on door restoring RPO 65 built in 1887 at Antonito, Colorado, 3 October 2019. ©2019 Chip.
An aerial view of the station. ©2019 Chip

2019 2020 Ski Train

'Winter Park Express' tickets go on sale  
Bob Johnston | October 1, 2019 Trains Magazine Newswire

DENVER — Amtrak and Winter Park Resort will again operate weekend ski train round trips from Denver Union Station to a platform located next to the slopes at the resort, with the service expanding to run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from Jan. 10 through March 29, 2020.

In 2019, the train ran only on a few Fridays.

Tickets are on sale now at www.amtrak.com/WinterParkExpress. Trains depart Denver at 7 a.m. for the 2-hour trip on the California Zephyr’s route through the Moffat Tunnel, returning each day at 4:30 p.m.

Amtrak says one-way fares will range from $29 “on select dates” to $59 when bookings approach capacity for each trip. The company has enough historical purchase data to set the lowest “early bird” fare levels, which may also start at $39 or $49, depending on the day selected.

The service was revived as an Amtrak operation in 2017 after infrastructure investments totaling $3.5 million were mostly paid for by the Winter Park Resort and Colorado Department of Transportation, with $100,000 contributions by the Colorado Passenger Rail Association and the cities of Denver and Winter Park. The necessary upgrades included an Americans With Disabilities Act platform and a controlled siding on Union Pacific’s former Denver and Rio Grande Western main line.

For the 2019 ski season, Amtrak added a Superliner Sightseer Lounge car; that car will again reprise its role offering snacks and beverages in 2020.

Colorado Rail President Jim Souby tells Trains News Wire his group will again provide car hosts. “We will again have one volunteer per car who is safety trained and provides commentary,” he says. Last year, Amtrak provided six Superliner coaches and the train had a successful season, with several sellouts after a slow start.

On the Joint Line


 On 2 Sep, 2019 BNSF 9031 is on the rear of a northbound coal empty as it snakes into Castle Rock, CO on Main 2. ©2019 Chris Paulhamus

A UP Special


On Friday September 27th I was fortunate enough to follow 4014 over the hill to Laramie. It was a great sight and sound to watch 4014 start to attack the grade as it passed under the BNSF bridge at the former sight of Tower A. ©2019  Mike Harriman


UPP 119 Kenefick, business car, was on the rear of UP 4014 West. The Great Race Across the Southwest first leg was Cheyenne, WY, to Rawlins, WY, 27 September 2019. Train was approaching Rock River, Wyoming. 
UPP 119-Built as Chair 5446; to Business Car 99 (2nd) in April 1963; to Business Car 100 (6th) in May 1965; to Business Car UPP 119 in April 1986, "Kenefick" name added in 1988.

Named "Kenefick" in commemoration of John C. Kenefick, president of Union Pacific from 1971 to 1983, then Chairman of the combined Union Pacific, Western Pacific, and Missouri Pacific railroads from 1983 until his retirement in 1986.  ©2019 Chip

Caught in the act


Ed Dickens applied the 'Big Boy’ name to UP 4014 at Medicine Bow, Wyoming, 27 September 2019. Photo by Mike Schalk.

Going to it's new owner


SSRX 1088, GP39-2, is an ex-KCCX Kennecott Copper custom-built GP39-2 with a tall cab, low hood and high fuel tank lettered Rawhide Short Line RR. It had served at the nearby Rawhide Power Plant in Colorado as RAWX 1088. The emblem is lettered "Rawhide Short Line Railroad, est. 1981, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Platte River Power Authority”. Noted 27 September 2019 lettered for SSRX, which is S&S Sales & Leasing of Farmington, UT, and available for sale or lease. Unit found at Speer, WY, on a southbound BNSF train. ©2019 Chip

A UP Special

Union Pacific 1943, SD70ACe Veterans unit, and 9072 along Colorado River west of Bond, Colorado, on UP's Glenwood Springs Subdivision 26 September 2019 headed for Grand Junction, Colorado. Milepost 168.5.  ©2019 Chip

An unusual train

On Friday, September 27, UP's EC-4 track inspection vehicle is headed south, by Castle Rock at 10:55, being pulled by a faded GEVO  ©2019 Bob Thiele

An ex BN motor in Limon


Kyle had a green motor in their consist at the Limon bean elevator.  ©2019 Limonrail

A UP Special


UP 1943, SD70ACe Veterans unit, and UP 9072 handled an 18-car passenger special into Denver, CO, on 23 September 2019. Train was parked near Utah Junction, north of Denver, CO. Passenger car behind UP 9072 is crew sleeper Willie James as found on Sept 24, 2019. ©2019 Chip

Big Boy on a test run


Surprise UP 4014 test run 20 September 2019 from Cheyenne to Speer, WY. United Kingdom group visiting Wyoming was in the right place thanks to their Wyoming guide. Cindy and Felix from Switzerland were thrilled to see Big Boy in action. 4014 had two water bottles, tool car and UP 1905, SD40-2.

Union Pacific's Big Boy #UP4014 will ride the rails once again on “The Great Race Across the Southwest” starting Sept. 27, 2019 traveling through Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah & Wyoming.  ©2019 Chip

See route map

Stored hopper cars on the Tennessee Pass line

There about 2 miles of stored hopper cars near Parkdale as seen on Sept. 21. The right picture almost looks like when the line was active. They even show up on Google Earth. ©2019 Susie Weart

On the Joint Line


On 14 Sept.,  2019, BNSF 9670 brings a southbound coal load out of Palmer Lake, CO. Was not expecting an Exec MAC leader, so that was a nice surprise. ©2019 Chris Paulhamus

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”.  

Ex-UP 9001 remodel and painting done at Minneapolis Junction, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 11 September 2019.  Completion expected late September 2019 with delivery to Adirondack Scenic Railway at Utica, NY, in October 2019.  ©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

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