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 640 x 480 if I put them side by side.

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Please remember that the photos are copyrighted and neither the pictures or text can be used without permission of the owner. 

On the Joint Line

On 14 April, 2018, A pair of winged Armour Yellow units leads a northbound grain or soda ash empty through the Greenland Open Space in Greenland, CO. The big mountain back there is Pikes Peak, 25 miles away. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

On Monday, Apr 16, 2018  Alan Schenkel  found the Joint line was a parking lot. and saw 4 trains parked, 2 coal buckets in Castle Rock, and this UP manifest and BNSF auto rack train in Larkspur with snow. ©2018 Alan Schenkel

News from Pikes Peak

After hearing about the M&PP closing indefinitely, Larry  thought he would stop by and check it out. on April 16, there was no one working except the shop crew which is still very busy keeping the trains in good condition. One employee said that so far the shop crew is still busy and he is not worried about the railroad closing. Larry was fortunate on his visit in that they were shuffling trains to rearrange them in the shop. Larry was able to photograph several trains. Number 14, 11 and the wedge plow flatcar were on one train. Number 16 was parked on the mainline waiting to be moved to the shop. Number 17 was on the mainline as well. Number 18 was moved out of one side of the shop and moved to the other bay. ILarry saw more different trains in a couple of hours than he normally sees in a full day. They are also rebuilding the crane flatcar with a larger crane. ©2018 Larry Dilts

A BNSF Special

On April 17, 2018, the BNSF ran a track measurement train on the southbound main. It was parked near Mesa Ridge Parkway in Widefield, Colorado. Unfortunately, it was not parked very conveniently for photographs. ©2018 Larry Dilts

From Kansas

On April 16, 2017, the Kyle had an eastbound freight parked i n Limon with Utah 5005 and 5001 as power. West of Flagler was a westbound freight parked on the main line In Goodland, was a single unit being used as a switcher. The Kyle has been quite busy. ©2018 Larry Dilts

Tunnel motors soldier on

The SP motors that Kyle acquired have been pretty durable and are still toting the freight on the high-plains. These were westbound entering Flagler. ©2018 limonrail

On the Joint Line

On 7 April, 2018 Chris Paulhamus photographed BNSF 5140 leads a southbound manifest through the oddly-presented scene on the U.S. Air Force Academy, CO.

Despite being well into Spring, a winter storm rolled through the Pikes Peak Region the evening prior, and while it laid down very little snow, it did provide enough moisture to fog up the area and when the temperatures dropped below freezing, certain objects, mostly trees, were left with a layer of hoar frost.  ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

My kind of hotel

Dave Goss was visiting family at the Hilton Waikoloa Village resort and took a photo of the tram that circulates between buildings on the property, April 7, 2018 ©2018 David Goss
Ed note: This is my kind of hotel!)

Whose train is this?

On April 5, 2018 David Grothe was able to catch this southbound manifest At Jellystone Park with BNSF, UP, CSX for lead power.  ©2018 David  Grothe.

Action Alert: Legislature needs to hear from you about funding for rail program

Legislative funding for the Southwest Chief & Front Range Passenger Rail Commission hangs in the balance. The Legislature is considering its transportation funding package now!  The Commission is seeking $2.9 million to carry out its legislative mission to facilitate the development of Front Range Passenger Rail.

Please contact Representative Faith Winter, House Transportation Chair, and ask for her support.  Office phone 303-866-2843. 
Also call House Speaker Crisanta Duran.  Please thank Speaker Duran for carrying the Commission request and ask for her continued support.  Office phone 303-866-2925. 
While your at it, contact your own legislator and ask for support as well:
These calls will make a difference so don’t delay!

From Glenwood Springs

Robert Foster took some pictures Amtrak 130 as it rolled through Glenwood March 29, 2018.  ©2018 Robert Foster (Ed note: We don't get may pictures from the Western Slope area and appreciate Robert sharing them with us.)

From our Kansas member

A few miles south of Mingo, the Colby local was headed back to Oakley with 10 loaded grain hoppers. The train was powered by an SD70AH 9025, SD70Ace 8351 and SD70AH 3046. ©2018 Larry Dilts On April 3, 2018, the Colby local was switching the north end of the Mingo, Kansas yard. Winds were 25-40 mph with higher gusts which created a visibility problem. Blowing dust is a frequent problem in western Kansas sometimes reducing visibility to near zero. ©2018 Larry Dilts

At the Museum 

On March 30, the Colorado Railroad Museum had "Bunny Day" and operated a passenger train. Gary Cable Shot this picture and with careful framing made it look more like the real narrow gauge than the Museum. ©2018 Gary Gable

A freshly painted Amtrak 

Gary found 130 at Denver Union Station.  ©2018 Gary Gable Amtrak 130 with new Phase II scheme. The 130, P42DC, was recently painted Phase II scheme account Amtrak 66 was written off due to a grade crossing incident. First trip for 130 in this scheme on westbound Amtrak California Zephyr in fresh snow at Coal Creek Canyon west of Arvada, Colorado, March 29, 2018.

Amtrak P42 130 was repainted into the Phase II heritage scheme previously worn by unit #66, which has been out of service for quite some time due to a grade crossing collision in Illinois.  ©2018 Chip

In the snow

BNSF 8457 leads a northbound coal empty on Colorado's Joint line, at Castle Rock, CO, after an overnight snow blanketed the area. March 27, 2018.  ©2018 Timothy Tonge

Joint LIne Activity

On 17 March, 2018 NS 4070, a DC to AC rebuild, leads a northbound BNSF coal empty in Palmer Lake, CO.

Well, this was a surprise to see. It's not one of the cool, special-painted AC44C6Ms, but it was a shock to see this pop into view. If you asked me to list things I'd expect to see leading on on the Joint Line, a NS DC to AC rebuild would not have been on the list!  ©2018  Chris Paulhamus
On 17 March, 2018, BNSF 8545 leads a northbound coal empty through the Greenland Open Space in Greenland, CO as Pikes Peak, some 25 miles away, looks on.  ©2018  Chris Paulhamus


Castle Rock On 17 March, 2018 pair of CitiRail leasers bring up the rear of a northbound coal empty as they push their way into Castle Rock, CO.  ©2018  Chris Paulhamus

An M-O-W train

BNSF Loram Badger Ditcher moved via Front Range Subdivision. BNSF 3953, ET44C4, Tier 4, hauled Loram DC4; Badger Ditcher and bay window caboose. BNSF train U NAMPUE5-22g North Antelope Mine, WY, to Pueblo, CO, MOW equipment move at Louisville, CO, March 23, 2018.

The Loram Badger Ditcher is a self-propelled system that is capable of moving 1,000 tons of material every hour. It goes where and when it’s needed, under its own power, regardless of wet or dry weather conditions. The ditching wheel cuts a swath that can be varied from 30 to 54 inches wide, at a depth as low as 6 feet below the top of the rail. Because the Badger’s workhead is articulated, the shape of the ditch can be contoured to suit drainage requirements. The ditch can be placed anywhere between 6 and 22 feet from the track center on either side. Loram’s Badger Ditch Cleaning Machine has a powerful swing conveyor that can dump waste-excavated material at distances of up to 35 feet on either side of the track center; or you can discharge the material into an air dump car that can be emptied with the Badger’s own air supply. ©2018 Chip

Big power on the Golden Local

March 22nd's Golden Local had some main line power instead of the usual GP-38-2s. If this is the Beer Train, I've never seem that train doing local switching. ©2018 Walter Weart

In unusual visitor

UP 2340 west with EC-4 track geometry car on Belt Line UP's Moffat Tunnel Subdivision 2:25 PM north of Denver, Colorado, March 21, 2018.  

Older power on the Front Range Sub

BNSF manifest action on BNSF’s Front Range Subdivision. BNSF 573, B40-8W, and 534 on Buck Local; Longmont to Burns Junction at Broomfield, CO. Train then set up 1 x 1 for run up to Lafayette, CO, Lafayette Branch. March 14, 2018 ©2018 Chip

On the Joint Line

David Sheppard lucked out on his drive to work and caught this train between Castle Rock and Tomah. He'd never seen anything like the DMUs which was loaded on the flatcars. This was a new commuter train built by Stadler Rail (Swiss Company) for TEXRail. It will operate between Ft Worth and DFW Airport.   ©2018 David Sheppard

On 10 March, 2018, BNSF 8515 leads a northbound stacks 'n 'racks train north through the Greenland Open Space in Greenland, CO.  ©2018  Chris Paulhamus On 10 March, 2018 BNSF 9326 leads a southbound coal train around the bend and out of Larkspur, CO. ©2018  Chris Paulhamus


On March 15, a truck managed to knock over the crossing gate at the Ward Road- BNSF crossing in Wheat Ridge. The cement base even came out of the ground!.  As it fell across the track, the Golden local is holding in the background. A large fork lift from the nearby lumber yard was called it to remove the errant signal from the  track.  ©2018 Walter Weart

Some help from Citirail

David Grothe shot this Southbound coal train in Castle Rock with BNSF and CSX for lead power with CititRail helping out. ©2018 David Grothe

End the line for the Pikes Peak Cog Railway?

The line won't open this year and may never reopen

A welded rail train passes through Denver

UP welded rail train action on UP’s Moffat Tunnel Subdivision. UP train Pueblo, CO, to Eagle Pass, Texas, moved over UP's Belt Line north of Denver, Colorado. Upper left; Denver Regional Transportation District North Line "Skyway Bridge" under construction.

The N Line's southern terminus is at Union Station in Denver. It runs mostly on a preexisting railroad right-of-way to its northern terminus at Eastlake / 124th Station. A notable exception to using the existing railroad right-of-way is the RTD designated "Skyway Bridge" whose path takes it over and past several obstacles: it will cross the BNSF Railway railroad tracks (Brush Subdivision), Brighton Boulevard, a Union Pacific Railroad spur track (UP's Moffat Tunnel Subd Belt Line), the Farmers Reservoir and Irrigation Company (FRICO) Ditch, the Metro Waste Water Plant and Suncor oil processing site, Sand Creek, and Interstate 270. ©2018  Chip

Some of these pictures are a little older, your webmaster was in Pennsylvania getting caught in Nor'easter and just got back.

From Pennsylvania

On a cloudy overcast morning, a Gettysburg & Northern local heads north to switch local industries between Gettysburg and Mt. Holly Pennsylvania. The clouds portended the approaching Nor'easter. Your webmaster worked for the G&N just after grading for BNSF engineer school. Nice little short line. ©2018 Walter Weart

From Kansas

"We will deliver" is a common slogan painted on the sides of many locomotives and cars as illustrated on UP 90395 in Colby, Kansas August 31, 2015. What is unusual however, is the "We Will Deliver" slogan with all capital letters painted on the side of UP 90801 in Mingo, Kansas March 1, 2018. I have seen this car several times, however, I have never seen any other cars painted like this. I wonder if this is unique to this car?  Larry Dilts

An old warhorse nears the end

If they haven’t started already, they’re going to start cutting up our big black widow. SD-9, #4327. It last saw service in Longmont, and was taken to the deadline behind their Loveland shops where it has sat for the last two years. Problems inclyde a bad oil pump and a vast array of electrical issues. ©2018 Chips

On the KP Sub

UP 4912 East at Byers, Colorado, before 11:00 AM March 9, 2018.  Five new Siemens locomotives for SEPTA & MARC.  UP’s Limon Subdivision.  Due at Sharron Springs, Kansas before sunset. ©2018 Chip

On the Joint Line

BNSF 4710 South 10:40 AM, March 8, 2018 passed Monument, Colorado, Joint Line. Kansas City Southern 4850 Belle & CSXT 383-rainbow consist! ©2018 Chip

BNSF 9177 and a sister ACe lead a southbound coal train around the bend in Palmer Lake, CO.  ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

A frosty scene

BNSF 1993 and BNSF 2700 lead the southbound Pikes Peak Local through the wintry scene in Palmer Lake, CO.  About the only thing that doesn't look like winter is the unfrozen waters of Palmer Lake itself! The hoar frost was left by the clouds which have retreated higher up the Rampart Range in the background there and have been replaced by some lightly falling snow. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

The Forney crew

Thanks for everyone’s help in getting DRGW 3006 and caboose DRGW 01447 into their new home. February 18, 2018 and Museum director Christof Kheim is 4th from right. ©2018 Chip

Caboose has a caboose

Caboose Hobbies in Lakewood, CO, now has a caboose They acquired D&RGW 01416 from the Denver & New Orleans Model RR Club in Parker. The club lost it's space and needed a new home for its caboose. The car is in quite good condition and they are fortunate that the windows are still in place. Many cars had all windows removed and steel plates welded in place. ©2018 Walter Weart

Photos From Kansas

UP7432, 6232, and 2580 were headed back to Oakley with the Colby local. The local had just dropped off five cars and picked up five empties at CHS Colby Agronomy Center's liquid fertilizer plant visible on the horizon. It is interesting, CHS is near the end of the line at milepost 201.75. The Plainville branch once extended another 200 miles east to Salina, Kansas. Although westbound, the train at this point was headed southeast. At Colby, the railroad makes a sharp turn southeast. It is also interesting that the local out of Oakley has been using three units. Two GP38s were the power for many years but for the last year, three more powerful GE/EMDs have been holding down the local job. ©2018 Larry Dilts Frontier Ag of Mingo, Kansas learned the hard way. Employees failed to properly secure the hand brakes on a couple of loaded covered hoppers. The result was the cars rolled through the derail damaging the two cars beyond repair. They were subsequently loaded onto lowboy trailers for shipment to scrap yards. ©2018 Larry Dilts

Plane by train

As you may know, Boeing builds 737 fuselages in Witcha KS and moves them by rail to Seattle. The special trains occasionally pass through Denver. I found these photos in my e-mail folder but do not know who took them. If the photographer who took these pictures will let me me, I will post his name. In the meantime, our copyright still applies  Wally Weart

Light Rail cars in their way to Texas

Fort Worth Transportation Authority signed a $100m contract on June 9 for Stadler Bussnang to supply eight Flirt 3 diesel multiple-units for the future TEX Rail commuter line, with options for more.

This follows Federal Transit Administration approval for the engineering phase of the TEX Rail project. A Parsons/TranSystems joint venture is design consultant, and an Archer Western/Herzog joint venture is to provide pre-construction services, working with the design team ‘in order to achieve a more efficient and cost-effective design’.

The 43 km TEX Rail line will start in central Fort Worth and follow existing freight railway alignments northeast across Tarrant County to Grapevine and Terminal B at Dallas Fort International Airport, serving 10 stations. Opening is planned for September 2018, with an estimated initial ridership of 10 000 passengers/day predicted to rise to 14 500 by 2035.

The DMUs are scheduled to be delivered in July 2017 for testing and approval by March 2018. While Stadler has previously supplied 49 GTW multiple-units to the USA under four contacts, the latest deal is the first US order for its Flirt family. The deal is also the first to include an element of federal funding and thus be subject to Buy America regulations which will require 60% of the contract value to be sourced in the USA. ©2018 Chip

A locomotive not often seen outside

Rare outside opportunity - Chicago & North Western 444, 4-6-0 class I-1, outside the Forney Museum of Transportation during DRGW 3006, GP30, donation was underway. Denver, CO, February 18, 2018. ©2018 Chip

The Golden local in the snow

The Golden local was like the postman today, "Neither rain nor snow..." I'm so glad I'm not the ground man today.  ©2018 Walter Wear

A PV repositioned at Forney

During the repositioning of equipment at the Forney Museum, a very unique Private Vehicle saw daylight for the first time in a while. ©2018 Chip

(Your webmaster grew up in Chicago and Polk Brothers was one of the first of the "Big Box" retailers and was also the first discounter. They were equally famous for their "Jolly Polk Santa" which was a blowmolded 4 foot Christmas decoration.  Owner Sol Polk was considered a master pitchman and he ran in-store promotions that offered everything from TVs to Christmas trees. Polk Brothers could not deal with the new "Big Box" retailers that began to take over their share of the market. The chain officially closed its doors in 1992 in a grand "going out of business" sale. )

D&RGW equipment moved to Forney Museum

UP moved Rio Grande caboose & crane from closed DRGW Burnham Shops (UP Denver Locomotive Shop closed February 14, 2016). DRGW 01447 caboose going to Forney Museum of Transportation Denver, CO. The DRGW 029, steam derrick crane and about 20 cars had been preserved by Marcus Rail, LLC, Daniel Quiat. Union Pacific moved equipment from closed UP Denver Locomotive Shop, AKA DRGW Burnham Shops, Denver, CO, to UP's 36th Street Yard, Denver, CO, February 17, 2018. Caboose acquired by Forney Museum of Transportation at Denver, CO. Crane DRGW 029 and support car DRGW X3317 will eventually move to The Moffat Road Railroad Museum at Granby, CO.  ©2018 Chip
UP moved Rio Grande 3006, GP30, preserved by Marcus Rail Daniel Quiat. Union Pacific moved equipment from closed UP Denver Locomotive Shop, AKA DRGW Burnham Shops, Denver, CO, to UP's 36th Street Yard, Denver, CO, February 17, 2018. Early February 18, 2018 view with UP 1422, GP40-2 parked next to Forney Museum of Transportation at Denver, CO. ©2018 Chip DRGW 3006, GP30, in new home at Forney Museum of Transportation, Denver, Colorado, February 18, 2018.  ©2018 Chip

The Joint Line in the snow

BNSF 7335 leads a southbound manifest through the wintry, hoar frost'y scene on the U.S. Air Force Academy, CO. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus UP 2468 leads the southbound MNYPU (North Yard (Denver) - Pueblo, CO) out of Palmer Lake, CO and through some post-storm beauty. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus
BNSF 6370 leads a northbound coal empty through Palmer Lake, CO during the first snow storm of the 2017-2018 season to hit the Pikes Peak Region. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus NSF 3845 leads a pair of KCS Belles and a long manifest south through the winter wonderland of Palmer Lake, CO. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus


BNSF 1993 has a longer-than-usual Pikes Peak Local (although you can't tell here) screaming south entering Larkspur, CO.

The fresh, powdery snow was not match for the PPL as it was running at or near track speed, something that's not a common sight as it's usually coal trains sloth'ing their way up the grade toward Palmer Lake. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

On the Joint Line

On 9 Feb, 2018 BNSF 8549 leads a Wagon Wheel MAC south down the Palmer Divide as they descend out of Palmer Lake, CO. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus  BNSF 8798 and a CitiRail leaser lead a long manifest up the grade in Spruce, CO. Not the usual DC GEVO power on this manifest as a pair of AC units got the call on this particular day. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus 
BNSF 8798 and a CitiRail leaser bring a southbound manifest down the grade out of Palmer Lake, CO.©2018 Chris Paulhamus  

Private vehicles in Denver

Private varnish (PV) Silver Solarium action on UP's Moffat Tunnel Subdivision. PV Silver Solarium, Vista-dome Sleeper Lounge Dome Diner built in 1948 by the Budd Manufacturing Company for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CB&Q). Silver Solarium was one of six dome/sleeper/observation cars specifically built for the California Zephyr. Operating between Chicago and San Francisco, CA, for over 20 years, the car provided an elegant end to an elegant train. In May 1971 ownership of the car transferred to Amtrak and the car was retired in 1980. Put in storage by Amtrak, time and the elements soon took their toll on this once magnificent car. Vandals broke out windows, nature began to reclaim what once belong to her as trees and mushrooms took root in the once elegant lounge. A new life for this once grand car awaited just around the corner when Amtrak sold her to a private owner. Several years later, all new mechanical systems and a lot of elbow grease, the grand lady of the California Zephyr was reborn. California Zephyr Railcar Charters PV in the snow on Amtrak train 6, the California Zephyr at Winter Park/Fraser, Colorado, station stop. ©2018 Chip PV’s came off at Denver, CO, for weekend stay.  They depart on Amtrak train 5 Monday, February 5, 2018 back to California. ©2018 Chip
Private varnish (PV) Silver Solarium action; UP Moffat Tunnel Subdivision.  PV Silver Solarium, Vista-dome Sleeper Lounge Dome Diner built in 1948 by the Budd Manufacturing Company for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CB&Q).  Silver Solarium was one of six dome/sleeper/observation cars specifically built for the California Zephyr.  Operating between Chicago and San Francisco, CA, for over 20 years, the car provided an elegant end to an elegant train.  In May 1971 ownership of the car transferred to Amtrak and the car was retired in 1980.  Put in storage by Amtrak, time and the elements soon took their toll on this once magnificent car. Vandals broke out windows, nature began to reclaim what once belong to her as trees and mushrooms took root in the once elegant lounge. A new life for this once grand car awaited just around the corner when Amtrak sold her to a private owner. Several years later, all new mechanical systems and a lot of elbow grease, the grand lady of the California Zephyr was reborn.  California Zephyr Railcar Charters PV's in the snow on Amtrak train 6, the California Zephyr.  Other car is Silver Rapids sleeper. ©2018 Chip


Interesting activity in Colorado

Amtrak137, P42DC, on train 963Chicago, IL to Avondale, CO (TTC). Right Amtrak9 on the Southwest Chief during an on time stop. The thrid unit was IDOT 4617, SC-44, BNSF's Boise City Dub,La Junta, CO February 1, 2018.  ©2018 Chip
Left; Amtrak train 963 Chicago, IL, to Avondale, Colorado. The Talgo train set is the ex-Wisconsin train set going to the Transportation Technology Center.  Right-Amtrak 9 on Amtrak train 3, the Southwest Chief arriving La Junta, CO, February 1, 2018.  Photo by Chip

Talgo train set backgound; Under Gov. Jim Doyle and a Democrat-controlled Legislature, the state agreed in 2009 to a no-bid contract to buy two train sets from Talgo for Amtrak's Milwaukee-Chicago service for $47.5 million, as well as additional trains for a planned Madison-Milwaukee high-speed rail line.

Wisconsin won an $810 million federal stimulus grant to build the high-speed rail line. But Gov. Scott Walker was elected in 2010 after vowing to cancel the Milwaukee-Madison project, saying its operating expenses would be too high for state taxpayers. The federal government later canceled the grant.

Meanwhile, a contract dispute occurred between Talgo and the state over the Milwaukee-Chicago trains.

In 2015, Talgo's lawsuit against the state was settled. Wisconsin taxpayers paid Talgo roughly $50 million, with the company also keeping the two trains.  (info courtesy Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 14 July 2017)
 ©2018 Chip
Amtrak passenger action on UP's Moffat Tunnel Subdivision. Amtrak 184, P42DC Phase IV scheme, led train 5 the California Zephyr west of Granby, Colorado, February 2, 2018. .

On the Joint Line

On 28 Jan, 2018,  a pair of ACes leads a northbound coal empty by the namesake lake in Palmer Lake, CO. The snow is left over from the week prior.  ©2018 Chris Paulhamus 

News from Kansas

On January 26, 2018, at Tribune, Kansas were two fallen flag covered hoppers. Conrail and Penn Central are not common fallen flags out in this part of the world. The cars are owned by RFMX (Caldwell-Baker Co. (Robert F. Miller).  ©2018 Larry D. Dilts
With the V&ST selling their line to KCVN under the name Colorado Pacific Railroad, I thought I would check to see if anything had changed yet. The only change I saw was several miles of stored container flats west of Olney Springs were removed. There are still about four miles of stored container flats between Olney Springs and Crowley. The V&ST's locomotive is still stored on the west side of Ordway. It cannot be moved until the stored cars to the west are removed or the burned bridge to the east near Haswell is rebuilt. The sale of the line was completed January 5, 2018. ©2018 Larry Dilts
On January 26, 2018 westbound K&O 4034, 4010, and 3838 were on the east side of Leoti, Kansas near the Seaboard Grain elevator. The train had just arrived from Scott City and was tieing up for the day. ADM and Seaboard both have large grain elevators in Leoti. Their sidings were filled with hoppers waiting for shipment east. ©2018 Larry Dilts

In Eastern Colorado

Cold night in Goodland with Kyle RR working Goodland Yard, January 24, 2018. ©2018 Chip

Kyle RR’s busiest Colorado elevator is the Seibert Equity Coop at Seibert, Colorado. Kyle RR Central Oregon & Pacific RR lettered 4075, SD40T-2, was covered in snow after snow drift busting trip from Goodland, Kansas, January 24 & 25, 2018. Kyle conductor Dalton talked with grain elevator employee. Note tractor used to move covered hoppers at right. January 25, 2018. ©2018 Chip

Stratton Depot along the former Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific RR line at Stratton, CO, January 25, 2018. First westbound train after January 21, 2018 snowstorm cleared drift on northwest side of abandoned depot. Kyle RR Central Oregon & Pacific RR (CORP lettered) 4075, SD40T-2, was clearing snow. Farmers and ranchers need more snowstorms in eastern Colorado! ©2018 Chip Kyle Railroad freight action along Kyle's Goodland Subdivision. CORP 4075, SD40T-2, was westbound with Kyle 6843 passed snow covered ranch land and horses along ex-Rock Island west of Stratton, CO. ©2018 Chip

Joint Line trains

On 21 Jan, 2018 BNSF 6370 leads a northbound coal empty through Palmer Lake, CO during the first snow storm of the 2017-2018 season to hit the Pikes Peak Region. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus 

Tim Tonge got two shots of the Pikes Peak local, looking good, at Tomah and Greenland. ©2017 Tim Tonge
A Q train is running wrong way at Castle Rock. ©2017 Tim Tonge

News from Kansas

January 20, 2018, K&O (WAMX) 4010 and 4034 were parked on the old Santa Fe mainline on the east side of Scott City, Kansas. Both the old Santa Fe and the old Missouri Pacific yards were filled with grain hoppers. 4010 is a former CN GP40-2LW while 4034 is a GP40-3 last owned by HLCX. ©2018 Larry Dilts The track on the left is K&O's former MP mainline while the track on the right is the K&Os former Santa Fe branch mainline. The two railroads crossed twice in Scott City. The Santa Fe came up from Garden City, Kansas crossing the MP on the west side of town (now abandoned). It then turned east heading for Great Bend, Kansas. On the east side of town it crossed the MP once again. The MP headed northeast. This use to be the MP's Pueblo to Kansas City mainline. This line today ends at Healy, Kansas about 20 miles northeast of Scott City where it serves several grain elevators. The signals protecting the crossing are no longer in service but protected by a stop sign.  ©2018 Larry Dilts

Photo 573-72 With the shipping of canola seed to Colby, several different hoppers are showing up. SAMX has a number longer length 4 bay covered hoppers. I think these might be 60-65 foot length cars but the gross weight is only 263,000 pounds. Three bay hoppers are the norm with an occasional 4 bay hopper, but these longer cars are new for this area.  ©2018 Larry Dilts

On the Joint Line

On 14 Jan, 2018, BNSF 8994 leads a northbound coal empty up the grade in Palmer Lake, CO as seen from the famous railfan hump on the south side of town. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus 

On 14 Jan, 2018, BNSF 9336, a non-isolated cab'd ACe, and a GEVO are on the rear of a southbound coal train and are applying the dynamic brakes as the train descend off the Palmer Divide south of Palmer Lake, CO. ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

The two signal heads in either direction is because this signal is the approaching signal to a control point, Palmer Lake to the north and NE Monument to the south.  Since it is an approaching signal to those control points where a train can possibly take a diverging route off the mainline, these two signal heads act as an indication to the crew as to what route they are going to be taking, either the normal main to main route, or main to siding route.  In CTC applications these signals are referred to as "distant signals" or "approach signals". Explanation of courtesy of Frank Orona

David Sheppard shot the southbound manifest-Q taken from the Castle Rock Parkway bridge. This train was moving fast and had a DPU on the rear. ©2018 David Sheppard 

Kyle on the Plains

Kyle going through the dead signals of the former RI, at Mustang. ©2018  LimonRail Heading east on high plains. ©2018 LimonRail

Along the Royal Gorge Route

Cañon City & Royal Gorge Railroad, AKA The Royal Gorge Route, CRRX 403, F7A, and CRRX 1503, F7B, moved 5-car train west along the Arkansas River headed for the Royal Gorge and Parkdale, CO, January 12, 2018. Train was west of Cañon City, Colorado. ©2018 Chip CRRX 553 Buena Vista full dome repainted 2017 approached Parkdale, Colorado on UP’s Tennessee Pass Subdivision January 13, 2018. Arkansas River in foreground. ©2018 Chip
Royal Gorge Route, Canon City and Royal Gorge Railroad 4011, CRRX 4011 named Leah Jean, open air car/control cab for reverse moves noted at Parkdale, CO, January 12, 2018.  Leah Jean Ashby Greksa, 48, was born in Golden on Feb. 14, 1964, and died May 16, 2012, in Georgetown due to complications of a bone-marrow transplant following a diagnosis of a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  ©2018 Chip

Some help from a friend

NS7018 at OZ siding on the old Kansas Pacific mainline. It is an SD60E. Along with a number of internal upgrades to the locomotives, the NS built and applied these odd looking wide-nose cabs to their SD60 fleet. The unit was working on a UP grain train headed for Colby, Kansas January 9, 2018.  ©2018 Larry Dilts

Very interesting foreign power on the Joint Line

On 1 Jan, 2018, BNSF 7258 leads an eclectic mix of foreign power (the DPU was a Norfolk Southern GEVO) and a manifest through the U.S. Air Force Academy, CO.  ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

Some action on the D&S

Durango & Silverton Polar Express Train crosses Main Street in Durango on its way to the North Pole (Event Park). December 30, 2017 © Jerry Durango & Silverton Polar Express Train rolls over the Animas River bridge in Durango. December 31, 2017 © Jerry B. Day
Durango & Silverton Winter Train passes the Hermosa water tank on its way to Cascade. January 4, 2018 © Jerry B. Day 

Rail-truck transfer

Cornerstone Ag is receiving small shipments of Canola grain from North Dakota. The hoppers are spotted on the siding at Cornerstone Ag's former Cooper elevator for loading into trucks. The trucks transport the grain to a dairy near Scott City, Kansas. Cornerstone Ag has a contract to haul the grain for the next nine months. ©2018 Larry Dilts

Foreign power on the Joint Line

David Grothe spotted this train just outside of Castle Rock approaching Tomah Rd about 1250L. BNSF 7258, KCS 4174, FXE 4691, NS 8097. The power is a BNSF GEVO leader, KCS ACe and a FerroMex GEVO. DPU is a NS GEVO.  David Grothe

On the Joint Line

Not much was running on Saturday, but I managed to catch a northbound manifest in the last sliver of light illuminating Main 2 entering Larkspur.  ©2018 Chris Paulhamus

Wind power on the move

BNSF 6318 southbound unit wind  blade train to Garden City, Kansas, via Joint Line passed Littleton, Colorado, 3:30 PM, January 2, 2018  ©2018 Chip

Action in Arvada 

Westbound Denver RTD 2-car commuter rail train 4002 & 4001 testing on Gold Line at Arvada, Colorado, January 2, 2018. ©2018 Chip ©2018 Chip BNSF 5001 & 4555 East on 21-car Beer Run at Arvada, CO, 11:45 AM January 2, 2018. BNSF 5001 & 4555 East on 21-car Beer Run at Arvada, CO, 11:45 AM January 2, 2018. ©2018 Chip

On the Kyle Railroad

Kyle RR manifest action on Kyle's Phillipsburg Subdivision. Kyle RR 9330, SD45T-2, and Utah Railway 5001 & 5002, MK50-3, westbound train was west of snow covered Phillipsburg, Kansas, Dec. 26, 2017. This portion of ex-Rock Island was known as Rock Island Subdivision No. 8; milepost 284.5 to milepost 424.3 at Goodland, Kansas. ©2017 Chip

Interesting power on the Joint Line.

On December 21, 2017 the Pikes Peak Local heading south at 1300 in Castle Rock with A B-40 for lead power, (Note: Note patched number on the lead unit)   ©2017 David Grothe

Coming at ya!

On 19 Dec, 2017, BNSF 8493 is climbing up the grade into Larkspur, CO with a load of coal destined for some power plant down south. ©2017 Chris Paulhamus

Christmas Chicago style

While not a Colorado picture, having grown up in Chicago and ridden the "L" I had to share this picture of the CTA's Santa Train with Santa on the flat car. Courtesy Tarrell Colson Not to be outdone, Metra got with the season and wrapped in the locomotive and all the cars of a commuter train. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a wrapped locomotive. Courtesy Tarrell Colson
Action in Colorado Springs
On December 19, 2017, Larry caught the Colorado Springs local switching the industrial complex off Drennan Road on the north side of the mainline near Kelker. These pictures show UP 1370 spotting cars at the Bio Pappel International facility. They are in the business of collecting recycled materials for their paper plants in Mexico. Thompson lumber also unloads building products at this location. There are a number of industries that use rail service in the area, but they are all difficult to photograph due to accessibility issues. One interesting thing about this spur into Bio Pappel is it crosses the only diamond in Colorado Springs. (That I am aware of) ©2017 Larry Dilts
After completing switching UP 1376 reattached to its train for the trip back to downtown Colorado Springs. Notice the shoving platform. The shoving platform had been put out to pasture, but the UP once again requires the platform to be use where the crewman previously rode on the side of loaded flatcars. This is no longer permitted. ©2017 Larry Dilts The UP local picked up two units at Kelker before returning to Colorado Springs. The short five car train was crossing Sierra Madre which is one of three grade level crossings in Colorado Springs. ©2017 Larry Dilts
On December 20, 2017, the UP switched industries on the Templeton Gap Spur. UP 1370 was pulling a string of empties out of Foxworth Galbraith Lumber in Colorado Springs. The loaded flatcars were spotted on the remainder of the old AT&SF mainline north of Fillmore Street waiting to be moved into Foxworth Galbraith Lumber. The signal control box is interesting. Although the UP now services this track, the signal control box is still lettered for the BNSF and AT&SF mile marker 666.25. It is also interesting that Fillmore is spelled incorrectly. ©2017 Larry Dilts UP 1370 was shoving six empties down the old Rock Island mainline west of Beacon Street. ©2017 Larry Dilts

An unusual power combination

On 18 Dec, 2017, an unusual leader in the form of BNSF 8798 leads the southbound Pikes Peak Local through the Air Force Academy, CO in the waning moments of sunlight. ©2017 Chris Paulhamus

On the Joint Line

On December 16, 2017 David Grothe photographed a Southbound auto rack train being assembled at Big Lift with BNSF and KCS southern belle for lead power ©2017  David Grothe 

A neat glint shot

Southwestern RR SD50’s moved via BNSF train out of Pueblo, CO, January 26, 2017. Units left to right; Southwestern RR 5103, 5102, 9861 ex-DRGW 5517 and 5111. BNSF 8037 up front east of Pueblo Airport. The Southwestern RR units were dropped off at Dodge City, Kansas. ©2017 Chip

An unusual visitor

BNSF 5254 North had BCOL 4620 rear DPU passed Utah Junction north of Denver, CO, December 10, 2017 on Front Range Subdivision. Unit frac sand train for Fort Collins, CO. ©2017 Chip

Empty autoracks on the move

On 2 December, BNSF 5315 leads a long string of empty autoracks south through Larkspur, CO. ©2017 Chris Paulhamus

On the Kyle 

On December 4, 2017, Kyle (Utah) 5001 and Kyle 9345 were parked on the mainline on the east side of Colby airing up the brakes before proceeding west with 81 cars. ©2017 Larry Dilts

Some activity on the Great  Western

Santa wears sunglasses! Windsor Wonderland @ Windsor, Colorado, December 2, 2017. OmniTrax Great Western Railway business car Yellowstone #1. ©2017 Chip OmniTrax Great Western Railway was installing grade crossing signals on Eastman Park Drive near former Kodak Windsor Industrial Park December 2, 2017. Midsouth Railroad Services Ron Doremus doing the work. ©2017 Chip
OmniTrax Great Western Railway along Eastman Park Drive near former Kodak Windsor Industrial Park December 2, 2017. Windsor, Colorado.  ©2017 Chip

New power on its way to their new owner.

EPTA 901 Siemens ACS-64 & MARC 82 SC-44 at Denver, Colorado, December 4, 2017 sunrise. Setting moon over the eastbound UP train. Siemens new locomotives moved from California via Colorado to East St. Louis, Illinois and on to eastern commuter rail operations.©2017 Chip

Our local short line at work

Denver Rock Island RR 1083, SW1500, used lead across BNSF Jersey Line December 1, 2017 Denver’s Stockyards, Denver, Colorado. Denver Rock Island Railroad does serve several customers in the Denver Stockyard. ©2017 Chip

On the Joint Line

On 25 November, 2017 BNSF 9093 leads a southbound coal train through the Air Force Academy in Colorado as seen from the South Gate Bridge. This spot is directly over the north siding switch at Academy. The searchlights that used to stand guard here are gone, replaced with PTC-compliant signals, but at least the code line remains...for now.  ©2017 Chris Paulhamus

More foreign power helping out

BNSF Denver to Laurel MT; BNSF 4690, CSXT 5266  & KCS 4114 passed Broomfield, CO, 12:25 PM Thursday, November 30, 2017 moving north on Front Range Subdivision.  Chip ©2017

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