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

Who owns this locomotive?


Kansas City Southern leased 50 ex-BNSF Dach9-44CWs and and purchased an additional 50 locomotives. The locomotives are in the BNSF 4700, 4800 and 4900 series. These were returned to the BNSF to repay horsepower hours owed the company. (Editor note: I apologize to the photographer as I cannot credit him as I "lost" the original e-mail. If you  will let me know, I will be pleased to credit you.)

BNSF Heritage locomotive in Denver


Surprised by BNSF 6163 25th BNSF Anniversary DPU on an eastbound lntermodal train Seattle, WA, to Omaha, Nebraska, at Barr, CO, 29 July 2021- ©2021 Chip

Klondike Kate sustains serious mechanical damage during a test run

Klondike Kate #4 was undergoing a test run Friday, July 23, 2021. The wedge holding the crosshead to the piston rod failed. This drove the piston into the cylinder head.. Examination of the photo shows the piston itself at the end of the cylinder and the nut holding the piston rod extending out of the cylinder. Como, Colorado, Saturday, July 24, 2021 image. © 2021 Chip

Como Days will be held as planned. Contributions are welcome to help cover the cost of a new wedge and cylinder head! Contributions can be made out to the South Park Rail Society.

Denver, South Park & Pacific Historical Society volunteer looked at bent threaded supports after Friday, July 23rd incident with narrow gauge 2-6-2 Klondike Kate at Como, CO. © 2021 Chip

BNSF fire cars

© 2021 Ben Helsel © 2021Ben Helsel

Ben Helsel was in Pueblo when these cars arrived from the Builder in Late March early April this year. I was actually on hand when all 6 cars in this set were fired up for the first time in the yard in Pueblo. The tank cars rebuilt at the Progress Rail Plant on the Wichita Falls Sub in Amarillo TX. The set for Colorado is BNSF 933014-933019. 6 Cars total. It is one of 3 sets on the system. None are assigned east of Colorado. The sets are assigned to Barstow CA, Spokane/Pasco area in WA state and the set in Colorado, which are currently in Denver at the 31st St Shops.  Cars have a capacity of 20,000 Gallons and the Spray Nozzles on them can reach 150-200 Ft.
© 2021 Ben Helsel  

UP 1979 on display in Denver

Union Pacific 1979 "WE ARE ONE:" was in Denver and was on display. It was painted to celebrates employee diversity    © 2021David Grothe

A new paint scheme for the ex-WP&Y locomotive

The latest paint scheme for an ex-WP&Y locomotive. 

A different location on the Joint Line


On 17 July, 2021 BNSF 9319 is on the rear of a southbound coal train as it passes over the iconic Rio Grande bridge in Monument, CO. © 2021 Chris Paulhamus

PV's on the Moffat Sub

PVs on Amtrak No. 5, left to right Union Pacific, Milwaukee Road Super Dome 53 Cimmerian River Sleeper near Tunnel  5. © 2021 Chip Private varnish  ex-Pennsylvania Frank Thomson was on Amtrak train 5, the California Zephyr at Denver, Colorado, July 21, 2021.  Rare for this eastern based PV to travel this far West. © 2021 Chip

D&S CATS Tour part 2

On June 26, we rode the only steam powered D&S scheduled trip of the day. The other train was powered by ex WP&Y 107.

This was one of the first runs of 493 after it's conversion to oil. If you look in the background, you can see one of the new diesel locomotives awaiting testing and start of service.  ©2021 Walter Weart The D&S crew really did a nice job with the conversion but I sure missed the smell of coal smoke. ©2021 Walter Weart
WP&Y 107 awaits tomorrow's call to service. ©2021 Walter Weart A far cry from I was last here. ©2021 Walter Weart

BNSF Officer on the Raton Pass Line.

BNSF'˜s new CEO Katy Farmer was aboard seven car inspection train that stopped at Lamy, New Mexico, July 14, 2021.  Officials disembarked to fly back to Fort Worth, Texas.  Inspection train continued to Albuquerque, NM.  ©2021 Chip BNSF'€˜s new CEO Katy Farmer was aboard inspection train from Kansas City, MO, to Albuquerque, NM.  The westbound train spliced the semaphores at Chapelle, NM, July 14, 2021.©2021 Chip

Rocky Mountaineer test run

©2021 Erik Lindgren ©2021 Erik Lindgren

4014 on a test run

 
Test run July 16, 2021 at Speer, Wyoming blends 2 Overland Route historical pieces together at the Water Tank. Soft overcast light and thunderstorms over Terry Bison Ranch make for a pleasant afternoon photographing Union Pacifica’s Big Boy soon departing on a special tour in the Midwest. ©2021 Erik Lindgren  
Eaton Colorado  ©2021 Erik Lindgren Ed Dickens and crew roll into the warm light of a hot July evening south of Cheyenne on their way to Denver performing a test run.  ©2021 Erik Lindgren
UP's Senior Manager of Heritage Operations and engineer Ed Dickens ran the Big Boy UP 4014 from Cheyenne, WY, to Denver’s 36th Street Yard on July 8, 2021. The Steam Team had a Positive Train Control screen in the cab. ©2021 Chip UP's Big Boy UP 4014 operated from Cheyenne, WY, to Denver's 36th Street Yard on July 8, 2021. The Steam Team used the        'New Way  ' past the Steam Shop to negotiate the Cheyenne Yard. ©2021 Chip
 
Union Pacific's 4014 Big Boy first move after COVID-19 pandemic was July 8, 2021 at Cheyenne, WY. UP steam operations were suspended in 2020 by the pandemic. The UP 4014 will leave Cheyenne August 5, 2021 headed east for Sidney, Nebraska. This will kick off a month long trip to Kansas City, Missouri, Houston, Texas, and New Orleans, Louisiana. The steam special will again visit Denver in early September. ©2021 Chip  

A test run of the Rocky Mountaineer Moab train

 
Rocky Mountaineer operated a training trip from Union Pacific's 36th Street Yard, Denver, Colorado, USA, on Friday, 2 July 2021. Train operated over Union Pacific rails to Glenwood Springs, CO, that day. Next day, 3 July, train ran from Glenwood Springs, CO, to Moab, Utah, and returned to Glenwood Springs. Train used UP 5107 and 5105, SD70M units, and handled 11-cars. ©2021 Chip

The San Juan Express on the CATS

On Sunday, .June 27, we rode the San Juan & New Mexico Express between Antonito and Osier. This is the start of a recreation of the original San Juan Express. In addition to the cars on our train, they are restoring a:Pullman sleeping car, a RPO and a Pay Car. The RPO Express car on our train is the concession car and has the wheelchair lift.. The Pullman sleeper was to have been on our train but it had a bearing that was running hot and they did not want to take any chances. The restoration has to be seen to be believed as the cars look like they wer e juist delivered. They even had reproduction Pinstch gas lamp that were period correct. This was the first of what will be several trips over the summer. On Saturday,  June 26, we rode the Durango & Silverton and I'll post some pictures from that trip.

The restoration of T-12 was an incredible piece of work as this engine sat in a park in Colorado Springs since1938. The last time I saw this locomotive it was wrapped with Christmas lights and covered with bird poop. It ran flawlessly and even had the whistle that seems so appropriate for this locomotive. ©2021 Susie Weart
I wanted to take a picture of the firemen side because the extent of the restoration really must be seen to be appreciated. Photographs don't quite do this work justice. ©2021 Walter Weart

 

As the water capacity on this locomotive is limited we've made frequent water stops and they placed a water car from the Rotary at Lava Loop to make sure that there were sufficient water availability for the course of the trip. ©2021 Walter Weart
   
Photographs do not do justice to the quality of the restoration of these cars.. As you would expect the bodies were in very poor condition and required significant work to bring them back to their current appearance. I had heard that as much as $750,000 was spent on each car and I don't doubt that as I supervised the $500,000 restoration of Denver Tramway streetcar .04 at that was cosmetic only ©2021 Walter Weart I thought this was a great picture because there were three narrow gauge engines is that were hot. The 489 has just been converted to oil and was still being evaluated before being put in service. ©2021 Walter Weart

KCS power on the UP near Leyden


Standing, hoping, awesome gust front and super dramatic sky and the train an eastbound sand working with EMD SD70ACE 4117 was slow, make that really slow.. after a few minutes then a half an hour the storm was passing just enough and that warm afternoon sunlight from the east was bathing the area through the cool darks and falling rain and hail just in time for this colorful classic to come into view punctuated in a kiss of warm sunlight through the storms of the mountain high meadows east of Big Ten. ©2021 Erik Lindgren

Double headers on the D&S

Southern Pacific 4-6-0 number 18 used as a helper to K-37 number 493 on a 15-car Silverton train. Photographed between Trimble and Hermosa. The 18 was rented for the summer for helper service when one of the three oil burning K engines is getting a boiler wash. June 24, 2021. ©2021Jerry Day

 

The Silverton train with 15 cars has Southern Pacific 4-6-0 number helping K-37 number 493. Photographed between south of Trimble Lane. June 24, 2021.  ©2021Jerry Day
 
Double header SP18 and D&S 493 roar across Highway 500 at Hermosa. June 24, 2021. ©2021Jerry Day  

Storm damage


On June 19, 2021, a severe windstorm with winds in the 80 to 90mph range passed through north western Kansas damaging many buildings and grain storage bins. On the Kyle Railroad at Breton east of Colby, wind destroyed or damaged a number of grain bins next to the Kyle RR. The Kyle didn’t suffer any damage. Only a month earlier, a tornado passed through Selden 15 miles farther east. ©2021Larry Dilts

An Officer Special


BNSF 7-car officer special with William B Strong theater inspection car passed Prospect Junction , Denver, CO, June 23, 2021.  Train originated at Billings, Montana and ran down BNSF’s Front Range Subdivision that morning.  Special turned East at Denver, Colorado, for run over the Brush line.  Ultimate destination was Topeka, Kansas.  Copyright 2021 Chip

Pictures from eastern Colorado

2 & 3 June 14, 2021 Stratton, Colorado. On the west side of Stratton, Kyle 2128 and 6843 were parked on the mainline with a long eastbound freight. Parked next to the close Stratton depot was B&P 3319 and Utah 5006. Also, the wye at Stratton was removed last year leaving only the wye at Limon in service on the west end of the line. The turntable at Phillipsburg is in place but out of service leaving only the wye at Beloit on the eastern end of the Kyle for turning locomotives. ©2021Larry D. Dilts
 
June 11, 2021. When the Colorado Pacific rebuilt the Towner line, they abandoned the spur at Galatea. The townsite of Galatea is just a ghost town with a few abandoned homes north of the railroad and some concrete foundations along the abandoned railroad spur.   ©2021 Larry D. Dilts  

Power for the Limon local

On JUne 20, the power for the Limon local tied down in front of the depot. ©2021Limonrail

Stored
UP power

Union Pacific has about 50 stored locomotives along their busy double track line to Kansas City at Hastings, Nebraska, June 20, 2021. Eastbound double coal load passed with four mid-train DPU's. ©2021 Chip Stored UP EMD SD70M locomotives at Hastings, NE, June 2021.  UP 6737 was a DPU on a coal load.©2021 Chip

New power for the Royal Gorge Railroad?


Units came into Pueblo off the BNSF and are seen in the interchange yard at Pueblo Co waiting to go west the final 40 or so miles to their new home. Good timing for these to get on property as the RGX (Royal Gorge Express as its know here) is down to one operating unit. ©2021 Ben Helsel 

BNSF moved two former Escalante Western SD40,s and caboose from New Mexico to Colorado the weekend of June 12 & 13, 2021. Former Escalante Western 601 and 603 arrived Pueblo, CO, Sunday, June 13th. ©2021 Chip

A PV in Denver with a famous name


PV Cyrus K Holliday, ex-Soo Line business car built in 1921, crossed Colorado on June 10, 2021. Amtrak train 6, the California Zephyr, was almost 4-hours late at Fraser, CO. PV Cyrus K. Holliday is based at San Diego, CA. Shadow was from wildfire smoke out of New Mexico or Arizona. ©2021 Chip (Ed. note:Colonel Cyrus Kurtz Holliday (April 3, 1826 – March 29, 1900) was an American railroad executive who was one of the founders of the township of Topeka, Kansas, in the mid 19th century; and was Adjutant General of Kansas during the American Civil War. The title Colonel, however, was honorary.)

A Bangdlaish locomotive going to TTCI fro testing

EMDX 2008, a Progress Rail/EMD model GT42ACL (L=lightweight) built October 2020, was moved by BNSF to the Transportation Technology Center at Avondale, Colorado, east of Pueblo, on June 7, 2021. ©2021 Chip

Bangladesh Railway (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ রেলওয়ে) is the state-owned rail transport agency of Bangladesh. It operates and maintains all railways in the country, and is overseen by the Directorate General of Bangladesh Railway. The Bangladesh Railway is governed by the Ministry of Railways and the Bangladesh Railway Authority. Its reporting mark is "BR".

In 2019, 40 EMD GT42ACLs were ordered from Progress Rail. Unit numbers will be 6601-6640. First ten were supposed to have been completed last year.
 


 

Military Locomotives at Ft. Carson

All 4 units assigned to base were outside basking in morning sunshine 01 June, 2021. Decided to go on base and see if perhaps I could get shots. Checked in at shop office and was given the ok to do so. 2 Gen Sets both 3GS21B's the 6506 & 6512 along with GP9R 4611 and GP40 4653. 4611 is what I consider the hard one to shoot. Don't see it outside to much and here it is with the others. Nice day to shoot. 2 photo's attached .©2021 Ben Helsel 

Tornado damage

On May 24, 2021, a tornado struck Selden, Kansas causing extensive damage to the town. Although the Kyle Railroad was damaged, it was less extensive. Two grain hoppers were overturned and a grain bin collapsed onto several hoppers. The mainline was blocked due to debris. I am not sure how long it was before the line was reopened. ©2021 Larry Dilts

 

 
   

On the Joint Line


BNSF 6255 leads a northbound coal empty along Monument Creek as seen from the North Gate Bridge on the U.S. Air Force Academy, CO ©2021 Chris Paulhamus
 

A colorful locomotive

Colorado Pacific Railroad’s freshly painted WAMX 3831, GP38-2, was released from the Kansas & Oklahoma Wichita, Kansas, shop in the last week of May.  Unit was painted in a unique blue paint scheme with a Colorado symbol on its long hood.  Unit arrived at Scott City, KS  in the last week of May.  ©2021 Chip

 

Colorado Pacific Railroad’s freshly painted WAMX 3831, GP38-2, was the leader on a westbound Kansas & Oklahoma freight the  in the last week of May departing Wichita, KS. Unit was painted in a unique blue paint scheme with a Colorado symbol on its long hood. Unit arrived at Scott City, KS on  in the last week of May. ©2021 Chip

 
Colorado Pacific Railroad’s WAMX 3831, GP38-2, switched cars on a westbound Kansas & Oklahoma freight at yard west of Hutchinson, KS, May 22, 2021. Unit was painted in a unique blue paint scheme with a Colorado symbol on its long hood. Unit arrived Scott City, KS  in the last week of May. ©2021 Chip Unique designed Colorado Pacific Railroad decal on WAMX 3831, GP38-2. The westbound Kansas & Oklahoma freight tied up at Great Bend, KS, the evening of May 22, 2021. ©2021 Chip
 

Whoops!

We stopped in Evanston Wyoming to check the progress of the roundhouse restoration project. The first thing we saw was this locomotive which obviously had a "problem. I would love to head this call to the dispatcher,  ©2021 Walter Weart

Picture from the road

Bridge supporting abandoned track that began the Aspen branch in Glenwood Springs  ©2021 Denny Leonard
 
Abandoned track leading from UP main, starting the Aspen branch  through Glenwood Springs ©2021 Denny Leonard.

 

Oil train coming through Glenwood Springs ( better than a pipeline? ). ©2021 Denny Leonard Lead engines of UP manifest leaving last tunnel before Glenwood Springs station.©2021 Denny Leonard

A visit of Promontory, UT

During a recent trip to Utah, we visited the Golden Spike Historical PArk at Promontory, UT.©2021 Walter Weart This is the primary display with the telegraph pole and flag that appears is the famous picture.. At 1:00PM.each day. the two locomotives are run but they only have one crew so they do not recreate the actual event.  Each locomotive is operated over a lot the  track, putting on a very good show. ©2021 Walter Weart

In 1974, the National Park Service approached O'Connor Engineering Laboratories to construct exact, full-size replicas of the Jupiter and Union Pacific 119. As was the case with the engines themselves, no drawings or plans of the engines survived, necessitating entirely new drawings to be produced based mostly on photos of the engines as well as research done on similar engines built around the same time. The replicas were completed in 1979, and began operations on May 10 of that year, 110 years after the original Golden Spike ceremony, and continue to make demonstration runs.  ©2021 Walter Weart
                                                                  
                           They even have a replica of the Laurel wood tie

The cab of the 119 show the technology of that era

Copyright by the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club 2021
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