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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The D&RGW Heritage unit


on a welded rail train on the Joint Line ©2020 Mike Harriman

Action at Limon


the Kyle switching in Limon  ©2020 Limonrail

Under stormy skies...


on the Joint Line ©2020 Erik Lindgren

Coal on the Moffat Sub


An eastbound coal train slides downhill and a momentary shaft of sunlight illuminates the lead unit. ©2020 Erik Lindgren

More rocks on the roll


UP 3017 is leading today's Rock Train. EB thru Florence at 0715, kinda early today. Heads up. ©2020 Ben Hensel

The Rock Lives!

Rock Island units 4310 and 4373 on Mississippi Delta RR crossed trestle near Swan Lake, Mississippi, 22 May 2020. Owner Robert Riley had units painted April and May 2020 into the Rock Island blue paint scheme near Sumner, Mississippi. Photo by Chip ©2020 Robert Riley owns the rights now (2020) to the name Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific. His reporting marks are RILX. Two units; 4373 (engineer Reid Dawes) & 4310, were fresh from painting by Southern Pride Equipment Painting. First run together after repainting to switch cars at Swan Lake, MS, on the Mississippi Delta RR line. Swan Lake is interchange point with the Canadian National. ©2020 Chip

Interesting power on the Kyle G&W

B&P 3344 was passing through Colby April 27, 2020 while B&P 3318 was in Colby May 8, 2020. Although the Utah units work our area frequently, Utah 5006 has not. On May 8, 2020, I saw 5006 in Colby for the first time. ©2020 Larry Dilts

 
   

An interesting tree carving

The tree carving artist came to Hugo and carved a train out of a tree stump.  ©2020 Limonrail

On the Kyle Genesee & Wyoming

Kyle RR had Utah Railway 5006, MK-50-3, switching Limon, CO, 9:25 AM, Saturday, 16 May 2020.  Trucks zipped overhead on Interstate 70.  Former Rock Island Line still interchanges with Union Pacific at Limon. ©2020 Chip Kyle RR 2128, GP38-3, picked up some 70-cars at Limon, CO, May 16, 2020 for their run East. ©2020 Chip

Locomotives on their way to?


Sad line of dead motive power headed east by Denver Post plant on Washington St  ©2020 Denny Leonard

Rocks on the Roll


The RRRR Rock Train originates at the Martin Marietta Quarry at Parkdale Co on the ex DRGW Tenn Pass ML. Parkdale is 12 miles or so west of Canon City on US50. Train normally operates M-F with an early morning departure from the quarry. Train is generally thru Canon City 0645-0715 with 0700 being the norm. Attached is a shot of the May 5  train as it made its way east between Canon City and Florence. ©2020 Ben Helsel

A BNSF Officer train on the Joint Line

Bob Thiele caught this Officer Train near Larkspur on May 8  ©2020 Bob Thiele

On a Spring day on the Moffat Sub


It's been awhile since I've seen a nice long manifest on the Moffat. BNSF leads this healthy train occupying Clay throughout Coal Creek through 3 tangents in beautiful spring storm light. A cold front was stalled over the Palmer Divide bringing some broken and scatter interactions with the low ceiling at Clay or now known as Eisele east of Coal Creek on the Moffat Subdivision. 5/2/20 ©2020 Erik Lindgren

Pipeline material arrives in Stratton

Kyle RR was busy delivering unit natural gas pipe to Stratton, CO, May 2, 2020.  ©2020 Chip Kyle RR has been busy moving natural gas pipe into Stratton, CO, where its off-loaded. The former Rock Island Stratton Depot (closed-no longer used) had loaded PTTX flatcars parked north of the Stratton, CO, depot, May 2, 2020. ©2020 Chip

On the Kansas Pacific

Union Pacific decided discontinue through train traffic on the Kansas Pacific (Limon Subdivision) on or about April 11, 2020. Due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prompting economic downturn unneeded rail cars are heading to storage. The siding at Byers, CO, has a string of auto racks stored in it. Agate has spine cars stored, and Buick Siding, CO, has well cars stored. About 6-miles of empty auto racks are stored west of milepost 430-Sharon Springs, Kansas-cars are stored on the main track between Cheyenne Wells, CO, and Sharon Springs.

The only trains the KP will see for the foreseeable future will be the Denver-Limon Local and an occasional grain shuttle to either Byers or Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, Highway 40 west of Sharon Springs, Kansas, April 25, 2020. ©2020 Chip

 

CHS (NREX) 7264, SD40-2, at milepost 430 next to closed Union Pacific Limon Subdivision main line. About a quarter mile away are the stored empty auto racks on the main -25 April 2020 at Sharon Springs, Kansas. ©2020 Chip

1989 on a stone train


UP 1989, Rio Grande Heritage unit, worked the Rock & Rail unit stone train operating from Parkdale to Drennan, CO, April 21, 2020. She worked the Martin Marietta owned train for a couple of weeks. It's Headed north at Pueblo, CO.  ©2020 Chip

On 21 Apr 2020, Erik Lindgren caught 1989 at Canon City. ©2020 Erik Lindgren Later 1989 was at Kelker on Rock n Rail Train ©2020 Erik Lindgren

The reinstated CZ heading east


Eric Lindgren found Number 6 emerging Tunnel 1on April18. ©2020 Erik Lindgren

On a snowy day


On 4/17/20, Erik Lindgren was near Blue Mountain Estates on a snowy day on the ridge East of the fire station  ©2020 Erik Lindgren

A bridge replacement on the UP

The Oakley Kansas depot which serves both the UP mainline and the Plainville branch recently got a needed face lift with a new coat of paint. ©2020 Larry Dilts The pile driver installed new steel piles on bridge 207.85. The bridge was not taken out of service but only small holes cut in the old bridge to make room for the new piles. ©2020 Larry Dilts
New concrete caps were installed leaving the old trestle in place. ©2020 Larry Dilts

The caps are set in under the wood girders and wedded to the piles. ©2020 Larry Dilts
Herog train provided the ballast and rock for the new bridge. ©2020 Larry Dilts Mainline Services were contracted to remove the old wood trestle. ©2020 Larry Dilts
Mainline Services completed all the earth work and debris cleanupand provided the equipment to remove the old trestle and complete installing riprap and clean up. ©2020 Larry Dilts The UP using their cranes installing the new concrete girders on the new caps. ©2020 Larry Dilts

As the bridge is built, new panel track is laid on the new girders so the crane move to the next section of girder installation. ©2020 Larry Dilts The last section of panel track was installed and connected to the track at the end of the bridge. ©2020 Larry Dilts
Mainline Services used a drone to photograph the completed work. ©2020 Larry Dilts The last bit of work was to install ballast and tamp. ©2020 Larry Dilts

An oil train on the Moffat Sub in winter

On April 15, Erik Lindgren, caught an eastbound oil train working its way toward Denver  ©2020 Erik Lindgren

Amtrak No. 5


Yes, I'm a pretty good drone pilot. It's less than a foot off the ridge. But I've climbed that ridge a few times but I wouldn't take it on in slippery snow. I had heard a helicopter, wonderd what they were doing..  (ED. note: The helicopter was actually most likely a helicopter setting powerlines poles in the canyon. They are upgrading the transmission line up Coal Creek Canyon and for several months have been using choppers to set poles. No. 5 &6 are back to the  full route)   ©2020 Erik Lindgren

Escalante Western

Escalante Western Railway (ESWR) WFAX 603, SD40-3, pulled coal loads from Peabody Mine at Lee Ranch, New Mexico, 14 April 2020. Last Escalante Western coal train expected to operate 29 April 2020! ©2020 Chip

 

Escalante Western Rly 603, SD40-3, led northbound coal empty past Lee Ranch Junction, New Mexico, April 14, 2020. The Tri-State Generation Escalante Generating Station will cease taking coal on April 29, 2020. The Peabody Energy Lee Ranch Mine is where coal was loaded into this train. ©2020 Chip

UP Hertiage Locomotive visits the Joint Line.
(Editor's note: the mismatched color  panel is most likely the cab air conditioner which is a slide in/out unit. Most likely the the  shop forces grabbed an available replacement, regardless of color.)

Bob Thiele caught 1989 passing under the new pedestrian bridge at Palmer Lake. ©2020  Bob Thiele UP 1989, Rio Grande Heritage SD70ACe, led the North Yard, Denver, CO, to Pueblo, CO, train April 11, 2020. Train stopped in the sag north of Palmer Lake, CO, to await a northbound BNSF manifest. ©2020 Chip
Near Acequia CO with 1989 ©2020 Erik Lindgren 1989 at Larkspur on Santa Fe bridge. ©2020 Erik Lindgren
1989 south of Palmer Lake ©2020 Erik Lindgren 1989 at Acequa with Longs Peak in the background. ©2020 Matt Adamski
 1989 at Sedalia ©2020 Matt Adamski The UP 1989 slowed and came to a stop at the signals in The Sag. ©2020 Chris Paulhamus

Rock & Rail unit train

Union Pacific 8495, SD70ACe, moved unit Rock & Rail (reporting marks RRRR) empty unit gon train from Granite, Wyoming, to Pueblo, CO, via the Joint Line on April 5, 2020. Train was loaded at the Parkdale Quarry west of Canon City and the Royal Gorge later that week. ©2020 Chip UP 8495 South passed newly installed pedestrian bridge at Palmer Lake, CO, April 5, 2020. Rock & Rail empty unit gondola train came from Granite, WY. ©2020 Chip

 

Southbound UP 8495, SD70ACe, led empty unit Rock & Rail (reporting marks RRRR) down the Joint Line 5 April 2020. Train originated at Granite, WY, headed to Pueblo, CO. Train loaded rock at the Parkdale Quarry owned/operated by Martin Marietta. Photo by Chip ©2020

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

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