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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Several different paint schemes


David Grothe saw four different paint schemes represented in this locomotive consist including two Warbonnets as this train is on the south end of Castle Rock approaching Larkspur. The Locomotives are 4247, 635, 4134 and 719. ©2017 David Grothe 

A neat piece of track machinery


Caterpillar 329E with drill attachment was on rail sled positioned at Pinecliff, Colorado Union Pacific‘s Moffat Tunnel Subdivision installing pole line October 13, 2017. Amtrak train 5 passed and Nesco electrical subcontractors went back on the main. ©2017 Chip

The Golden local at work


The Golden Local reassemble its train after picking up some cars set out previously. Too far to away to be seen in tbis picture, the conductor is on the ground guiding the engineer to a joint.  ©2017 Walter Weart

Two interesting pictures

BNSF 267 SD75M, ex-BNSF 8267, 16-710-G3 engine 4300 horsepower, painted by Mid-America Car & Locomotive at Kansas City, Missouri earlier in 2017. BNSF Clovis, New Mexico, to Denver, CO, train S CLODEN, passed South Denver October 12, 2017. ©2017 Chip  BNSF westbound auto train on Kansas City Terminal's Argentine Connection Flyover used Track AC1. KCT High Line is track below that swings off to the right (north). September 28, 2017 Kansas City, Missouri along Kansas State line. ©2017 Chip

It must be Fall


Large pumpkins delivered to Palombo Farms Market at Hazeltine Siding near East 112th & US Highway 85 NE of Commerce City, Colorado. Union Pacific 4979 (UP 8390 North) was getting empty auto rack train together October 7, 2017 ©2017 Chip

The final touch


A ballast regulator does the the final work after the Union Pacific completes its tie campaign on the Moffat Sub. ©2017 Walter Weart

Really the end of the line


Chris Paulhamus recently Drove up to the top of Pikes Peak. There were no trains up there during his stay, but I did take a shot of the end of the railway. ©2017 Chris Paulhamus 

 

Westbound Dakota Southern Railway 37, SD38, ran Mitchell to Kennebec, South Dakota, October 3, 2017. Stopped to grab McDonalds at Chamberlain, SD.  ©2017 Chip Dakota Southern Railway (DSRC) 37, SD38, ex-McCloud RR 37, was on the 
ex-Milwaukee Road line Mitchell to Kennebec SD. Engine ran light from the 
Gavilon  Grain elevator east of Kimball, SD, past White Lake, SD, depot, 
October 2, 2017. ©2017 Chip
Eastbound Dakota Southern Railway 37 passed Mt. Vernon, SD, where the price of gas started at $2.50…ouch! ©2017 Chip BNSF is returning 45 of the SD75's to service, with repainting being 
done at Mid-America Car in Kansas City, and overhauling 
performed at Progress Rail Services in Mayfield, KY. BNSF 221 
with temporary PRLX markings awaits repainting at Mid-America 
Car. Paint scheme is "Heritage"¯. Heritage 4 paint scheme
 with the Heritage 1 style striping and black underframes. ©2017 Chip

 

Friends of the 261 operated Milwaukee Road 261 from Minneapolis Junction, Minnesota, over the former Milwaukee Road main to Glencoe, MN, October 1, 2017. Train crossed the Mississippi River heading west. Darrell Arndt rode this steam excursion. ©2017 Chip
Dakota Southern Railway sunset. BGCM 9970, GP40. Locomotive from Mike 
Williams other railroads now assigned 9970 to the Dakota Southern Railway. 
The 9970 is painted for Bountiful Grain and Craig Mountain Railroad; line 
consists of the former Camas Prairie Railroad's Grangeville Branch between 
Spalding and Cottonwood, ID. Sunset at Wheat Growers loading loop 
Kennebec, South Dakota, October 3, 2017. ©2017 Chip

Kyle crew change at Flagler

Kyle RR train located at Flagler, CO, changed crews 5:15 PM September 21, 2017. Power; 4075, 9345, Utah 5003 & ex-BN 6843  ©2017 Chip

A DOT locomotive


Chris Paulhamus drove to Pueblo on  Saturday  August 16 to the Pueblo Railway Museum get a picture ot the Department of Transportation U30C on display.  ©2017 Chris Paulhamus 

Ex Utah locomotives working on the Kyle 

Kyle RR 5004, ex-Utah Railway MK-50-3, East at Norton, Kansas headed to Phillipsburg September 21, 2017.   Kyle RR 5004, ex-Utah Railway MK-50-3, East approaching Almena, Kansas headed to Phillipsburg September 21, 2017.  ©2017 Chip
Kyle 5004, MK50-3, 9330, 4047 & 5005 MK50-3 headed to Kyle RR Phillipsburg Locomotive & Car Shop at Phillipsburg, Kansas, September 21, 2017.  ©2017 Chip

CSX helps move the coal


David Grothe caught this southbound coal in Castle Rock with a CSX motor  ©2017 David Grothe

A BNSF Office Car train


BNSF 8186, ES44C4, backed the Stockton, CA, to Denver, CO, 7-car passenger special O STODEN2-11a via UP's Moffat Tunnel Subdivision moved Salt Lake City,UT, and laid over at Kremmling CO. Consist; SNOQUALMIE PASS, BNSF 62, business car, MARIAS PASS, STAMPEDE PASS, TOPEKA, STEVENS PASS, RATON PASS and WILLIAM B STRONG. The Snoqualmie Pass was BNSF 2 Coloumbia River renamed & renumbered 2014. Train over the South Platte River, Denver, CO, September 14, 2017.

Left; Denver RTD N Line (North Metro) construction. The N Line will bring RTD commuter train service from Denver to Commerce City, Northglenn, Thornton, and north Adams County.  ©2017 Chip


From Kansas


Coming to a stop at milepost 223 on the west side of US 83 north of Oakley, Kansas was a unit grain train. Plainville branch grain trains frequently park here until they get clearance to proceed on the mainline. This is a good place to wait in that there are no roads to block for over a mile. The lead units were UP SD70AHs 8955 and 8859 while the distributed power unit on the rear was UP C45AH 2685. It is a 1% grade through this section.  ©2017 tLarry Dilts

From Durango and Chama

Susie and I went to spend the weekend on the narrow gauge, starting with the Durango & Silverton. This is our train at Durango just before boarding time. ©2017 Walter Weart As part of the smoke abatement in Durango most of the switching is done with diesel engines. .No 11 was waiting for an opportunity to get back in the yard after doing some switching. Not sure the history of this engine but I did see one of the locomotives from the Georgetown loop by the roundhouse. ©2017 Walter Weart
Of course, I had to take a picture of the "High Line" which is probably one of the best scenic features on the entire line. ©2017 Walter Weart We're pulling into Silverton while the earlier train is getting ready to depart. ©2017 Walter Weart
The next morning we went over to Chama to ride to Osher and was very surprised to see the 315 spotted by the station. As shown charter below in Jerry days photographs this engine had been out on a photo freight charter. In the background is our train as it was the only one operating from Chama to Antonito. ©2017 Walter Weart A close-up of our train and it was a really great ride with perfect weather and the beginnings of fall color. ©2017 Walter Weart
On the way back I happen to catch this shot of what I think is the 487 which pulled the 455 out of the engine house not sure what was going on but it was a too good a photo opportunity to pass up. ©2017 Walter Weart We drove back through Alamosa and was surprised to see these two San Luis & Rio Grande RR motors sitting in the yard. There was also a lot of equipment and in the yard, both passenger and locomotives, but the light was poor and I didn't think it warranted photography. ©2017 Walter Weart

A photo charter freight on the  Cumbres & Toltec


The Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR ran a three-day charter recreating Rio Grande Southern freight trains. The train is seen departing Osier double heading with D&RGW C18 number 315 and D&RGW K27 number 463 relettered as RGS 455. September 5, 2017 © Jerry B. Day
The RGS freight charter with K27 number 455 and a mixed train of gondolas, tank cars, stock and box cars, plus a real RGS Caboose 0400 running out of Antonito September 4, 2017. © Jerry B. Day
With K27 455 in the lead and C18 315 mid-train helper, the 15 car RGS freight pulls into Osier, Colorado with RGS Caboose 0400 bringing up the rear. September 5, 2017. © Jerry B. Day
C18 number 315 runs as helper to K27 455 around the loop at Osier with the RGS freight. September 5, 2017. © Jerry B. Day
The RGS freight with K27 455 leading and C18 315 mid-train helper pulls into Osier, Colorado. September 5, 2017. © Jerry B. Day K27 463 disguised as RGS 455 pulling a 13 car freight runs west of Antonito, Colorado. September 4, 2017. © Jerry B. Day

BNSF action

BNSF 8186 east 7-car passenger special from Kremmling, CO, to BNSF's Denver Locomotive Shop at Denver, Colorado. Popped out of Moffat Tunnel, East Portal, CO, 7:30 AM September 14, 2017.  ©2017 Chip BNSF 9258 in the early morning light at Palmer Lake, CO, September 1, 2017. The unit is for protection power should it be needed.  ©2017 Chip

An ex Rio Grande B unit on the move


UP's North Platte, NE, to Roseville, CA, train M NPRV 05, was showing to pick up DRGW 5763, F-9B, September 6, 2017 from Cheyenne, WY. Should be a daylight run west of Cheyenne as crew called at 4:10 AM. ©2017 Chip

California Zephyr Trains 5 and 6: Temporary Schedule Changes

From Sept. 6 through 16, 2017 and Sept. 25 through Oct. 1 (date of Chicago departure), westbound train No. 5 will operate at least 4.5 hours later than scheduled west of Denver, but will use the normal route. From Sept. 4 through 14 and Sept. 23 to 29 (date of Emeryville departure), eastbound train No. 6 will depart Emeryville 1.5 hours later than scheduled (10:40 a.m. Pacific time) and will operate later through at least Denver, but may make up lost time between Denver and Chicago.

From Sept. 17 to 24 and Oct. 2 to 9 (Chicago departure of train No. 5) and Sept. 15 to 22 and Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 (Emeryville departure of train 6), both trains will detour between Denver and Salt Lake City, bypassing intermediate stops but remaining on the advertised schedule at all other stops. Since the detour route is shorter than the normal route, this will likely result in additional layover time in Denver eastbound and Salt Lake City westbound. (September 5, 2017 update)

Recent pictures from the Towner Line

John took a trip to Ordway and Crowlleyrecently to see what he could see. The CN engine is parked just west of Ordway and is probably isolated. At Crowley, there are still well cars there, cutting off access to the west. To the East were the trestle fires and making it unsafe to cross.

The Towner Line is also seriously overgrown and the county roads dept. has covered most of the grade crossings with road base. The longer it sits the worse shape the grade becomes.   ©2017 Limonrail

Labor Day Weekend at Silver Plume

No. 111 has taken over from Shay No. as power for the train. GLRR 130 is in the process of getting a new prime mover and does anyone know about the big green center cab diesel? It's on blocks so are standard gauge trucks being swapped for narrow gauge? ©2017 Walter Weart
No.9 heads for the tail track. ©2017 Walter Weart After the switch is lined, No. 9 heads for the engine house. ©2017 Walter Weart

Como update

South Park Rail Society Klondike Kate 4 operating! The ex-Klondike Mine Railways #4, Baldwin 2-6-2 built 1912, was delivered to Como, Colorado, August 15, 2017 after restoration work at Wasatch Railroad Contractors at Cheyenne, WY. Owners are Kathy and Dr. Chuck Brantigan. #4 nicknamed 'Klondike Kate' by Kathy Brantigan. New cab panels in place and her hew pilot beam completed. To add a little bit authenticity, Klondike #4 had installed an original Colorado & Southern locomotive whistle originally worn by C&S 74. The whistle's current owner has been gracious enough to loan Klondike 4 this whistle for the day as she becomes the first steam locomotive to return to Como in 79 years. Boreas Pass Railroad Day August 19, 2017 - first steam operation in 79-years at Como, CO!

Bill Kazel had owned the property and stabilized the ex-DSP&P roundhouse when he owned the property. Turntable installed August 11, 2017. Breckenridge Crane Services crane was brought in to move turntable into the turntable pit at Como, Colorado.

The roundhouse was bought by Mr. Bill Kazel in 1984. Bill and his son, Greg began restoring the building and by 1995 the roundhouse roof was replaced, windows were installed and the engine bay doors were repaired or replaced.

In 2001 Dr. Chuck and Kathy Brantigan became the new of the owners of the roundhouse property.

Action on the Moffat Sub

Alan Schenkel rode to East Portal was able to photograph a light engine move led by a CSXT 922 motor and had a BNSF unit tucked in the consist. ©2017Alan Schenkel
Alan also saw this MOW train at Cliff ©2017Alan Schenkel And this train exiting the tunnel. ©2017Alan Schenkel

Utah Power


Kyle RR 5006, ex-Utah Railway unit outside Kyle's Phillipsburg, Kansas, shop August 24, 2017. She might be up and running in the coming months. Photo by Chip

On the Joint Line


David Grothe photographed this train just after crossing the Meadows Pkwy bridge in Castle Rock with 2 BNSF and 1 NS unit for lead power.  ©2017 David Grothe.

Progress at Como

From left to right; Bill Farquar (?), Tim Bain, Dr. & Mrs. Brantigan (Chuck & Kathy), Jason Midyette, Jeff Badger, and Jerry Huck at stall 5 Denver South Park & Pacific Railway Como Roundhouse, Como, CO, August 19, 2017. ©2017 Chip South Park Society "Klondike Kate" ¯ #4, a wood burning 2-6-2 Baldwin built in 1912 approached the restored Como depot. ©2017 Chip
South Park Rail Society members along with Colorado Summit Construction (Jason Smith) workers with Klondike Kate 4 on Como turntable August 19, 2017. Top left, Jeff Ramsey, becomes roundhouse caretaker at Como, Colorado.©2017 Chip No 4. on the  newly restored turntable, backing into the  roundhouse. ©2017 Chip
Breckenridge Crane Services lifted turntable for installation in former Denver, South Park & Pacific Railway turntable pit restored by Colorado Summit Construction in July 2017. Right, Bill Kazel, helped oversee his dream August 11, 2017 at Como, Colorado. The turntable pit was completed in July 2017. Work included new ring rail ties going in place after concrete work was completed. Ring rail and center pivot (turntable center bearing) was installed. ©2017 Chip The turntable got rails 8/18/17. The ex-Denver, South Park & Pacific Railway Como Roundhouse will be open for Boreas Pass RR Day 8/19/17. Como, Colorado. ©2017 Chip

Pictures from a recent trip

An Amtrak Corridor train lays over between trips in Ann Arbor, Mich.  ©2017 Walter Weart The Ford Museum operates about a 2 mile line to move visitors around the outdoor Village. This engine was switcher at the Edison Cement plant until Henry Ford acquired it in 1922. While built as an 0-4-0, Henry didn't like it's appearance so he had a new frame and boiler built converting it to a 4-4-0.   They also operate a Mason Bogie 0-6-4 and an ex DT&I 4-4-0 which was supposed to be his favorite.  ©2017 Walter Weart

RTD test train on the G Line


Denver RTD Gold Line to Arvada, Colorado, was tested with heavy commuter rail cars 4026 and 4025 August 16, 2017. BNSF's Beer Run in foreground. ©2017 Chip

Street running in Ft, Collins


On 11 Aug, 2017 BNSF 9646 and 9621 work north up Mason St. for a pick up in North Yard in Fort Collins, CO on BNSF's Front Range Sub.

These two would work their way south a little more than an hour later. This photo was taken from the Civic Center Parking Structure located at the corner of Mason St. and Laporte Ave., and it cost Chris exactly $1 to sit and wait!  ©2017 Chris Paulhamus


Kyle in action in Colorado and Kansas

On August 6, eastbound Kyle 9330 and Utah 5005 were switching the Flagler, Colorado yards. ©2017 Larry Dilts With an eastbound, Utah 5003 and Kyle 8041 were parked on the mainline a few miles west of Flagler, Colorado.  ©2017 Larry Dilts
A westbound with Utah 5001 and Kyle 9330 were waiting in the Goodland, Kansas yards.  ©2017 Larry Dilts Also in Goodland, was Utah 5005 parked on the east side of the yards.  ©2017 Larry Dilts

The turntable at Como is being readied for installation.


Colorado Summit Construction completed concrete work July 2017. Kathy Brantigan applied WD-40 heavy-duty extreme pressure grease to center bearing cap. Right, Bill Kazel had owned the property and stabilized the ex-DSP&P roundhouse when he owned the property. Turntable installed August 11, 2017. Breckenridge Crance Services crane was brought in to move turntable into the turntable pit at Como, Colorado.

The roundhouse was bought by Mr. Bill Kazel in 1984. Bill and his son, Greg began restoring the building and by 1995 the roundhouse roof was replaced, windows were installed and the engine bay doors were repaired or replaced.

In 2001 Dr. Chuck and Kathy Brantigan became the new of the owners of the roundhouse. ©2017 Chip

 

Changing of the guard and heritage unit

Union Pacific is replacing former Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad signals installed by General Railway Signal of Rochester, New York. Kremmling, Colorado, August 10, 2017. ©2017 Chip
 
UP 1982, Missouri Pacific heritage unit, was on eastbound light engine move August 10, 2017 at Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado. ©2017 Chip  

V&S Railway, Owner of Towner Line, must sell lineto Colorado Pacific

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION Docket No. FD 36005 KCVN, LLC AND COLORADO PACIFIC RAILROAD, LLC—FEEDER LINE APPLICATION—LINE OF V AND S RAILWAY, LLC, LOCATED IN CROWLEY, PUEBLO, OTERO, AND KIOWA COUNTIES, COLORADO 

Digest:1 The Board finds that KCVN, LLC, and its wholly owned subsidiary, Colorado Pacific Railroad, LLC, have met the criteria and eligibility requirements for the forced sale and acquisition of an approximately 121.9-mile line of railroad in southeast Colorado owned by V and S Railway, LLC. The Board requests that the parties participate in Board-sponsored mediation to resolve the net liquidation value of the line. Decided: July 28, 2017 On March 18, 2016, KCVN, LLC (KCVN), and its wholly owned subsidiary, Colorado Pacific Railroad, LLC (Colorado Pacific) (collectively, Applicants), jointly filed an application under the feeder line provision at 49 U.S.C. § 10907 for Colorado Pacific to acquire a rail line owned by V and S Railway, LLC (V&S) in southeast Colorado. This line (referred to here as the Towner Line or Line) consists of approximately 121.9 miles of railroad line and approximately 12 miles of other tracks and facilities. The Line is located between milepost 747.5, near Towner, Colo., and milepost 869.4, near NA Junction, in Pueblo, Crowley, Kiowa, and Otero Counties, Colo. (Application 1.) 

In this decision, the Board finds that the Line meets the statutory criteria for a forced sale under § 10907 and that Colorado Pacific is financially responsible and thus eligible to purchase the Line. The Board requests that the parties engage in Board-sponsored mediation to resolve the net liquidation value (NLV) of the Line, and directs the parties, by August 15, 2017, to confirm whether they will participate in Board-sponsored mediation. 

PVs in Colorado


Baltimore & Ohio Moonlight Dome and former Southern Pacific Birch Grove on Amtrak train 6 at Hot Sulphur Springs, CO, 3:55 PM August 4, 2017. 

Pictures from Kansas

This past weekend was the annual tractor and thresher show at Bird City, Kansas. A multitude of tractors and farm machinery were displayed and operated including up to 18 steam tractors from at least 8 different manufacturers. Although not railroads, steam tractors sound very similar to steam locomotives. Steam engines have a unique sound regardless of their size or purpose.   ©2017 Larry D. Dilts Also on the grounds is of the tractor and thresher property is former Burlington Northern caboose 10757.  ©2017 Larry D. Dilts
On the Decatur County  Fair Grounds in Oberlin, Kansas, is a 15 inch gauge railroad used as one of the amusement rides during fair week. It is interesting in that it operates a Mason Bogie built by Ulrich Locomotive Works. Although not steam, it still looks very nice. Due to financial issues, the train may not operate after this season. If anyone is interested in seeing it, the train will run through this Saturday.  ©2017 Larry D. Dilts
The Mason Bogie at Oberlin, Kansas.  ©2017 Larry D. Dilts

Utah in Colorado

It took the KYLE Goodland, KS Limon, CO Turn three days to make the 220 mile round trip. I caught the turn westbound at Seibert, CO with recently acquired ex-UTAH Railway MK unit leading Two days later, I encountered the same KYLE job with same power stopped halfway between Burlington, CO and Kanorado, KS picking up three empty tank cars.  Seven miles west the train is entering Kansas on the west side of Kanorado, KS at the state line and after starting through another ten mph track restriction the eighty car train was crawling through Kanorado headed for Goodland fifteen miles ahead. ©2017 3rdswitch

Progress at Como


The turntable. Jim Cooley and Steve O'Connell have donated an original narrow gauge railroad turntable pivot. This is the most difficult item to obtain if we are to get the turntable to function. The pivot sat in a field for 30 years or so and was significantly rusted so that no parts moved. The pivot was brought to the roundhouse where Bill Kazel and his mining crew managed to take it apart. It looks like the moving parts are supported by Timken tapered roller bearings. Overall the pivot seems to be in good condition, though it needs help. Before work stopped for the winter (2014-2015) Bill Kazel and his crew removed the turntable from the pit and turned it upside down so that we can figure out what is necessary to make the connections and so that the turntable pit can be assessed. A civil engineer has been retained, and we have detailed drawings of the turntable.  ©2017 Chip

A heritage unit in Denver


Union Pacific 1982, Missouri Pacific heritage unit SD70ACe, was at North Yard in Denver, Colorado, August 1, 2017. Unit received fresh coat of paint spring 2017. ©2017 Chip

On the Joint Line


On 23 July, 2017 BNSF 9203 leads a southbound coal load up the grade in Greenland, CO past some old relics on the historic Allis Ranch. ©2017 Chris Paulhamus

Foreign power on the KP

Canadian Pacific 8766 W. on Limon Subdivision at Deer Trail, Colorado, Thursday, July 27, 2017 headed to the Savage Mine, Utah. ©2017 Chip   At Mesa Siding. ©2017 Chip


Progress with No. 4


South Park Rail Society steam engine at Wasatch Railroad Contractors. Ex-Klondike Mines Railway #4, Baldwin built April 1912, 2-6-2 Prairie. Klondike Mines Railway (KMRy) was a 3-foot (914 mm) narrow gauge railway operating in the Klondike region of Yukon, Canada. Owned by Dr. Charles O Brantigan, MD. July 2017 found #4 undergoing repairs at Cheyenne, Wyoming.

South Park Rail Society plans to return an operational steam locomotive to the South Park and the town of Como, Colorado. They acquired (late 2016 from Georgetown Loop RR) a suitable narrow gauge locomotive that is under repair and will soon be moved to the growing rebuilt railyard of Como.

They hope to have the locomotive completed and operational in time for 2017's Boreas Pass Railroad Day in August 2017.  ©2017 Chip

844 on its way to Denver for the Cheyenne Frontier Days excursion

Alan Schenkel caught up with 844 near Greely as it ran south to Denver   ©2017 Alan Schenkel

Stuffed and mounted


C&S 71 and a combine sits in Central City and needs some TLC. A gondola came with this donation originally but is not part of this display. What happened to it? The last time I saw it, the car in a park. ©2017 Walter Weart

Help from a Canadian


UP Nixon coal train has an ACe leading, passing Tomah with Castle Rock in the background. The boxcar was dropped off by the PPL for Acme Brick
  ©2017 David Grothe

EMD demonstrators at work 


On July 11 2017,  Ben Helsel received word that a pair of the EMD Tier 4 demo's were the trailing units on a NB XCEL Energy Coal headed back to Wyoming. His goal was the shot the NB CTC North Nixon, MP 91, on the Main 2 track and near the Ray Nixon Plant. This is South Nixon actually, MP 94.Ā EMDX 1608 is the rearmost of the 2 with 1607 against the cars.  ©2017 Ben Helsel

 

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