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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os are copyrighted and neither the pictures or text can be used without permission of the owner

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  ©2019 Chip

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. ©2019 Bob Thiele

Some great action shots

Moments before sunrise at Roggen, CO February 2020. ©2019 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 60’s before winter weather returned the next day. ©2020 Chip

Sunrise on Kyle route

Westbound Kyle train had CORP 4075 at sunrise between Seibert & Flagler, Colorado, Saturday, 1 February 2020-Kyle's CORP 4075 & Utah Railway 5004. ©2020 Chip Sunrise - Kyle RR's CORP 4075 & Utah Rly 5004, MK50-3, West of Seibert, CO, Saturday, February 1, 2020. Kyle Railroad in Colorado to start the day. ©2020 Chip

D&S 493 on a test run.

The 493 has been converted to use oil instead of coal and Jerry Day was able to see it on its first test run. ©2020 Jerry Day

A unit grain train being detoured over the Joint Line

A unit grain train is being detoured over the Joint Line due to a track closure in Kansas   ©2020 David Shepard

The PPL with a color ful power mix

Looking like a model train, PPL make its way south with a colorful power mix. ©2020 Chris Paulhamus

From the January Meeting

Our program at the January meeting was presented by Alex Funderburg, who showed us a variety of his digital photos. From left -- Alex's father, Alex himself, Dave Schaaf, and Club president Denny Leonard. Photo by board member Steve Subber.

At the Stock Show

Ranchers customize the leased Denver Stockyard corrals during the Denver Stock Show January 15, 2020 at Denver, CO. The elevated walkway (right) will be closed and demolished in 2020. Walkway open in January 2020-last chance to experience Denver Stock Show in the old Denver Stockyards-BIG changes coming as National Western Complex redevelopment continues. ©2020 Chip Denver Rock Island RR DRIR 553, SW8, meandered through the National Western Complex redevelopment along National Western Drive at the Denver Stockyards, Denver, CO, January 14, 2020. This will be the last year Denver Stock Show will have to deal with tracks along National Western Drive-both will be removed during the Denver Stockyards massive redevelopment. ©2020 Chip

On the Joint Line

An intermodal train near Castle Rock at 1615 with two Norfolk Southern leaders.  ©2020 David Grothe Light power move? On Thursday, one of our members saw on this move and  the first locomotive was a former yellow bonnet GP35 and the second locomotive was a former white face BN GP50.    ©2020 David Grothe

A test locomotive in Colorado

FEC 801 (capable of using Liquefied Natural Gas) under load static test Alamosa, CO, 6:20 PM, 7 Jan 2020.  ©2020 Chip Florida East Coast 801, hybrid GE/WABTEC ES44C4, undergoing high altitude STATIC emissions tests. 7 January 2020 ran base line test. Further testing 8 -15 (?) January 2020 at Alamosa, then back to Florida. Testing by West Virginia University, Ross Ryskamp, PhD.  ©2020 Chip

CN Special Paint Locomotives

I wrote an article for Progressive Railroading magazine on locomotive rebuilding and remanufacturing. One of the companies that I interviewed was Progress Rail which now owns the EMD locomotive manufacturing operation. During the interview, they mentioned that they had just completed the upgrade 30 SD90MAC to SD70AU locomotives for the Canadian Pacific. Included in this upgrade are new traction control systems and cabs. The major components including the diesel motor has been remanufactured for increased performance and reliability. They are quite proud of this opportunity which included repainting these locomotives into new color schemes and five of these were specifically to honor the military. The PR person of Progress Rail gave me permission to share these with you. The photo credit is ©2019 CP Rail

Interesting Pictures

Erik Lindgren was out and shared some of his pictures with us. The silhouette shot is really well done.
3 pictures ©2019 Erik Lindgren 

On the Moffat Sub

UP 5502 East led unit oil train from Wildcat loadout-Utah Railway to St James, LA, at Blue Mountain Drive, Coal Creek Canyon, CO, 2 Jan 2020.  Distributed units 3x3. ©2019 Chip BNSF 3993 Tier 4 west on Denver, CO, to Provo, Utah, train passed Gross Reservoir at Crescent, CO, 2 Jan 2020. ©2019 Chip

An Amtrak Heritage locomotive

Amtrak 822, P40DC Phase III Heritage, handled westbound California Zephyr, train 5, at Rollinsville, CO, December 27, 2019. The 822 worked the California Zephyr on several trips in December 2019. ©2019 Chip

A display in Black Hawk

Steam engine 71, 2-8-0, was decorated for the Holidays near the Blackhawk, CO, Casinos, 27 December 2019 (Editor note: I think this a sister locomotive to those used by the Georgetown Loop Railroad. If any of our members have more information, please let me know.)

Denver& Rock Island power

Hidden away north of Denver, CO, is Denver Rock Island RR (DRIR) 1211, SW1500, built June 1972 ex-Southern Pacific 2646. Unit works the former Denver & Rio Grande Western industrial area known as Washington Park (not a Denver recreational park). Unit usually busy late afternoons into the night. ©2019 Chip

Sunset on the UP

UP 1510 on the Union Pacific to BNSF transfer waited at Utah Junction North of Denver, CO, sunrise 23 December 2019. © Chip

On the Joint Line

On Dec. 29, Chris found SD75M BNSF 261 is on the point of a southbound manifest seen here sitting on the siding at S. Bragdon in Pueblo, CO.   ©2019 Chris Paulhamus On 20 Dec., 2019, BNSF 1659 and BNSF 1933 lead the northbound Pikes Peak Local into the open space just north of Palmer Lake, CO.  ©2019 Chris Paulhamus
Editor note: The PPL looks like a model train in this scene.)

Amtrak in the Moffat Sub

©2019 Erik Lindgren ©2019 Erik Lindgren

Union Pacific's C&NW Heritage Locomotive visits Denver

Union Pacific 1995, Chicago & NorthWestern Heritage unit SD70ACe, laid over at UP’s North Yard fuel track, Denver, CO, for some maintenance December 21, 2019. Unit departed Denver Dec 23, 2019 headed to Green River, WY. ©2019 Chip ©2019 Erik Lindgren

Union Station shows its Christmas lights

Dave Schaaf took this picture 11 Dec 2019 ©2019 Dave Schaaf 

Old power still in the fight

On 16 Dec., 2019, BNSF 1933 leads a pair of Cascade Green veterans on the southbound Pikes Peak Local around the curve in Palmer Lake, CO and down the Palmer Divide.   ©2019 Chris Paulhamus

KCS power on a military train

KCSM 4894 South with unit Army move to Fort Carson, Colorado, via the Joint Line at South Denver, CO, 13 December 2019. Four trains with KCS Belles were noted crossing eastern Colorado in mid-December.   ©2019 Chip

Tim got the train at Tomah, after sunset, at 435pm, and was getting dark quickly. 4 pictures  ©2019 Tim Tonge

BNSF action

The Old and the new; BNSF 1638 passed 9157SD70ACe, helper set at Denver, Colorado, 12 December 2019.  ©2019 Chip

Visitors in Denver

Westbound Kansas City Southern Mexico (KCSM) 4760, ES44AC, rolled under BNSF's Brush Subdivision North of Denver, CO, December 12, 2019. Train headed to UP's North Yard. ©2019 Chip

BNSF on the D&RI

BNSF 1638, SD40-2, pulled 32-cars from DRIR Denver Stockyards, Denver, CO, 10 December 2019.  The National Western Complex redevelopment will abandon this track along National Western Drive-(which will  also disappear) as Denver Stockyards is radically changed. New 4-track yard along BNSF's Brush Subdivision is under construction to replace this track alignment. ©2019 Chip

On the Joint Line

BNSF 8512 Spruce 1 Dec 19 BNSF 8512 leads a southbound manifest at Spruce, CO and past the rescue unit that is stationed there to help stalled trains make it up the grade to Palmer Lake. ©2019 Chris Paulhamus

UP 7849 and friends tied down in Denver 

UP 7849, ES44AC, and UP 8859 were tied down at South Denver with unit wind blades from Santa Teresa, Texas, headed for UP’s North Yard, Denver, Friday, 6 December 2019. Rare move; wind blade train running north on the Joint Line-! ©2019 Chip
Above Denver RTD light rail cars was site of Gates Rubber factory. Site redevelopment underway. New roads have been paved at the site in 2019. Watch for apartment construction to begin in 2020. South Denver continues to evolve.   

Santa arrives by train

Santa arrived in style aboard Great Western Railway #1 business car. The ex-Northern Pacific #8 was built in 1898 at the Northern Pacific’s Como Shops, MN. OmniTRAX OMLX 3144, SD40M-2 ex-CEFX 3144, handled the Santa train into Windsor Wonderland celebration at Windsor, CO, Saturday, December 7, 2019. Train was in position for the event as of December 6, 2019. ©2019 Chip

A new look for the D&RI

Denver Rock Island painted 2239, GP7, built in September 1952 as ATSF 2814. Unit was on the Great Western Rly lettered in faded Central Kansas Railway scheme and then sub lettered Great Western Railway. Denver Rock Island gave it fresh paint in 2019 and assigned the old gal to their Airlawn Industrial area once served by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific RR. Denver, CO, Thanksgiving Day 28 November 2019 after snowy week. ©2019 Chip

4014 on the Limon Sub

4014 having a Polar Express moment. 4 pictures ©2019 Erik Lindgren

Snow didn’t keep folks for turning out at La Salle, CO, for UP 4014 Big Boy visit November 26, 2019. Train stopped on Main Street for admirers. Former Union Pacific La Salle Depot was moved to location above parking lot in photo. ©2019 Chip

East of Kit Carson, UP 4014 was pulling a slight grade. ©2019 Larry D. Dilts November 22, 2019, UP 4014 was westbound east of Oakley, Kansas. ©2019 Larry D. Dilts
UUP 4014 passed by Arapahoe, Colorado. ©2019 Larry D. Dilts Near Hugo. ©2019 David Sheppard
An aerial view ©2019 Tim Tonga West of Hugo ©2019 Scott J. Whitney

From Pikes Peak

November 24, 2019, the Manitou & Pikes Peak Ry parking lot has change from a gravel, rail, and tie storage site to a storage site for the hulks of the remaining M&PP Ry  trainsets. From what I could see, it looks as though the hulks of all the remaining train sets (15, 18, 19, 24, and 25) are stored there presumably waiting on new trucks, cogs, etc. Number 15 is not among the trains in the parking lot. It was donated to Woodland Park and moved up there recently. ©2019 Larry D. Dilts M&PP 15 now displayed at Bergstrom Park. It was delivered only a few days ago. ©2019 Larry D. Dilts
Manitou Springs November 25, 2019, the railroad contractor was busy hauling steel ties upgrade to staging areas along the line. ©2019 Larry D. Dilts
The Manitou & Pikes Peak Ry crew were moving the trucks removed from 18, 19, 24, and 25 into the maintenance shop. Presumably that is where they will rebuild them to operate on the new rack rail system. ©2019 Larry D. Dilts

Tennessee Pass line would be used for grain shipments
From Trains Newswire

The company interested in buying Union Pacific’s dormant Tennessee Pass line through the Colorado Rockies would do so to provide a more direct route for grain shipments from eastern Colorado and Kansas, according to the company’s lawyer.

Colorado Pacific Railroad, which bought the former Missouri Pacific Towner Line in eastern Colorado, notified Union Pacific of its interest in buying the former Denver & Rio Grande Western line earlier this month, and UP said it would entertain offers. [See “UP considering sale of Tennessee Pass route,” Trains News Wire, Nov. 19, 2019.]

In a statement to the Kiowa County (Colo.) Independent, attorney William Osborn said Colorado Pacific owner Stefan Soloviev “is taking this step because a substantial portion of the time, eastern Colorado and western Kansas grain producers will get better prices if they ship using the shortest railroad route to the West Coast, instead of the Texas Gulf Coast, for the export market … This is part of a continuing effort to open up eastern Colorado farm ground to west coast and pacific export markets for wheat and milo.”

Soloviev is owner of Crossroads Agriculture and was described in a Bloomberg article earlier this year as “heir to a $4.7 billion fortune” and America’s 31st largest land owner. The Bloomburg article described his desire to extend his railroad in Colorado “to the West Coast and beyond.”

Construction in the  Stock Show complex

Denver Rock Island RR 553, SW8, on Denver Stockyards trackage. Track construction began November 2019 for Denver Rock Island RR relocation account National Western Complex redevelopment. Denver Stockyards rail and highway changes underway. Denver Rock Island RR (DRIR) old trackage will be removed in 2020. Trains will run close to BNSF's Brush Subdivision and head over to the present South Platte River bridge trackage. DRIR 553, SW8, was busy on the old Denver Stockyard tracks north of Denver, Colorado. ©2019 Chip

Copyright 2019 Rocky Mountain Railroad Club.

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