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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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 04-0, 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

Progress at Como

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

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


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

On the Joint Line

On 22 July, 2017, BNSF 6758 brings a northbound manifest into Monument, CO under an interesting and non-thunderstorm'y sky. ©2017 Chris Paulhamus

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. EMDX 1608 is the rearmost of the 2 with 1607 against the cars.  ©2017 Ben Helsel

Pictures from Nebraska

Although three branches of the NKC in southern Nebraska and northern Kansas have been abandoned, the NKC ( former CB&Q Imperial branch) is still active. Part of the branch has been upgraded with ballast and welded rail. Although there are several large grain elevators, it appears that most grain is trucked. In Imperial, there are two liquid fertilizer plants that receive liquid fertilizer by rail. The one on the west side of town is fairly new and looks like it can handle up to 50 cars at a time. There is also a popcorn packaging plant that ships popcorn in boxcars. On July 6, 2017, an NKC train led by OMLX 3149 was east of Hamlet, Nebraska. The 12-car train was parked awaiting a crew. ©2017 Larry Dilts Graffiti vandals continue to get more artistic in their vandalism. BNSF 727801 east if Hamlet, Nebraska had a interesting monkey painting. ©2017 Larry Dilts
Prior to the construction of Trenton dam in 1953, the CB&Q Denver mainline passed through Trenton, Nebraska. Today, the line enters Trenton from the east and ends on the west side of town. A couple of grain elevators are served by this dead end spur. Parked at the end of the old mainline was BN 968729, a maintenance flatcar. ©2017 Larry Dilts The abandoned CB&Q depot still stands along the old CB&Q mainline in Trenton, Nebraska. ©2017 Larry Dilts
BNSF 7521, 8084, 7905, 1719 eastbound were skirting the north side of Trenton, Nebraska on the BNSF realignment ©2017 Larry Dilts

On the Joint Line

On 25 June, 2017, BNSF 8488 and a sister ACe lead a northbound oil empty up the grade into Palmer Lake, CO on a gorgeous Colorado morning. The hazy conditions on the left side of the photo are from the Brain Head fire burning far away in Utah. Depending on the winds, it can make the entire Pikes Peak Region hazy and smoky, but the winds worked out on this day on the Palmer Divide.  ©2017 Chris Paulhamus On  2 July,  2017, BNSF 6921 leads a northbound concrete train through the vast expanse of the Greenland Open Space in Greeneland, CO. The massive snow pack on Pikes Peak has withered and is breathing its last gasp as high temps and little-to-no precipitation has has set in along the Rampart Range. Regardless, seeing snow on America's Mountain after the calendar has turned the page into July is a nice treat. ©2017 Chris Paulhamus

Progress at Como

In 2001 Dr. Chuck and Kathy Brantigan became the new of the owners of the former Denver, South Park & Pacific Railway roundhouse. Since the Brantigan's have owned the roundhouse it has been repainted and additional masonry work has been done. Today the roundhouse has been leased to the South Park Rail Society. The current plan involves developing two stalls into a locomotive serving area where our steam locomotive and other equipment will live. We will also be replicating the original wooden floor throughout the building and developing it into a public museum.

Colorado Summit Construction started work to restore the turntable in late June 2017. June 29th found workers busy at Como, Colorado. ©2017 Chip

Amtrak with lots of power

Amtrak train 6 running 3-hours late passed State Bridge, CO, 5:05 PM June 30, 2017 with Siemens Chargers SC-44s. ©2017 Chip

A  colorful CREX on the Joint Line

On 24 Jun 2017, CREX 1408 leads a southbound grain train off the Palmer Divide departing Palmer Lake, CO  ©2017 Chris Paulhamus

A PV brings up the markers on the CZ

Jim Yust  photographed a PV  on the rear of No. 6, leaving Gore Canyon, Wed. June 21, 2017 ©2017 Jim Yust

Military hardware on the move

UP 4900, SD70M, Fort Carson, CO, to Yermo, CA, with Strykers. Stryker is a family of eight-wheel-drive combat vehicles, transportable in a C-130 aircraft, built for the US Army by General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada (formerly General Motors Defense) and the General Dynamics Land Systems Division, USA. Train took Leyden Siding on the UP's Moffat Tunnel Subdivision, Arvada, CO, June 16, 2017. ©2017 Chip UP 4900 W. passed Coal Creek Canyon 4:10 PM Friday, June 16, 2017 west of Arvada, Colorado. Strykers on their way to California via the Moffat Tunnel Line. ©2017 Chip

Let the testing begin 

A test train on the Gold Line at Ward Road on June 13, 2017  Testing may last up to 90 days so a firm start date has not yet been announced. ©2017 Walter Weart

On the Joint Line

June 15th's  PPL is shwon  leaving Littleton behind two locomotives.  ©2017 Adam Skihcky  (Ed note: a super faded warbonnett)

On 4 June, 2017, BNSF 9042 and an Executive MAC lead a northbound coal empty out of Palmer Lake, CO on a beautiful late Spring morning.  ©2017 Chris Paulhamus

Action on the Kyle

Kyle power at Limon to haul the rock train back over the Genoa Hill.  ©2017 Limonrail

On the Iowa Traction

Iowa Traction 54 next to Budweiser distribution office Mason City, Iowa, June 6, 2017. ©2017 Chip Progressive Rail/Iowa Traction has added (2017) a new 1/2 mile siding & stub end siding track between S. Eisenhower Ave. and S. Coolidge Ave. Southwest side of Mason City, Iowa, June 6, 2017. Note trolley wire not hung over new siding.  Chip

From the Midwest Milwaukee 261 on the road

Crossing diamond June 2nd sand pipe broke damaging stay bolt on 261. Fire dropped for repairs! She will stay at Breckenridge, Minnesota, June 3, 2017. Red River Valley & Western diesels will pull train West from Breckenridge with employees & family's train. ©2017 Chip Crossing diamond June 2nd sand pipe broke damaging stay bolt on 261. Fire dropped for repairs! Steve opened firebox doors showing dead locomotive at Breckenridge, Minnesota, June 3, 2017. Red River Valley & Western diesels will pull train West from Breckenridge with employees 30th anniversary train. ©2017 Chip
Red River Valley & Western 2628 W. passed Maddie fishing in the Red River at Wahpeton, North Dakota, June 3, 2017. Milwaukee Road 261 steam engine out of service for stay bolt repair. ©2017 Chip Friendly Milwaukee Road 261 steam excursion crew-best in the country! Breckenridge, Minnesota, June 3, 2017. ©2017 Chip


261 Left Breckenridge, Minnesota, June 4, 2017 headed east to Minneapolis Junction, Minnesota. ©2017 Chip 1958 Chevy checked out Milwaukee Road 261 during inspection and grease stop at Morris, Minnesota, June 4, 2017.  ©2017 Chip

Religious graffiti?

It looks like some graffiti vandals are religious. The Sin car was on a grain train at Burlington, Colorado May 25 while the Jesus Saves car was on a freight passing through Colorado Springs May 20, 2017. ©2017 Larry Dilts

End of the line 

Wagon Wheel Gap operation Creede Line (ex-D&RGW) operation closed down in 2016 & is up for sale. South Fork, Colorado, May 31, 2017. Notice posted at South Fork Depot.©2017 Chip Wagon Wheel Gap operation Creede Line (ex-D&RGW) included ex-Utah Central 44 (gray locomotive). Operation closed down in 2016 & is up for sale. South Fork, Colorado, May 31, 2017. River is running high from abundant Spring run-off.©2017 Chip
South Fork, CO, May 31, 2017. Ex-Southern Pacific 7648 ©2017 Chip Wagon Wheel Gap Route emblem on ex-D&RGW maintenance of way hy-rail truck. May 31, 2017 at South Fork, Colorado. ©2017 Chip
South Fork, Colorado, May 31, 2017. ©2017 Chip Rusty rails and stored coal hoppers (both sides of water tank but out of view) at South Fork, Colorado, May 31, 2017. ©2017 Chip

News from Como

Narrow gauge motorcar at Como, Colorado, May 31, 2017. ©2017 Chip

A Private Vehicle in Denver

Denver Union Station track 4, Denver, Colorado, Memorial Day, May 29, 2017. ©2017 Chip

Front Range pictures

BNSF 8040 South (Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Denver train) met 3-car track geometry train BNSF 7855 North at Broomfield, CO, BNSF's Front Range Subdivision 9:40 AM 5/26/17.©2017 Chip BNSF 7855 track geometry train had NX Track car named Michael D. Harding. Denver to Cheyenne, WY, 5/26/17 departed Broomfield, CO. ©2017
BNSF track inspection car Rio Grande River was rear car on the 3-car track geometry train BNSF 7855 North at Boulder, CO, BNSF Front Range Subdivision May 26, 2017. BNSF has automated their other track geometry train (no technicians only train crew running the locomotive). This train had men aboard. ©2017 Chip BNSF 7855 track geometry train; NX Track car Michael D. Harding & BNSF Rio Grande River on the rear. Denver to Cheyenne, WY, 5/26/17 departed Broomfield, CO. ©2017 Chip


UP 8851 & BNSF 3832 with empty flatcars was backing across Fountain Creek near Kelker May 25, 2017 south of Colorado Springs, Colorado. ©2017 Chip The former Colorado & Southern Railway Boulder Station was used by Sutherland Lumber for many years. Fortunately, its been retained for new mixed-use development.   ©2017 Chip

Joint Line Action

BNSF 6001 and a nice CitiRail leaser lead a northbound coal empty through the southern part of the U.S. Air Force Academy, CO.  ©2017 Chris Paulhamus BNSF 8763 leads a coal empty north through the U.S. Air Force Academy, CO. This shot taken from the South Gate bridge which spans over the north side of the Academy Siding on the famed Joint Line. ©2017 Chris Paulhamus

Joint Line trains with foreign power and a snowy BNSF train

Foreign line leaders on the joint UP BNSF Denver Pueblo Joint Line main are few and far between these days. Joe received a heads up of a southbound BNSF unit train out of Denver with NS leader and shot this picture just south of Castle. ©2017 3rd Switch  Joe was alerted to a northbound wind blade empty flat train with a CSXT leader and shot this pictures near new Baptist Road overpass just south of Monument. ©2017 3rd Switch
This is the latest it has snowed on the joint UP BNSF Denver Pueblo Joint Line main since moving to Palmer Lake in the summer 2009. Joe shot this southbound BNSF coal load climbing through the "sag" two miles north of Palmer Lake  ©2017 3rd Switch  

After the most recent snow.

BNSF 5017 E. on Provo, Utah, to Lincoln, Nebraska, train used Moffat Tunnel Subdivision and 2-foot snow at Rollinsville, Colorado. Conductor waved. May 19, 2017 train tied down
 at Cliff ran out of time!
©2017 Chip
The Patron Tequila Express car 50 (ex-Gulf, Mobile & Ohio 50 business car) was on Amtrak train 5, the California Zephyr, on UP's Moffat Tunnel line at Tolland, Colorado, 11:10 AM May 19, 2017. ©2017 Chip

Colorado Central Railroad 71 in fresh snow May 18, 2017 at Black Hawk, Colorado. Heavy spring snowstorm dumped over a foot of wet snow May 17-18.  ©2017 Chip

A Grab shot on Raton Pass

While on our to Phoenix, we saw the Southwest Chief dropping down grade towards Raton. No place to pull  ver and we had many miles to cover. ©2017 Walter Weart

On the move

BNSF 6327 South on the Q SSEALT6-08g South Seattle, Washington, to Alliance, Texas, passed Colorado Springs 12:15 PM, May 12, 2017. Train carrying lumber, tank cars and boxcars along with high priority intermodal double stack cars. ©2017 Chip

The Limon local at work

A pair of venerable engines are working the Limon local.  ©2017 Limomrail

BNSF's LNG test locomotive set

February 10, 2014 BNSF 9130 with LNG tank car at Caddoa Siding, Colorado, east of
La Junta, Colorado.
©2017 Chip
BNSF 933501 LNG tank car coupled to BNSF 9130 locomotive February 10, 2014. ©2017 Chip
BNSF 933501 LNG tank car coupled to BNSF 9130 locomotive February 10, 2014. ©2017 Chip BNSF 82 was on LNG test set at Caddoa Siding, Colorado, February 10, 2014. ©2017 Chip


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