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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Fall colors on the Moffat Sub

A UP oil train ©2023  Erik Lindgren The Rocky Mountaineer just clear of the East Portal  ©2023 Erik Lindgren

At Pubelo


This unit came into Pueblo on a south bound  coal load C BTMMLT 042and is shown at Canon City Junction  ©2023 Ben Helsel 

Golden switcher with a shove move

With conductor protecting the shove move, the Golden Switcher heads east.
©2023 Walter Weart

A selection of pictures from Larry Dilts.

Buckhorn Northern Railroad at Lake Loveland in Loveland August 17, 2023. Larry Dilts ©2023
Buckhorn Northern Railroad at Lake Loveland in Loveland August 17, 2023. Larry Dilts ©2023 A  former RI bay window caboose that is now at the baseball field in Cheyenne Wells. Note the steps. I think they took the steps from the one end and attached them to the other end so that the public can easily enter the car. September 11, 2023. Larry Dilts ©2023
An AT&SF caboose that is now displayed at Mayor's Park in Fountain. The park is very nice. It is a memorial park to the local military who lost their lives in the various wars back clear back to WWI. September 11, 2023. Larry Dilts ©2023

 

The old D&SL depot on 15th Street in Denver which is now park of the Balfour senior living center. Access is through the back side. The front door is no longer functioning. I am glad they saved the building. It looks quite nice since it is surrounded by tall buildings. September 14, 2023  Larry Dilts ©2023
REI which was the old Denver & Interurban power plant building. September 14, 2023 Larry Dilts ©2023 The Denver Zoo Railroad.  It is a nice short ride but you cannot see much from it. The vegetation is so thick it blocks views almost completely plus a lot of it is blocked by construction screening in that they are redeveloping much of the zoo  grounds. September 14, 2023 Larry Dilts ©2023
the Denver Zoo Railroad.  It is a nice short ride but you cannot see much from it. The vegetation is so thick it blocks views almost completely plus a lot of it is blocked by construction screening in that they are redeveloping much of the zoo  grounds. September 14, 2023 Larry Dilts ©2023 Kyle SD40M-2. The Kyle picked up a couple of units from another Genesee and Wyoming Railroad, August 14, 2023. It was repainted in the Kyle scheme which is nice. Also the former Utah Railway MK5000s are being phased out. Apparently they are hard to maintain since parts are hard to get. They have been cannibalizing the units to keep the others running. Larry Dilts ©2023

On the road in Wyoming

During a recent trip to Yellowstone, we stopped in Cody, Wy and back to Denver. We were lucky to catch some trains including a short line.

The BNSF has branch line to Cody and the power is parked on the weekends. The line was thought to be extended to Yellowstone but the CB&Q stopped at Cody. The terrain to the west would have been a real challenge.  ©2023 Walter Weart
I had a spare day as Susie was participating in conference. I drove to Graybull, the closest BNSF main line  to Cody.  I watched as the crew made up their train and, of course, the sun was almost overhead. The last unit was in a much earlier paint scheme  ©2023 Walter Weart
We passed through Shoshoni and were surprised to find the Bighorn Divide & Wyoming switching stored tank cars on a short section of the long abandoned C&NW branch to Lander WY. ©2023 Walter Weart
We drove through the Wind River canyon and we're hoping for a train. The line follows the river and I'd estimate has a 2% grade. If you want to see some action, YouTube has several videos  ©2023 Walter Weart
We did catch up to this train but outside the canyon. ©2023 Walter Weart

Some action on the  Joint Line

The ATSF Warbonnet, a few minutes behind the coal monster. I shot it with a flash to get some detail. ©2023  Jim Griffin
Stickers unit #5872.  It was after sunset so the light was pretty dim for a close action shot, but there it is...  It was part of the four-unit mid remote set on a monster coal empty. ©2023  Jim Griffin

The empty Blade train from Sunday, with the Fauxbonnet leader and CP visitor.  This long train was fifth in the parade of southbounds; I missed the first two and only got a visual on the coal load that was third. ©2023  Jim Griffin
The southbound "Q" train from Sunday.  The head end is filled out with freight. ©2023  Jim Griffin

UP 1943 on the Joint Line


Chris Paulhamus found the UP 1943 at Larkspur. ©2023 Chris Paulhamus 

A heritage NS locomotive visits Denver


The CNJ heritage locomotive was in Denver on Augusr25.  ©¸2023 David Grothe

North to Alaska

Ultra dome cars built by Colorado Railcar proudly ply the rails in Alaska for cruise ship passengers and locals. McKinley Explorer car named Eluktan was on a southbound Alaska Railroad train August 19, 2023. Alaska RR runs numerous passenger trains during the summer. ©¸2023 Chip Colorado Railcar built ultra domes ply the rails in Alaska. Passengers enjoyed views on Alaska Railroad northbound train August 19, 2023. Antrak now prohibits private varnish owners from using outside observation platforms. ©¸2023 Chip
Alaska RR conductor Dave Smith used microphone to share Alaskan scenic highlights on Colorado Railcar built ultra dome. Passengers enjoyed views on Alaska Railroad northbound train August 19, 2023.©¸2023 Chip

A Herzog self unloader train is setting out ties on the Beer Line and The Gold Line

The BNSF has arranged to use a Herzog self unloading train to set out new ties for track work on the Beer Line west of Ward Road. The same train may well come back and pick up the old ties for disposition. 3 pictures  © 2023 Walter Weart
This is the end of the RTD Gold Line just east of Ward Road. A two-car train set has a clear signal to proceed east but I believe he's actually holding for a specific start time.  © 2023 Walter Weart

DOT special boxcars and ex D&RGW power soldiers on

DOTX track measurement boxcars 232, 233, and 234, part of a BNSF manifest, roll south towards Palmer Lake, CO.© 2023 David Grothe T^he two GP40-2s from last Saturday's MNYPU are both former Rio Grande GP40-2s. The UP 1357 is former DRGW 3102 and UP 1344 is former DRGW 3121. © 2023 David Grothe

MOW on the UP

A Herzog Ballast train is tied down in Arvada with the pusher still connected but the road power is cut off. 
Note the Speed Limit , 65 mph passenger and 45 mph freight. The motor is running and I could hear the air compressor kick 
on.
If you look closely, you'll see rail clamps so I guess this siding is out of service .The overpass is Sheridan
Other MOW cars are set out including 4 cars of panel track. 3 pictures © 2023 Walter Weart August 16, 2023

An unusual CP painted motor on the Joint Line

UP Train S XPXFC1 10S comes by the Evraz Steel Mill in Pueblo Co on 8-12-2023 CP ES44AC 8781 with KCS ES44AC 4783 lead. CP 8781 is painted in a commerative Paint scheme of all Orange for Hapag-Llyod, a marine container carrer.
Ben Helsel caught this unusual painted CP motor. All in the Pueblo . #1 Coming by Evraz; # 2 Off the Arkansas River Bridge on south end of UP Engine Terminal; #3 Crossing Santa Fe Ave. (Ignore the red truck) and # 4 Coming thru switches at Pueblo Jct on bypass/ex DRGW tracks. All photos © 2023 Ben Helsel 

Dallas commuter train sets moves through Colorado

BNSF moved DART Silver Line commuter car special train J SLCIRB-08A from Siemens Salt Lake City, Utah. New trains will open Silver Line come 2024 between Dallas - Fort Worth Airport and points east. LoDo Siding near Elitch Gardens Denver, Colorado, August 10, 2023. DART 904 train set. © 2023 Chip

 

BNSF moved DART Silver Line commuter car special train J SLCIRB-08A from Siemens Salt Lake City, Utah. Train transverse the UP's Moffat Tunnel Subdivision using BNSF trackage rights. Prospect Junction, Denver, Colorado, August 10, 2023. DART 903 lower right. © 2023 Chip

 

Bob Thiele caught the trainsets south on the Joint Line.  ©2023 Bob Thiele They are headed to Irving, TX for the DART Silverline which is still under construction. They will be stored at the Trinity Rail Express facility

Weed removal on the aUP

UP 980350 MW model PU3600A-6 at sunrise on Old Mesa Siding, Aurora, Colorado, with Union Pacific's weed spraying train Thursday, August 19, 2023. This train was built by Relco's Hawkeye facility in Iowa during 2021.

Weed spraying train stayed at Old Mesa Siding for a couple days.© ¸2023 Chip

 

UP 980359 MW at sunrise on Old Mesa Siding, Aurora, Colorado, with Union Pacific's weed spraying train milepost 625 on Thursday, August 19, 2023. This train was built by Relco in Iowa during 2021.

Weed spraying train stayed at Old Mesa Siding for a couple days. © ¸2023 Chip

 

Some interesting pictures

August 4, 2023. At Limon, Kyle (CORP) 4075 and 4074 were ready to head east. ©2023 L:arry Dilts At the Limon Heritage Museum and Railroad Park is UP caboose 25670. The rolling stock at the museum is only painted on the visitor side. The other side butts up to the UP fence  ©2023 L:arry Dilts
Norther Ag Service operate two elevators in Limon, the elevator on the Kyle and the west elevator on the UP. At the west elevator a train was being loaded using their trackmobile to move the cars. ©2023 L:arry Dilts

Trackmobiles

Stratton Equity Coop operates at least two trackmobiles. The front end view is the Burlington trackmobile while the side view is of the Stratton trakcmobile. ©2023 L:arry Dilts

Two small locomotives

Scoular Grain has a new Shuttle Wagon at their Goodland, Kansas, elevator. They also operate a small 25 ton GE at the Carusso, Kansas, elevator. It has been at the facility for many years but belonged to ADM before they sold the closed sunflower plant. Now it belongs to Scoular Grain. .©2023 L:arry Dilts

Two interesting pictures

The Kyle is beginning tie work on their line near Stratton, Colorado. The G&W Engineering Services is staging equipment at Stratton. A semi trailer and a tie cart were near the Stratton station. ©2023 L:arry Dilts

RTD's Light Rail Maintenance Facility

During an Operation Lifesaver Presentation on August 5, I was able do some photography

    
Two panoramas, one of the lineup of cars and and an interior view  ©2023 Walter Weart
A line up of service vehicles. ©2023 Walter Weart The Shuttle wagon used as locomotive and rescues vehicle. Note knuckle coupler and there is  light rail compatible on the front  ©2023 Walter Weart

Nighttime at North Yard


Lightning is north of Union Pacific's North Yard, Denver, Colorado, 3 August 2023. Finally caught a thunderstorm just after sunset ©2023 Chip

Action on the Front Range Sub

Amtrak #5 just west of McCoy on the Dotsero Cutoff on July 20  ©2023 Dave Schaaf BNSF Denver to Provo freight at the west switch of Range siding, both in western Colorado ©2023 Dave Schaaf

Some photos from Europe

This is one of the long distance high speed trains between Paris and Geneva  ©2023 Dave Goss   The interior of the Gare de Lyon in Paris, the station were trains going south from Paris leave. Regional and long distance trains are seen here.  ©2023 Dave Goss
Lyon, France in the middle ages was the center of the European silk industry and their light rail trains were designed to resemble a silkworm.  ©2023 Dave Goss
In Tournon, France the Train de L’Ardeche, operates a narrow-gauge rail line twenty-one miles in length. From April to November they operate two 0-6-6-0 steam locomotives designed by Anatole Mallet. Number 414 was built in 1932 in Alsace and sister number 403 was built in 1903 by the Swiss Machine and Locomotive Works. In addition, locomotives 401, 404 and 413 are stored as spare parts or for possible later refurbishment. They also have several four-axle diesel locomotives for tourist service.  as well. ©2023 Dave Goss

An unseal trainset pass on the move via the UP

UP 3093, SD70AH-T4 Tier 4, UP train S FLCH Siemens built VIA 6-car train set from California to Chicago, IL, near Granite, WY, Laramie Subdivision 2 August 2023. VIA 2306 SCV-42  ©2023 Chip Union Pacific 3093 East moved newly built Siemens train set destined for VIA in Canada across Wyoming and Nebraska August 2, 2023. Locomotive 2306 model SCV-42 passed BNSF bridge at Sidney, Nebraska, on UP's Sidney Subdivision. © ¸2023 Chip
.Union Pacific Railroad moved newly built Siemens train set destined for VIA in Canada across Wyoming and Nebraska August 2, 2023. Locomotive 2207 model SCV-42 passed BNSF bridge at Sidney, Nebraska, on UPS, Sidney Subdivision. ©ø¸2023 Chip.

A PV passes through Denver

Private varnish Northern Sky dome lounge visited Denver, Colorado, late July 2023.   Amtrak's 8-hour late train 6, the California Zephyr, picked up Northern Sky from track 4 at Denver Union Station on Sunday, July 30, 2023.  PV Northern Sky is based at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  © 2023 Chip

Some interesting rolling stock

A couple of interesting pieces of rolling stock from today (Saturday the 29th)...the Rio Grande coal car was on the MNYPU and I caught it at Palmer Lake. Nice to catch an original piece of Rio Grande rolling stock still on the rails. The TTX on Track for a Cure well car was spotted heading south in Castle Rock on a container train.  ©2023 David Grothe


In via the back door

Normally, the Beer Train for Coors uses the track along 44th and into the Golden BNSF yard for for more switching. Once in a while, the Beer train uses a different entrance and is at the 44th St. crossing. ©2023 Walter Weart on Saturday, July 29. Dropping down grade into the Coors yard, crossing over Hwy. 58. ©2023 Walter Weart  
On July 27, I watched them come in via the "back door". The gray building in the background is Coor's shipping center. If you look carefully, you'll see a  white cryogenic boxcar. Coors loads a few of these every month. ©2023 Walter Weart

An unusual caboose


BNSF 999015 caboose moved closer to Park Avenue West Tuesday, July 25, 2023. BNSF’s Denver Locomotive Shop, Denver, Colorado. Tank cars are water cars for fighting wildfires. ©?2023 Chip

New power on the BNSF already at work.
Tim Tonge caught this BNSF Intermodal train on the Joint Line and last three motors are fresh out of the  factory. These new from GE ES44ACH's, All 6 axles are powered on them. H is for HEAVY. © ¸22Tim Tonge

Helping with a disabled NS motor.


UP 1640, SD40-2, DV26 job brought in unit military DODX/TTX flatcar train with bad ordered Norfolk Southern 1184. Utah Junction, Denver, Colorado, 20 July 2023 Moffat Tunnel Subdivision. © ¸2023 Chip

BNSF OCS train


BNSF 3885 pulled out of Denver, CO, Wednesday morning, July 19, 2023 for a run to the Hudson Industrial Park near Hudson, CO. The 6-car train was set up with locomotives on both ends of the train. ©2023


Hard at work in Como


The worker bees are getting up there in years-! Bob Schoppe president Denver, South Park & Pacific Historical Society was weed whacking at Como Depot during the Open House this weekend. I took over so he could be a tour guide in the shade at the Como Depot. ©2023 Chip

An Officer Car Special passes through Denver
BNSF 3885 on the south end and 8165 north end with six cars parked at Denver, CO. Canyon View BNSF 35 dome car is one of the passenger cars July 14, 2023. BNSF passenger special was tied down Friday morning. Copyright ļø¸2023 Chip

An interesting locomotive passes through Denver
Freshly painted JRSX 2022 -Simplot switcher got left by BNSF 38th Street Yard crew in middle of their yard 8:15 AM, Friday, 7 July 2023. Copyright ©2023 Chip
Union Pacific moved freshly painted Simplot JRSX 2022, SW1200, out of Colorado on July 11, 2023. Power ran light to Rolla near Commerce City, CO, where it picked a unit auto train headed for Cheyenne, WY. The 2022 was headed to the Simplot fertilizer plant near Pocatello, Idaho. ©2023 Chip Impressive Simplot paint scheme on switcher JRSX 2022, nee-Northern Pacific 157 SW1200, at Henderson, CO, July 11, 2023. The recently outshopped Simplot switcher was headed to Pocatello, ID. ©2023 Chip

A range of interesting pictures
Manitou & Pikes Peak train 27 was approaching the depot in Manitou Springs June 28, 2023. This was the only new train operating this date. The other trains were the old rebuilt trains.  ©2023 Larry Dilts Manitou & Pikes Peak 27 at the Manitou Springs depot June 28, 2023.  ©2023 Larry Dilts
GW 2089 has been preserved at Ken Kafka’s home 3 miles west of Pierce. This GW dinky was formerly the GW Brush sugar beet plant switcher moved to Fort Morgan. It worked there for a few years before being cannibalized for parts. When Ken purchased the locomotive it was in poor shape and had no drivers. He manufactured a set of drivers from a set of freight car trucks. Photos June 30, 2023.  ©2023 Larry Dilts
The South Platte & Interchange Railroad operates on Ken Kafka’s property. It is an 18 inch gauge train operating on 700 feet of track. The locomotive and cars were built by Ken. Photo June 30, 2023.  ©2023 Larry Dilts On July 3, 2023, Amtrak was 1 ½ hours late coming into Fort Morgan allowing for early morning light.
July 3, 2023, ex BN caboose 10211 is displayed at the Yuma museum on S. Detroit Street.  ©2023 Larry Dilts July 3, 2023, west of Akron, ex BN caboose 10154 is parked in a pasture. ©2023 Larry Dilts
On July 2, 2023, Big Boy passed by the grain bins at Julesburg, Colorado. Fifty-five years earlier UP gas turbine 26 passed by the same location. Both were impressive sites ©2023 Larry Dilt

Not all Traces are gone

Another bridge just south of Monumnet on Colorado Hwy 105  ©2023 Dennis Leonard

Big Boy on the move and two other pictures
BigBoy Chip1599
Union Pacific 4014 Big Boy on the Home Run Express Tour departed Sidney, Nebraska, July 3, 2023.  Last segment of trip was from Sidney, NE, to Cheyenne, WY over UP's Sidney Subdivision.  ©2023 Chip
Union Pacific 4014 Big Boy on the Home Run Express Tour laid over at North Platte, Nebraska, July 1, 2023.  The seven car special was returning from Omaha, NE.  ©2023 Chip
Chip 1701 Chip 1701
Plentiful June 2023 rainfall created water reflection of Kansas City Southern 4871, ES44AC, DPU on a BNSF loaded coal train at Sterling, CO, June 29, 2023.  ©2023 Chip
Union Pacific mid-train DPU's were framed by hopper car doors at S-curves north of McCoy, CO, June 26, 2023.  Loaded coal train from Energy (Peabody Energy owned Twentymile Mine southwest of Steamboat Springs, CO) headed to Valmy, Nevada.  UP Craig Subdivision.  ©2023 Chip

Pictures from around Colorado
 
 Rockvale
The elevator at Stewart was quiet on June 27. Weskan Grain’s new elevator can hold 3 million bushels. Weskan grain is building another grain loadout about halfway between Eads and Haswell. So far they have only been excavating the ground for the
concrete foundation. ©2023 Larry Dilts
The Colorado Pacific units 1964 and 1923 were at Eads on June 27. Since my trip a few months ago, they have moved quite a few cars around. All the tank cars at NA Jct. have been removed. A few are still scatted on various sidings east of Sugar City.. They are also storing a long string of coal hoppers at Haswell. ©2023 Larry Dilts
The Colorado Pacific’s office is an old house located at the intersection of US 287 and West 10th Street.©2023 Larry Dilts At Confluence Park, the abandoned MP crossed Fountain Creek of a lengthy bridge. Part of it had been removed several years ago but the overhead truss section remained. When I went to photograph June 27th, it was gone. Although it was gone, the clearing across Fountain Creek is evidence of where it crossed. Fortunately, it made an opening making it easy to see a BNSF sounthbound coal train headed for the Cherokee Power Plant. This was the old C&S mainline. The distributed power units were bringing up the rear. One thing of note is the large eagle nest on the utility pole with an eagle in it.  ©2023 Larry Dilts
The former AT&SF Rockvale Branch is not used but most of the track is still in place. A few years ago, Rock And Rail was storing coal hoppers on the branch but they have all been removed. On June 27, 2023, the crossing on Quincy Street in Williamsburg still was in place with relatively new crossing signs. The track all the way to Florence is still in place but only a short section south of the Quincy Street crossing remains. ©2023 Larry Dilts
 
Between Williamsburg and Rockvale a small trestle is still in place; however, the rail on each side of the bridge has been removed.©2023 Larry Dilts
At Rockvale the foundation for the coal tipple is still in place. This was the last rail served mine in the area. I am not sure which mine this tipple served. There were several located south of Rockvale©2023 Larry Dilts The Rockvale Branch turned south off  the D&RGW mainline on the west side of Florence. ©2023 Larry Dilts
 
The Cotter Branch crosses County Rd 143 (Oak Creek Grade) a few miles south of Canon City. On the west side is a small
 bridge and the grade curves to the north back to Canon City. ©2023 Larry Dilts

On the east side of County Rd 143 is the remnants of the Cotter Uranium Mill. On the northwest side of the property is a siding where Rock and Rail (ex AT&SF) stored coal hoppers for a time.  ©2023 Larry Dilts
   
The Cotter Branch crosses Forge Rd south of Canon City ©2023 Larry Dilts About halfway on the Cotter branch is remnants of the closed New Jersey Zinc Mill which had been a big customer on the branch at one time.  Today, the small yard remains but is disconnected from the Cotter Branch mainline. ©2023 Larry Dilts

Action on the Joint Line
 
BNSF 9309 is on the rear of a southbound coal load as it shoves up the grade near Spruce, CO. © 2023 Chris Paulhamus
 
BNSF 8326 leads a northbound H-PUEDEN (Pueblo, CO - Denver, CO) with a quartet of GE orange through the Greenland Open Space in Greenland, CO. Pikes Peak, some 25 miles away, still has some snow on her flanks. © 2023 Chris Paulhamus


Chris Paulhamus was at Woodcarver Rd. to grab a shot of the doublestacks as they snaked through the s-curve there © 2023 Chris Paulhamus
 :

A NS heritage locomotive visits Denver


Ben get a shot of NS SD70ACe 1072 the Illinois Terminal Heritage unit, at Pueblo Jct  Leading the NB E HAFCAM 041A one of those Double Empties. This one out of the Lower CO River Authority Fayette, Halsted Texas to Caballo Mine in the Powder River basin of Wyoming. BNSF 8760 and 9016 trail on the head end. Thanks to all for the heads up on this one as it made it's way north.© 2023 Ben Helsel

A unique caboose in Denver
 
 
BNSF 999015 caboose on firefighting train park at Denver Locomotive Shop, Denver, Colorado, June 22, 2023. Water reflection after heavy rain. © 2023 Chip  

PVs visit Colorado
 
Three private varnish cars; Berlin sleeper on the rear with drumhead, were on Amtrak train 6, the California Zephyr June 20, 2023. Lowell Smith operated the Canyons & Mountains Tour of the West from Chicago, IL, to California, and return. Train was at Coal Creek Canyon west of Arvada, Colorado. ©2023 Chip Milwaukee Road Super Dome was on Lowell Smith’s three car Canyons & Mountains Tour of the West. The other car was sleeper Boston & Maine Salisbury Beach on Amtrak’s California Zephyr at Denver Union Station, CO, June 20, 2023. Rare to see the Friends of the 261 owned Super Dome this far west. ©2023 Chip
Silver Smith’s Overland Limited drumhead was hung on PV Berlin sleeper. Three PV’s were chartered for Lowell Smith’s Canyons & Mountains Tour of the West trip on Amtrak’s California Zephyr in June 2023. Eastbound portion of the trip was at Denver Union Station June 20, 2023. ©2023 Chip   Milwaukee Road lettered Super Dome was parked on the South Platte River bridge next to BNSF’s 31st Street Yard prior to     Amtrak train 6 backing into Denver Union Station, CO. Love how the dome is lite up at night. ©2023 Chip


A visit to the Commuter Rail shop

As part of an Operation Lifesaver presentation, we were invited to the Heavy Rail Commuter Shop, which is part of the overall RTD operation. The contractor Denver Transit Operators, runs these trains which require FRA licensed operators and 25,000 Volts of Power

 
A panoramic view of the shop. ©2023 Walter Weart The  operator's compartment which is not all that much different than some locomotives. The screen on the left shows in-train cameras and the screen on the right is hooked up to the PTC system. . ©2023 Walter Weart
   
The line truck. No it's not powered by the overhead. ©2023  Walter Weart The cars are on shop trucks awaiting the overhaul of the motor trucks ©2023 Walter Weart
 
 


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