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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Please remember that the photos are copyrighted and neither the pictures or text can be used without permission of the owner.

The Rocky Mountaineer


Fresh snow overnight on May 25th at Nederland, official and this late in the year that flock doesn,t last long! Still i had some nice snow to compliment this splendid blue, gold, and white wonder. The first westbound with proper leaders of the amazing Rocky Mountaineer and its all magic are running about an hour behind due to Amtrak's untimely departure from Denver. ©2022 Erik Lindgren

Rocky Mountaineer power


Rocky Mountaineer power, RMRX 8020 and 8021, were moved around Union Pacific's 36th Street Yard, Denver, CO, on May 23, 2022.  ©2022 Chip

After the blizzard


May 21, 2022. ©2022 Erik Lindgren 
 

Warbonnets in Service


Colorful BNSF power lash up happened with the Denver, CO, to Laurel, Montana, train at Longmont, CO, May 12, 2022. Warbonnets BNSF 766 and 782, AC44CW, bracketed CSXT 368. Train had work at Longmont that morning. ©2022 Chip

Colorado Railroad Museum Colorado Crossings May 14-14, 2022

A photo freight was also operated

Colorado Railroad Museum assembled photo freight with D&RGW 491, K-37, for the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club picnic held Sunday, May 15, 2022. The 7-car train passed the turntable and engine house where Rio Grande Southern 20 was cooling her drivers. ©2022 Chip The Colorado Railroad Museum operated DRGW 491, K-37, on a photo freight for the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club picnic attendees Sunday, May 15, 2022.  Great turnout, good friends, and fantastic weather blessed the event.  Â©2022 Chip

Ahead of the day's train, there was Parade.

   
   
All photos ©2022 Walter Weart
   
During Saturday, No. 20 pulled a "green" passenger train which included Rio Grande Southern Business Car B-1  ©2022 Walter Weart Following was Goose 7 which was very popular with the visitors. ©2022 Walter Weart
 
After the end of regular operation, No. 491 powered a short freight train.  ©2022 Walter Weart  

Oil train for cleaning

Colorado Pacific RR (former Missouri Pacific RR Towner Line) received two CBTX empty unit tank trains starting in April 2022.  Cars are stored and cleaned at new three track yard east of NA Junction near Boone, Colorado, May 9, 2022  ©2022 Chip
 

A BNSF Officer Special


BNSF's President and CEO Katie Farmer inspected BNSF between Gillette, WY, and La Junta, CO, on May 10 and 11, 2022. The BNSF 3680, ET44C4, handled the 9-car special. On the rear were dining car Fred Harvey and BNSF 32 theater inspection car named William Barstow Strong. ©2022 Chip

From Kansas and Colorado

At Wallace, Kansas on May 9, 2022, a UP tie train was parked on the siding. The locomotive was a Relco PU3200A-6 built in 2019. ©2022Larry Dilts

On May 9, 2022, the Colorado Pacific GP40-2 leased from WAMX went out for a short outing. Hayden Soloviev, one of the railroad owners, was visiting and was taken for a short ride to the east end of the yard and back. It was good to hear train sounds in Eads once again. . ©2022Larry Dilts

Although the Mopac has been gone for a long time and their line into Pueblo abandoned in favor of the AT&SF, a short section remains between Fountain Creek and South La Crosse Ave. The track east of La Crosse has been removed. The bridge across Fountain Creek is partially missing isolating this small three-yard track.. ©2022Larry Dilts On May 9, 2022, a BNSF empty coal train was waiting in Colorado Springs for the track to clear to the north. The two BNSF distributed power units were parked in a good location to photograph from the new Olympic Museum pedestrian bridge that crosses over the yard. There is a fine mesh chain link fence which makes it difficult to get some photos but there are still a few good spots for photographs.. ©2022Larry Dilts
 
At Stewart, Colorado on the CP, Weskan Grain is building a new grain elevator. This will be a much needed new business for the CP.  ©2022Larry Dilts  

At Canon City

On May 7 Royal Gorge 603 SD-40, shut down for the night, awaiting tomorrow's operation ©2022 Walter Weart On May 8, 603 is ready to lead the first train on the day. Mechanical problems required that the cab car be cut in behind the B unit. ©2022 Walter Weart
 
Because of mechanical problems  GP-40 728 is added to the consist to supply additional head in power. ©2022 Walter Weart  

An interesting NS locomotive


Norfolk Southern (NS) 4544, AC44C6M, was in Colorado on a BNSF train. This AC44C6M rebuild was delivered in April 2022 to NS: 4544 (former NS Dash 9-44CW 9264) rebuilt by GE Wabtec at Fort Worth, TX. Unit was on BNSF's Denver, CO, to Amarillo South, Texas train H DENAMS1-30. Train was southbound on the Joint Line next to Chatfield State Park south of Littleton, CO, 1 May 2022. ©2022 Chip
 

A PV visits Denver

PV Cyrus K. Holliday was on Amtrak's California Zephyr, train #5, at Denver Union Station, CO, April 28, 2022. Car was returning to its home in San Diego, California. Kennebec Financial Corporation is the current owner and does not allow charters. ©2022 Chip PV Cyrus K. Holliday, ex-Soo Line 52, on 2-hours late Amtrak train 5, the California Zephyr at Keenesburg, CO, April 28, 2022. Amtrak 800039 on BNSF Brush Subdivision. ©2022 Chip


A Golden Switcher panorama

                       
While on my way to the Museum on April 28, I noticed that the Golden Switchers was backed in a siding and had a caboose on the tail end. He was was waiting for a eastbound Beer train to pass. I thought a panorama might be an interesting way to capture this. ©2022 Walter Weart

A CN visitor


Colorado Pacific RR has leased WAMX 4010, GP40-2 ex-Canadian National, and moved it from Kansas to Eads, Colorado, as of April 22, 2022. The locomotive was parked on the former Missouri Pacific Towner Line at Eads, CO, where it was found April 25, 2022. ©2022 Chip

UP steam club Facebook page.

We're pleased to announce that we have donated a small portion of our heritage fleet to the non-profit Railroading Heritage of Midwest America (RRHMA). The donation allows Union Pacific to focus on our remaining fleet, which includes the world's largest steam locomotive, the Big Boy  UP 4014, and the fastest, the Living Legend UP 844.

The donation includes the following equipment from Union Pacific's Steam Shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming:

4-6-6-4 Challenger UP 3985
Class TTT 2-10-2 UP 5511
The Centennial UP 6936
E9B passenger locomotive shell
Four 1950s coach cars
Diner-Lounge car
Baggage car
Caboose

Two business cars: the Selma, previously Western  Pacific's Feather River, and the Stanford, originally the 1928 Southern  Pacific Sunset

"Union Pacific is proud to be the only Class I railroad with steam locomotives on its roster, part of the finest heritage fleet in the world," said Scott Moore, senior vice president – Corporate Relations and Chief Administrative Officer. "We are pleased with RRHMA's plans to restore the donated equipment for the public to enjoy. Union Pacific remains dedicated to the maintenance and operation of our remaining heritage fleet, including hosting future tours and sharing UP 4014 and UP 844 with the rail community."

Union Pacific will move the equipment to RRHMA's shop in Silvis, Illinois, later this year. RRHMA plans a multi-year,  multi-million-dollar restoration of the equipment, including restoring  the steam locomotives to operating condition.

"The RRHM is a wonderful home for this historic equipment," said Ed Dickens, steam locomotive engineer and Steam Program manager. "Railfans will look forward to seeing UP 3985 and UP 5511 return to the rails, as well as enjoy the opportunity to experience the various cars being donated."

More information about moving these locomotives from Cheyenne to Silvis, Illinois will come later. As always, we'll keep Steam Club members updated.

(Editor's note" I believe this group also owns Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 265)

Tank car storage


Colorado Pacific RR (ex-Missouri Pacific line) is storing CBTX unit tank car train at their newly constructed (December 2020) three track yard east of NA Junction (BNSF-Colorado Pacific RR interchange). That is located about 5-miles east of Boone, CO. The CBTX tank cars were being cleaned by Tactical Cleaning Company April 25, 2022. ©2022 Chip

Union Pacific has postponed its planned tour this summer for Big Boy No. 4014, citing a need to “focus on efforts to ease supply chain congestion.”

The trip to the Pacific Northwest via Northern California had been scheduled to begin June 26. The railroad said it would announce updated plans once service performance levels return to normal.
Intermodal traffic on the move


BNSF 3898 and CN 5780 handled Denver, CO, to Willow Springs, IL, train ID B DENWSP4-12A at Sand Creek, CO, April 13, 2022.  Train had 66-cars running east via Brush, CO.  ©2022 Chip

The Salt Mine job

BNSF's Salt Mine Job used BNSF 2854, GP38, on Friday, April 8, 2022 to switch 31st Street Yard, Denver. Crew member was riding in the locomotives’ cab account a fatality early in 2022 on this job. Remote Control Operator (RCO) employee was standing on the platform of the locomotive operating locomotive. Apparently employee wasn’t expecting or anticipating the slack to roll in causing him to fall off locomotive into the gauge of the rail February 9, 2022. Power in the distance was moved by herders into Denver Diesel Shop. ©2022 Chip

Heavy metal on the move


Northbound BNSF unit train from Beaumont, Texas, to Fort Lewis, Washington, moved Army containers and vehicles through Denver, CO, on April 6, 2022. BNSF 7419, ES44DC, handled the Joint Line move. Train was on main track one. Hogans Alley siding is the track at the far left. ©2022 Chip

A military train passes RTD, note the car with ad as the train passes

Army National l Guard "Ready to Respond" advertisement was on Denver light rail car April 6, 2022. Parked on the BNSF/UP
 Joint Line was regular army equipment headed to Fort Lewis, Washington. Train action at Sheridan, Colorado.
©2022 Chip

Denver RTD D Line train passed BNSF train with heavy-metal at Sheridan, Colorado, Wednesday, April 6, 2022. BNSF train is headed to Fort Lewis, Washington. ©2022  Chip


 
Denver RTD 234 with’ "I  got my Vaccine" D Line train passed BNSF train with heavy-metal at Sheridan, Colorado, Wednesday, April 6, 2022. BNSF train is headed to Fort Lewis, Washington. I

 

Kyle on the move

Kyle Railroad operated Utah Railway 5005, MK 50­3, and Buffalo & Pitttsburg 3333 west through Flagler, CO, towards Limon,
CO, April 4, 2022. © 2022 Chip
Utah Rly 5005, MK50-3, approached Limon, CO, April 4, 2022. Copyright 2022 Chip

A visitor from the East


Ben Helsel caught the MARC locomotive on its way to TTCI on 03-28-2022  ©2022 Ben Helsel
 

PVs on No. 5 passing through Colorado

Private varnish graced Amtrak's California Zephyr, train 5, on March 24, 2022, during stop at Denver Union Station, CO.  ©2022 Chip
Two Northern Pacific dome cars; one is a dome sleeper (bedrooms under the dome area) NP 313 and the other a dome coach Northern Pacific 549.  Photo at Fraser, CO, during smoke break stop. ©2022 Chip
Bringing up the rear was ex-New York Central car named Babbling Brook. Car had bedrooms, lounge and round end observation area. All three cars went to the West Coast and returned east on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, train 4 in late March 2022
. ©2022 Chip
 
Erik Lindgren  caught the PVs heading west.  ©2022 Erik Lindgren

Amtrack tribute paint


Amtrak 90221 was headed to California on Amtrak's California Zephyr 24 March 2022. Unit wears "Salutes Our Veterans" scheme. View from Park Avenue West overpass, Denver, CO. ©2022 Chip

Canadian visitors


BNSF's Denver, CO, to Provo, Utah, train H DENPVO1-21a had two Canadian National units up front buried behind BNSF 8426. CN 8102 & 2224 were the 2nd and 3rd units on the westbound train March 22, 2022. Power set up 3x2 DPU arrangement. ©2022 Chip
 

Durango & Silverton settles fire related lawsuits
(Courtesy Trans Magazine Newswire)

DENVER — The Durango & Silverton has agreed to pay $20 million and adopt fire mitigation plans in a proposed settlement to a lawsuit over its role in a massive 2018 Colorado wildfire.

The money will settle a suit filed in 2019 by the federal government, which claimed cinders from one of the railroad’s locomotives started the 416 Fire, which burned more than 54,000 acres [see “Federal government blames Durango & Silverton for 2018 wildfire,” Trains News Wire, July 2, 2019]. The railroad continues to deny it started the fire and the settlement is not an admission of liability.

Meanwhile, the Durango Herald is reporting that the railroad has also reached a settlement in the civil lawsuits arising from the same fire.

Under the federal settlement announced Monday, the railroad will make an initial lump-sum payment of $15 million, then pay an additional $5 million plus interest over 10 years. The government had sought to recover $25 million for costs of fighting the fire.

On a snowy morning

While the Beer train holds for permission to proceed, the Golden Switcher is in the hole. Once the Beer train clears, the Switcher will continue to serve the local industries.  ©2022  Walter Weart

A PV in Denver


Unique private varnish HOLLYWOOD BEACH was on Amtrak’s California Zephyr, train 6, at Denver Union Station, Denver, CO, March 18, 2022. ©2022 Chip

Pictures from Nebraska and Kansas

These pictures were at the CHS grain elevator at Roseland, Nebraska March 3, 2022. When loading cars, the CHS facility is quite busy. They use a trackmobile to bring empties to the elevator. There SW1200 is used to shuttle cars through the elevator. They also have two Track Masters. Today, Roseland is the end of the line. The branch once ran from South Minden, Nebraska to a Junction on the Hastings to Superior mainline (Ayr Jct.). The line west of Roseland is abandoned.  ©2022 Larry Dilts

The two Track Master photo and what looks like fog is actually grain dust. Larry had a hard time photographing their SW1200 because of all the dust. Fortunately the wind changed for a moment and I was able to catch a good shot of it. ©2022 Larry Dilts

Kyle Railroad March 3, 2022 at Selden, Kansas. ©2022 Larry Dilts

A Ski Train charter

Amtrak Winter Park Express was chartered by Nike for a mid week Wednesday, March 16, 2022, trip Denver to Winter Park Ski Resort, Colorado. Amtrak 127 and 130 handled the special move across Union Pacific's Moffat Tunnel Subdivision. ©2022 Chip


An interesting visitor

Ben Helsel caught the CN ES44AC 3971 ex Citi Rail on the rear of the H SLADEN on Pueblo's Hi Line waiting to go north 0n March 15. ©2022 Ben Helsel

From snowy Wyoming.


Northbound UP 4288, SD70M, handled the La Salle, CO, to Cheyenne, WY, train LDI-60, at snow covered Speer, Wyoming, March 11, 2022. Train handles the lucrative frac sand business in northern Colorado. ©2022 Chip
 

Another Saturday morning in Golden


On Saturday morning, March 12, I was going the Museum and was stopped by a rather short "Beer" train. Coors is now shipping some beer by rail but not volumne from old days. ©2022 Walter Weart

Pictures from Nebraska

©2022 Larry Dlits
Green Plains LLC operates GP 9 1660 at their bio refinery in Wood River, Nebraska. They also operate a Shuttlewagon. On
 March 2, 2022, 1660 was parked near State Rd 11 overpass making it easy to photograph. ©2022 Larry Dlits
March 2, 2022, northeast of Wood River, Nebraska, on the Ken Layher farm is the former Scottsbluff Great Western Sugar dinky. It is reported that it is in operating condition however it is just on static display under a canopy. If it is operational, it would have to be moved to a different location.  ©2022 Larry Dlits
March 2, 2022 at Kearney, Nebraska, was Gavilon’s GP9s 471 and 651. Railway Service Contractors maintains the units. On the east side of town, Gavilon has a large grain elevator on a short spur which is all that is left of the UP’s abandoned Stapleton Branch © 2022 Larry Dlits.  
Cathcart Rail operates the old military ammo depot at Grand Island where they store and repair railcars. I saw five locomotives. On March 2, 2022, ARNX 203 was switching one of the car repair shops while WCCX 1 was moving a string of coal gondolas. Both units are uncommon. 203 is a GE 110 ton unit while 1 is an SW14. According to the Surface Transportation Board filings, Cathcart has filed to owned the old military depot rail operations and operate the railroad as the Cornhusker Railroad. I don’t know if that is going to be the name of the railroad operation or whether it is just a paper railroad name.  Some the of the Cathcart employees didn’t have any knowledge of the new name. ©2022 Larry Dlits
At the Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska is former Fort Collins Municipal Railway Birney 20. Being displayed inside the
 building, it is preserved quite well.  ©2022 Larry Dlits
March 3, 2022, Ag Valley Coop 2002 and 7517 were parked on their siding at Oxford, Nebraska  ©2022 Larry Dlits

On the Front Range Sub

HPVODEN with BNSF 5939 emerges into the depths of the snow at east portal Tunnel 30 at Lincoln Hills in Rollins Canyon. 2/19/22 ©2022 Erik Lindgren BNSF 5835 leads empty coal at Keenesburg, CO 2/20/22  ©2022 Erik Lindgren
 
AMTK 207 leads 5 along Eldorado Canyon in the Tunnel District 2/6/22  ©2022 Erik Lindgren

The Local at work


The UP's Colorado Springs local  pulling 2 center beams from Foxworth Galbraith just St north of Filmore and east of Nevada on February 25. ©2022  Ben Helsel
 

The Golden Switcher at work


On Thursday, Feb. 18, the Golden Switcher was setting out two lumber loads at the Reload Center at 44th & McIntyre. The brakeman is controlling the gates from the signal cabinet as the siding is not in the gate circuit.  ©2022 Walter Weart

On the Joint Line


The UP MNYPU at the railfan knoll in Palmer Lake. ©2022 Tim Tonge

A Canadian visitor

Canadian National 5641, SD75I, and CSXT 5102, CW44AH, moved Union Pacific coal empty C MSWE 02/12 - Memphis, TN, to West Elk Mine, CO, 105 empties. Train was on UP's Limon Subdivision passed Watkins, CO, Feb 15, 2022. ©2022 Chip

CN 5641, SD75I, and CSXT 5102, CW44AH on Memphis, TN, to West Elk Mine, CO, Union Pacific train C MSWE 02/12 with 105 empties, crossed Denver Water Sanitation Canal - water reflection. UP's Moffat Tunnel Subdivision, Denver, CO, February 15, 2022. ©2022 Chip

Amtrak and an UP Freight


Rare hours and a meet on January 16, 2022. Number 5 was waiting at Rollins most of the day over a broken draw bar on the MGJNY at Winter Park tying up the main. After a long wait 5 was able to move up and on the way more than 6 hours late into the perfect afternoon light at Tolland adjacent to Boulder Park. The westbound counterpart to the stricken train the MNYGJ waits as well as it's engineer stands trackside as 5 blasts by at or above track speed. ©2022 Erik Lindgren

Just another Saturday Morning


On Saturday morning, an eastbound "Beer" train heads for Denver. ©2022 Walter Weart

A derailment on the BNSF

BNSF 7-car derailment (string lined) at the South Platte River bridge. BNSF’s Denver, CO, to Laurel, Montana, train H DENLAU1-11a, 9700 tone was at Denver, CO, February 12, 2022. Incident occurred about 6:00 AM as the 146-car train was tripling up at BNSF’s 31st Street Yard. ©2022 Chip BNSF derailed center beam cars looking southwest towards the South Platte River bridge February 12, 2022. BNSF train H DENLAU was going to have about 140 cars leaving the Mile High City that morning. ©2022-Chip

 

A crew change


Sunset Tuesday,  February 8, 2022, found Kyle RR crews were being swapped at Goodland, Kansas.  Train was headed towards Limon, Colorado.  Utah Railway 5006 and 5002, MK50-3, were up front on the westbound train.   ©2022 Chip

A Sugar train in Florida

Don Shank of Monte Vista, CO, sold 148, the 4-6-2 Pacific, to US Sugar several years ago.  US Sugar performed an extensive locomotive restoration.  She now operates through the cane fields over the South Central Florida Express trackage based at Clewiston, Florida, January 30, 2022.   © 2022 Chip US Sugar 148 was used for Kalmbach Media Trains Magazine excursion January 31, 2022.  The three car special operated on South Central Florida Express trackage.  Fisheating Creek trestle near Palmdale, Florida.  © 2022 Chip

Caboose's caboose is gone.

Dave Schaaf happened to be driving by the Caboose store in Lakewood, Colorado, today 27 Jan 2022. The retired Rio Grande waycar #01416 had just been hauled away to an unknown location. The sunny photo is from March of 2021.©2022 Dave Schaaf
 

6938 on display


Displayed (retired) Union Pacific 6938, DDA-40X Centennial, proudly sits outside the huge Jenks Shop maintenance facility at North Little Rock, Arkansas, along Pike Avenue January 24, 2022. The locomotive is impressive lite up at night. ©2022 Chip

 

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