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 us. Please contact News Page Webmaster Wally Weart.
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March 8, 2014
Some action from Maryland
Your webmaster was in Maryland and found out that the Maryland Midland (MMID), a G&W property, was running cement unit train powered by five locomotives from Union Bridge to the CSX interchange in Emery Grove. The MMID operates part of the old Western Maryland. All five units, GP-38-3's, were fresh out of the paint shop. Four are ex MMID locomotives repainted for G&W's Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad (CORP) and the middle unit is a MMID Heritage unit, painted to honor the MMID. The four locomotives will be replaced with ex UP SD40-2s.
|The train passes as stone company that receives unit stone trains from and on line quarry. © 2014 Wally Weart||All the units are in Run 8 as they pull upgrade into Emery Grove, MD © 2014 Wally Weart|
|The return trip brought cement empties and three lumber cars for two on line industries Note the shiny fuel tanks. © 2014 Wally Weart||The train literally blasts through the middle of Westminster, MD. The engineer really lays on the horn as cars don't seem to pay much attention to the train. © 2014 Wally Weart|
Some action on the GWR
train with two DMLX leased SD40s, a UP GE C44AC and a UP SD70
© 2014 Jerry Day
|and coming down the hill into Windsor. © 2014 Jerry Day|
|Two OmniTrax SD40s at Windsor. © 2014 Jerry Day||Two HLCX leased GP38s at Johnstown. © 2014 Jerry Day|
Some pictures from the first train in reopened
|Robert Brewster shared some of his pictures from the first train to arrive in reopened Union Station. © 2014 Robert Brewster|
A derailment delays Amtrak
|BNSF 688 derailed on new trackage at Denver Union Station trackage March 2, 2014. Amtrak train number 5 was delayed and held at BNSF's 31st St. Yard. Train 5 passed Union Pacific's North Yard about 10:30 AM Sunday morning. © 2014 Chip|
|Virginia City passenger car image was taken February 28, 2013 at location where the BNSF locomotive derailed. © 2014 CW|
Amtrak has moved back to Denver Union Station on February 28
After being temporarily relocated during construction at Denver Union Station, Amtrak will move back to Union Station on February 28, 2014. All Amtrak ticketing and passenger services will return to Denver Union Station after serving Denver passengers at a temporary location on 21st and Wewatta Streets since 2011 due to redevelopment of the historic building, new commuter rail station and underground bus concourse.
Renovation inside the historic Union Station building is not yet finished, so Amtrak passengers will access the waiting room, ticketing and baggage office by following signs to the trackside of the building at the south end (the south wing portion of the historic building). From there, passengers will follow signs to the newly constructed passenger platform, under the large white canopy, where they will load and unload. Access to the new Amtrak facility will be from the front of the building when construction is completed in July.
On the morning of Feb. 28, westbound Train 5 will be the last train to stop at the temporary station, and Amtrak will begin service at Denver Union Station with the evening departure of eastbound Train 6.
|Amtrak now occupies space near former Uncle Sam track was on west side of building. Amtrak using two floors. Locker rooms and crew room are downstairs along with the bathrooms. Upstairs (ground level) small waiting area next to permanent ticket office with baggage room down the hall (next to ticket office). Eventually, Great Hall (closed- still under construction) will offer passenger waiting accommodations March 1, 2014, Denver, Colorado. © 2014 Chip|
Some action shots from the Southwest
|BNSF coal train headed for Amarillo with two lead units and a DPU on the rear, photographed just south of Springfield, Colorado © 2014 Jerry day||and a few miles further along the line. © 2014 Jerry day|
|Passing an abandoned grain elevator at Campo, Colorado. © 2014 Jerry day||a GP9 serving as switcher for a grain storage company at Stratford, Texas. © 2014 Jerry day|
|near Boise City, Oklahoma. © 2014 Jerry day||East of
Amarillo with a ATSF faded Warbonnet in lead and CN helper. © 2014
An Amtrak shot
Just before dark on February 17, the eastbound California Zephyr makes its daily stop at Fraser, Colorado. © 2014 Dave Schaaf
A couple of very interesting pictures
|BNSF 4820 (2x1) on westbound Sterling, Colorado, to Joel, TX, loaded grain train February 24, 2014 at Tonville Siding, Lochbuie, CO. Rear distributed power unit (DPU) was BNSF 6522. ©2014 Chip||DPC Industries, LLC, (handle chlorine) had their number 32, a 45-ton General Electric built switcher named W R Alexander, out working east of Hudson, Colorado, February 24, 2014. Here is the history on this unit ;Built for Central Illinois Public Service, Hudsonville, IL (Odd the name is similar to current location.); To Loco Marketing Corp. (run by a fan Tom Lawson); to Chemex Corp Mobile, AL; to RESCAR Hudson,CO., finally to DPC Ind. Hudson, CO ©2014 Chip|
Unloading military vehicles
|In November 2003, the Stryker entered operational service with the US Army, with the first Stryker SBCT, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, following its deployment to Iraq. The second SBCT, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, was deployed to Iraq in September 2004. The third SBCT, the 172nd, deployed in July 2005. Strykers were offloaded from railcars at Fort Carson, Colorado, February 18, 2014. Stryker Brigade Combat Team is being established at the Mountain Post.|
Action around Ft. Collins
|NS C40-9W #9276 and BNSF C40-8W #895 accelerate the DenTac uphill approaching Harmony Road in Fort Collins. ©2014Kirk Borndorff|
|GWR 2506 moves east along County Road 20 E at 10 mph. ©2014Kirk Borndorff|
Some great local pictures
quick roster shot of both BNSF 5282 and NS 8102. Both are somewhat unique
(as of this date). While BNSF 5282 might not seem particularly special, it
is actually one of the few "New Image" (or "Swoosh")
C44-9Ws on BNSF's roster. They haven't repainted too many C44-9Ws yet in
the latest scheme. NS 8102, of course, is one of Norfolk Southern's
numerous heritage units. ©2014
||NS 8102 is the first of the 20 heritage units that Norfolk Southern released a few years ago. The unit came to Denver on a BNSF manifest as part of a power share. It was in town for less than 24 hours, departing south on President's Day. ©2014 Kevin Morgan|
it up a notch, UP's South Local heads south on Main 1 through Hogan's
Alley. The observation tower at Elitch's Amusement Park is clearly visible
in the distance. The local runs on Monday's and Friday's, switching
industries along the north end of the Joint Line. ©2014
||A pair of GP40-2s slowly backs down toward Cedar Creek on the branch at Military Junction. The grade here is actually quite steep (in railroad terms). The local backs down the branch about a half mile to Western Metals Recycling. Western Metals fills gondolas with scrap metal...hence all the (empty) gondolas seen in this shot. All-Coast Forest Products will also take delivery of a center beam or boxcar (or two) of lumber. Those were at the end of the local and out of the frame here. ©2014 Kevin Morgan|
A really rare and unusual visitor
BNSF 5282 with Pennsy Heritage unit , NS 8102 @ Palmer Lake - Monument, Colorado, about sunset 4:30 PM February 17, 2014. BNSF Denver, Colorado, to Amarillo, Texas, manifest .©2014 Chip
A military special
|Jerry Day spotted
this train on BNSF tracks with UP power at Broomfield with a very long
train of Stryker vehicles
along with artillery pieces and their towing trucks. I estimated about 100
vehicles in the train.
Legislation introduced to keep Southwest Chief on present route
Colorado, along with Kansas and New Mexico, could lose the Amtrak Southwest Chief if rail lines are not improved.. Amtrak is giving the states until 2015 to figure out how to fix the tracks; if it isnít fixed, it could either reroute or discontinue the ride.
Colorado Rep. Leroy Garcia has presented a bill to the state government that would set up a fund and a commission to manage the funds. It would collect money from any investors, including the state.
ďPart of the efforts of the Legislature is to do $4 million a year appropriation the next 10 years,Ē Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace said.
The money set up by the fund canít be spent on track maintenance until Amtrak approves a stop in Pueblo for the Chief.
Fixing the track would cost about $200 million and the cost will be split equally between Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Amtrak and the BNSF.
A visitor from Mexico
Ferromex (FXE) 872068 freshly painted (Autocom Freight Car Felipe Pescador) was being unloaded at Grand Worldwide Logistics, Corporation, 6795 Sandown Rd., Denver, CO, February 13, 2014. No graffiti compared to the other boxcars parked at this industry. Chip ©2014
Santa Fe 1024's steam engine has been relocated to a better location at La Junta, Colorado. Love the semaphores in the snow & icy frost coating February 10, 2014. (And no graffiti!) Chip ©2014
LNG Test locomotives in Colorado
|BNSF's liquid natural gas (LNG) test train with 9130 and 9131, SD70ACe, made it into Colorado February 10, 2014. BNSF parked the train with liquid natural gas (LNG) tank car BNSF 933501 at Caddoa Siding near John Martin Dam south of Hasty, Colorado. Location is 35 miles east of La Junta.Test set was headed for the Transportation Technology Center (TTC) near Avondale, Colorado, which is east of Pueblo. Both pictures Chip ©2014|
Military on the move
|The Army is
realigning its fighting force and assigning Stryker 8-wheeled vehicles to
the Mountain Post - Fort Carson, Colorado.
"This is a great day for 1st Brigade 4th Infantry Division," said Col. David Hodne as he surveyed a railyard packed with the new vehicles.
Hodne's brigade is trading M1 Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles for the lighter wheeled Strykers as part of a major overhaul of Fort Carson's units. As the post prepares to eliminate one of its four combat brigades, the remaining brigade's are growing and getting new missions.
The new Strykers - 336 are expected to arrive at the post in the coming weeks - will be used by 4,500 1st Brigade soldiers, which is adding an infantry battalion of about 700 soldiers as part of the transformation.
The changes will leave Fort Carson with a heavy armored brigade, a light infantry brigade and the Strykers, making the 4th Infantry Division one of the most flexible units in the Army.
While Strykers have been in the Army's inventory since the late 1990s, the ones that came to Colorado Springs February 7, 2014 are of a new design. The latest generation of the Stryker includes improved armor with a V-shaped hull that deflects landmine and bomb blasts.
The Strykers are a family of vehicles, which in different configurations can operate as ambulances, carry infantry squads or take out enemy tanks with a 105 mm cannon. (Colorado Springs Gazette contributed to this article)
Stryker 8-wheeled Army vehicle on flatcar moved via BNSF at Englewood, Colorado, February 6, 2014.
BNSF 5023 and 703 were stopped at Hogans Alley Denver, Colorado, with Army Stryker 8-wheeled vehicles February 6, 2014. Train ran south on the Joint Line to Fort Carson, Colorado, Strykers were off-loaded at Fort Carson's Railhead on February 7th. Both pictures Chip ©2014
An interesting picture
BNSF 3155, GP50, was one of six BNSF locomotives at Longmont, Colorado, February 4, 2014. Great Western had no locomotives assigned to the old Great Western Sugar mill east of town. Chip ©2014
The Rocky Local then and now
|Once upon a time,
the local was called the Rocky Local (DRGW and Espee days) and ran west
out of North Yard on Tuesday's and Thursday's. It would serve some
industries in Arvada, Mesa Oil on the Chem Spur west of Leyden, and Rocky
Flats. When Rocky Flats s hut down and was subsequently dismantled and
cleaned up, there was a spike in rail traffic. In 2005, the West Local
became a five day a week job and would take as many as fifty cars out to
Today, with the Rocky Flats cleanup project complete and Mesa Oil moving to a new location in Denver, the one or two industries in Arvada and a single industry on the Rocky Spur (TXI Aggregate) are all that remain for the local to serve. Now, the local runs only on Wednesdays. And, as you will see from these pictures, the three covered hoppers the local was hauling to TXI is a far cry from the fifty cars from almost a decade ago! ©2014 Kevin Morgan
|Your webmaster was
lucky to be able to photograph the Rocky Local of old, complete with
GP-30s. As Kevin mentioned and, as you can see, the Local was much
Walter Weart ©2014
A snowy day
Get out the snow shovels - more snow coming January 31, 2014. Union Pacific 1364 was on the La Salle, to Brighton, Colorado, train January 28, 2014. Yard expansion begins in 2014 at La Salle. ©2014 Chip
A picture from Ft. Collins
BNSF DENGRF/DENCHE passes GWR Fort Collins job, getting ready to head out to Budweiser in a snowy Ft. Collins ©2014 Alan Schenkel
Some northern Colorado pictures
|Union Pacific 5763 S. was on the North Platte, Nebraska, to North Yard, Denver train. ©2014 Chip||Union Pacific's 5123 & 4186 passed over Big Thompson River near Milliken, Colorado, January 28, 2014. Power ran light from Fort Collins, CO, to Milliken, CO. Covered hoppers (about 30) were picked up from the Great Western Railway. This is the La Salle to Fort Collins line. ©2014 Chip|
|Former Union Pacific La Salle train station now moved off Union Pacific property and used by Town of La Salle. ln the distance was UP 1364 on the La Salle to Brighton, Colorado, local January 28, 2014. ©2014 Chip|
Some unusual visitors
|Canadian National 5469 and CSX 818 were on westbound BNSF's Lincoln, Nebraska, to Provo, Utah, train at Arvada, Colorado, January 26, 2014. CN 5469, ex-Oakway 9038 SD60, is again working on former lessor rails - Burlington Northern Santa Fe. ©2014 Chip||Later, BNSF 4154 E. passed Union Pacific 6272 at Leyden Siding. The 6272 was held account winds over 60 MPH at Big Ten. ©2014 Chip|
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