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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October 31, 2014

Some action in Littleton

Union Pacific northbound train with tanks and armored personnel carriers was parked at Littleton, Colorado, on the Joint Line. Southbound Denver RTD light rail train passed October 30, 2014. ©2014 Chip
Trains were buzzing through Littleton, Colorado, October 30, 2014. In the foreground, Denver RTD southbound light rail train. Far left BNSF 783 war bonnet on Denver, Colorado, to Kansas City, KS, manifest. In the distance on Main 2 was a unit Army train from Fort Carson, CO. ©2014 Chip

A recreation of a 3 engine D&RGW freight train

Jerry Day rode a Jay Wimer photo freight charter on the Cumbres & Toltec and while the Rio Grande did not run trains over Cumbres Pass the way the CATS did, the pictures show what this one looked like and how authentic it was  The Rio Grande would have two engines on the front and one in the middle but because the photo freight was  stopping to let the riders get off to take photos, it would have been too hard for the crews. This would have required the train back up and then come forward for photos and as the grade on this line is very steep, it is hard to back up and then restart a long freight train like this one. From the top of the pass to Osier only one engine was required as it is downgrade but on this run for the return they had one engine on the front and one in the middle. The last Rio Grande train ran on this line in 1968. More details on Jay's 2015 trips.

The charter train with three engines does a photo runby for the railfans past the Chama coal tipple early in the morning. October 25, 2015 © Jerry B. Day The Jay Wimer Chama Steam charter charges out of Chama, New Mexico with K-27 number 463 and K-36s number 489 and 487. All three locomotives were lettered with D&RGW 1930s Royal Gorge-Moffat Tunnel heralds and lettering. October 25, 2015 © Jerry B. Day
The 20 car simulated D&RGW freight with K-27 463 in the lead and K-36 487 as mid-train helper round a curve between Osier and Cumbres Pass. October 25, 2015 © Jerry B. Day Mid-train helper K-36 number 487 takes water at the Los Pinos water tank on the return run from Osier. October 25, 2015 © Jerry B. Day
The simulated D&RGW freight train passes the Cresco water tank near the Colorado-New Mexico line. October 25, 2014 © Jerry B. Day
The photo freight train with six stock cars, two box cars, three UTLX tank cars, a five
 car pipe consist, a gondola for riders, a snack car, and two cabooses charges up 
Cumbres Pass with three engines just past the Lobato trestle. October 25, 2014
 © Jerry B. Day
K-27 number 463 leads the train across Cascade Trestle with K-36 pushing as mid-train helper. October 25, 2015 © Jerry B. Day With K-36 number 487 as mid-train helper, the photo freight train charter crosses 137 foot high Cascade Trestle. October 25, 2015 © Jerry B. Day

A loaded oil train passes through Denver

BNSF 4726 S. with Canadian National 2304 handled unit oil train out of Denver down the Joint Line October 28, 2014. The loaded oil train originated near Casper, Wyoming, and went south to Port Arthur, Texas. .At left, Denver Regional Transportation Districts' light rail station at Littleton, Colorado.  ©2014 Chip

Some interesting pictures

On the northbound track, A UP coal train, with MBKX hoppers, was passing through Pinon, Colorado, October 23, 2014. UP 5743 and 6031 were the lead power while UP 7059 and (SP) 319 were the distributed power units on the rear. ©2014 Larry Dilts
The VST is still poised to remove the rails between Arlington and Sugar City, Colorado. On October 23, 2014, the scrappers train was parked at Heath Siding east of Sugar City. Earlier, there were two sets of continuous welded rail cars, however, one set has been removed. Who knows how long the law suit will keep things tied up. ©2014 Larry Dilts

Foreign power in Colorado

Union Pacific ran this empty military train SFRFC-22 (Special-Ft. Riley-Ft. Carson) across the KP line with this interesting consist. KCS 4782, CSXT 8520, and UP 7013, 6588, 4438 are seen here pulling the grade out of Watkins on Oct. 24th.  ©2014 SP8595

Some action around Colorado Springs

Two brand new ACes running elephant-style. Too bad a cloud showed up the same time the train did...and too bad this was the only train I saw all morning. ©2014 Chris Paulhamus  BNSF 8470 Newness Colorado Springs 19 Oct looks so good! A pair of newer ACes leads a coal train south in Colorado Springs. Not sure where BNSF 8471 is. ©2014 Chris Paulhamus


BNSF 4147 leads a southbound manifest through Colorado Springs on a gorgeous fall morning. ©2014 Chris Paulhamus Brandt Road Rail Colorado Springs 20 Oct  File this one away under "Unexpected". After shooting an ACe-led coal train south of the Academy siding, a flurry of MoW activity started to take place including the Brandt Peterbilt-led work "train". Not sure how far south it went, but it looked like the UP crews had a window for a couple of hours to replace some ribbon rail.

The truck had UP stickers on it and the license plate is from Nebraska...pretty neat to be surprised like this! ©2014 Chris Paulhamus

SP 4742 Colorado Springs 20 Oct 14  Here was a surprise on the end of the surprise Brandt Peterbilt-led work train: an unpatched Southern Pacific caboose! Granted, it looks a little worse for wear with all the tags, but the thought of ever catching a SP caboose has never crossed my mind!

Unfortunately, I didn't know this thing was coming and I was caught unawares with the wrong lens on the camera. As such, I had to make due with what I had...better this shot than none at all! ©2014 Chris Paulhamus 

here's a shot of UP 1989 in downtown Colorado Springs positioned nicely near the old DRGW shoving platform used on the UP Colorado Springs local. Unfortunately, UP 1989 was broken and had to be set out, but it made for a nice photo opportunity of "what could have been" had the DRGW not died.©2014 Chris Paulhamus

Visitors and a Blade train

A pair of KCS 'Belles', KCSM 4728 and KCS 4044 head North at Castle Rock with empty coal train E DOLRWM8 52 on Oct. 17th. ©2014 SP8595 Rolling South past the Fall colors at Acequia on Main #1, KCS 4684 and 4616 are leading loaded coal train C BTMSPS1 01 on Oct. 19th. ©2014 SP8595
Heading East on the KP line out of Denver, Union Pacific's SMKESW-20 (Special-Miliiken, CO-E. St. Louis-Wind) rolls through a sag West of Bennett on Oct. 21st. ©2014 SP8595

Mountains and Fall colors

BNSF 4357 & UP 9107, C40-8W, passed Pikes Peak south of Colorado Springs, CO, October 21, 2014. The BNSF B DENCHI4 20L was moving empty intermodal equipment from Denver, CO, to Chicago, Illinois. ©2014 Chip

50 years old and still working!

This pair of GP39Ms were both built in 1964 as Southern Pacific GP-35s 7481 (now 2879) and 7439 (now 2889). Fifty years later they are still going strong as seen in the photo taken in Kent, Washington on October 16th. They are leading more than forty cars of mixed freight south on the mainline toward Auburn. ©2014 Dave Goss

An veteran on its way to Hill Air Force base

The Railpower GG20B, Generation IV GenSets - 2 units (USAX 6003-had worked at Fort McCoy, near Sparta, WI and 6004-worked at Fort Bliss, TX) were moved from Army posts to the Defense Generator & Rail Branch, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The former USAX 6004 had been gutted and body placed on at flatcar - September 30, 2014. 2,000 hp rated hybrid locomotive, engines: 1 small genset plus battery bank, on 4 axle GP-type frame. 3rd generation version of GG20B, upgraded to 4th generation specs by Railpower. USAX 6003 cut up at Hill AFB, UT. ©2014 Chip

A new RTD station under construction

Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) East Rail Line 38th St. and Blake Station was taking shape October 14, 2014. The station is next to Union Pacific's 36th Street Yard. ©2014 Chip

PVs at Denver Union Station

Mike McBride stopped by DUS on October 14 and found two California Zephyr Railcar Charter cars on track 5.Originally built for the Pennsylvania RR, the California Zephyr Sleeper "Silver Rapids" had a new name on the side “Silver Smith.” The word “Smith” was pasted over “Rapids”, so this might be a temporary name. ©2014 Michael McBride The Silver Solarium (California Zephyr CB&Q) had its rear marker lit up  ©2014 Michael McBride

Abandoned Railroad artifacts

The Bala Limestone bridge near the ghost town of Bala KS. This is northwest of Manhattan. The CRI&P line ran thru here, the bridge is on private property with public access. Consideration for the landowners is a must. ©2014 Scott Bollinger The abandoned grade of the Leavenworth, Kansas & Western narrow gauge line near Lasita Ks. The LK & W built west from Leavenworth with aspirations to reach Denver. It only built as far west as Miltonvale KS. It wound around all over, had little online traffic & never made any real money. It was a poor stepchild to the standard gauge lines in the state. Abandonment in the 1930”s was predictable. ©2014 Scott Bollinger
The grain elevator located on the LK & W at Lasita KS, another ghost town. This is NE of Clay Center KS. ©2014 Scott Bollinger The Burlington & Missouri River RR bridge also NE of Concordia KS. This and the below bridge are within ˝ mile of each other. Both are accessible. The Burlington bridge is accessible from the county road on the east end of the bridge. Both were built prior to 1900 over the Republican River.

Concordia was a major RR hub with at least 4 different railroads, including the aforementioned Burlington &Missouri Pacific, AT&SF. ©2014 Scott Bollinger

The old UP Pegram Truss bridge NE of Concordia KS, it is now a county road. ©2014 Scott Bollinger

This is what little track is left of the old Missouri Pacific line at Blue Rapids KS. It is now about 12 miles used by the Central Branch for speeder cars & tourism in Marshall County. The original location of the MoPac here was relocated between Frankfort & Blue Rapids in 1960 due to construction of Tuttle Creek Reservoir on the Big Blue river just above Manhattan KS.

The line relocation resulted in the towns of Barrett, Bigelow & Irving all becoming ghost towns since they were in the flood plain of the lake if it went to full pool, which happened in 1993. Now the relocated line is abandoned also after the UP-MP merger in 1982, with rails removed in 2000. ©2014 Scott Bollinger

Some action on the CATS

K36 489 Waits in Antonito to pull a train to Chama Sept 3rd 2014.  ©2014 Dennis Haefele K36 487 Waiting for passengers to finish lunch at Osier to continue from Chama to Antonito Sept 3rd 2014. ©2014 Dennis Haefele
Our train waiting at Osier, picture shot through the cattle chutes   Sept 3rd  2014. ©2014 Dennis Haefele Mudhen 463 sits cold in Chama awaiting her next call to duty Sept 3rd 2014. ©2014 Dennis Haefele
Rotary OY in the Chama engine house under going evaluation with 489, no one would say but maybe we will see OY working one would say Sept 3rd 2014. ©2014 Dennis Haefele K-36 484 in Chama waiting to pull our train up the 4% grade Sept 4th 2014. ©2014 Dennis Haefele

A Warbonnet in Wyoming

BNSF 246, SD75, departed Greybull, Wyoming, October 5, 2014 along the Big Horn River. Train was headed for Denver, Colorado. ©2014 Chip

Some pictures from Portugal

In Porto, Portugal, this sleek tram runs on standard gauge (4’ 8 ˝”) as does the few vintage trolleys on other routes in the city.   ©2014 Dave Goss The commuter lines in Lisbon operate on broad gauge (or Iberian gauge) of 5’ 5 21/32” or 1668mm. Many of these lines were converted in the 1950s from standard gauge to Iberian broad gauge to be compatible with equipment from Spain. ©2014 Dave Goss
This vintage trolley in Porto is advertising Jameson Scotch, a popular drink in Europe. A sister (Tram 185) operates in San Francisco as part of their heritage fleet. ©2014  Dave Goss Only four of the historic street tram lines are still operating in Lisbon, Portugal. Many of these cars were manufactured by J.G Brill. The gauge in Lisbon is 2’ 11 7/16 (900mm) gauge.  ©2014 Dave Goss

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