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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April 20, 2014

An NS heritage locomotive visits Colorado

BNSF unit tank train had NS 8102 up front. Train was headed to Swan Ranch, Wyoming led by Norfolk Southern 8102 Pennsylvania heritage at Monument south of Palmer Lake, CO, April 19, 2014. ©2014 Chip

A RUM train

I was on my way back from Phoenix when I saw a BNSF welded rail train on the main in Arizona. While rail trains aren't unusual, the RUM equipment certainly is. Sorry about the picture quality, they're backlit. 4 pictures ©2014 Wally Weart

The Rail Unloading Machine (RUM)is designed to unload continuously welded rail from the railroad’s existing or HRSI provided Gen II Rail Train. The RUM can move from job site to job site on the highway with a crew of two, eliminating the need for costly and time consuming switching of maintenance-of-way equipment. Once the RUM arrives at the predetermined job site, the RUM sets on the track and couples to the rail train. The RUM can unload rail to both sides of the track. A 40 pocket rail train can be unloaded in four hours. The RUM can position up to 10 rails an hour and eliminates the need for extensive manpower while reducing the risk of injury. At the completion of the project, the RUM cuts away from the rail train and removes itself from the track. Within a few minutes, the RUM can be ready for highway travel to the next assignment. The RUM’s mobility allows for efficient and safe handling of continuously welded rail, while reducing the number of personnel needed to perform this labor intensive task. Click here for a video.

UP activity and lots of visitors in one train

Union Pacific 949 with 209 Howard Fogg support car came from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Denver April 15, 2014. Image at Sand Creek Junction, Commerce City, Colorado, crossing BNSF at 3:25 PM. 2 pictures ©2014 Chip
BNSF's Pasco, WA, to Kansas City, KS, train with KCS 4158, CSX 5335, KCS 4156, NS 9958, CSXT 708 and NS 8342 passed Colorado Springs, CO, April 15., 2014 at 11:15 AM. Coal load 6157 and a rail train were ahead of KCS 4158. ©2014 Chip

Now for some history

Jerry Day was searching thru his archives looking for a specific photo and, while looking at the images, noticed  that a number of the photos from Alamosa and Antonito were dated April 14, 1971. That means on Monday April 14, 2014, will be 43 years old which makes them historic. 

Dual gauge track still in place in Alamosa in April 1971. ©2014 Jerry Day Fred Vernon’s house at Antonito, Fred was last D&RGW agent in Antonito. ©2014 Jerry Day 
The Antonito depot and water tank. The water tank was moved to Lava Loop when the tank there was destroyed by fire. ©2014 Jerry Day An unusual water tank at LaJara between Alamosa and Antonito. ©2014 Jerry Day
The LaJara depot which was being used as the town hall at that time. ©2014 Jerry Day

Colorado railroading

Matching Union Pacific SD40N locomotives (1643, 1646 and 1584) were on the Sidney Local worked Julesburg, Colorado, April 7, 2014. UP 822 arrived shortly after Sidney Local departed to pick up cars for run back to Sterling, Colorado. ©2014 Chip
CEFX 3184 was on BNSF's Denver to Great Falls, Montana, train enroute to Casper, Wyoming, where unit will work for Casper Switching Service.   New oil refinery in Casper area. ©2014 Chip
CitiRail (CREX) 1346, ES44AC, with BNSF 928 and CEFX 3184 climbed out of Boulder, Colorado, April 7, 2014 on BNSF's Front Range Subdivision. ©2014 Chip  

A BNSF Officer train visits Denver

 Mike McBride shot these photos of the BNSF Business Cars that arrived in Denver on April 9. ©2014 Mike McBride
Business car train departed Denver early April 12, 2014 for Cheyenne, WY, layover. Train moved to new oil transfer operation at Fort Laramie, WY, on Monday, April 13, 2014.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief

The Southwest Chief is leaving Gallup, NM. I wonder what will happen to this train. Will the states kick in the dollars to keep it on it present route? ©2014 Walter Weart

Northern Colorado railroading

The trestle over the Little Thomson River near Colorado Road 46 ½ and between Walker and Bunyan. ©2014 Jerry Day
RFI unloading facility at Bunyan.  ©2014 Jerry Day Just south of Johnstown before the Colorado 17 road crossing.  ©2014 Jerry Day
Stored windmill blade cars on the Welty spur just outside of Johnstown.  ©2014 Jerry Day

A snowy day

BNSF 5907 parked at snowy BNSF Denver Locomotive Shop Denver, Colorado, April 3, 2014. The 10-car officer special had blue flag up as of 7:30 AM. Train arrived from Alliance, Texas, Wednesday, April 2nd. ©2014 Chip

Some D&S pictures

Jim Griffin recently visited the Durango & Silverton and was kind enough to share some of his pictures.

The train creeps around the reverse curves... ©2014 James Griffin   and now, most of the train is in view now. ©2014 James Griffin
Fire train parked at Rockwood. In addition to the usual water cars, this one has two open gondolas, presumably for transporting firefighters to a fire scene. Diesel No. 11 has the honors. ©2014 James Griffin Ballast train parked at Hermosa, with diesel HotShot1 for power, all four ballast cars, and caboose 0540. ©2014 James Griffin
The PV brings up the markers under the tank spout at Hermosa. ©2014 James Griffin Telephoto shot of the train as it crosses Hermosa creek on its way back to the barn... ©2014 James Griffin

A Denver landmark falls to the wrecker's ball

Gates Rubber Plant at South Denver, Colorado, was being demolished in 2014. March 27, 2014 found Denver RTD light rail train going north and Union Pacific rail train going south in foreground. 

The permits were to tear down four buildings at the old Gates Rubber plant on South Broadway near Interstate 25.The buildings — Units 10, 11, 13 and 41 at 999 S. Broadway — are all that remain of the high-profile, aging factory, which has most of its windows broken out.

In the early 1950s, Gates was Denver's largest employer, with 5,500 people working at its campus south of downtown. Manufacturing halted at the plant in 1991 and the company was sold to Tomkins plc, a London company, in 1996.

Note - they saved the water tank! ©2014 Chip

The Union Pacific and RTD

Union Pacific 6106 (SD60M) east passed Denver RTD East Rail Line construction near Holly St., Denver, CO, March 26, 2014 Denver East Rail line will open in 2016.  ©2014 Chip

Pictures from a traveling member

Larry Dilts toured the Texas Transportation Museum at San Antonio. They have several model railroads inside a large building as well as a couple of garden railroads outside. They have several railroad cars on static display and an operational train that runs on 1/3 mile of track.

This view is from the sidewalk looking west to the engine house and static display. The 2-8-0 is a Baldwin built in 1911 for the Moscow Camden & St. Augustine railroad in east Texas. ©2014 Larry Dilts


One of the active cars on the railroad is a bay window transfer caboose lettered for the Longhorn & Western Railroad. ©2014 Larry Dilts
The museum uses a Baldwin model RS-4-TC-A1 locomotive. It still carries its Army number 4035, but is lettered for the museum's Longhorn & Western Railroad. ©2014 Larry Dilts The former Santa Fe station at Brady, Texas is well preserved but private owned. The former Santa Fe tracks are still used by the Heart of Texas Railroad. March 20, 2014. ©2014 Larry Dilts
The former Fort Worth & Denver station in Abilene, Texas is vacant but well preserved. It is located near the Southern Switching Railroad's yards. March 23, ©2014 Larry Dilts The Hamlin, Texas depot is vacant and run down. This was on a former Santa Fe branch. March 24, 2014. ©2014 Larry Dilts
At Paducah, Texas, the former Quanah Acme and Pacific depot is now used as the local museum.  March 24, 2014.©2014 Larry Dilts
The abandoned Santa Fe Perryton, Texas depot was on the Shattuck subdivision. The branch was sold to the Southwestern Railroad until it was abandoned in 2006. March 24, 2014. ©2014 Larry Dilts
Perryton, Texas has a second Santa Fe depot, however the depot was moved in from Fargo, Texas. It is located at the Museum of the Plains on the north edge of Perryton. March 24, 2014. ©2014 Larry Dilts Rock Island steam crane 95020 is displayed on the east side of the former Rock Island depot in Liberal, Kansas. March 24, 2014. ©2014 Larry Dilts

Around Ft. Collins 

A CSX unit visits Johnstown on a GWR train.  ©2014 Alan Schenkel The GWR is switching Universal Lumber at Windsor. DLCX 3131 is an ex-CN SD40-2. ©2014 Alan Schenkel

Some local action

A trio of GP40-2s leads seven covered hoppers, loaded with aggregate, on the journey east toward Denver. After arriving in North Yard, the covered hoppers will be sorted in the yard and placed on the appropriate train (or trains) and sent to their destinations. ©2014 Kevin Morgan A "Catfish" leads an eastbound BNSF manifest out the east end of Leyden on a beautiful March afternoon. These C40-9Ws are referred to as "Catfish" because they are predominantly black and have white "whiskers" across their noses. An interesting feature of these Norfolk Southern units is that the ditch lights are only illuminated when the horn is activated (and then for a period of time thereafter). That happened to be the case here, as the train is approaching the 80th Avenue grade crossing.©2014 Kevin Morgan

A couple of NS locomotives visit Colorado

The DenTac with NS power crosses over the South Siding Switch North Yard near Ft. Collins. ©2014Kirk Borndorff

From a traveling club member

When Larry Dilts passed through Abilene, Texas on March 20, 2014, he found Southern Switching NW2s 1865 and 1866 spotted at the Southern Switching office. They serve customers on about 8 miles of track in Abilene.  © 2014 Larry Dilts
Southern Switching's office is located at 434 S. 2nd Street in Abilene. © 2014 Larry Dilts Larry was in Brady, Texas on March 20, 2014 and found the Heart of Texas Railroad 9525. The Gulf Colorado & San Saba Railroad went bankrupt and was acquired by the Heart of Texas Railroad effective January 29, 2013. Although still painted in the GC&SS paint scheme, it is actually a Heart of Texas unit. It is reported to have a GP9 prime mover, but housed in a GP38 car body. The fortunes of the railroad appear to be turning around in that fracking sand has become good business for the railroad. © 2014 Larry Dilts

On it's way for tests

Motive Power Industries of Boise, Idaho, had their HSP­ 46 tested at Transportation Technology Center east of Pueblo, Colorado, starting October 2013. MBTX 2003 will go to Massachusetts Bay Transportation when completed. Unit was on BNSF's Kansas City, Kansas, to Denver, Colorado train March 20, 2014 passed Palmer Lake, Colorado. BNSF interchanged MBTX 2003 to Union Pacific at Denver. © 2014 CHIP

RTD holds groundbreaking ceremony for North Metro Rail line

On March 20, RTD conducted a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction of the the North Metro Commuter rail line. Estimated opening date in mid 2018 and the line will use the same type of cars as the Gold and Airport lines. The north end of the line will be 124th & Claude Court on the east side of the UP Dent Branch. RTD paid $118 million for the line and the long range plan is for the line to extend to Highway 7. 

The sign proclaiming the start of this segment of the FastTracks project. © 2014 Wally Weart The route shown in orange and green is the North Metro Rail line. © 2014 Wally Weart
The Farmer Cooperative Elevator, once served by the UP is now a state and federal historic landmark so it will be part of the station complex. © 2014 Wally Weart Part of the ceremony was the removal of spikes on the siding which is located where the commuter rail line will be located. © 2014 Wally Weart
A pleasant surprise is this caboose which once was in Boulder and now belongs to Thornton. Plans call for its restoration and it will sit on the track in the foreground. Other cars may join this display. © 2014 Wally Weart

An Amtrak Heritage locomotive visits Denver

Gary Gable caught AMTK 184 on Amtrak 5 on Sunday March 16th, at the 66th Avenue crossing in Arvada. © 2014 Gary Gable

An unusual visitor

BNSF had CEFX 6009, SD60M ex-Soo, wyed for Denver to Laurel, MT, train March 13, 2014 at Denver, Colorado. Units coming off Caboose Track (BNSF 31st Street Yard) headed for track 6 at 2:20 PM, March 13th. © 2014 Chip

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 under a bridge on Emery Road. The stone company receives unit stone trains from an on line quarry. © 2014 Wally Weart All the units are in Run 8 as they pull upgrade past Reistertown Lumber Co.into Emery Grove, MD where the MMID interchanges with CSX © 2014 Wally Weart
The return trip approaches Glen Falls Road just outside of Emery Grove on the return to the  Union Mills yard. The train brought cement empties and three lumber cars for two on 
line industries. Note the shiny fuel tanks on the power and the signal foundation left 
over from Western Maryland days © 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

Copyright 2014 Rocky Mountain Railroad Club.

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