What makes Alamosa even more attractive is the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad's newest addition to its line up, former LS&I steam engine #18. Because of their second steam engine, RGSR is able to advertise a daily steam train over La Veta Pass rather than just weekend steam service with a weekday diesel stand-in. The Rio Grande Scenic seems to be a railroad committed to making Colorado the steam capital of the western United States. It is a welcome thought to many railfans and photographers. The San Luis Valley trains are hidden gems that are finally getting the attention they deserve.
Visit the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad site (sound is enabled) or the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad site for more information.
Looks like a fun time! Just be careful. The Arkansas River is likely to be more of a challenge this year because of the high snowpack.
With the snow settled in, rather than being cleared routinely as it was in days gone by, the snow has the consistency of wet concrete or worse. Good luck, guys! Here's hoping opening day will be a full run of the line.
As a reminder, I am continuing to update the special events calendar on Google calendars. The original post continues to show the upcoming events automatically, so you might want to bookmark it and check back there often. In terms of events, I added the swap meet at Arapahoe County Fairgrounds next weekend and a "Big Boy" day at the Forney Transportation Mueuem, along with several other "just announced" events. If you have an event, or you see one that is missing, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org about it. I'll be glad to put it up if it meets the guidelines.
I have also added more links, such as an expanded model railroading listing. Check out the new sites and maybe even visit one.
Finally, check out the store I've set up with Amazon. I continue to hand-pick all the items that relate to Colorado railroading, not just railroading in general. I am accepting reviews of products as well.
The article also mentioned a symposium put on by the Colorado Railroad Museum on April 26th, featuring experts on passenger rail travel. Scheduled to appear are:
- Jim Bain: Rio Grande Ski Train: A Denver Tradition for Generations
- Steve Patterson and Joe McMillam: Santa Fe Chiefs
- Bill Kratville: Union Pacific Passenger Trains
- Peter Hansen: The Railroad Station: Gateway to the Passenger Experience
- Tom Janake: Colorado Railrcar/GrandLuxe Rail Journeys
- Bob Briggs: Rocky Mountain Rail Authority
- Cliff Black: Amtrak - Past, Current & Future
Scheduled also for the symposium is the PBS premier of America and the Passenger Train. This offers a unique opportunity for those interested in passenger rail as well as the general railfan to make sense of America's past and future with railroading.
The following day, the Colorado Railroad Museum will hold a reception on their grounds for the attendees of the symposium. The reception will celebrate the opening of their newest exhibit, America and the Passenger Train.
Here are the details fresh from the Colorado Railroad Museum. Cost for the two-day event is $25.00 and includes Saturday's presentations at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, a box lunch, and a preview/reception of the museum's new exhibit. Admission to the Colorado Railroad Museum for events on Sunday, April 27th, is also included for symposium attendees. The symposium begins at 8:30 AM on Saturday, April 26. The American Mountaineering Center is located in Golden at 10th Ave and Washington Street. For further details and to make reservations for the symposium, call the museum at (303) 279-4591. Reservations must be made by April 24th.
If, and this is a big if, Larkspur succeeds in building the underpass, the Rennaisance Festival will likely double in size and surrounding businesses should plan their expansions now. The main reason, however, is still the best reason: A grade separation will allow fire and ambulance services to reach victims much faster, anytime. Separation of the grades will improve response times, improving the chances of survival for those living west of the crossing.
The likelihood of the separating the grade will improve as state and county leaders climb onboard. Union Pacific and BNSF will likely get on board about the same time. The festival organizers have been pushing for it for years, last year suing BNSF over a train that blocked the crossing for nearly an hour and turned away many would-be attendees. The organizers later dropped the suit, but still contended that something needed to be done. Something like a grade separation.
Good hunting, Kevin!
The study will be to determine the alignment the rails would travel, how to best complete the bureaucratic red tape that would surround such a project, and how to put together a public-private partnership. That last goal confirms my observation about project management that every project needs one or two "gimme" objectives to be able to claim success. It appears that this project is coming closer to a definite reality.
Here's hoping that 2018 will see a passenger embark in New York and never stop riding the rails until they get to Chama, New Mexico. After that much traveling, though, all I'd be looking for would be a bed!
Dick Kindig passed away at 1:30PM. His health had slipped significantly in the past week. There are no current funeral or memorial plans
Kindig's work to preserve the memories and physical equipment of the Rio Grande Southern and the Denver & Rio Grande Western as well as other Colorado narrow gauge lines will live on in numerous collections, museums and libraries. His recent honors at the Colorado Railroad Museum were the caboose on a long and successful career.