Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Hits 40, Offers Discounts

This Memorial Day weekend typically signals the opening day for a lot of tourist and scenic railroads. The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad has been settling in for a week already and has a number of events scheduled for this year. Along with the kids' Cinder Bear Express and the Wild West Trains, the C&TS is also planning celebrations of its 40th Anniversary of operations between their main facilities in Chama, New Mexico and their station at Antonito, Colorado. It looks like they are ready for this summer!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Coal Creek Canyon Bridge Knocked Out Of Service A Second Time

If you've ever had the feeling you were on a streak of bad luck, you and the bridge over Colorado Highway 72 at Coal Creek Canyon might have something in common. Last December, a significant derailment dropped hopper cars like toys all over the bridge and both approaches, closing the highway. Monday, May 17th, was a bit different, but it had a similar impact, with delayed motorists, re-routed freight and a Cal-Z sent through Wyoming.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Video: D&SNG Between the Rails At Hermosa

The D&SNG is the only narrow gauge railroad that, like the UP 844, has never ceased operations. It's squat, black engines and strings of Grande Gold coaches have been delighting railfans for more than half a century.

The video below, set from a unique angle, is from Hermosa, Colorado. No analog quality here! A train running over you (or your camera) at a good 25 or 30 miles an hour is impressive, and with digital quality and a widescreen format, it's quite an amazing vantage point between the rails!

Video: C&TS Photo Freight

While every summer, the tourist railroads haul thousands of visitors, this is different from their original purpose of hauling goods, passengers, supplies, ore, pipe and even oil. For the railfan born too late, there is nothing more true to that expeience than watching a photo freight, a train constructed by the railroad explicitly for the benefit of photographing it.

MBTA Sues Denver Based Tie Manufacturer

Boston, Massachusetts' MBTA is suing Denver-based Rocla Concrete Tie Inc. for an estimated $91 Million tie replacement project after the previous ties sold to them as 50 year ties with a 15 year warranty apparently now lie crumbling beneath the MBTAs Old Colony line, which leaves Boston's city center and follows a SE direction to Plymouth.

William M. Moedinger 1913 - 2010

Noted Colorado narrow gauge enthusiast and author William M. Moedinger passed away April 24, 2010. He is the author of The Road To Paradise: The Story of The Rebirth of the Strasburg Rail Road. as well as a fan of anything that ran on rails. He was the recipient of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society's 2003 Railroad History Award in photography.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rock Slide Causes Amtrak Service Disruption

Here's the answer to a question I know that everyone was anxious to know. The question is "Is it really possible to drive a P42 engine backward?

The answer is, if you have a conductor to spot you, sure!

Amtrak P42 #67 pulls the California Zephyr consist while running backward through Arvada, Colorado, on May 15, 2010.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cab And Trailer Utility Truck Split Decision At Ft Lupton

On April 13th, a construction worker at the Ft. Lupton Vestas plant drove his utility truck into the path of an oncoming Union Pacific container train. Jose Lucio was making a turn on an unfamiliar crossing and did not completely clear the grade crossing before the rear of his truck was caught by the lead unit. The train was traveling 50 MPH, but took only 1,000 feet beyond the crossing to come to a complete stop. John Carr of the Ft. Lupton Press covered the accident and the construction company's personnel cleaning up the resulting destruction of the truck.

John Carr, Ft Lupton Press

Sunday, May 2, 2010

6th Avenue Bridge Rollout Completed Early

6th Avenue light rail bridge rolls into place. 9News photo
The 6th Avenue Bridge Rollout has finished early. Originally scheduled for 30 hours, work was completed in 14 hours, less than half the time expected. As a result, traffic resumed it's normal flow today instead of tomorrow. Denver's has photos of the rollout as well as video coverage.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ft. Carson Plans To Expand Rail Capacity Starting This Fall

The United States Army Corps of Engineers is planning an expansion of the Ft. Carson rail yard. Ft. Carson is a large army post southwest of Colorado Springs. In the 1940s, Camp Carson--named for explorer and soldier Gen. Kit Carson--was started to raise Army troops for combat in World War II. Around the time nearby Camp Hale near Leadville was closed, Camp Carson became Ft. Carson.