Thursday, February 12, 2009
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The loss of the trestle has effectively severed the line from Greeley to Windsor. OmniTrax is working with area clients to find alternative shipping until repairs are complete, currently estimated to be in late March or early April. Damages are estimated at $1 million. Anyone with information about the fire should call the Union Colony Fire Department at 970-350-9500.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The study concluded that while the project may cost between $1.0 and $1.5 Billion, the direct and indirect benefits would work out to between $2.4 and $16.3 Billion. The most likely scenario approximates the cost to be $1.2 Billion and the benefits to be $5.2 Billion, a benefits to cost ratio of 4.3 : 1. $3.8 Billion of those benefits would go to the public. While this isn't stellar, the jobs this project would create would have a positive impact on Colorado's economy, which is facing a major recession at best.
Union Pacific and BNSF, the state's competing Class I railroads, would partner with CDOT to build the new rail route, connecting Brush with Las Animas over 220 route miles. No official route has been announced. That will likely come after the RMRA issues its report on I-70 & I-25 high speed rail options.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Rails in the Rockies
This weekend, Estes Park will host Rails in the Rockies. Offered by the Estes Valley Model Railroaders, this show will run this Saturday (Valentines Day) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Conference Center at the Holiday Inn in Estes Park. Adults are $5 and kids under 12 are free with an adult admission. Visit the EVMR site for more information, including maps, floor plan, and photos from previous years.
Add Rails in the Rockies to your calendar:
The Great Train Expo
Next weekend, the Great Train Expo pulls into Denver at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St, Denver, CO. Saturday, February 21 and Sunday, February 22, the doors will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Admission for adults will be $7 and kids under 12 are free. This is a large event that pulls in exhibitors and hobby shops from several states around the Rocky Mountain region.
Add the Great Train Expo in Denver to your calendar:
Bring your wallets and your cameras to capture the magic of model railroading, where old railroads never die and new railroads and railroaders get their start.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Download a map (pdf) of the mine area and proposed rail route from redcliffmine.com.
Friday, January 30, 2009
My prayers are with his family. May God bring peace in this terrible time of heartache.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Now, with the ownership of Denver Union Station comes the rights of RTD to make changes. According to the Denver Business Journal, Amtrak has expressed its concerns to Congress and the private rail excursion companies have their own needs to look after as RTD plans the 4 year overhaul of the downtown terminal. What passenger rail traffic flows through Denver is directly related to RTD's plans.
If Amtrak does not get adequate space and placement at the station for the California Zephyr and the proposed Pioneer service from Denver to the Pacific Northwest, could Amtrak passengers possibly be greeted to Denver by an Amhut like the one in Provo, Utah, a featureless platform with a generic shelter that offers no ticket office hours, no Quik-Trak hours, no checked baggage hours, and no help with baggage?
As the DBJ article also points out, what of Denver's love story with the Rio Grande Ski Train? RTD feels a "social obligation" to it, but that's different than a contractual obligation. Where do the skis, poles, boots and people go if the platforms are spoken for by the local commuter train to Brighton? Putting more cars on I-70/US 40 to Winter Park is not an option.
There's also the future of high speed rail service along I-70 at least to Eagle-Vail and probably to Grand Junction and even Steamboat Springs and Craig. Skiers spending 8 hours--eight!--in a car for a day on the slopes is poisoning the future of ski tourism in Colorado. The Rocky Mountain Rail Authority continues to champion what remains a vital link to Colorado's future within the I-70 corridor. The RMRA is also exploring the possibility of regional service between Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Walsenberg, Raton and beyond, along with Ft. Collins, and Cheyenne, all along the Front Range. With the axes of both routes crossing in Denver, accounting for such an expansion is imperitive. Most notably, Denver Union Station must have a functional southern entry and egress for regional trains to access the I-25 route. The snake-like light rail shoe-horned onto Denver's street grid would never fit a train designed for intercity service, much less high speed rail.
Finally, space has always been available for private car excursions to park their plush, often historic passenger equipment for extended stays in Denver. If RTD hangs out the No Vacancy sign, how likely is the business and tourism that result from such extended stays?
RTD serves Denver, but the Regional Transporation District needs to be thinking regional on a much larger scale than just the capital city and its suburbs. Denver prospers so long as the region prospers. Building national and regional facilities to meet the growing demand benefits RTD's tax base and will keep Denver on track in the next 50 years.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
BNSF's Bonneville, WY to Galveston, TX molten sulfur train (the GBNVGAT) derailed about 24 hours ago. The train runs down BNSF's Front Range Subdivision and then down the Joint Line. The derailment occurred in the "Littleton Trench" around midnight. The trench was dug in the late 1980's so the town of Littleton would no longer have to deal with grade crossings. Denver's Light Rail also uses the trench for its tracks. ... The derailment damaged the retaining wall separating the lines. It disrupted the roadbed beneath the northbound track for Light Rail and even dumped some debris on the track. Not sure how long it'll take before Light Rail will re-open.Thanks to Kevin for the great pictures! AP couldn't do any better!
Friday, January 16, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Ronald Tallman, Executive Director of the Colorado Railroad Museum, made an appearance on Denver's 9News yesterday. He presented RGS Goose #7 and Goose #2 to early morning viewers and mentioned the Mother's Day Goosefest planned for May. Click above to play the video. Watch also for the dramatic helicopter shot showing Tallman by the restoration roundhouse on the museum grounds.