Unlike road-bound vehicles, railcars typically rest on their axles, rather than bolt directly to them. This makes for quick access of a part that often requires replacement or repair. A minor derailment causing an axle to roll free is considerably rare. Locals took advantage of the photo op beside the large freight wheels that weigh 1 to 1.5 tons. It was a happy ending, despite the inconvenience, because no one was reported injured.
|An axle from the train rests against the gas station
where it came to a stop in Sedalia Feb 6th.
Photo: The Denver Channel/Pat Norwood
History of the Joint LineThe Joint Line was built when the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad built south from Denver toward Pueblo in 1871 and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway built north from NA Junction near Pueblo to Denver in 1876. After the Rio Grande converted the line to mixed gauge service, the lines could have been used in parallel, but until World War I, there was no joint operation agreement. As part of the United States Railroad Administration's management, the two lines were converted to directional running, right hand rule, with crossovers switched to allow northbound trains to use the eastern track and southbound trains to use the western track, no matter the railroad, Rio Grande or Santa Fe, owning the train. After the USRA returned the railroads to their owners, the Rio Grande and Santa Fe saw the cooperation as mutually beneficial and left the agreement in place.
Ft. Worth and Denver City, a third railroad roughly following the same alignment as Colorado 83, were taken up around the same time. South of Pueblo, C&S and the Rio Grande had a similar arrangement as the Santa Fe. As a result, C&S and later the Burlington and the Burlington Northern had a continuous presence along the Joint Line, with the 70s and 80s showing Rio Grande gold and black locomotives and Santa Fe bluebonnets and later warbonnets along with Chinese red Burlingtons and later BN green and blacks for a truly colorful microcosm of western railroads, save the UP until the late 90s.