Wednesday, April 28, 2010

UP 844 To Visit Milliken On June 26

The City of Milliken, Colorado is celebrating its centennial this year, and the town Historical Society has scheduled a train day on June 26, 2010, to celebrate. The Union Pacific's 4-8-4 steam locomotive #844 will make an appearance that day in town. The UP Steam site shows the schedule set for June 25th and 26th, probably taking the 25th to travel to Milliken and overnight there, and then using the 26th to perform and travel back.

Aside from a town brochure (PDF) and a calendar mentioning the date and the event, more specific details are not available at this time.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Postponed: 6th Avenue Light Rail Bridge Roll-out

Due to bad weather, the RTD FasTracks team has chosen to postpone the planned roll-out of the 6th Avenue Light Rail Bridge from this weekend until next weekend, weather permitting.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Palmer Lake Meets Set For May

For those near the Front Range, a small, semi-regular gathering of railfans reconvenes at their usual spot, a small parking lot in north Palmer Lake (see map). The meet is as egalitarian and informal as possible, with no meals or facilities provided. Someone usually brings a scanner that picks up what trains are in the area.

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UP Retires ex-Rio Grande Tunnel Motors To Dead Line At Burnham

It was bound to happen. With a continued lack of demand because of the recession, old locomotives that have seen their share of railroad miles are rounded up and sent via "funeral train" to a retirement storage, known as a "dead line." Intrepid photographer Kevin Morgan chased a funeral train on April 17, 2010. This time it seems to be a large
percentage of tunnel motors that had been marked for retirement, with 17 out of 21 (81%) being SD40T-2s. The train continued on to the dead line at Burnham.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fastracks West Corridor 6th Ave Bridge Roll Out Next Weekend

UPDATE 4/23/2010 5:00 PM: POSTPONED ONE WEEK. Due to weather, RTD has postponed the roll-out by one week.

The RTD FasTracks West Corridor team will roll out the main span of a double-track light rail bridge across 6th Avenue just east of Simms & Union the weekend of April 23rd through April 25th, 2010. All lanes of 6th Avenue between Simms & Union and Kipling Street will close at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, April 23rd to prepare the area for the roll-out, scheduled to begin early Saturday morning. 6th Avenue and the frontage road will re-open by 5:30 a.m. Monday, April 26th.

Mudhen 463 Still Under Restoration

It's been a while since we've checked on Engine 463. In fact, we've not seen much on 463 since the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad won the grant to begin work on restoration. Now, according to the Friends, we hear that restoration continues on D&RGW Locomotive 463, also known as Gene Autry's Mudhen. It is one of two surviving K-27 class locomotives originally 15 strong in the D&RGW roster, numbered 450 to 464.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Housekeeping: Minor Change to Feed Subscribers, Coming Plans

Colorado Railroads has been blogging since January 30, 2006. Since then, we've seen a lot of changes. We've seen the very last of Colorado's home grown railroad, the Rio Grande, vanish from the locomotive roster of the Union Pacific with the retirement of SD-40T-2 DRGW 5371 to UP's steam facilities in Cheyenne. This happened the year after UP We've covered Class 1 action, scenic lines, simple grade crossing incidents and major derailments. We've even seen the birth of a shortline's steam-powered tourist railroad.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Richard L Dorman, 1922 - 2010

Anyone who has spent much time studying the narrow gauge railroads of southern Colorado has likely come across library books by Richard L. Dorman. His books were often tied to the lines and cities and towns that were born of the railroads of the Rio Grande and the Rio Grande Southern. Dorman became enamored with the narrow gauge after a 1973 trip aboard the Denver & Rio Grande Western's fabled Silverton train. He began to collect photographs, especially of the Rio Grande Southern, only 20 years gone at the time. As a result, he met a lot of the RGS engineers and wives who had photograph collections.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

UP To Repair Curves, Replace Ties On Joint Line

Union Pacific announced that they would be replacing more than a mile of rail on curves on the Joint Line between near Castle Rock and Colorado Springs. The curves project should start at the end of July and end in mid-August. UP also said that they are replacing more than 15,000 railroad ties between Spruce and Monument and should complete the work by April 19th.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What It's Like To Volunteer

I just got done reading Boho in the 'Burbs: Train Yard Volunteering. See what it's like to volunteer at the Colorado Railroad Museum for a few hours. If anything, it's worth the look inside CB&Q business car 96. It's very cool to see a family get together and give a few hours together. It got me thinking too.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad Makes Some Changes for 2010 Season

The San Luis Valley has been a world unto itself for centuries. Cut off from the rest of Colorado by mountains on three sides, it has a rugged beauty and a feel that's different from the rest of the state. Once breached by the rails of the infant Denver & Rio Grande over Veta Pass on its way to Durango, the valley's riches were easily carried to Pueblo, Denver and beyond. Today, the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad based in Alamosa, Colorado functions as a short line feeding the Union Pacific connection at Walsenberg.

Friday, April 2, 2010

State Lawmakers Kick Coal When Its Down

Not only could this bill passed by our wonderful, Democratic state senate cut coal miners in our state, but also cost more railroad jobs when we're already in a massive recession. According to the Association of American Railroads, ton-mile volumes in 2009 dropped 15% compared to the same month 2008. Only 1938 and 1949 rival such a decline. "And that's compared to 2008, not exactly a stellar year itself," according to Roy Blanchard in Trains Magazine, (May 2010 pg 6). Further research with AAR reveals that nationally, February's coal carloads dropped 10% when compared with February last year.

Clearly, our lawmakers have an impeccable sense of timing.