Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
UPDATE 9/23: No such luck, but there's a rumor about it being available for a fall color special or two.
I still might post a few. I'll have to recover my ego first. In the meantime, I'm offering an editorial, although it will likely just add to the consensus of the railfan community at large.
I was reminded yesterday that mainline steam tends to bring out the very worst of railfans. I will spend little time citing what's wrong, but it's still worth noting that:
- Slowing traffic to a crawl on a major Interstate highway just so they can pace a train that is still 100 to 200 feet away from them causes active and thorough resentment from not only the general public, but other railfans trying to get to the next photo location
- Walking in front of the photo line to get their own shot reveals just how unprofessional and ridiculous some railfans can be, especially when the same person shows up in shot after shot after shot. His wearing a pale yellow T-shirt makes it all the worse
While it's not unique to railfanning the events, there is a great opportunity for connecting with others. Among railfans, you can easily spot loyalties and what sub-category of railfan they find themselves in. There's the big steam fan, the narrow gauger, the local historian, the obscure short-line fan, the camera geek and the dabbler, to name a few. One usually finds a mixture of two or three interests in a single railfan, but there is usually a chief love, proudly proclaimed somewhere about the person on their shirt, cap or jacket, making it easy to spot each other. Striking up conversation about such a love is easy and opens up roads to long and true friendships.
Speaking of great loves, I was gratified at the UP's surprising good taste in letting the Rio Grande Heritage unit, UP 1989, assist the 844 over the Palmer Divide. It's always a beautiful sight to the eyes to see the flying Grande in gold and black on home rails, especially the joint line. It was 136 years ago, before Colorado was even a state in the Union, that the Rio Grande's founder directed the Grande to build south from Denver. When so many "& Pacific" railroads were going east-west, Palmer was the true entrepreneur, defying convention and running north-south to tap the riches of the Colorado piedmont on the way to Mexico City. That he never made it past Raton is dwarfed by the fact that his work still survives today.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
*Rummaging around desk*
Ah, here's one item you might not have heard yet, but it was predictable. The Georgetown Loop Railroad has closed its doors. The banner at the top of its site says quite plainly, "No trains until further notice." Heedless, the Denver Post includes it as a "one-tank trip" in its August 11th issue. The blame can be thrown everywhere you want, but I think I could speak for the businesses of Clear Creek county when I say, with some sadness, that things were better before with the previous operator.
Who should fix this mess? It's my opinion that it should certainly not be the same people who created it. They've had plenty of time to salvage the situation. No one wanted this situation, including those responsible, and they should do the right thing and step aside as legally and quickly as possible. Some things just don't work well together, and now the jewel of Clear Creek is sits shuttered.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Meanwhile, I've received a tip that the management of the loop has not been particularly spotless and that the blame placed on the Colorado Historical Society is not fully justified. Obviously, neither entity is willing to speak their corporate mind, being that they hope things resolve internally. One only wonders what will happen at the end of the five year term of the contract.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Georgetown - A mechanical problem has sidetracked the Georgetown Loop's only working steam engine, postponing the train's summer opening and leaving the town without its signature tourist attraction for this weekend's Railroad Days festival.
Ongoing repairs to the axle broken on the antique engine, No. 12, in August means the unique corkscrewing narrow-gauge line won't start running until June 15.
The delayed opening gives fodder once again to critics of the Colorado Historical Society, which three years ago dropped its relationship with the train's former operators after 30 years and awarded a contract to New York-based Railstar Corp., which has been beset by operating problems and diminished passenger loads.
Like I said, hopefully the test goes well today or tomorrow.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Thursday, June 7, 2007
The newly painted GE diesel on hand to help out. The color choice is not pure Grande, but the logo sure is and it's a welcome sight in this Rio Grande town.
Alamosa's newest celebrity arriving at Alamosa's depot for the opening ceremony. Could restoring the depot be on the agenda, given the new railroad business the SLRG has brought?
The rest of the photos are at DRGW.net. Take a look!
Other shots of the San Luis & Rio Grande.
Notice the following elements:
- The eye immediately goes to the early light catching the locomotives
- The skyline is immersed in early morning haze, but the buildings are still visible
- The curve squeezes as much train as possible into the frame
- The late spring foilage lends a great deal of rich texture to the scene
The shot is practically begging Amtrak for space in it's 2008-9 route guide. If I were their editor, I would take it and put text bleeding into the right side of the frame to cover up the quonset huts, but Kevin's angle makes that an option, not a necessity. His work should be seen a lot more. He's got the talent to make it in Trains on a regular basis. Why I don't see more of him in the by-lines in that mag has got to be because he's not letting them see his work.
Keep up the good work, Kevin!