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DRGW 3097 BITES THE DUST
Posted Sunday, July 31 2005 at 1735 h MDT
DRGW 3097, after spending a great deal of time at the former Burnham Shops for truck repairs and replacement, has been released. Unfortunately, while it has been placed back in service, it has also been patched. As of this morning, it's now UP 1352. Last I saw it, 3097 still had its nose light, but I have no idea if it retains it. - NDHolmes
UP HERITAGE PAINT SD70ACe
Posted Tuesday, July 26 2005 at 1427 h MDT
UP is reportedly going to be producing a few "Heritage" SD70ACe units, painted at the W&S shops in Horicon, WS. This shop is known for doing custom, one-off paint jobs for the UP, as they did the Olympic SD70M units 2001 and 2002. Speculation has been two-fold: One theory goes that there are four units, and they will be to honor the four major branches of the US Armed Forces; the other theory says that these are part of an initiative by UP to honor its heritage by painting a few new units into the legendary paint schemes of their predecessor roads. John Bromley, now Director of Historic Projects at UP, has given some obtuse hints on Trainorders that the second theory is correct, and that they are indeed legacy units. Current speculation is there will be MKT, WP, and MP as the first units done, and it looks like the MP and WP units may be unveiled soon. No word yet on DRGW or SP units, but at least there's hope now.
The first two, UP 8379 and UP 8383, are headed for Council Bluffs out of Proviso today, and are reportedly in a dark blue (8379, which is probably the MP unit) and dark green (8383, which will probably be the WP unit) paint scheme. The word is that they'll be introduced on Saturday, 30-Jul-2005, as part of UP's Heritage celebration.
By the way, congratulations to the aforementioned John Bromley on his promotion. Formerly of Director of Public Relations, John is also a Navy veteran, an accomplished railroad artist, and longtime friend of the railfan community, as well as being an enthusiast himself. I can't think of anyone who would be better suited for the Historic Projects role. Congratulations!
Update (1542h - 7/25): You want photos of the units? Well, look at this RailroadForums.com thread. Update #2 (2139h - 7/28): A voice from cyberspace tells me no DRGW or SP heritage units right away - too many of the real ones still running around. Maybe no DRGW unit ever. Also, the tarps are supposedly off the two in Omaha, and they really are MP and WP. - NDHolmes
DOUBLE-HEADED STEAM TO DENVER
Posted Tuesday, July 19 2005 at 1938 h MDT
It's not quite Rio Grande, but it's significant enough I thought I'd mention it. UP will be pulling the Frontier Days train to Cheyenne with not one, but both of their steamers. Yes, that's right, 844 returns to the mainline after several years of rebuilding. UP confirmed yesterday that both 3985 and 844 would be on the front of this year's trains. Full details can be found in the UP press release here. - NDHolmes
BNSF VS. THE BEER TRUCK
Posted Friday, July 8 2005 at 2133 h MDT
At 1515h today, a beer truck became hung up on the Royer Street crossing south of central Colorado Springs, and was still fouling the main when BNSF 8955 showed up southbound with a loaded coal train. The resulting impact was fairly low speed, but demolished the trailer, broke off the crossing signal, and left cases of beer strewn about. Fortunately, no one was injured, other than probably the driver's pride. About 1745h, they used the rear DPUs to pull the train back into the Colorado Springs yard. Nathan Zachman was nice enough to let me post a bunch of his photos of the collision. See Photos #1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. - NDHolmes
NEXT RAILFAN MEET
Posted Thursday, July 7 2005 at 0800 h MDT
Mike wanted me to let you all know that the next informal Colorado railfan meet is set for this for this weekend, Sunday, 10-Jul-2005. Apparently they're shooting for Plainview this time - see the top news story on his site here. - NDHolmes
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