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Thursday, June 14, 2012

12-06-14a PHOTOS: Colorado - Part 2

At BOND interlocking we leave the Glennwood Subdivision and enter the Moffat Tunnel subdivision which actually continues on via the single track to the right. That in turn will dead end in northern Colorado serving a number of different coal mines. BOND interlocking as well as some of the others in the area were re-signaled before UP adopted its signal replacement policy so hopefully these DRGW heads will survive for some years to come. Also due to the presence of multiple diverging routes into signaled territory and back to back interlockings on the Glenwood Sub the westbound masts are provided with three signal head.

Searchlight intermediate signals make their first appearance since Nevada and also note the use of concrete ties and the continued use of DEDs at almost every automatic signal.

Small target searchlights at the RADIUM siding with a log cabin in the background.

It looks like someone had been playing a pricing game with the numbers of these two UP AC4400's #'s 5976 and 5796 providing helper power on the Radium siding.

Up front is another SP painted AC4400 #6171.

With the loaded coal train being led by UP AC4400 #5725.

MoW crew waiting to regulate some ballast as they pull over into the Azure siding.

It's tunnel time at MP 110 as we begin to squeeze through one of the several narrow canyons en route to the Moffat tunnel.

Tunnels 36 and 37 as we enter the Gore Canyon.

Tunnel 35 in the Gore Canyon where everything gets a slide fence.

It's not a large river, but it certainly is enough.

Speed increases as we leave the Gore Canyon behind and enter the flat country around Troublesome, CO. Here we encounter some searchlight signals at the siding of the same name.

The high speed flat country doesn't last long as we prepare to enter the Byers Canyon with an even slower 25/20 mph speed restriction over the entire length. The slow speed did allow for this high detail shot of the searchlights at the MP 88 intermediate signal along with its attached stick type DED and well maintained slide fences.

The brand new wood and wire slide fences installed in the Byers Canyon probably don't look much different than those they replaced.

 Tall view of the canyon and the slide fences with a stand alone DED in the background. You wouldn't think it was possible, but the frequency of DED's actually increases here to between 2 and 3 per mile!

Things we real as we pass the 20/20 mph curve in Byers Canyon. 

UP AC4460 Convertible #7056 waiting with other power at the Sulfur siding. The AC4460's were built as AC6000's with a 4400hp engine with the intent of converting them to 6000hp, but the conversion was never carried out.

Another SP painted AC4400 #6257 is also in the consist along with UP AC4400's 5703 and 5833.

At what I believe is actually the rear of the train is another Southern pacific AC4400 #6281 providing some push.

It's time for a station stop this time in Granby, CO.

Not long now. On the up grade at milepost 72 approaching the Moffat Tunnel.

We pass through yet a third canyon, but it is nowhere near as extreme as the first two. There we score a trifecta with a tunnel, bridge and stand alone dragging equipment detector. 

Due to some MoW work we pull off the main track and onto the Tabernash siding which runs in a strange circuitous path before getting back to the main track.

MoW vehicles on the main track near the east end of the siding.

Much like the slightly longer Cascade tunnel, the Moffat tunnel requires about 15 minutes to blow out exhaust gases before another train can pass through in the eastbound direction. Due to a coal train running ahead of us we were looking at a bit of a delay heading through the tunnel so the crew made the decision to extend the length of the stop at Winter Park, CO to give folks an opportunity to have a smoke and stretch their legs while we waited instead of being stuck on the train outside the tunnel portal. We were only about an 45-60 minutes late at this point so it wasn't too much of a big deal and I was able to get this shot of the sleeping car #32053 with the Rocky Mountains in the background and the station platform next to it. 

This marks the end of this segment of the trip. Tune in next week as we cross the continental divide in what I consider to be a rather significant letdown compared to the crossing on the Empire Builder. Remember, if you liked the scenery you can find a lot more of it stashed right here.

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