Monthly Archives: October 2011

Video – D&RGW Pile Driver OB

Finally got around to putting together a video last night that I took on October 11, 2009.


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Posted by on 10/30/2011 in RRAdventures, Videos


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2011: October Outing – Part 5

Well, it’s Day#5 its time to head home but this chapter of Railroad Adventures (RRAdventures) is not yet over..

We head east on US50 over to Cimarron and turn off onto Morrow Point Dam Road up to the D&RGW Display.  Now you might know what you expect me to find and photograph but I know something has changed and wanted to get a photograph of this difference.  What do you think?

Notice anything missing?

We continue down the highway to Gunnison  to see if we would have any luck finding the Depot here that we had little info on but no such luck.  More research needed to find out if it still exists and where it might be found at.

We will now move on to Crested Butte to find and locate the depot there that we did have detail information on its location.

We turn back to Gunnison for lunch and even though the Pioneer Museum is closed that does not mean I can’t take some photographs from the fence.  Sargents Depot is in there along with the Water Tank from Marshall Pass and oh yea lots of D&RGW railroad equipment.  Another trip here in the future to get better shots.

We now head for Sargents as the Water Tank is still there; it sits on Private property but the owner has a nice display in front with some history about the tank and a donation box to help keep it preserved.  Drop a few bucks as I sure would like to see it saved.

From here we head over Monarch Pass and catch a few shots of some old mines in the area

We will now head towards Howard to see if we get get shots of the Tunnel and old Rio Grande Bridge ( 38°27’57″N / 105°51’40″W).  Once we got shots of the Bridge we found we needed to take another route to get to the tunnel and there is not the time.  I will take a few shots of the West Portal from the highway but it’s not very good.

Our final stop before heading home is at Kenosha Pass where a Wye was at and there is a nice display and historical information there about the Denver, South Park, and Pacific that once operated here.  I took some video while walking the display track to help show it since it’s hard to see from the ground using still photography.  You can see a portion of it in this photograph from the parking away from the highway.

That’s it for this RRAdventures blog but if you know me there are lots and lots more still to come!


Posted by on 10/10/2011 in RRAdventures


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2011: October Outing – Part 4

Today we depart Cortez and head for Montrose for the night.  Our drive will take us through Mancos, Dolores, Rico, Lizard Head Pass, Trout Lake, Ophir, Telluride, Vance Jct., Placerville, Dallas Divide, and Ridgway.  Yes, we are following nearly the entire route of the Rio Grande Southern today taking lots of photos along the way.

Our first major stop of the day is an Mancos to locate and photograph the depot…

We will pass back through Dolores where we visited the Depot there along with Galloping Goose #5 but they are closed today which is why we rushed to get their yesterday.  So, onto Rico to find and photograph the Water Tank.

From there we head over Lizard Head pass (10,222 ft) and we are in luck to find Lizard Head Peak not completely covered in the clouds.

Note the Peak in the RGS Logo!!!

RGS Logo

From here we head down to Trout Lake to find the Water Tank on this side of the pass.

The road is on the actual RGS roadbed and it looks to be in good shape so we will head up the road a way to find the trestle…

As we head down the canyon we will find an overlook where we can photograph the RGS roadbed across the canyon from the highway near Ophir.  No time today to try to get to the Ophir Loop but you can spot the roadbed easy from here.

Turning off the highway, we head up to Telluride for lunch as well as find and photograph the depot here as well.

We once again head back to the highway and look for a turn-off that will get us the where Vance Jct. once existed and see if we can find the Coal Shoots as we have no other information on its location.  We had given up hoping finding it after driving up the dirt road awhile so we turned back to the highway and through the tress we spot it and record the GPS location and get a few shots from the road; too far to hike over to it today.

On to Placerville where we will find one ruin of the small trestles still to be found in the area.

Then, up to the Dallas Divide Summit (8,970 ft).  There was a large trestle near here that sadly was lost to time a few years ago.  The only thing left near here now is the old Stock Yard used in loading/unloading into the RGS Stock Cars.

We reach Ridgway and stopped at the museum where there is various pieces of RR history to enjoy including Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose #1 and #4.  Here is just a wide view of the area as I will save the close up shots for the full trip report.

With that we have reached the end of the RGS line and head towards Montrose.  We heard there was an antique store that has a few D&RGW Boxcars / Stock Cars so we keep a look out for it on the way towards town.  Yep, there they are, three of them including the Stock Car; all being used to hold other antique items in them as part of the store.

Once we get into Montrose itself we will also track down the D&RGW depot that is here as well.

Well, not a bad Ghostfanning version of Railfanning as we found everything we set out too given what time we had before heading on to the hotel and find someplace to eat dinner…


Posted by on 10/09/2011 in RRAdventures


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2011: October Outing – Part 3

Before leaving Grand Junction where we have spent the last two nights we head back to get some daylight shots of not only the Depots but other railroad structures I had not yet photographed before.  Thanks to directions from Ben the night before I got some great shots!

We leave Grand Junction and head towards Whitewater via US50, then turn south on 141 taking the Unaweep Tabeguache Byway.  We will take a short detour on Forest Access Divide Road up towards Uncompahgre Plateau ( 38°50’0″N / 108°34’41″W) for some great shots up and down the valley.

Once we reach the area near Gateway the geology turns RED ( 38°40’32″N / 108°58’39″W) which is how Colorado got its name (Color Red).  What a beautiful byway, a must drive if you are ever in this area!

We will also stop to get some great shots of the Hanging Flume ( 38°23’54.00″N / 108°48’34.00″W) which was an engineer marvel for its time.  I can’t imagine what it took to build this thing on the side of a cliff for as long as they did.

We will turn onto 145 near Naturita, CO and head towards Placerville, CO and turn up the pace to get to Dolores, CO to get to the depot before it closes and get shots of Rio Grande Southern Goose #5.

From there we head into Cortez for the night…

Note:  Highway 145 from Placerville to Dolores roughly follows a portion of the Rio Grande Southern.  More on this with Day #4 coming up next…


Posted by on 10/08/2011 in RRAdventures


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2011: October Outing – Part 2

We start our second day in a bit of a fog bank but as we head into the Colorado National Monument it starts to clear.

With clear skies we spend most of the day hiking and taking in the sights

We will take the Coke Ovens Trail to get a different vantage point away from most the other tourists also in the park.

Our big hike on the day is on the Devils Kitchen Trail where we will get into the opening in the upright boulders of the Kayenta Formation.

We will get back to our hotel in Grand Junction and grab a bite to eat.  Afterwards I will get a chance to meet a fellow Railfan (Ben) that up until then I have only know via internet forums.

Afterwards I will take a few night shots in and around the depots


Posted by on 10/07/2011 in RRAdventures


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2011: October Outing

We set out on a long weekend into the Colorado mountains hoping to make Grand Junction before any snow gets in the way of our plans.  We head over Berthoud Pass (11,307 ft) and down into Tabernash to see if there is any Railfanning opportunities.  No activity but a few cars are in the yard so time to take a few roster shots.

We will stay on US40 traveling through Granby and Hot Sulphur Springs, stopping before we reach Parshall at a nice overlook to see if there are any trains in the canyon.  Still nothing but empty tracks…

From here we travel on into Kremmling to locate and photograph the depot in its new relocated position.

We leave Kremmling heading south on Highway 9 and as we reach the bridge I spot a MOW Train and rush to catch a few shots.

We then turn onto Trough Road (Colorado Road 1) to get near Gore Canyon to once again look for any trains in the canyon.  At Inspiration Point we will spot a Hi-Rail Truck near Tunnel#38 so this might explain the lack of train traffic.  Oh well, at least take a few shots of the tunnel.

Once we reach Highway 131 we turn towards Bonds and McCoy turning off onto Colorado River Road to follow the tracks into the canyon.  We will miss a Union Pacific train passing our position going the opposite direction too quickly to get any photographs.  Still, will get a few shots of the bridges along the way towards Dotsero.

Before reaching Dotsero we will also catch Sweetwater Tunnel

Once at Dotsero we turn west onto I70 and when we reach Glenwood Springs we turn onto Highway 82 and head towards Carbondale to locate and photograph the depot there.

From here we head on into Grand Junction and call it a night as we are now seeing signs of snow on the windows and the light is fading fast…


Posted by on 10/06/2011 in RRAdventures


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