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Railfan Trip Reports > Moffat Railfan Meet Aug 19th 2007

Date: 08/19/07 20:45
Moffat Railfan Meet Aug 19th 2007
Author: Grande-Fan

Well Mike and Lee picked one great day to railfan the ex-Rio Grande Moffat Tunnel Route.

A friend and I headed north from the Springs to see what was shaking on this awesome section of Mountain Railroading.

First a stop was made in North Colorado Springs to shoot a BNSF freight train
with 3 ex-BN SD40-2's for power. The train sounded wonderful dropping down out of the Air Force Academy. In the train were two BNSF New Image painted coal cars, these are the first black painted cars I've seen, all the others have been Mineral Red.

We hit the road and headed to Denver and a stop was made at the ex-Rio Grande diesel shops.
In the dead line sat a tired SP SD40T-2 #8293. Along with the tunnel motor was a string of UP SD90MAC's. These have been mothballed after being renumbered.

Cruising up to the BNSF engine facility we found a wreck victim. BNSF 1532 was one of two locomotives that were hit by a string of run-away beer tank cars last summer. The other locomotive was not on site but it was striped all the way to the frame.

Heading up towards the Moffat we saw a few trains that we couldn't get to so we kept trucking to the tunnel. We did luck into an empty UP coal train at Pinecliffe so we got ahead of it and stopped near the bridge at Tolland to shoot it.
The lead motor was smoking very badly and it didn't let up as it passed us.

Continuing west we made it up to the East Portal of the Moffat and had to wait 30 or so minutes for the UP 7124 with a coal load to pop out of the Portal.
We followed this train to several spots, the rear DPU also was pointed the right way to get nice going away shots, to bad it was a repainted SP AC4400.

At Cliff we waited for the coal load to pass, once the train had passed a westbound
UP freight, guess the UP MNYPV North Yard to Provo,UT, we got a couple of shots of the train moving up the line towards Tolland.

Then the clouds showed up along with an eastbound BNSF 4398 on a freight so we made a u-turn and headed back to the bridge at Tolland to wait, really like shooting here!

Jumping back in the car we headed down to Rollins and the eastbound starting braking to stop for a meet.
Not long after they stopped BNSF 5455 west showed up.
While here we bumped into the first railfan, Alan, and talked about were to go next.

This allowed the BNSF 4398 to get a head start on us before we headed for Pinecliffe. After getting stuck behind a car going really slow we hit town right
as the gates started down. So we watched the train roll by and after it passed we crossed the tracks to meet up with Lee and Mike. We visited with them for a few minutes and started the trip back to Denver.

We got ahead of the BNSF 4398 again and stopped at the Blue Mountain Grade Crossing to get a couple shots of the train as it descended the steep grade from Tunnel One to the crossing.
That was the last of the railfanning on the tunnel district and we both needed to eat so we headed to Great Scott's for lunch.

After eating a stop was made at the BNSF yard to find the BNSF 1411 GP10 that showed up a week ago. This locomotive is one of the oldest on the BNSF roster having been built 56 years and 11 months ago and it is still working for the railroad.

Again it was a very nice day to railfan the Moffat, lots of trains and great light!
Can't wait to do it again.

Here is a link to the photo album.

Nathan Zachman
Colorado Springs, Co

Date: 08/19/07 22:29
Re: Moffat Railfan Meet Aug 19th 2007
Author: NH2006

Great pictures, glad I finally caught up with you all!

Date: 08/19/07 23:25
Re: Moffat Railfan Meet Aug 19th 2007
Author: DRGW

I totally forgot about it!
Doesn't sound like much of a "meet" if everyone was just running up and down the line, doing their own thing, but it sounds fun nonetheless. Are you going to try to do another next month?
Take care,

Date: 08/20/07 06:28
Re: Moffat Railfan Meet Aug 19th 2007
Author: Grande-Fan

It was nice to catch up with you NH2006, it is not like the Palmer Lake Meets were
there is a spot to park and wait for the trains to pass but we all found each other.

Can't wait to chase trains up there again!
Nathan Z.

Date: 08/20/07 11:14
Re: Moffat Railfan Meet Aug 19th 2007
Author: Winks

Nice slide show.

What is that silver thing over the tracks in front of the tunnel portal?

Date: 08/20/07 13:34
Re: Moffat Railfan Meet Aug 19th 2007
Author: Grande-Fan

Hello Jim,
Happy to hear you liked the shots.
Last year the UP placed these camera bridges near both portals to
record tresspassers that cross near the portal face.
Nathan Z.

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