DRGW History and Information  

  Trip Report: Steam on La Veta - Chapter 1
  1744's First Revenue Run
Eastbound from Alamosa to La Veta on 26-May-2007
  From: Steam on La Veta Dates: 26 May 2007 Author: Nathan Holmes


Photo 1
The new steamer has gotten most of the attention for the last two months, but the SLRG has also acquired a newly painted GE B39-8E, SLRG 8577. Here it is on Friday night, apparently being readied for the run over the hill with 8524.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3504x2336

Photo 2
Early Saturday morning, the crew readies 1744 for its first revenue run over to La Veta. The pressure's up, so they're just attending the smaller things - marker lamps, oiling the journal boxes, etc.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3504x2336
  Report Chapters  
   1 - 1744's First Revenue Run
   2 - The Return Trip
  Site Navigation  
   Back to Trip Reports Index
   Back to DRGW.Net

Photo 3
Like I said, hanging the marker lights...
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2336x3504

Photo 4
About 0800h, the crew pulled 1744 up to the Alamosa depot for the opening ceremony
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3504x2336

Photo 5
Part of Saturday morning's ceremony was the usual ribbon-cutting photo-op. That's Ed Ellis and his wife, Peggy, on the right holding the ceremonial scissors. As you might guess, no ribbons were harmed in the making of this shot. (Unfortunately, I lost my notes on the names and titles of everyone else seen here somewhere between Alamosa and Iowa... )
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3504x2336

Photo 6
After the ribbon cutting, there were a few words from local dignitaries. First up was Farris Bervig, Mayor of Alamosa (seen here at the mic), followed shortly by Darius Allen, Alamosa County Commissioner (in the black hat, far right), and Ed Ellis (between the other two, in the dark blue coat), president of Iowa Pacific Holdings and the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2336x3504

Photo 7
1744 was taken back across the road to connect with the day's four cars - the concessions car, two coaches, and the new parlor car.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 2160x1440

Photo 8
Just past the east end of the Alamosa yard, 1744 picks up speed heading east
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3504x2336

Photo 9
I was waiting at the east end of Blanca when they called over the radio that they'd be stopping at the west end for a quick inspection.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3504x2336

Photo 10
No problems found and back under way eastbound on the west side of Blanca. While 1744 will run on heavier oil eventually (recycled stuff, I'm told), the supply isn't in place yet. Today she's an honorary diesel, burning good ol' #2 diesel fuel.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3504x2336

Photo 11
Through Fort Garland, the line starts out of the desert scrub of the eastern San Luis Valley up towards La Veta Pass. The grade doesn't change much - the line has been climbing since Alamosa. The real climb (1.5-2.5%) starts about 13 miles east of here, at Russell.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3504x2336

Photo 12
Between Ft. Garland and Russell (where the railway and US Hwy 160 diverge to cross the mountains) is this shot from the highway, looking back at the railway curving along the southern banks of Sangre de Cristo Creek.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3504x2336

Photo 13
Standing on the banks of Wagon Creek, looking up on 1744 and passengers headed towards Sierra
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3504x2336

Photo 14
Dropping downgrade between Occidental and La Veta, with Mount Mestas in the background.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3504x2336

Photo 15
Arriving at La Veta - notice the beautiful new asphalt passenger loading area. This parking lot can get a little muddy in the rain, so this is a great improvement.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3504x2336

Photo 16
A wider shot, showing 1744 and the old La Veta depot
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3504x2336

Photo 17
I went off to lunch, and while I was gone, they wyed 1744. This is just a low-angle shot I rather liked.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2336x3504
[<< Previous]   Chapter 1   [Next >>]
Creative Commons License This work is copyright 2007 by Nathan D. Holmes (maverick@drgw.net), but licensed under a Creative Commons License. This allows and encourages others to copy, modify, use, and distribute my work for non-commercial purposes (only), without the hassle of asking me for explicit permission or fear of copyright violation. I encourage others to consider CC or other Open Content-style licensing of their original works.

All photographs in this trip report were taken with a Canon EOS 20D using either a Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS/USM or a Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS/USM.