The San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad is a subsidiary of Permian Basin Railways, which in turn is owned by Iowa Pacific Holdings. The SLRG was originally created on 29-Jun-2003 with the sale of the San Luis Valley lines from Union Pacific to RailAmerica. In late December 2005, the entire SLRG was sold by RailAmerica to Permian.
On October 16, 2019, an involuntary chapter 11 petition was filed against San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad. The railroad will be sold through bankruptcy hearings during the first week of June 2021.
The SLRG includes the following routes:
The railroad connects with Union Pacific? at Walsenburg, CO, providing its access to the national rail network. It also connects to the San Luis Central, a shortline, at Sugar Junction, just east of Monte Vista, CO.
The San Luis & Rio Grande operated passenger excursion service from 2007 to 2019 under the branding of the "Rio Grande Scenic Railroad".
On 9-Feb-2006, the San Luis & Rio Grande and Denver & Rio Grande Historical Foundation (Don Shank's Creede Branch group) jointly announced their intention to run two regular passenger trains over the SL&RG lines. The first, to be called the San Luis Express, will run from Alamosa to La Veta over the La Veta Pass route. The other will run south from Alamosa to Antonito to connect with the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic. Service is supposed to start up on 24-May-2006. Photos from this first promotional/media run can be found here.
During April of 2007, the SLRG purchased SP 1744, a 1901 Baldwin 2-6-0. The locomotive had previously served on the Heber Valley Railroad in Utah, and most recently was completely overhauled and then operated for a few short months on the New Orleans & Gulf Coast. For the past five years, it's been sitting around. The locomotive was trucked up from New Orleans in late April, and arrived in Alamosa on 2-May-2007. The locomotive is scheduled to be operating in time for the Memorial Day weekend, which marks the start of the SLRG/RGSR's 2007 passenger season.
Please see the roster page to see what's running for power these days. The original Helm lease fleet has been completely replaced. Two ex-Kennecott GP39-2 units are currently on lease from ILSX, and the SL&RG has acquired four F40M-2F units as well as three hulks to be made into road slugs. In addition, The D&RGHF's ex-SP GE is also apparently up and running, as it has been seen in Alamosa.
The road frequency has changed since the D&RGW/SP/UP days - it's now 160.785 MHz (AAR 45) for the road and 160.230 MHz (AAR 08) for the yards. They still run locals south and west from Alamosa, just as under UP. I would assume the south local is still daily down to Antonito, but I heard something a while back about the perlite mine in Antonito either shutting down or partially shutting down. I don't know if it came to pass, but if it did, the only source of traffic left is the volcanic scoria loaded down there. The west local primarily serves the San Luis Central, which interchanges at Monte Vista, CO. I've seen it once, running on a Friday. It was headed back towards Alamosa around 2pm. When the power isn't in use, it sits around the Alamosa yard downtown. It's right in the middle of town and easy to photograph.