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|DRGW 493 RETURNS
Posted Friday, January 24 2020 at 2203 h MST
Having last run in 1968, most of us assumed we would never see K-37 #493 ever under her own power again. 493 was pulled from Silverton in May 2016 in preparation for a potential lease to the Colorado Railroad Museum, where she would have been restored and operated on the museum's small loop. However, that deal fell through and 493 languished in the D&S Durango yard.
After the 416 Fire in 2018, the D&S considered a new option for 493 - convert the engine to an experimental oil burner to lessen the fire danger posed by ejected cinders. The railroad borrowed SP narrow gauge #18 in 2018-2019 to experiment with oil burners and train crews. Today, 493 took her first steps after the overhaul. Video can be found over [in this thread at NGDF].
I've also heard that 473 is in for an overhaul, and will be the next oil burner conversion. There's no word yet on the two new diesels and when they'll arrive. - NDHolmes
SL&RG PLACED IN RECEIVERSHIP
Posted Friday, September 13 2019 at 1257 h MDT
An article on Trains Newswire states that the San Luis & Rio Grande - operator of the former D&RGW lines over Veta Pass and throughout the San Luis valley - has been placed in receivership, along with its sister railroad, the Mt. Hood Railroad, in Oregon. The motion was submitted to the court by Big Shoulders Capital, LLC, which loaned the railroads $5M in 2017. - NDHolmes
WASHOUT ON SOLDIER SUMMIT
Posted Friday, August 9 2019 at 1048 h MDT
There's a report on Trainorders that there's a washout on Soldier Summit somewhere between Helper and Provo. The Amtrak status map this morning indeed shows #5 from yesterday holding at Helper, and #6 holding at Salt Lake. The issue is apparently fixed now, or at least one main is open, as both Zephyrs have started to move within the last hour. - NDHolmes
USFS BLAMES D&S FOR 416 FIRE, FILES SUIT
Posted Tuesday, July 2 2019 at 1451 h MDT
The US Forest Service has officially found that the 416 Fire last summer was caused by cinders off the D&S's locomotives. As a result, the US Attorney's Office has filed suit against the railroad, seeking $25 million for direct costs for fighting the fire and for land remediation afterwards.
There is a separate lawsuit filed in September 2018 by nearby landowners affected by the fire (largely from mud flows, since no structures were lost from fire) and from a few businesses, alleging negligence on the part of the railroad by running in such dry conditions. It's unknown how this announcement will affect that suit, but I can't see how it would be good for the railroad.
The Denver Post has a more detailed article [here]. - NDHolmes