MWR - railfanning the Rocky Mountain West!
BNSF, Amtrak, SD40T-2s, and coal trains
around Bond, CO - Feb. 11, 2000
We headed north from Avon in hopes of finding the day's eastbound Z-train with a couple SD40T-2s.  Not only did we find it but a BNSF manifest in front of it, both Amtrak trains, a eastbound manifest later in the day and a single loaded coal train descending the Craig Branch.  Todd Busse was using the digital camera most of the day but I did sneak in a few shots of my own.

BNSF in Bond  |  The California Zephyr
Z-RODV-11 from Bond to Azure  |  DEGX coal train at Crater

Eastbound BNSF manifest @ Bond.
Bond, Colorado

BNSF C44-9Ws 4322, 4486, & 4377 lead an eastbound manifest through Bond Center.   First behind the bright orange units is BN GP39 2805, a rebuilt GP30, dead in transit.  This train is very typical of most BNSF trains through Bond with plenty of tankers and a few other loads.

West Bond, Colorado

Amtrak #5, the westbound California Zephyr, accelerates across the bridge over the Colorado River at West Bond.  Before entering the tunnel, it will cross the river again.  This train is the reason the BNSF manifest was on the siding at Bond.
Amtrak #5 at West Bond.

ZRODV-11 @ West Bond. With Amtrak #5 already past, we knew that the Z-train would have to pass it at Dell before coming on east.  We heard the deep rumble of the two SD40T-2s snaking along the Colorado River for at least 5 minutes before it cruised through West Bond.  This particular Z-train had 29 platforms with 20 loads total.  Fairly typical for the Z-train, but very untypical power.
After a quick crew change at Bond, the two SD40T-2s roll the train through Center Bond.

Someone in Roper Yard likes DRGW because the 5404 was also the lead unit on Friday's ZDVRO.  Possibly, there was a problem with SP 5368 (former DRGW) being the lead unit and that was the reason for turning the power.

ZRODV-11 @ Center Bond.

ZRODV-11 through Yarmony.
Yarmony, Colorado

With the horn blaring and all the headlights on, the Z-train pounds through the road crossing at Yarmony.

The sound of screeching wheels and the deep rumble of the SD40T-2s just adds to the spectacular scene in Little Gore canyon.

After the train passed through it began to snow again.  Just a little east, at Azure, the crew was warned to watch for a small rock slide at MP 108.9 in Gore Canyon.  Nothing quite like mountain railroading.

Deep in Little Gore Canyon.

Eastbound coal load at Crater.
Crater, Colorado on
the Craig Branch

There was maintenance work around Crater and Volcano all afternoon so we figured we might be lucky to catch a train once all the warrants were cleared.  We found this loaded DEGX coal train at East Crater led by SP 330 and CNW 8804 in the Operation Lifesaver paint scheme.
This is the end of the same DEGX coal train in the middle of the Crater loops.  There were six locomotives on this train in a 2+2+2 distributed power configuration.

With the sun setting and storm clouds moving in, it was a nice end to an busy afternoon of railfanning.

Silhouetted against the sky...

All of these images captured with a Sony FD91 digital camera.
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