September 16, 1999 Railfanning
Thanks to Gary in SLC, I was able to plan ahead to catch three DRGW SD40T-2s as the sole power on an eastbound manifest.  DRGW 5409, 5404, and 5365 were sole power on the MRODV-15.  I didn't catch the train until late in the day and the sun was low which made capturing images a little tricky.  I was also slowed down by the rental vehicle I have while by truck is in the body shop.  I'm still happy with the results though.
Along the river   |  West of Bond, Colorado  |  Passing an EB coal train in Bond
West of State Bridge  |  A MPEG movie west of Yarmony  |  Yarmony

Smoking around the corner... This was my first glimpse of the train after waiting for over an hour for it to arrive.  This is east of Dell where the road rejoins the railroad tracks.  I could hear the train for at least a couple minutes before the exhaust nearly obscured the sun.
Evening sunlight and eastbound trains produce images like this.  As with most of the old Rio Grande line from Grand Junction to Granby, the right-of-way stays right along the river.  The squeal of flanges is a common sound along the Colorado River.
Through the shadows...

West of Bond Tunnel.
It looks like an open valley here but in a few hundred yards, the train will pass through a tunnel and enter West Bond.  I like this shot because you can see nearly the entire train, and the T-2s don't hurt it.

About half the time there is a loaded coal train parked in the West Bond siding.  The MRODV is on the mainline as it coasts by the rear of the train.  The two rear distributed power units are visible at the end of the coal train.  The train is slowing because Bond is a crew change point.
West Bond, CO.
Center Bond After waiting for the crew van to arrive from Phippsburg for a half an hour, and a brief inspection of the power by the new crew, the manifest was rolling again.  This is Center Bond or Bond Center depending on which crew or dispatcher you are listening to.  The Craig Branch departs the mainline to the right.

It was beginning to get dark but I continued to snap images.  Here, the train is approaching State Bridge.  During the weekend, crews usually give plenty of warning to the recreationalists who hang out at State Bridge.  A couple months ago, a man was injured when he failed to get off of the rail he was sitting on - local winner of the Darwin Awards.
Winding towards State Bridge.

Click here for an MPEG movie of the Three T's along the Colorado River.  The picture is small but the sound is excellent!  The new units have nothing on a trio of Rio Grande EMDs.  This file is approximately 703k, so it may take some time to download depending on your hardware.

High Green at West Yarmony. With a high green at West Yarmony and the slow speed limits for the tight curves around State Bridge out of the way, the three SD40T-2s dig in for the climb to Moffat Tunnel.
The whole train at Yarmony.  This was the true definition of a manifest with just about every kind of car.  Two things that would have made it a true Rio Grande train is a few trailers on flat cars and a Rio Grande caboose on the end.  I watched the train snake around the hills and headed for home.
Goodbye at Yarmony.

All of these images were taken with a Sony FD-91 digital camera.
Return to MWR Road Trip

Last Updated 9/16/99
Made of 100% Recycled Electrons
All Content Copyright (C) 1999 MWR
Comments? E-mail MWR