DRGW History and Information  

  Trip Report: SL&RG 18's First Run - Chapter 1
  18's First Run
Chasing SL&RG 2-8-0 #18's first revenue run
  From: SL&RG 18's First Run Dates: May 3, 2008 Author: Nathan Holmes


Photo 1
As the sun rises in Alamosa, 18 simmers in the yard as it gets a little last-minute attention. As of sunset the night before, the unit hadn't moved an inch under its own power, but later that evening made a quick trip around the yard as a test.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 2
No, those class lights just won't do - the crew puts on an older style instead...
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888
  Report Chapters  
   1 - 18's First Run
   2 - Two SLRG Freights
   3 - 1744 to Antonito (2007)
  Site Navigation  
   Back to Trip Reports Index
   Back to DRGW.Net

Photo 3
Finally, daybreak in the yard itself.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 4
And, the moment we've all been waiting for - 18's crew starts blowing a little steam through the cylinders and out the cocks to get things warmed up. Shortly, they'll start 18 moving under her own power through the yard.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 5
SLRG 8527 had come in earlier with a cut of cars from the yard and placed them behind 18. Here the engine is backing up to couple on to the photo special's consist. So starts SLRG 18's first revenue trip.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 6
Backing towards the west end of the yard with a cut of cars, including the railroad's new caboose and side-dump ballast cars.
400x600 640x960
1000x1500 2592x3888

Photo 7
Here's the SLRG's new caboose, RPCX 1043. It's former Southern Pacific caboose SP 1043, purchased from the Golden Gate Railroad Museum in early 2008.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 8
And one of the four ex-Canadian National side-dump cars. Two of these will be in the day's freight consist.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 9
And the Trains Unlimited special starts with 18 putting on a good show through the west end of the yard.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 10
With the day's paying clientele onboard, the train leaves the Alamosa depot
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 11
Another wider view of the special leaving Alamosa
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 12
After a run-by at the bridge, the special headed east across the less-than-scenic San Luis Valley that makes up the first 25 miles or so.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 13
Sort of a classic steam-era scene, but it just doesn't look quite right with that welded rail under things.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 14
SLRG 18 between Blanca and Fort Garland, as seen from just about the only hill in the area.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 15
After a rather lengthy stop at Fort Garland to inspect the engine and take on water, the special continues eastward out of the high valley and into the mountains around La Veta Pass.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 16
It's a long shot and there's a lot of heat distortion in the atmosphere, but here's a look at the train coming through the repeated curves betwen Fort Garland and Sierra. That's US Hwy 160 in the background.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 17
A side-on shot just a half mile or so from the last one, with the still snow-covered peaks of Mount Blanca and Mount Lindsey in the background.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 18
Continuing the climb towards Sierra
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 19
Coming through the east end of Sierra and putting on a good show for the paying clients.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592

Photo 20
Just past the east switch, the climb towards La Veta Pass begins in earnest, as evidenced by the upward bend in the rails. This is the last I'll see of 18, as it will disappear into the mountains with the Trains Unlimited folks for two days of photography.
600x400 960x640
1500x1000 3888x2592
[<< Previous]   Chapter 1   [Next >>]
Creative Commons License This work is copyright 2008 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 40D using either a Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS/USM, Sigma 18-50mm, or a Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS/USM.