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  Trip Report: DRGW 463 Returns - Chapter 2
  Afternoon
Photos from the afternoon and Evening
  From: DRGW 463 Returns Dates: May 20, 2013 Author: Nathan Holmes


Photo 11
Those of us in the tourist class car (coach 511) had suspected a problem for several miles due to a loudening squeal, but a stop just past Lava confirmed it - we were developing a hot box (and right under my seat, too!) John Bush, president of the current operating company, is a hands-on sort of guy, is the one in the sport coat inspecting the problem.
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Photo 12
Reaching the top of Whiplash, we again came to a stop when somebody reported smoke from a different journal box - this one back on the parlor car. I took the opportunity to wander forward and get a shot of our power and freight.
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Photo 13
Needless to say, the train was going to need some attention. We limped into Big Horn, where Marvin and some of the other shop guys were waiting for us with new brasses and oil.
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Photo 14
Yup, got your bearing brass right here! Unfortunately, between having to change two brasses and water up 463, we lost almost 90 minutes at Big Horn, causing the remaining run-bys before lunch to get cancelled.
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Photo 15
By the time we reached Osier, we had something new to deal with - snow! Welcome to Colorado in the springtime. Sunny on one side, blizzard in the middle, sunny on the other side.
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Photo 16
I decided to forego standing in the lunch line to go shoot this rather interesting opportunity. Still, I won't complain. How many times can you shoot a double-headed eastbound at Osier, and of those times, how many have seen it in the snow?
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Photo 17
But in the end, there are only so many static shots you can take in the snow. Time to go chow down on some of Stephen's great roast chicken...
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Photo 18
While I was stuffing my face, Tim Tennant and John Bush were up handing out a few awards to those who worked on 463's return. Even with the megaphone, though, I have to say I couldn't hear them.
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Photo 19
Everybody's seem them split double-headers to cross Lobato Trestle, but how many of you can say you've seen power split to cross Cascade? I didn't even think of it, but it makes sense - (pre-fire) Lobato and Cascade are basically twins as far as construction and metallurgy.
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Photo 20
While I promised to restrict myself on shooting the head end around curves, the lack of run-bys was challenging me on getting enough shots to put this together. So here's another "around the curve" shot at Long Creek (milepost 321)
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Photo 21
At Los Pinos tank, the construction crew takes a break to watch us pass. They're doing some heavy maintenance on the tank, replacing rotted foundations with new concrete and timber.
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Photo 22
A closer work at the new foundation on the track side of the tank.
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Photo 23
We skipped the Los Pinos run-by, but did manage to fit in the one scheduled at Tanglefoot, just below Cumbres Pass summit. Here's 463 marching past on the lower track.
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Photo 24
Coming around the curve onto the upper side of the loop...
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Photo 25
And finally charging past the photo line on the upper track.
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Photo 26
Once we started down the hill, no more run-bys. That said, those folks chasing the train on the road got the most awesome light of the day for photographing. Here's our cars (mine being 511 "Chama") after we'd pulled into the Chama yard.
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Photo 27
One of Chama's new residents is this GE 47-ton, number 15, another former Oahu Railway & Land unit and twin of the C&TS's 19. It's being leased from the Ashbys, who formerly had it up at the Georgetown Loop.
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Photo 28
Ah, just another horrible evening in Chama. I've been away for two years, and that's just too long. I miss the trains, the smell of coal smoke, and seeing many of the other narrow gauge enthusiasts. Well, I'm hungry, so off to the High Country for dinner...
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Photo 29
I'd like to especially thank this guy. This is Michael Ripley, who puts on some of the best darn night shoots of anybody I've ever worked with. He's had some issues that have prevented him f rom coming to narrow gauge country for a couple years, so it was good to see him back. Plus his efforts to light up 463 on Monday night resulted in some good stuff, as you'll soon see.
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Photo 30
If I hadn't been there (freezing my butt off), I'd almost think this was a large scale model. But it's not, I promise.
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Photo 31
It would appear that 463 was highballing past the Chama depot, but in all reality, it's just sitting there with some cooperative breeze.
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Photo 32
Soni checks over 463 as it sits in front of the Chama sign.
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Photo 33
And one more from a slightly different angle, with Soni on the ground checking over the engine.
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Photo 34
And what I think is my favorite shot from the trip, 463 waits at the platform as the Chama telegraph operator looks on. (Well, okay, the operator is a mannequin, and the telegraph has long gone silent, but it's fun to dream that it's 1915 for a few minutes...)
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Creative Commons License This work is copyright 2013 by Nathan D. Holmes, but licensed under a Creative Commons License. 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 1D Mark III or Canon EOS 40D combined with either a Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS/USM, Canon 17-40mm f/4L USM, or a Canon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS/USM.