Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Driving Down the Front Range

I wasn't in a hurry to get home one day last week, so I took a bit of a more scenic drive with my ultimate goal of stopping in at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden Colorado, basically right across the highway from the Coors Brewery (which is truly massive by the way, a valley full of concrete structures and heavily served by, I think, the BNSF). Well the weather didn't cooperate with me at all but I did stop to take a few pictures. You will see a number of these slowly worked their way through the banner (at least when I remember to change it).

These are the full size pictures, just color corrected a little bit.

Longs Peak, the highest point in the picture. There is a reason they are referred to as "purple mountains" in songs

South of Boulder on Highway 93, those are the Flatirons just above Boulder. Its raining in Boulder  Valley but the peaks are clear. Highway 93 follows the foothills between Boulder and Golden (yes, the foothills). These pictures are in sequence from north to south.

I'm just below a ridge line here so after that very clear demarcation between the grass and the foothills is a steep drop into the valley. This valley is one thing that kept Boulder somewhat isolated there are only a couple of ways into the valley that don't involve really steep grades.

South into Golden, passing by one of the hogback formations. If you are high enough and in the right spot you can see a line of these heading north and south. These parallel the foothills and Highway 93 basically goes north and south with the hogbacks on the east side and the foothills on the west.
It was to rainy to bother going into the museum that day (most of it is out doors, and of course the only stuff I want to see is outside). But I did catch BNSF 1600 doing a little switching on the north side of Highway 52 (which goes between the museum and the Coors Brewery). I think he was working the Coors facility that is on this side of the valley.

BNSF is a SD40-2, the pictures definitely suffer from raindrops on my car windows. I guess I need automatic windows now.


  1. Nice photos as always. I'm kinda partial to rainy days along the front range. :)

    But, as a pedantic foamer, I must point out, that this is an SD-40-2. The six axles gave it way. I did a quick search, and found out the GP9 that used to be BNSF 1600 was renumbered to GN 1600 in Nov 2009. http://www.locophotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=113395

    They did that to renumber the older ex-ATSF SD-40-2, like the "new" BNSF 1600. http://www.locophotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=116427

    I find it fascinating how the railroads number and renumber on a whim. :)

    Oh, as a side note, did you see this?

    I can't wait to see that beast thundering along the Denver to Cheyenne corridor for Frontier Days! :)

    1. Got it, and fixed it just for you! Diesel identification is not my strong point, I do much better with steam. I just glanced at the name on the first photo I found and dropped it in there.

      And speaking of steam I did know that they are going to try and restore 4014. That's exciting stuff, nothing says railroading like a Big Boy under steam!

    2. It's interesting that they didn't restore 4004, since it's already in Cheyenne.

      Just the process of moving a huge loco like that one from LA to Cheyenne will be daunting.

    3. They may not have been able to come to a deal on 4004 or maybe they looked her over and the effort for a full restoration wasn't going to be worth it. If 4014 can still roll, they can just put her in "neutral" and roll her to Cheyenne behind some diesels.

  2. What a beautiful place Kris. Sometimes it's nice to take the long, slow way home after a hard day. And of course, just as soon as you got to your trains, it fecking rained.

    I'm just now coming up for air whilst working on my team submission for the competition. I swear on all this is Holy I will never do this again :)

    1. A team submission? That sounds like fun. Except you must be working on a group entry in different locations. That would be tough. My group is slowly working on one for the next ReaperCon.

      Its weird you don't usually worry about being rained out of something around here. You just don't think about it.