Saturday, April 5, 2014

Checking in from Utah

David writes....

Greetings from the Beehive State!  I haven't forgotten the Hicks blog or my IRM friends.  I have been busy though.  I started a new job in December with a law firm out here and it has been busy ever since.  Shockingly, we've had a much milder winter than everybody back in the midwest, though higher elevations will get snow for another 4-6 weeks.  Plenty of time left in ski season.  Here are some railroading images the Hicks Car Works Blog readership might find of interest.  First, I've rediscovered my Nikon 35mm camera and lenses.  Using color film and a scanner, I'm able to get some decent shots.  Here's me closing around in the park next to our house.  Those are the Wasatch Mountains in the background.  

Katy and I took a trip down to Moab, Utah a few weeks ago.  It was a fun trip, lots to see at Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.  Most of the drive from Salt Lake City parallels the Denver & Rio Grande Western's mainline route over Soldier Summit.   The best way to describe the area around Moab is to say that it is like walking into an old John Ford western film.

The day I drove to Moab, it was raining in Salt Lake City, blizzard-like conditions on Soldier Summit and sunny and warm in Moab.   Here's a shot of a BNSF train ascending Solider Summit, heading East, using trackage rights.  The rest area is built to look like a roundhouse and depot.  It is a good train watching spot.  

Heading back from Moab, I grabbed this shot of a westbound Union Pacific coal train from the passenger seat of our car while Katy drove.  This is just south of Price, Utah, where the railroad parallels U.S. 6.  

We also stopped in Helper, Utah.  Helper is a town just on the east side of Soldier Summit.  It is named as it was a division point on the D&RGW, and a base for helper engines to push westbound trains up the hill.  It is also home to the Utah Railway, which connects with the UP mainline.  Utah Railway coal trains run on trackagre rights to either Provo, Utah or Grand Junction, Colorado.  

Now that spring is here (sort of), we plan on exploring the area more.  The Nevada Northern Railway Museum in Ely, Nevada is only about 3.5 hours away.  Also, Heber Valley is supposed to have Union Pacific 618, a 2-8-0, running this summer, around July.  Also, we are heading to San Francisco in July to catch the St. Louis Cardinals play the Giants and hopefully visit the Western Railway Museum in Rio Vista.  

1 comment:

Tony Gura said...

The Western Railway Museum (WRM) is running their "Scenic Limited" and "Vintage Comet" wine tasting trains this month trailed by former Salt Lake & Utah interurban observation car 751 serving as the first class section. This train also consists Sacramento Northern wood combine 1005 and steel coach 1020 but the 1005 does not look like what IRM proposed to CA&E 321 but other SN cars did. I plan on riding this train later this month.

The WRM also owns two large steeplecab locomotives that formerly ran at the giant Kennecott Copper Bingham Canyon Mine as well as an open trailer that ran on the Salt Lake Garfield & Western (Saltair Route).

Tony Gura
IRM and WRM Member