objective was to get from San Diego to a friend's shop in La
Junta, CO. Normally, this would be a hard 3-day run with
no allowance for downtime or problems. We decided to
allocate 4 days for travel to insure the sanity of the
driver. Our path would take us through Tucson, AZ and
across southern Arizona into New Mexico and then north along the
Rio Grande to Santa Fe. From Santa Fe, we followed the old Santa
Fe trail (now called I-25) to Raton, NM and then over the
mountains into La Junta.
The photos below are what we saw.
Lance saddled-up and ready to roll east.
The trip to Tucson
was uneventful. We stayed at the Tucson KOA which is
very nice by any standard, not just "nice for an RV park"
standard. After visiting a relative, we headed east into
New Mexico. Outside Deming, we stopped for lunch and
spotted this ex-mil tractor that had been drafted into
Deming, we took the Hatch cutoff and headed north on I-25.
En-route, we passed these huge beams being hauled north.
that we would encounter weather and it was right on
schedule. There were substantial thunderstorms along the
Rio Grande Valley.
Vegas, NM the showers turned into a full-force blizzard
impacting both travel speed and visibility.
stayed in Raton and the following morning we headed east then
north into La Junta. Since we showed up on Sunday, we just
setup in the parking lot of the shop in anticipation of actions
usually has a large selection of equipment in the parking lot
outside the shop. Above is a U500.
some of our previous visits, there were several older,
gasoline-powered Unimogs in the lot.
On the left is a 419
diesel Unimog. The red truck is a model 404 Unimog.
Monday doing design actions at the shop. After dark, we
heard a really loud crash that I initially thought we due to
"humping cars". Humping, aside from the obvious meaning,
is used in the railroad to mean assembling a train by letting
cars coast into one another making crashing noises. But,
La Junta is a through-stop and trains are not assembled
here. In the morning we discovered that the noise had been
due to a derailment. Rob, our host told us that crews were
in route to address the issue. Kathleen took her camera
and headed to the overpass to watch the events. Above is a
view of the situation.
headed to breakfast a large convoy of trucks and equipment
showed up on site. The two bulldozer cranes would be used
to lift the derailed cars.
top of the overpass we could see Thor in the parking lot of the
panorama of the view from the top of the overpass. Note
that a coal train is heading into the yard.
dozer-cranes finally made it to the area of the wreck.
Note that these cranes are mirror-twins.
addition to equipment, the crews brought in several truckloads
of track ballast that was spread by the loader to allow
equipment to cross over the rails. The loader is making a
big dust cloud as the ballast is deposited to allow equipment
access. The yellow railcar is blocking BNSF's main lines
in the yard.
|Trip Home Page|
Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2019, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.