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Union Pacific 1989 on the Rock and Rail Parkdale to Colorado Springs rock train

Earlier this week, I got word that Union Pacific 1989, the Rio Grande heritage unit, was working the rock train that runs between Colorado Springs and Parkdale (just out of town on the other end of our railroad) for our sister railroad, Rock and Rail. Locomotives that work this train often end up in captive service for a while because of the rock train’s schedule. But it’s a real rarity to have a special locomotive on the train.

I wasn’t able to get any photos on Tuesday when it first went onto the train, and Wednesday it was the trailing locomotive. So I kept my eyes open. And sure enough, it came through bright (dark?) and early this morning in the lead, to head up to Parkdale and load. So I planned out a few photo locations, and headed out after it at sunrise. It was about 7:30 when they finished loading and started down out of the quarry.

Usually, when I try to chase trains, it ends up in disaster. But sometimes, like today, the stars align. The fresh snowfall from overnight made for some decent photo opportunities. Shot the train coming out of Parkdale siding, passing our train in town, and crossing the Arkansas River in Portland. Mission accomplished.

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Heritage Units - Union Pacific
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