Train Watching at Fraser (Winter Park)

Union Station, Denver, Sunday 28 September 2008.  Having purchased a ticket the previous day, it is necessary to arrive at the station with enough time to go through the check in procedure which is very like traveling by air - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

This Amtrak California F59PH was observed at the station on the Friday and was still there on the Saturday afternoon.  But it had disappeared when the west-bound California Zephyr was boarded on the Sunday morning - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

The train is soon into the foothills of the Rockies - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

It would have been preferable to go to Glenwood Springs, but the schedule of the east-bound Zephyr precluded a return to Denver on the same day - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

60 miles out of Denver, the 340ft-high Gross Reservoir dam provides the city with water - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

Dry dead trees were much in evidence are considered a fire risk - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

When I asked the conductor how long the Zephyr stopped at Fraser he replied: "Sir, just long enough to let you off." - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

Before entering Moffat Tunnel the Zephyr passed this west-bound coal train which ran through Fraser not long after the Zephyr had departed  The lead loco is a C44ACCTE - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

SD90/43 MAC #8223 DPU (Distributed Power Unit - formerly referred to as a helper) on the rear of the coal train - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

Not much happens at Fraser on a Sunday - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

Just as I am beginning to doze off,  this C44ACCTE appears on the point of a manifest train - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

This west-bound manifest has eight locos on the point including SD70s (above left and right) - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

Included in the lash-up is former Southern Pacific C44-9W (left) loco now patched for Union Pacific. The SP was taken over by UP.   AC44W #7135 behind #6657 (right) - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

The manifest passing through Fraser - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

Changing skyscapes while away the time between freights - up to three hours between movements which all turned out to be west-bound except for the last - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

Fraser, Sunday afternoon - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

Fraser, Sunday afternoon - two hours later - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

Fraser, Sunday afternoon - three hours later and a C44ACCTE leads a lash-up including a former Southern Pacific AC4400W - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

The west-bound manifest rumbles through with the SP AC4400W sandwiched between the two UP C44ACCTEs - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

The long manifest, which had a two loco lash-up mid-train Distributed Power Unit (DPU), passing through Fraser train station - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

About an hour after the long manifest had passed through, the lights of an east-bound coal train was spotted. It was headed by an AC6000W - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

The east-bound approaching the grade crossing under a threatening sky with the AC6000W leading a AC4400W - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

Looking east as the locos rumbled over the grade crossing - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

There was a considerable variety of coal hoppers - both in design and livery, but only a few had graffiti plastered on them - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

The mid-train DPU had two AC4400s leading an SD90/43MAC - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

A second DPU brought up the rear - another AC4400W - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

The train heading off to Moffat Tunnel - PHOTOs Malcolm McCrow

After the east-bound coal train there should have been a short watt for the east-bound Zephyr which was due at 4.55pm, but two hours later there was still no sign of it.  Eventually, at 7.35pm, as it was getting cold and dark, the lights of a train were seen to the west:  it was the Zephyr headed, as usual, by two Amtrak P42s


End of Rail Tour or Return to Denver