Almost like the “good old days” Even after Union Pacific’s merger of Southern Pacific, for several years, locomotives for the West local out of Denver on the former Rio Grande Moffat Tunnel route was a pair of home road GP30s. They ran west on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I tried to capture them as much as I could. Only problem is that the local rarely ventured west of Rocky and Rocky Spur.
On January 6, 1998, that was going to change. The crew of an eastbound UP freight died on the hours at Plainview, and it was decided that the West local would head up to Plain light engines to bring the train down to Rocky where they’d send a van out to pick up the crew. Finally, a chance to get the GP30s in some mountain scenery! The train, led by venerable Rio Grande GP30 Nos. 3006 and 3003, pops out of Tunnel 1 in fresh snow and afternoon sun, Mars light leading the way—almost like the “good old days.”