TrainWeb.org Facebook Page
Denver & Rio Grande Western - Great Plains Rail Gallery
Denver & Rio Grande Western

 

DRGW 5401 at Greenland, Colrado on 10/14/01 - Nathan Holmes/Nathan Holmes/RailArc Photo

I highly recommend that you check out both of Nathan's sites - he's an excellent photographer and a hardcore Rio Grande railfan: DRGW.Net & RailArc

Tiger stripes have made it into the grassy mid-American prairies far from the rugged Rockies, but not for long. With it's unmistakable image that came to symbolized Colorado and Rocky Mountain railroading, The Rio Grande's once numerous fleet is rapidly disappearing amost as soon as it has appeared all over the Great Plains region. Today the mountain railway that once ran narrow-guage track and a colorful array of steam and diesel power is part of a country-crossing system after the Grande was swallowed-up by merger-hungry Union Pacific in the mid 1990's.

The Rio Grande/Southern Pacific Connection
Here's a simplified overview of the relationship these two roads had and how they came together: the Rio Grande was owned by an oil drilling company and it was through this company that the Southern Pacific was purchased. They company merged the two railroads under the Southern Pacific name. Unfortunately the ultimate price of this merger almost led the two railroads deep into ruin. The Grande didn't wasn't making money and the SP system was in horrible shape. With no profit, the merged roads looked to the midwest for a solution. Running under the Union Pacific flag was an quickest and easiest way out of certain disastor. (thanks to Elvin Klepzig)

System Map - 1961 ·

The Mergers (1996-1998)
Union Pacific was granted control of Southern Pacific on September 11, 1996. At the time, Southern Pacific also controlled (see above) Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW). D&RGW was merged into UP on June 30, 1997. SP itself was merged into UP on February 28, 1998.

 

 

Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image




DRGW 492
- seen at Chama, New Mexico. July 1990 - Nathan Holmes/RailArc Photo

Denver & Rio Grande Western #4500 - is a 4-8-4 Northern Type Locomotive built by Baldwin in the late 1930s. It is seen here pulling a passenger train outside of Denver, Colorado in 1951. - Jay Glenewinkel Purchased Photo Collection

DRGW SW1200 #139 - was built in 1965. It was retired by Union Pacific in 1998. It is seen switching in Pueblo, Colorado in 1992. - Steve Rude Photo/Jay Glenewinkel Collection

DRGW GP30 #3002 - was built in 1962. It was retired by Southern Pacific in 1996. It is seen here in San Antonio in 1994. - Jay Glenewinkel Photo




DRGW GP40 #3072 -
at Council Bluffs, Iowa on 8/29/00- Richard Wilson Photo/T. Greuter Collection ·

DRGW GP40 #3095 - is seen in San Antonio with a Seaboard System GP38-2 on a Missouri Pacific northbound in 1987. - Jay Glenewinkel Photo


DRGW 3096 - at Kansas City, Missouri. 10/22/88 - James "Grumpy" Gilley Collection


DRGW 3133 - at Kansas City, Missouri. 10/22/88 - James "Grumpy" Gilley Collection

DRGW 3142 - The tiger striped GP40 is seen at Council Bluffs, Iowa on the Union Pacific. August 18, 2001 - T. Greuter Photo

DRGW 3142 - GP40 at Council Bluffs, Iowa. August 18, 2001 - T. Greuter Photo

DRGW 3142 - GP40 at Council Bluffs, Iowa. August 18, 2001 - T. Greuter Photo

DRGW 3142 - detail - T. Greuter Photo

DRGW 3142 - detail - T. Greuter Photo

DRGW 3142 - detail - T. Greuter Photo


DRGW 3142 - at Council Bluffs, Iowa. August 18, 2001 - T. Greuter Photo



DRGW 3155 - seen at Palmer Lake, Colorado. 12/16/00 - Nathan Holmes/RailArc Photo



DRGW 3155 - seen at Castlerock, Colorado. 1/19/02 - Nathan Holmes/RailArc Photo

DRGW 5322 - a battle-scarred SD45 at Council Bluffs, Iowa. August 18, 2001 - © T. Greuter Photo - T. Greuter Photo

DRGW 5322 - rear view showing the unique long-hood of SD45's. Council Bluffs, Iowa. August 18, 2001 - T. Greuter Photo

DRGW SD40T-2 #5356 - at Kirby, Texas in 1997. - Jay Glenewinkel Photo

DRGW SD40T-2 #5374 - was built in January 1977. Upon the SP merger to Union Pacific, it was renumbered to UP 4059. It was again renumbered to UP 8629. - Jay Glenewinkel Photo

DRGW SD40T-2 #5388 - is pictured in San Antonio in 1986. The DRGW sub-lettered loco is in merger partner Southern Pacific's paint. Note the light arrangement. - Jay Glenewinkel Photo

DRGW 5391 - an SD40T-2 - T. Greuter Photo

SP/DRGW 5397 - an SD40T-2 (also called SD40-2T, "T" for tunnel-motor) in Southern Pacific paint and sublettered for DRGW after the SP gained control of the Grande. Now with the UP taking over the SP, this engine faces another change of schemes. The 40T-2 helps switch out grain cars on the old MoPac rails through the NU campus in Lincoln, Nebraska. 5/1/97 - T. Greuter Photo

 

SP/DRGW 5397 - seen on the UP near Lincoln Muni Airport on an overcast, rainy day. 4/30/97 - T. Greuter Photo

SP/DRGW 5397 - hi-lighting the tunnel motor look at the engine's rear. The specialized venting design allows the engine to "breath" better in the tight confines of the many tunnels on the SP's system. 4/30/97 - T. Greuter Photo


SP/DRGW 5397 - 4/30/97 - T. Greuter Photo


SP/DRGW 5397 - seen on the old MoPac track delivering grain. 5/1/97 - T. Greuter Photo




DRGW 5401
- seen at Larkspur, Colorado. 10/14/01 - Nathan Holmes/RailArc Photo



DRGW 5515
- The Grande's power, such as this SD50, is a rare site in Lincoln, Nebraska, even after the railroad's merger with Union Pacific. This locomotive was caught dropping-off grain cars in the UP's railyard. April 1999 - T. Greuter Photo ·




DRGW 5515
- Nothing but Rio... with #5361, #5413, and two unidentified DRGW units. seen at Castlerock, Colorado. 1/19/02 - Nathan Holmes/RailArc Photo

Ex- Rio Grande SD50 5500 - renumbered to UP 5100. It is seen in San Antonio in September 2001. - Steve Rude Photo, Jay Glenewinkel Collection



DRGW 1501 - at Colorado Springs, Colorado. 4/14/02 - Nathan Holmes/RailArc Photo



DRGW 1505 - seen at Buffalo, Iowa. Date unknown - Nathan Holmes/RailArc Photo



DRGW 1513 - caboose seen with loco #3084 at Colorado Springs, Colorado. 9/26/00 - Nathan Holmes/RailArc Photo


DRGW 16025 - coal hopper at Louisville, Nebraska. 5/1/97 - © T. Greuter Photo




Timetable -
Cover, October 1961 - T. Greuter Collection ·




Timetable -
October 1961 - T. Greuter Collection ·

 

DRGW 5401 at Greenland, Colrado on 10/14/01 - Nathan Holmes/RailArc photo

go back to

Contributing Photographers:
Nathan Holmes/RailArc, Jay Glenewinkel, Steve Rude, James Gilley

Recommended Links:
DRGW.Net - a favorite resource on the Grande contact DRGW List at drgwnews@drgw.net

D&RGW Historical Society


Latest update: Thursday, 13 November, 2003

All photos & text 2000-2003 T. Greuter / Screaming Eagles , unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.