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2006 News and Updates Archive
GG20B Rosters

2006 Archive Edition

Date: News or Update:
Nov. 16, 2006

Got word today that VIA plans to use the single level Panorama cars (VIA 1720, 1721 and 1722) together on a new winter offering called the Snow Train Express, which will run between Edmonton and Jasper, Alberta. The full text of the release can be read on VIA's website by following this link.

The new service is set to launch on Jan. 12, 2007, departing Edmonton at 4:00 p.m. on Fridays and returning at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday evening. I haven't seen any fixed schedule yet, but the Candian takes 5:10 to make the journey, so arrival time in Jasper by that standard would be 9:10 p.m., with departure time on Sunday of 6:20 p.m. Unfortunately, that means that the only time this train will see daylight (at least initially) will be the first hour or so out of Edmonton. Still, it will be unique to see these three cars working together for once.

Nov. 10, 2006

At long last, Alaska Railroad's vintage business car "Denali" was unveiled yesterday after a lengthy refurbishing. The 1930-built Pullman product departed the Fort Lupton shops and traveled to Denver Union Station. Word is, it will move to Seattle via Amtrak's California Zephyr and Coast Starlight trains at the end of the week.

In the mean time, I am pleased to provide photos of this car, along with some photos of the move. They can be found here, in our new photo features presentation format.


Oct. 30, 2006

As the new look of the site expands, I have begun converting the existing roster pages to the new format. The pilot for this program is the page for the Alaska Railroad's business car ARR 2000 "Aurora". More pages will come, beginning with the Alaska Railroad fleet and gradualy expanding from there.

Oct. 21, 2006

Made a minor semantical correction. Grandluxe is one word with a small L, not two words, and there is no e in Grand. So much for my Rio Grande fixation...

Sept. 7, 2006

Updated the interior and exterior photos of Alaska RR 555 and 556, which I forgot to add in with the last update on the 3rd. Whoops.

Sept. 3, 2006

Still trying to get caught up with all of the updates. I have decided to do a major overhaul of the front page to make it more consistent with the Green Goats site, which I liked the overall presentation. That was unveiled today. I hope everyone likes it. There are still several things that need to be tied together, and the look of the entire site will gradually be changing. This is only the first step.

The biggest news I didn't get to yet is CRM chief Tom Rader's purchase of American Orient Express back in May. The US's most popular long distance touring train has been renamed Grande Luxe Railtours. I have been keeping track of AOE for quite a while, and am planning on dedicating a portion of this site to providing data on the AOE cars. That section will also be unveiled soon. In the mean time, I encourage you to visit the Grande Luxe Rail Journeys website.

Thanks to the help of the friends of this site, I have added roster photos of all of this year's new deliveries, including Alaska RR 555 and 556, and Rocky Mountaineer 9525, 9527 and 9529. I have also added roster pages for the 2007 orders under construction, including the previously announced Alaska RR 653, 654 and 557, and Rocky Mountaineer 9531.

On the DMU side, I have updated the roster pages for the new DMUs under construction for Florida, TRCX 705 and 706, and new trailer TRCX 7002. I have also added a roster page for another new DMU, TRCX 704. And there is the promise of plenty more to come.

As mentioned in a previous news item, VIA remodeled its single level domes 1720, 1721 and 1722. For the 1720 it was a simple refit, but the 1721 and 1722 were extensively redone to make them similar to the 1720. I have added photos to the 1720's roster page, but no others yet.

And finally, to reflect all of these changes, I have updated both the Dome Roster and the DMU Roster.

July 20 , 2006

I'm back, granted minus a few photos and such that I haven't recovered yet. But in the mean time, I am trying to get back up to speed on several things.

First and foremost, I would like to introduce another companion site to the Ultradome Experience. For those of you interested in Railpower's hybrid "Green Goat" switching locomotives, I am pleased to present you with my newest website, a compilation of Railpower Locomotive Rosters, photos, and other information. You can visit it at

June 19, 2006

I have given up on waiting for the money to rebuild my hard drive, and am instead focusing on rebuilding the lost data through other means. An update should be forthcoming.

April 22, 2006

SITE OUTAGE NOTICEA few days ago, my laptop suffered a fatal drop resulting in a hard drive failure. While I have replaced the hard drive and am back up and running, all files for the site have been lost (including some yet to be uploaded updates). As such, all updates will cease on the site until the data can be recovered from my damaged drive. I expect this will be about mid-May. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Feb. 8, 2006

More CRM news today. US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta yesterday announced $1.5 Billion in budget recomendations for transit programs, including a funding for Oregon's proposed Wilsonville-Beaverton Commuter Rail project, which will use CRM's DMUs to provide service. The Government's announcement can be read here. An article by the Oregonian newspaper can be found here.

According to an article in the Beaverton Valley Times last November and referenced in last quarter's News Items, the new service will utilize three CRM DMUs and two trailers, providing intitial service between the two Portland suburbs once every 30 minutes. Service is scheduled to begin as early as 2008.

Feb. 2, 2006

According to the West Coast Railway Association's Railway News page Rocky Mountainer is having two former UP GP40's upgraded to GP40-2 specs for use on the new Whistler Mountaineer service between Vancouver and Whistler, BC.

The site says that former Union Pacific GP40's 9960 and 9963 are being upgraded by National Railway Equipment in Capreol, Ont. According to the Utah Rails All-Time UP Roster, the 9960 is former UP 678/MKT 243, originally Penn Central 3133 and the 9963 is former UP 681/MKT 246 , orig. PC 3152. No word about possible renumbering to get the units in line with the other units in RMV's roster, numbers 8011-8015.

This new Whistler Mountaineer service will operate in conjunction with the new Rocky Mountaineer Fraser Discovery route between Whistler and Jasper, AB via Prince George, BC (with an overnight stop at Quesnell, BC.) The first Whistler Mountaineer train will depart Vancouver on May 1, 2006, while the first Fraser Discovery train will depart Whistler on May 2. RMV's original two routes will begin service on April 18.

Jan. 29, 2006

Thanks to the folks at Trainweb for bumping up this site's storage space yet again. As a result, I can now offer several photo features, including long-overdue tours of the new double decker DMU TRCX 703 and commuter trailer TRCX 7001, and a few shots of the pair on the way to the APTA show in Dallas.

Also, I've posted a sizeable feature on the projects going on at CRM from last week's visit, which essentially shows the car building process from start to finish. You can find them all on the Photo Features page.

Jan. 17, 2006

Florida DOT's new double decker DMU (TRCX 703) and double decker coach (TRCX 7001) departed Ft. Lupton en route to Florida for delivery to Tri-Rail. The pair was spoted on the back of a BNSF freight in Kansas City, KS this afternoon.

Jan. 28, 2006

Remember the planned refurbishing of Alaska Railroad's former Florida Fun Train single level domes last year? Well, it's being done over the winter. While new fleet additions ARR 555 and 556 are taking shape on the Ft. Lupton construction floor, ARR 551, 552, 553 and 554 are getting all new interiors, including new carpet, tables, seats and lighting. John's Alaska Railroad site has the scoop, along with several photos of an unidentified car in process.

Jan. 11, 2006

Well, it has happened again. Due to the number of photos on this site, I have maxed out my available space. But not to fear. As with the last time, I have sent the wonderful folks at Trainweb a request for a little more disk space, and should be able to provide more updates in a week or so. Good thing, too, because I have some stuff I am just dying to share! Stay tuned...

Jan. 10, 2006

Happy New Year! (OK, it's just a little late. But that "New Year" smell hasn't worn off yet, so it's OK, right?)

There are plenty of updates from my recent visit to Colorado Railcar's plant, including roster photos of: Rocky Mountaineer 9525, 9527 and 9529, Alaska RR 555 and 556, and Princess Tours 7084, 7085, 7086, 7087, 7088 and 7089. There will be plenty more to come in the next few days.


Looking for earlier news items? Here's our archives by year.

— 2005

— 2004

— 2003

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