Farewell to D&RGW 5371

DRGW 5371, the final remaining unpatched Rio Grande unit, is on very borrowed time. Having escaped the patch numerous times during 92-day inspections at Roper, it’s unlikely to survive this next one. As of midnight on Nov 13, 2006, it will be due for its three year (triennial) inspection. Three year inspections are not done at Roper, and as such the unit will be headed for North Platte, NE, on Nov 14, 2006. While there, away from its guardian angels in Utah, it will almost certainly be patched. With that, the long twilight of the Rio Grande – some 18 years after the original SP merger and a decade after the SP-UP merger – will come to a close of sorts.

Not being able to be away from work on its final day – Monday, Nov 13, 2006 – I decided to spend the last weekend in Helper, observing what I could of 5371’s final days. I may not have gotten the chance to see it one last time on the Sunnyside Branch (although it did work the dirt train all the way to the landfill on Monday), I did get to see it out and about on the mainline, both on the local and as the rear unit on a helper set. What follows are a few photos from Friday-Saturday, November 10-12, 2006.

Friday, Nov 10, 2006

Saturday, Nov 11, 2006

Sunday, Nov 12, 2006

All photographs in this trip report were taken with a Canon EOS 20D using either a Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS/USM or a Canon 75-300mm f4-5.3 IS/USM.

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