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Last D&RGW SD-9 Scrapped (a former NWP OminiTrax Unit)

Some sad news from TRAINS Magazine NewsWire this week:

Last Rio Grande SD9 scrapped

Published: October 3, 2012
No. 5305, as built, pictured at Denver, Colo., on Jan. 5, 1966.
Photo by Ed Fulcomer
No. 5305, after a wreck rebuild, pictured in Pueblo, Colo., on Dec. 30, 1972.
Photo by Bruce D. Barrett

CANON CITY, Colo. – Canon City & Royal Gorge Railroad has scrapped the last remaining Denver & Rio Grande Western EMD SD9, No. 5305. It was cut up as part of a deal the tourist line made for a newer locomotive.

No. 5305 was built in July 1957, part of an order for 10 SD9s, Nos. 5305-5314. In 1996, the locomotive was purchased by the Northwestern Pacific, and then sold to OmniTrax. It was sold to the Royal Gorge Route in 2003, and occasionally did stints pulling tourist trains through the Royal Gorge. The other nine units were sold to National Railway Equipment and scrapped.

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I posted a status on this shortly after it happened. It's just depressing how she was scrapped on home rails by a tourist railroad that "honors" the DRGW, right down to the paint scheme.

I hear she was in terrible mechanical condition and had lots of electrical problems, but you'd think they'd at least put her on static display. Replacement is a former commuter geep (or F40, cant remember which) from VRE.

Unlike the 3 other SD9s on the NWP between 1996-1998 which worked ridge hill, 5305 was assigned to the Schellville hauler because her dynamic brakes had never worked. The maintenance crews tried to fix the problem, but they eventually gave up.

Mike, do you know a lot about the operations of the 1990's NWPR? The 2001 NWPY? If so, I think it would be great if you could summarize it. You know, the different trains, haulers, locals, typical power assigned to each, etc. I am very knowledgeable on the operations of the SP/NWP and the EUKA, but have always wondered how things were run after the sale to the state. I'd be more than happy to summarize SP and EUKA operations for anyone interested.

5305 was a good unit. The D/B didn't work, but it had a switch to increase the rpm at idle. It allowed the unit to accelerate quicker when switching. I think that was added by D&RGW. I've never seen it on any other GP's or SD's. I have seen it on SW-1500's though. On one occasion, it rolled past Schellville depot into the crossing. Handbrake was out of adjustment. One morning, we had to wait for a fuel truck to service us. We had the unit idleing while they filled the tanks. We had to shut down, due to them filling our tank with gasoline! They had to send out 2 more trucks. One to suck out tanks and one to refill with diesel. It took hours and was a long day!


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