Colorado - La Veta Pass Passenger Service - Anyone Ride Yet?

coloradorailroads May 27, 2006

  1. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    Another near Cripple Creek

    Lauri Martin

    100 acres are burning as of Tuesday night and the fire is 25% contained. The fire is just six miles northwest of Cripple Creek outside of Wrights Reservoir. Three homes so far have been evacuated and 400 hundred other residents are under standby within a five mile radius of Wrights Reservoir.

    Watching the fire through binoculars, Steven King prays the fire doesn't spread to his land. “I drove up from Colorado Springs at 4:30am and will be here until the firefighters leave.” King is among the dozens camped out on the side of the road. Most live just a few miles away and watched the fire with knots in their stomachs. “I love this country (land), as long as it's not smoking,” Bob Coss said, a resident in a nearby subdivision.

    All day about 8 aircrafts dropped thousands of gallons of water and retardant trying to protect nearby homes that had to be evacuated. Christine and Dan Nieto packed their jeep with what they could. “We could see big flames and trees going down,” Christine said.

    The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it's suspected it could be human caused, possibly a campfire.
  2. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    More on the La Veta Pass fire...

    Governor visits state's largest wildfire (

    COSTILLA COUNTY - Governor Bill Owens signed an executive order Wednesday that will provide millions to fight the Mato Vega Fire, which is burning on 9,000 acres in Southern Colorado.​

    The fire is burning in Costilla County near La Veta Pass, north of Highway 160 between Walsenburg and The Great Sand Dunes National Park. The fire was started by lightning Sunday, according to fire officials.

    It is now 30 percent contained. Officials say the containment is mostly on the south end of the fire and Highway 160.

    Owens traveled to Fort Garland Wednesday to be briefed on the situation. His executive order will provide $3 million in state funds to fight the blaze. The cost of fighting the fire through Wednesday morning was estimated to be about $350,000.

    About 300 firefighters from five states are on the scene of the fire. Some are working to control the flames by burning off nearby dead and dry vegetation. In addition, helicopters are performing bucket drops.

    Forecasters provided some good news for those crews, predicting lighter winds and cooler temperatures Wednesday.

    "It will be a cool, moist surge" moving in Wednesday night, said National Weather Service meteorologist Kathy Torgerson. Temperatures will likely drop about five degrees and relative humidity will rise in the mid-20 percent range after two much drier days, she said.

    The fire has forced about 270 homes in a 20-mile radius to be evacuated. The evacuations include the Spring Creek and Wagon Creek Subdivisions.

    An evacuation shelter has been set up at Blanca Ft. Garland Community Center.

    Although the Mato Vega fire is the largest, there are other wildfires burning in Colorado.

    A 1,500 acre wildfire in Montrose County is moving closer to some cabins and ranches near the Utah border. At least 17 engines are on scene fighting The Lion Creek fire which has grown six times in size since Tuesday. Officials say a car wreck started the fire.
    In Teller County, firefighters are battling a 50-acre fire burning through Ponderosa Pine and grass. The fire has forced the evacuation of three homes.

    Tuesday night lightning started a grass fire in Morgan County about 10 miles south of Wiggins. Roughly 600 acres burned. No structures were damaged and firefighters were able to contain the fire before day's end.

    More than 75,000 acres have already burned in Colorado this year. That total is nearly twice the acreage burned in all of 2005.

  3. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    Yahoo! Map Attachment

    Showing track route related to Highway. I have not heard but I can believe they can be running the train right now with the fire right on top of the route.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2007
  4. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    I hope this fire doesn't hurt the track.

    So has anyone ridden the line yet? I pass through there a few times a year and it's definately an appealing looking run through there. It is all bolted track too, for some serious clickity clack action.

    I have seen Denver Rio grande units down that way hauling freight both to the west and the south lines.

    I sincerely hope they can keep it running no matter what, because I'm all in favor of more passenger train excursions. they may be F40's , but I can tell you now that some day we'll miss 'em and wish we could see em running still.
  5. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    Fire now at 12,000 acres

    Latest news I heard on the Radio on the way in but so far it is still north of the highway. I believe the tracks are on the south side of the highway where the fire is at. Not a safe place to be at all right now though.

    Several more smaller fires started yesterday all around the state including on the SW side of Denver; mostly from Lightning strikes and very HOT/DRY conditions. We did get some rain late last night which help at least cool down the areas and the temperatures are forecasted to be in the 80's for a few days now in most of the state.
  6. Mike Hackbarth

    Mike Hackbarth E-Mail Bounces

    Kinda off topic but last night I passed a sub division on the Greenwood/Centennial border called:STURBRIDGE and had a lions head next to it..........:rolleyes2:
  7. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    This is sad news to me because this is my old stomping grounds. We have made the short trip from Trinidad up to Stonewall, down to Cachura and into La Veta, ending up in Walsenburg, many times. I drove up over Apishpapa Pass about 1971 and down into Walsenburg, but the next year snow was over 10 feet deep up there, and was still snowed shut the next three years after that! That pass is so sheltered from the sun, the snow doesn't all melt during the summer so often it just accumulates.

    If you can arrange it, the best way to make this trip is in a convertible!

    One summer we rode horses along the old original right of way over Raton Pass as it was in 1936 back when the highway was only 2 lane and made a sharp corner turn to the west into the town of Raton, New Mexico.
    You would never forget hearing those "Wild Cat" mountain steam whistles coming down Raton Pass when you are just across the canyon from the tracks! Those were the days we could see 2 and sometimes 3 steam 2-8-8-2's scratching and clawing their freight up the grade heading for Trinidad. I can still hear when one of the engines wouild spin its drivers, pour sand and give her the gun again. Now that was a sound to remember and a sight to behold! Sparks flew all over at night! What thrilling memories this brings back from so long ago!
  8. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

    I only wish I had memories like that.. When I drove over LaVeta Pass last fall, it snowed like crazy the previous night. The road was wet, but passable. Had I known where the ROW was, and had time, I'd have likely documented some curves ont he LVP line, just for kicks. Now, I kick myself for not shooting more stuff there!
  9. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    Latest from 9News - We have so many fires buring it's horrible!!!!!!!

    The week that began Sunday June 18 has seen several wildfires throughout Colorado started by lightning. This story has slideshows from three different fires.
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    The Mato Vega is burning on 12,000 acres in Costilla County. Crews are battling it from the ground and air. About 300 homes have been evacuated


    The Bear Creek Fire in Waterton Canyon is burning on 10 acres. No homes are in danger. Firefighters rappelled into the area and made camp Wednesday night so they could fight the fire from the ground Thursday.


    The Jolly Mesa Fire is burning three miles west of Silt on about 70 acres of BLM land. Two air tankers, eight smoke jumpers, a helicopter and three engines were on scene Wednesday.


    The wildfire broke out about three miles west of
    Silt Wednesday afternoon. June 21, 2006.
  10. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    Video Clips from KKTV

    [​IMG][FONT=Arial, Verdana]Mato Vega Fire Grows[/FONT]
    [​IMG][FONT=Arial, Verdana]Raw Video: Governor Tours Fire; Issues Fire Ban[/FONT]
    [​IMG][FONT=Arial, Verdana]Governor Issues Fire Ban[/FONT]
    [​IMG][FONT=Arial, Verdana]Governor Visits Mato Vega Fire[/FONT]

    You will need to go to there site to see them <Click Here>
  11. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    Evacuations Lifted In Mato Vega Fire

    Evacuation orders have been lifted around a nearly 14-thousand-acre wildfire in southern Colorado as firefighters get help from cooler, more humid weather.

    The fire near Fort Garland is 45 percent contained.
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    Residents of about 50 homes were allowed back home this afternoon, but the Forbes Trinchera Ranch remains closed. At one point, residents of about 300 homes were asked to leave after the fire started June 18th. Fire officials say residents could be asked to evacuate again if the weather and fire activity shift.

    Another fire west of Del Norte (del-NORT') now covers 195 acres. Winds yesterday forced the evacuations of 12 homes. Containment is at 30 percent.

    Near Silt, containment of a 581-acre fire is at 60 percent. Crews there are still facing temperatures in the high 80s.​
  12. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    Mato Vega Fire - Firefighters Making Progress (

    There's a fire weather watch in effect this afternoon in western central and southwest Colorado.

    Thunderstorms producing little rain but a lot of lightning have the potential to spark some fires and similar storms are expected the rest of the week.

    This comes a day after cooler, more humid weather helped fire crews make progress on two wildfires in southern Colorado.

    The nearly 14,000 acre wildfire burning in the San Luis Valley is now 70 percent contained.
  13. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

    Wow, those folks down there have had a heckuva summer, and it's not even July yet!
  14. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

    Yep, fire season is just starting in this part of the world...
  15. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

    Sometime ago I saw that Colorado over the past 5 years average with 64 blazes per year. We reached that mark back on March 4th. Seems that recently we have about 5 new fires start every week. This has been the largest fire since the 24,000 acre fire in Yuma County that was burning in March. In June Denver normally has about Six 90+ days and so far we have had about 15+ days now at 90+ including reaching Record 102 on June 14, 2006 (Earliest occurence of 100 degree temperature) so July/August are a fearful time still to come unless we start getting some rain.
  16. Aspensong Conductor

    Aspensong Conductor E-Mail Bounces

    I have not yet been aboard the SL&RG, but it travels right next to my land a short distance East of Fort Garland. Maybe 12 to 15 miles outside of town one will notice a teardrop in the track. My place borders this piece of land and I am trying to purchase it so as to put a non-operating depot in place. It would be a fun project and a joy for passengers to come across such a sight in the middle of nowhere up high in the mountains. When I take a ride I will pass along more info. Right now there is six feet of snow up there with a lot more coming. A late start may be in order come this spring.

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