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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:38 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:43 am
Posts: 28
Tom F wrote:
Tennessee Pass has always had good potential. There has been many articles regarding running passenger trains to the ski resorts despite much of the previous right of way now removed. The severally clogged I-70 highway has been a major problem during the ski season, with traffic backed up for hours in either direction. Talks of a railroad connecting the ski resorts has often been discussed including drilling some very long railroad tunnels, as well as laying tracks where there has never been tracks before. Amtrak brought back the ski train a few years ago and it is frequently sold out.


Note that Tennesse Pass is a long way away from the majority of Colorado ski resorts. As you can see from the screen shot below, ski resorts tend to be along I-70 corridor (where the railroad currently operated by UP and also hosting BNSF and Amtrak trains runs). The [out of service] rail line on the Tennessee Pass route is quite far from there (see highway US 50 on the map) and per that map only has one nearby ski resort.

Image
(click screenshot image to see bigger)
link to 'live' Google Maps at this location:
https://www.google.com/maps/search/colo ... 7230164,8z

Nobody is going to be drilling new "very long tunnels" to connect Colorado ski resorts to the US passenger rail network!


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1148
Location: Pacific, MO
Maybe that will be 3985's new home..............just throwin that out here


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:52 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:15 pm
Posts: 240
Rader Sidetrack wrote:
Tom F wrote:
Tennessee Pass has always had good potential. There has been many articles regarding running passenger trains to the ski resorts despite much of the previous right of way now removed. The severally clogged I-70 highway has been a major problem during the ski season, with traffic backed up for hours in either direction. Talks of a railroad connecting the ski resorts has often been discussed including drilling some very long railroad tunnels, as well as laying tracks where there has never been tracks before. Amtrak brought back the ski train a few years ago and it is frequently sold out.


Note that Tennesse Pass is a long way away from the majority of Colorado ski resorts. As you can see from the screen shot below, ski resorts tend to be along I-70 corridor (where the railroad currently operated by UP and also hosting BNSF and Amtrak trains runs). The [out of service] rail line on the Tennessee Pass route is quite far from there (see highway US 50 on the map) and per that map only has one nearby ski resort.

Image
(click screenshot image to see bigger)
link to 'live' Google Maps at this location:
https://www.google.com/maps/search/colo ... 7230164,8z

Nobody is going to be drilling new "very long tunnels" to connect Colorado ski resorts to the US passenger rail network!


Honestly it’s not too far from ski resorts at Minturn, Leadville, and there’s even a couple near Buena Vista or Salida they could transport to. Not exactly a direct connection but certainly not out of the realm of possibility they could run like a shuttle service.

Also sorry for the really outdated Denver post article everyone. That’s my bad.


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 Post subject: Q
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:40 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 1030
I recall a scheme seriously suggested around twenty years ago when I lived in Denver to run passenger trains from Denver to the ski areas via Tennessee Pass and new build east up through the canyon next to I-70, as a way to deal with the congestion on I-70, rather than building a new line west of Denver, which would have run into the tens of billions. At the time I couldn't believe that they even suggested it. Copper Mountain ski resort is the closest to the TP line, around ten miles or so from Minturn, and then Vail and Keystone Breckenridge a few miles further, but the whole trip south to Pueblo and then back north on TP, and then east, would be something like a twelve hour trip by rail even if the track were in top shape.


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:23 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 262
Location: Houston, TX
Actually Bear Creek Ski area is right on the TP line east of Eagle at Avon, and Vail is only a few miles away on the north side of the RR. The alternative to running from Denver through Pueblo would be an agreement with UP to use them to Dotsero, and then double back east to Avon and Minturn. Much shorter, but still several hours longer than just a 3 hour drive from DIA.


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:01 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 494
Meet Stefan Soloviev, the billionaire agriculture magnate who has reopened the Towner Line and wants a direct Western outlet for his grain business to the west coast via Tennessee Pass.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features ... landowners

Rob Gardner


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:56 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 1030
Rob Gardner wrote:
Meet Stefan Soloviev, the billionaire agriculture magnate who has reopened the Towner Line and wants a direct Western outlet for his grain business to the west coast via Tennessee Pass.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features ... landowners

Rob Gardner

"Stefan Soloviev, heir to a $4.7 billion fortune, will remember “anyone who screwed me over.”"
How utterly charming, nothing more stereotypically American than a family farmer working his land lol. TP may actually be a better place to run grain than the Moffat Tunnel route, which has a lot of problems with units overheating on loaded trains from the bottom of the grade at Plainview up through the 27 tunnels up to Pinecliffe around 13 miles away. The line was always eastbound heavy with coal from the western slope and so it wasn't such an issue. But when I lived in Pinecliffe around 1992 the line started handling loaded grain trains off the KP for UP and they were quite regularly stopping at a section building in Pinecliffe to refill the radiator spray system tanks. I also heard them on the scanner talking about how they needed to reduce their power so the traction motors in the EMDs wouldn't overheat at certain speeds.


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:29 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:06 pm
Posts: 226
Location: Bendena KS
Looks like an interesting guy.

Certainly has radical ideas, ie actually using a railroad to haul commodities rather than buying it just to scrap (previous owner of the Towner line) it or placing it out of service so that no one else can use it (current use of the Tennessee pass line)

Explains where the money to beat A&K Railway supply in a court battle came from. My hat's off to him for his success in that department

I hope he is successful. Rail transport is the most efficient way to move commodities like grain and the Tennessee Pass line offers a way more direct route from southeast Colorado and Southwest Kansas to the west as opposed to having to go north from Pueblo to Denver or Cheyenne first.

Jason Midyette


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 6:10 pm
Posts: 175
Just curious, which route has the better grade profile, Tennessee Pass or the Moffat
Tunnel? I understand that from Denver The Tennessee Pass fought is longer, but if you are coming from the southeast well that's a whole different story.

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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 677
Mikechoochoo wrote:
Just curious, which route has the better grade profile, Tennessee Pass or the Moffat Tunnel?
From Wikipedia, Tennessee Pass (Colorado):
Quote:
The Moffat Tunnel route had a maximum grade of 2%. The west side of the Tennessee Pass route has grades up to 3%. However, the east side of the Tennessee Pass has a maximum grade of only 1.4%


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:17 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:40 am
Posts: 461
Steamguy73 wrote:
So I did a bit of research on Colorado Pacific Railroad LLC and this is the same group that is restoring service to the (nearby) former MoPac Towner line between NA Junction and Towner Colorado. Doesn’t sound like it’s a scrapping operation here.



PMC, Do you happen to have anymore on the long abandoned shortline? It's easier for me to picture the route if I can trace it on a route map.

I wonder if he is going to relay the MoPac/UP Hoisington Subdivision section that was torn up?

I'm sorry to say that I am not familiar with this part of the line that once fed traffic to the TP route.

Robert


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 Post subject: Stefan Soloviev and the Tennessee Pass
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:15 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:51 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Jason Midyette wrote:
Looks like an interesting guy.

Certainly has radical ideas, ie actually using a railroad to haul commodities rather than buying it just to scrap (previous owner of the Towner line) it or placing it out of service so that no one else can use it (current use of the Tennessee pass line)

Explains where the money to beat A&K Railway supply in a court battle came from. My hat's off to him for his success in that department

I hope he is successful. Rail transport is the most efficient way to move commodities like grain and the Tennessee Pass line offers a way more direct route from southeast Colorado and Southwest Kansas to the west as opposed to having to go north from Pueblo to Denver or Cheyenne first.

Jason Midyette


I agree Jason. I did a bit of internet searching last night on Stefan Soloviev and he is quite interesting.

His Crossroads Agriculture company with their large land holdings has the potential to generate plenty of business for the Colorado Pacific Railroad.

He's very wealthy a New Yorker, but with an affinity for farming, and it sounds like he really likes Kiowa County in Colorado. Quite interesting.

Reading how he beat A&K / V&S at their scrapping game is fascinating! It was neat to read how somebody as passionate about the railroad as SS is, who also had the funds to pull it off! I wish him luck.

STB document link:
https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... /45128.pdf

Another good article:
http://kiowacountyindependent.com/news/ ... her-begins


That all said, great for the Towner Line, but I'm not really sure how the Tennessee Pass line is going to fit into this equation. There doesn't seem to be any Crossroads Agriculture properties along the TP to generate local traffic, so what does the Colorado Pacific Railroad intend to gain by running trains that way?

They must have a plan to pursue this....

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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:47 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 1030
BigBoy 4023 wrote:


PMC, Do you happen to have anymore on the long abandoned shortline? It's easier for me to picture the route if I can trace it on a route map.

I wonder if he is going to relay the MoPac/UP Hoisington Subdivision section that was torn up?

I'm sorry to say that I am not familiar with this part of the line that once fed traffic to the TP route.

Robert


Here is a good summary, it was called the Arkansas Valley Railroad. I'm not sure how much of it is left, though that part of the state is a bit arid and very sparsely populated so it could essentially be as it was 140 years ago. A railroad abandoned 140 years ago wouldn't have had the best engineering, but the right of way happens to run at the shortest distance between the old KP and MP (which hadn't been built yet when the AV was abandoned):

http://www.abandonedrails.com/Arkansas_Valley_Railway


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:52 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:40 am
Posts: 461
PMC,

Thanks for the interesting information.

I wish this guy the best of luck.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee Pass route may be sold
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:43 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 494
Loads headed WB on TP would be more favorable to the Moffat (1.48% vs 2.2%). Empties EB over TP would be not be as hard a pull as Loads EB over TP with its 3% ruling grade.

Crossroads Agriculture ships grain east from around Kiowa, CO and I'm assuming that most of it heads to the upper Midwest or to the Gulf for processing or export. The Bloomberg article seems to make the case that Crossroads wants some of their grain (milo, I believe?) to go west for export from a west coast port and that is really the only reason he is interested in TP, to apparently have a shorter route than having to work with UP and ship it north from Pueblo to Denver and then west over the Moffat. I'm sure that if he succeeded in getting TP that he would insist on having the ability to interchange with either BNSF or UP at Dotsero, though I'm sure UP would prefer to keep him captive to them.

This will be a fun one to watch. Hoping for success to finally see TP have a shot a life again.

Rob Gardner


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