Friday, July 7, 2017

An Update on Electric Coal Haulers Out West from Bob Kaplan

Wire and pantographs under a big blue sky!
Photo used with kind permission of Robert S. Kaplan
One of my favorite railfanning and photography feeds is Bob Kaplan's Capitol Limited blog. Bob
travels the US and the world, and makes great photographs of the trains he sees. He's retired, so his travel tends--unlike mine--to have a lot more pleasure than business.

While I've never met Bob, I nonetheless look forward to his posts, to see where he's been and what kinds of trains he's seen lately.

I was delighted recently to see that Bob had been out railfanning electric coal haulers out in the desert of the Four Corners region of Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Go check out the great photos of the Black Mesa & Lake Powell that Bob brought back. BM&LP still hasn't repainted the for Nacional de Mexico E60s that I snapped back in 2005, but electrics under the big desert sky are still thrilling!

On a sadder note, Bob reported that one of the other electric coal haulers in the region, Navajo Mine, is momentarily closed and will not be operating its E60s much longer. Navajo has already been on the way to dieselization with the addition Alco C425s as helpers (if diesels absolutely must help electrics, OK, I can live with a late model Alco) but is set to take delivery of new General Electric EVO diesels. I'm sure there's some compelling cost modeling in there that makes new, super efficient diesels a better business case, but still--sad to see an electric operation go dark.

Check out the rest of Bob's blog--he gets to see a lot of trains, which he generously shares.

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