What's this? A coal train!? Funny how ten years ago, the Moffat was busting at the seams (no pun intended) with coal trains. Now, the Moffat regularly goes days between coal trains. In fact, there are only two mines left in Colorado (as of this photo) that are loading on trains*. The West Elk Mine on the North Fork Branch and the Energy Mine on the Craig Branch. This particularly train loaded at Energy.
* Axial Mine on the Craig Branch does still loads trains, but they are "captive trains"...they run between the mine and the Hayden and Ute Power Plants in the Steamboat and Craig area. The trains never leaves the Craig Branch.
Posted By Webmaster On Wednesday, June 15, 2016 At 6:23:14 AM (PT)
Michael, you are absolutely correct. It is a pretty cool operation...trains frequently run overnight or close to nightfall, but a train in the day will pop up from time to time. It is particularly interesting because the entire operation is electrified. Catenary the entire way.
Posted By Michael Drews On Tuesday, June 14, 2016 At 1:55:22 PM (PT)
There is another (rather obscure) active railroad and coal mine in western Colorado, the Deseret Power Railroad. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deseret_Power_Railroad for details. It's an isolated railroad similar to the Black Mesa & Lake Powell Railroad in northern Arizona.
It's another 75 miles or so beyond Craig if you ever get out that far on your journeys.