Governor Ritter's Whistle-Stop Special News Story Posted By Kevin (Click Name To Email)
Sunday, January 14, 2007 - Four days ago, on January 9, 2007, Governor-elect Bill Ritter became Governor Bill Ritter after being sworn into office as the 41st Governor of Colorado. Colorado's governor of the past eight year, Bill Owens, was ineligible to run for office again as he was term-limited.
One of the first things Governor Ritter did was to tour the state, starting with a whistle-stop train tour down the Front Range. Union Pacific provided some wonderful cars for the trip as well as two (phase 2) SD70Ms. The SD70Ms had wings and flags, were setup elephant style, and were extremely clean!
Some forecasts earlier in the week were calling for 4 to 8 inches of snow. However, there was hardly a cloud in the sky for the majority of the day! One thing that was accurately predicted was the arctic temperatures. The high for the day was between 4 and 7 degrees! The train departed Greeley right on time at 10:00am, headed for Brighton. Track speed was easily maintained - about 60 MPH - down the entire Greeley Sub.
The train went through 36th street on the way into Union Station (track two) for the second stop of the day. After the stop in Denver was completed, there was a bit of a delay getting the train out of town. The UP crew was unfamiliar with the layout of the BNSF tracks, and getting people in place took nearly a half an hour.
Once the train was finally out of Denver, it was make to open track! Southbounds on Main 1 prevented the train from taking the normal route between Littleton and Palmer Lake on the Joint Line. Instead, the train got a warrant to proceed south on Main 2 to Palmer Lake. This setup a great shot on the south side of Castle Rock.