Reefers on the San Luis Central RR

June 29, 2013

 Web Page Created July 5, 2013
Last updated July 5, 2013

All photos on this web page are the property of James E. Lancaster and are Copyright 2013.
They may not be used for any purpose without permission from the owner.

On June 29, 2013 I participated in a motor car excursion on the San Luis Central (SLC) Railroad from Sugar Junction on the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad (near Monte Vista, Colorado) to Center, Colorado, a distance of 13 miles. That's the entire length of the SLC. The SLC was founded in 1913 and is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2013.

The SLC serves an agricultural area and hauls mainly grain, potatoes and fertilizer. The SLC also owns many freight cars, mostly reefers and covered hoppers. There are a number of ex-Railway Express Agency 50' reefers on the railroad's property. Most have had their trucks removed and are on the ground in use as storage sheds. I saw only three cars that still had their trucks.

Come along for a ride on the SLC and a look at some of the reefers.

1. The first motor car starts up the SLC and approaches the Rio Grande River crossing

2. We are crossing the Rio Grande River.

3. We're approaching a cut of mechanical reefers.

4. From left to right the reefers appear to be an ex-Fruit Growers Express, ex-Santa Fe, ex-FGE and ex-Milwaukee Road.

5. Close-up view of an ex-Milwaukee Road reefer, now SLC 142.

6. The nearly 40 motor cars participating in the excursion have arrived at the end of the line in Center.

7. The last motor car (owned by the excursion coordinator Jon Keeling) is leaving Center for the return to
Sugar Junction.

8. An ex-Railway Express Agency (REA) reefer is on a siding south of Center.
The view is through the windshield of the motor car.

9 & 10. Most of the ex-REA reefers have lost their trucks and are used as storage sheds.

11. These two ex-REA reefers still had their express trucks.

12 & 13. We passed four modern Cyro-Trans reefers.

14. Close-up view of the end of a Cyro-Trans reefer.

15 & 16. The SLC had quite a few of the ex-Amtrak mechanical reefers.

17 & 18. There were more ex-REA reefer bodies in the SLC maintenance yard near Sugar Junction.

19. The motor cars are stopped on the wye at Sugar Junction waiting to cross US 285 and head into
Monte Vista for a lunch stop.

For more photos from the motor car tour of Colorado visit the photo albums on my Facebook Page.  You can also use one of these links:

Part 1. Leadville to near Climax.

Part 2. Crossing La Veta Pass.

Part 3. Alamosa to Antonito and the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR.

Part 4. Alamosa to Center and Monte Vista.

You can view a You Tube video from the crossing of La Veta Pass.

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