For two and a half years, the San Luis & Rio Grande was a RailAmerica operation. Between
July 2003 and December 2005, SLRG leased up to seven 4-axle units in the GP40 series from Helm and elsewhere, all originally build by EMD. One of them even was originally a Denver & Rio Grande Western diesel, which means that it was back on home rails, for a while.
We just happened to be passing through Alamosa on opening day for the SLRG, July 2nd, 2003. The first day on the job had its share of headaches, evidently, since the locals hadn’t departed by noon. I managed a few shots downtown, and again of the Monte Vista local as it returned.
The newly-formed railroad set about trying to improve their situation, including renewed sales efforts and installation of plant. A fueling facility was installed in the Fall of 2004, and parts of the line were re-ballasted.
We came through Alamosa twice in late 2004, in September and again on November 12, 2004. I captured the images below on those visits. This was still a year before the Permian buy-out.