Walking Denver

by

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

This conference likes to do editorial minutiae in the meetings, and it gets old fast. About 2, I gave up on the day and went out walking.

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The Denver conference center is just across from the hotel, and guess what they’re conferring about today! Good for them.

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Then over to the centralized government buildings center, where I didn’t pay $10 to see the Denver Art Museum, but did photograph a couple of the driftwood horses outdoors.

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Wandering with no particular destination. Some fairly attractive places around here.

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The doors to the cathedral were closed and had a locked kind of look to them. I didn’t bother to try to go in.

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It was pretty hot, so I thought I’d head north and maybe pick up the river trail to loop back into the Centrum. Eventually I found myself walking past Coors field, where a few employees were drifting in, presumably in preparation for a game this evening. I notice that parking is $14 here! What a racket!

There are highways here, leading eventually to freeway ramps. They fly over the railroad tracks.

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One part of the track area is used to stage Loks. The one in the far upper right was just backing into place as I arrived, but the four in the nearground were  being prepared to go out on a run, and were a lot closer anyway. So I stopped to watch.

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Notice the blue sign in front of the cab. Stop, it says on this side; safety first on the other side.

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Just ahead of the foursome, this deadman prevents possible runaway Loks from escaping their sandbox.

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There was quite a crew prowling around all over everything. Presumably checking fuel, lube, pressure, fittings, signs of wear, loose bits, you name it.

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I would like to get a day’s education on how they control Loks in tandem, not only how they get equal power from each but in particular how they make it fail-safe.

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Sign-off from the ground crew, he removes the safety first sign.

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Here’s the before (above) and after (below) of removing the deadman (flagged with the D sign) from the track.

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Free to go. I waited for a few minutes, but they didn’t roll. Presumably they were waiting for a clear way through to the freight they will be hooking up.

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Beyond the Lok staging area was a Diesel shop. I am reminded of the days of yore when Mike P and I would go to the shops in Lincoln of an evening. They’d let us wander around and see everything they were doing. Car shops, Lok repair, the hump.

One evening, we told them we were engineering students and asked if we could ride along in a switch engine.

Sure, they said. Would you like to take the controls?

Wow! Fast back-pedal! Sorry, we’re electrical engineering students at the university, not Lok engineering students. He apologetically kicked us off the train, said he wasn’t allowed to take people along.

A great adventure! I bet you could never do that today.

The highway bridge flew over the river, and there was indeed a bike path down there, but no way down. I looked at the GPS, which gave me no encouragement about maybe another nearby bridge I could reach. There was a bike path, but it just worked its way around the freeway ramps and headed on out into the boondocks. So I went back.

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By the time I reached Coors field, the crowd had begun to arrive, the sidewalk vendors were putting out their tee shirt and munchie wares, and I was just as happy to be going the other way.

(6.55 miles. Of course, as soon as I put the GPS track up on Google Earth, I see how I could have gone down to the river. Oh, well, next time.)

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