Lonesome Dove

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About the Red Rock Railroad

The Red Rock Railroad is a fictious road in the southwest of the USA. It is a class 2 railroad, the main task is to move coal from the rich fields of the area to the west coast.

RRR has its own coal mines and has operated USRA steam engines into the 1980s. Dieselization started late when 1st generation diesels became bargains on the market. The RRR started with several F7, in the following years they acquired 3 V200.1 from the German Federal Railways. So the steam engines were used only periodically and with low importance assignments. They were all retired but not scrapped due to low scrap metal prices. They were standing on unused track somewhere in the desert. The dry climate conserved them very well over the times.

Recently it was decided to start into a new business and start again with the use of steam engines as tourist attraction. The wild countryside is an excellent background for excoursion tours. Several steam engines have already been fixed again in the RRR own shops. During the saison RRR operates several freigth trains with their steamers. You can get an assignment as firemen on these rides!

RRR owns a large numer of second- or third hand hopper cars for their coal business. Most of them are old 2 bay hopper, several were rebuilt to 3 or 4 bay cars. Beside coal trains, mixed freigths and sometimes even hotshots appear an the track. UP, SP und BNSF have trackage rigths on the RRR and use them when their own lines are out of capacity. Sometimes these fast trains are operated by RRR. Then their old engines can show that they are never too old.

In the next years RRR plans to expand their track capacity by a second track and get a piece of the big intermodal cake. Additionally unit trains of coal are planned to the east.

"Home of the Desert Hog" is the slogan of the RRR. ??? What does this mean???

The legend of the desert hog is based on a noteworthy event from the first years of railtrack in Lonesome Dove. At that time the farmer Andrew McCastlefear, a somehow odd fellow, thought all the new stuff like railroads and the modern progress was a kind of devils work... Everywhere he was moaning about the progress - at the Sunday's church, at he blacksmith, the saloon...

It was late in the evening when station master Jerimias Greenlight entered the saloon. The high noon train (the only train that day...) again had some delay and arrived just at 11 pm. Tired and angry he now wanted to flush all the days pain down at the bar. The same evening our fellow McCastlefear was in the saloon too. By accident Greenlight sat down at the same table as our farmer.

When Greelight started to express his frustration about the continuous delays of the train McCastlefear saw his opportunity and started his usual attacks against the modern times. Despite several drinks Greenlight was caught by his reputation as station master - a heavy discussion started! When McCastlefear stated even his pigs would be faster than the railroad, Greenlight made a bet out of it. They agreed to race just the next day. The farmer would bring his fastest boar and the 12 o'clock train would be stopped at the cattle pen. It should be a quarter mile race from the cattle pen to the saloon. At that time the railroad was running thru main street.

Festival mood was all over Lonesome Dove - the crowd was betting if the progress will win or not. That day the high noon train was nearly in time at 4.20 pm... The train was headed by an American, one combine, 2 passenger cars, one box car, 2 stock cars and the caboose - a reaonable piece of equipment. The crowd stopped the engine at the cattle pen, MacCastlefear had his best boar on a rope, already nervous about the start of his greatest fight. Now the firemen brougth the valves to blow off - the race could start. A shot was the signal to race. McCastelfear and his hog had an excellent start, the steamer was heavily chuffing under the load of the train. But suddenly the engine drivers were stalling - the pig became panic and escaped his owner. The boar was really racing thru main street followed by the train. Loudly screaming the pig ran first thru the line at the saloon. The crowd was shooting and shouting - the pig ran out of town and disappeared into the desert...

McCastlefear was the winner of this race, but he had lost his best boar. Even long after this memorable event he was seeking in the whole area about his hog... And even today when the wheel flanges of a train are squeeking on a turnout, people are telling they had heared the hog. That was the story why the Red Rock Railroad is called "Home of the Desert Hog".

To fill this story with life the RRR has rebuild an old switcher to the shape of a pig. It is a real crowd pleaser and the children love it!