UP Moffat Line: Winter Park to Tabernash, Colorado Print E-mail

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Welcome to the Union Pacific Moffat Line Stream, covering the Winter Park to Tabernash, Colorado area. Please check out the Forum dedicated to this stream for additional info pertaining to this stream.

Now broadcasting a stereo stream from two scanners. See frequency chart for description of left and right channel programming.

The area reliably covered by this feed is between the west portal of the Moffat Tunnel and the west end of Tabernash. Reception is boxed in by local geography, the continental divide to the east and mountain ranges surrounding the Fraser River valley to the west. The dispatcher can typically be heard talking to crews between Winter Park and Bond.  When listening conditions are right, radio traffic from trains and work crews can be heard as far west as Granby. Exceptional reception has yielded contact to East Gore, about 35 miles west of Winter Park.

The track diagram below shows the active CPs, talkers and stations in the area. Although this is an east/west route, the tracks between the Moffat Tunnel and Granby are mostly north/south in geographic alignment. The grade between Tabernash and Fraser is fairly flat, but picks up between Fraser and the tunnel, approaching 2%.




Frequencies Scanned



UseDescriptionDispatcher ID
160.92054/54RightChannel 1

Moffat Tunnel Sub Winter Park, West Portal to Bond

160.45523/23RightChannel 4

Moffat Tunnel Sub Arvada to Moffat Tunnel, East Portal

West Bond Sub Bond to Glenwood

161.49092/92Right RoadBond to Phippsburg
160.395/161.56519/97*LeftChannel 3

Moffat Tunnel 

West Phippsburg to Craig

14/14Right Road
Bond to Phippsburg DS-80
Left MOW
Maintenance of Way 
Left MOW
Maintenance of Way 
 Right  Dispatcher Link

Description in Black text indicates normal traffic heard on frequency

Description in Blue text indicates traffic heard occasionally when reception is good

Description in Green text indicates unverified use of that frequency

*Channel 3 is a split channel. Trains transmit on AAR Channel 19 and receive on Channel 97


Listening Tips: This line offers a variable amount of traffic with anywhere between 6 to 14 freight trains a day, so catching activity can be hit or miss. To improve your chances of hearing radio traffic, listen 90 minutes before and after either of the two Amtrak trains. There tends to be radio activity as the Dispatcher set up for the Amtrak move. In recent months, traffic has followed a "fleet" type of pattern with several trains lined up in one direction or another. After Amtrak passes, there are typically several freight movements as the line frees up. Most of the crews still "call the signals" as they run, so there is usually radio traffic when trains pass through the area. There are two talking defect detectors that can be heard. The Winter Park detector at MP 58.8 is the most reliably heard, being less than 1/4 mile away from the scanner's antenna. Reception of the Tabernash detector at MP 63.7 is typically scratchy, but readable. The Granby detector is almost never heard from this location. When it is, it's very hard to read.

Occasionally, the dispatcher will grant a warrant from the west side of the tunnel to CP DS050, which is the west switch at East Portal on the other end of the Moffat Tunnel.

Lately, the scanner has been picking up signals from the east side of the tunnel. The most commonly heard traffic is crews calling Tolland and East Portal.  (East East Portal is CP DS049, West Tolland is CP DS047, East Tolland is CP DS046)


The Moffat Tunnel is the bottleneck on this line. In addition to being a single track railroad, the tunnel limits how frequently trains can pass because it must be ventilated after each train. After a train passes through the tunnel, a roll-up door is closed at the East Portal. Two large exhaust fans located at the East Portal are then started up, pulling the fumes out of the tunnel and taking in fresh air from the West Portal in Winter Park. The process requires about 10 minutes to complete, during which time eastbound trains are typically held at either the Winter Park or Tabernash sidings. (Or East Portal or Tolland for westbound movements) The Fraser siding is not typically used to hold long trains, since there are several grade crossings between the switches. In addition, the dispatcher will often ask a crew if they can restart their train if moved to wait at the Winter Park siding, which is on a grade. Trains that are likely to stall if stopped there are held in Tabernash. Many eastbound crews will also announce the last signal at Winter Park before going in the tunnnel and call out "Going to the Tunnel Channel" or "Going to 19-97."


Talking Signal: The westbound signal at CP DS057 (East Winter Park) Can't be seen by trains in the tunnel since it's around a curve. There is a distant signal that's located outside the tunnel portal that can be seen. In addition, there is a talking announcement that is occasionally broadcast on the tunnel channel when the signal is displaying a stop indication, and is "in time" meaning the dispatcher can't change it until the time period expires and crews will probably need to stop.  Listen for "The westbound signal at East Winter Park is at stop and in time." usually repeated once.


What You'll Usually Hear:   

Union Pacific operates this line and runs the majority of trains. Each day, several UP mixed freights pass through the tunnel. In addition, numerous coal trains (Loads east, empties west) operate between the mines near Craig, Colorado and Denver.
























BNSF has trackage rights between Denver and Grand Junction. BNSF trains include coal trains and occasional mixed freight.























Amtrak operates the California Zephyr along this scenic route, following the path of the original California Zephyr. 

Train #5: The westbound California Zephyr has scheduled stops at Fraser at approximately 10:02am and Granby at 10:37am.

Train #6: The eastbound Zephyr stops in Granby at 3:12pm and Fraser at 3:50pm each day.

To get up to date train status, visit the Amtrak web site and use their train status report . The station code for Winter Park/Fraser is WIP, and Granby is GRA. If the Winter Park Express is running,the station code at the ski area is WPR.























Ski Train operations are currently unknown.  In 2017, Amtrak revived the Ski Train as the Winter Park Express.  The WPE had been runing as Amtrak #1105 and #1106. The train took a season off during the pandemic but ran again for the 2021/2022 season.  There is no information regarding a 2022/2023 WPE at this time.

 Train 1106, the Winter Park Express loads for the return trip to Denver. 3/4/2022


Shown below, the last "Anschutz" Ski Train on March 29th 2009.























Technical stuff:

The primary scanner is a Realistic Pro-2022 using a copper pipe J pole antenna tuned to the AAR frequency band.

The secondary scanner is a Realistoc Pro-57 connected to a plain dipole antenna, also tuned to the AAR frequency bad.

The antennas are approx. 30' above ground and 1/4 mile west of the tracks in Winter Park, Colorado.

Audio out from the scanner is fed into a Griffin iMic USB sound card connected to a Raspberry Pi 4 running darkice as

the encoder/streaming source.