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Rio Grande Narrow Gauge in the 60's
The DRGW narrow gauge was the last major steam operation in the U.S. The climb over 10,000 foot Cumbres pass was spectacular, with two engines handling 70 car trains. Hopefully these images convey some of the drama of mountain steam railroading.
Photo Album By: John West
 
Link to this album:
http://www.railpictures.net/album/157/
 

This photo album contains 42 photos, sorted by
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Photo ID: 586457

With the 488 on the point and 487 helping mid-train, a long westbound train, probably at the limit of 70 cars, is strung out along the hillside above Los Pinos River west of Rock Tunnel. The rear... (more)

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Chama, New Mexico, USA
Locomotive #: DRGW 488
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: September, 1964


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By: John West

Added: Aug 21, 2016

Views: 1,867
Comments: 3

Favorited: 14

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Photo ID: 586184

A long eastbound train rounds Tanglefoot curve east of Cumbres. Tanglefoot may or may not have been a term used by the railroaders, it does not appear in any timetables or special instructions, bu... (more)

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Antonito, Colorado, USA
Locomotive #: Unknown
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: July, 1963


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By: John West

Added: Aug 18, 2016

Views: 4,941
Comments: 4

Favorited: 42

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Photo ID: 509296

"Through the weeds not around them". That was a parody of the DRGW's old advertising slogan, "through the Rockies not around them", dreamed up by DRGW engineer Andy Payne, probably while running ... (more)

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
Locomotive #: DRGW 478
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: September, 1965


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By: John West

Added: Dec 05, 2014

Views: 6,926
Comments: 3

Favorited: 29

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Photo ID: 497420

A caboose hop leaves Durango headed for Farmington. It will pick up its train at Carbon Junction, where the cars were set out the prior evening by a train from Chama. The caboose, two loaded boxca... (more)

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
Locomotive #: DRGW 488
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: December 20, 1961


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By: John West

Added: Sep 10, 2014

Views: 5,277
Comments: 3

Favorited: 49

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Photo ID: 402270

Early on a cold winter morning two engines are serviced before hauling another long train over 10,000 foot Cumbres pass to Chama. Two more engines, a flanger, and a spreader will run ahead from A... (more)

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Alamosa, Colorado, USA
Locomotive #: DRGW 480
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: December 18, 1961


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By: John West

Added: Jul 01, 2012

Views: 4,341
Comments: 2

Favorited: 35

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Photo ID: 401911

For a long time it was normal practice for narrow gauge trains to handle standard gauge cars between Alamosa and Antonito and intermediate points on the three-rail. By the early 60's this practice... (more)

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Antonito, Colorado, USA
Locomotive #: DRGW 481
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: September, 1960


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By: John West

Added: Jun 27, 2012

Views: 8,098
Comments: 3

Favorited: 53

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Photo ID: 397964

A Cumbres turn approaches the west switch to Cresco siding while climbing to Cumbres. The cars will be left at Cumbres and the engines and caboose will return to Chama. After spending another ni... (more)

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Chama, New Mexico, USA
Locomotive #: DRGW 498
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: September, 1964


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By: John West

Added: May 16, 2012

Views: 4,178
Comments: 1

Favorited: 27

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Photo ID: 382618

DRGW Cumbres turns were often accompanied by a fair number of photographers and just curious tourists, and for the crews it was almost like a public performance. The brakeman smiles for my camera ... (more)

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Antonito, Colorado, USA
Locomotive #: DRGW 492
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: September, 1964


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By: John West

Added: Nov 30, 2011

Views: 7,497
Comments: 9

Favorited: 61

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Photo ID: 347829

DRGW 484 and another engine are serviced at the Chama coaling tower in preparation for a trip west to Durango. This coaling tower still exists on the C&TS and while it is not used it is very clos... (more)

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Chama, New Mexico, USA
Locomotive #: DRGW 484
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: July, 1963


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By: John West

Added: Dec 07, 2010

Views: 5,721
Comments: 2

Favorited: 30

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Photo ID: 347825

Extra 498 west climbs out of Willow Creek heading toward the Continental Divide at Azotea and ultimately Durango. One of the oddities of the Alamosa to Durango line is even though it crossed 10,00... (more)

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Chama, New Mexico, USA
Locomotive #: DRGW 498
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: September, 1964


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By: John West

Added: Dec 07, 2010

Views: 5,725
Comments: 2

Favorited: 37

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Photo ID: 310741

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
Locomotive #: Unknown
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: October, 1962


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By: John West

Added: Jan 14, 2010

Views: 10,828
Comments: 3

Favorited: 67

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Photo ID: 305038

Cumbres section house framed by the snowshed. I like the details. The engine is taking water from the water plug, and a gon of new ties is on west end of the siding. The black dog by the switch s... (more)

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Antonito, Colorado, USA
Locomotive #: Unknown
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: July, 1963


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By: John West

Added: Nov 23, 2009

Views: 6,033
Comments: 2

Favorited: 27
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Photo ID: 292970

Doubleheading from Alamosa to Antonito. At Antonito both engines will take coal and water, and the helper will be cut into the train for the climb to Cumbres. It will be long after dark and prob... (more)

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Alamosa, Colorado, USA
Locomotive #: DRGW 480
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: December, 1961


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By: John West

Added: Aug 04, 2009

People's Choice 3

Views: 13,312
Comments: 8

Favorited: 86
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Photo ID: 287427

Following a flanger spreader train that will help clear the new snow over Cumbres, the 480 leads the regular doubleheaded Monday freight west past the Alamosa yard limits.

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Alamosa, Colorado, USA
Locomotive #: DRGW 480
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: December, 1961


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By: John West

Added: Jun 15, 2009

Views: 5,318
Comments: 1

Favorited: 23
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Photo ID: 268161

It is late afternoon and the shadows are getting long as the 484 with its helper cut in ahead of the caboose pulls a Cumbres turn into the small yard at the top. It is the crew's second trip up t... (more)

Railroad: Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Locomotive: Steam 2-8-2
Location: Antonito, Colorado, USA
Locomotive #: DRGW 484
Train ID: Unknown
Photo Date: July, 1963


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By: John West

Added: Jan 21, 2009

People's Choice 3

Views: 18,984
Comments: 14

Favorited: 118
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