RailPictures.Net Photo: Unknown Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Unknown at Thistle, Utah by James Belmont
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Community Response Locomotive Details Location/Date of Photo
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» Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad (more..)
» Unknown (more..)
» MP 680.9, Thistle Yard, D&RGW Subdivision 6 
» Thistle, Utah, USA (more..)
» April 17, 1983
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
» Unknown (more..)
» Unknown (more..)
» James Belmont (more..)
» Contact Photographer · Photographer Profile 
Remarks & Notes 
In April of 1983, the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad yard and the small town of Thistle, Utah became victims of of a landslide which dammed the Spanish Fork River. Residents of the small town were evacuated as nearly 65,000 acre feet of water backed up behind the natural dam, destroying the small town. This photo was taken from a nearby hillside on April 17th, three days after the slide closed the mainline and US Highway 6. Crews with bulldozers can be seen in the distance, in a futile attempt to reduce the slide along toe of the hill. Efforts to save the original highway and rail alignment were officially abandoned later this same day. The dam eventually rose to nearly 300 feet above the former riverbed. The rooftops of D&RGW speeder sheds along the Marysvale Branch wye, the Rio Grande telecom pole line and the US Highway 6 & 89 interchange are all visible, doomed to drown beneath the waters of 'Lake Thistle'. On July 4th, the D&RGW reopened the mainline via a new alignment and tunnel through nearby Billy's Mountain. Within months, the lake was drained and a highway alignment reopened on Billy's Mountain. Federal and state government agencies have claimed this to be the most costly landslide in United States history.
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