The SP years were the heyday for the Tennessee Pass route but things are about to reach an abrupt end in just a few months. Meanwhile the passing sidings are kept polished by meets such as is transpiring this May afternoon between SP 8703 West holding the main as SP 358 East gives it a rollby. The westbound train still has over 2000 feet to climb before crossing the divide at Tennessee Pass.
The GE ACs on the coal train are only a couple years old, contrasting with the older SD40-3, SD40-2, SD40T-2 combination on the Herington, KS-Oakland, CA auto train. The closure of the former MoPac Hoisington Sub from Pueblo, coupled with the 3% grade on the west slope of Tennessee Pass delivered the effective kiss of death for this route, albeit with some severe congestion issues along the Moffat Route for many years to follow.