On the pass at Lizard Head.... The long-extinct Rio Grande Southern railroad ran from Durango to Ridgway, Colorado, a distance of about 162 rail miles. Like the D&RGW Line between Chama and Antonito, the RGS also featured at 10,000+ ft. mountain pass called Lizard Head. Located between Rico and Ophir at Milepost 52.6, and named for a nearby mountain, Lizard Head Pass topped out at 10,222 ft above sea level. In the scene above, our RGS re-creation freight sits in the snowshed at Lizard Head, while her hogger oils around in preparation for continuing the run to Ridgway.
Of course, the rails no longer run to Lizard Head, and Mudhen #455 was long ago converted into razor blades. Subbing for the pass this day is the 10,022 ft. Cumbres Pass, our locomotive stand-in is D&RGW #463, painted as 455, and our steely-eyed hogger is none other than veteran C&TS Engineer, Jeff Stebbins.