Having just crossed into Southern Colorado, Amtrak's Southwest Chief catches the last few rays of sunshine as it negotiates the tight twists and turns of Raton Pass. At over 7,500' above sea level, Raton Pass was the highest point on the entire Santa Fe Railroad system. To get here, trains have to battle a fierce 3.5% grade. It is no wonder why the BNSF routes its freight trains via the Belen Cutoff. Fortunately, the towering Rocky Mountains and a picture-painted sky still make this a great route for passenger trains.