Tip-toeing over Cascade Creek. With the aspens popping all over the hills surrounding the Los Pinos Valley, D&RG Locomotive #425 slowly rumbles across the high bridge over Cascade Creek at MP 319.95, with a mixed train headed for Osier, Sublette, Big Horn and points east.
The iron bridge depicted here is the second trestle to exist at this location. It was built in 1889, is 408 ft. long and towers some 137 ft above the creek. This bridge was built to hold small, Consolidation type locomotives, similar to the one you see here, and while it is strong enough to hold larger engines such as the K-36, double-heading with any class of engine has never been allowed here, or on the similar trestle over Wolf Creek near Chama. If you ever wondered why Rio Grande narrow gauge freights had helper engines cut into the middle or ends of the trains, this is the primary reason.
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad are all that remains of the legendary Denver & Rio Grande Western narrow gauge system. Here you'll find some of my favorites from these two beautiful railways.