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Old 11-15-2007, 04:20 PM
 
20,903 posts, read 39,179,200 times
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Starting this thread to have a place to discuss tourist train rides in CO, of which there are many. I'll start with my favorite one.

Sep 1995. Union Pacific RR steam trip from Denver to Portland, a 2-week trip put on by the Rocky Mountain RR Club and UP Steam Program. We took the first week of the trip, from Denver to Boise, ID.

The trip was marvelous, not a single problem the entire time. The Armour Yellow car fleet of the UPRR is in stunning good shape. The trip gave people a taste of how great rail travel was back in the glory years when fabulous name-trains polished the rails from coast to coast. I've about 400 slides of this trip, I'll post a few of them here.

It was our first trip to CO. We had no idea that the eastern third of the state was prairie. On the way north out of Denver, we saw Bison grazing on the plains, what an amazing sight to an eastern city boy.

Tourist Train Trips in CO-cab-ride.jpg
One lucky fan got a cab ride over Sherman Hill, with Steve Lee at the throttle.


Tourist Train Trips in CO-conductor-engineer.jpg
Engineer and Conductor for the trip. Best jobs in the world.


Tourist Train Trips in CO-continental-divide.jpg
Crossing the Continetal Divide. The small sign says Creston. Tele-shot taken at a "run-by." The sound of this engine was awesome, simply ear splitting. My late father worked on steam loco's for the B&O in Baltimore, he talked about steam to the day he died. Big engines like this were his favorite.


Tourist Train Trips in CO-fuel-stop.jpg
Pit Stop. The loco burns #5 heavy oil, a thick oil. Use of oil eliminates fires along the tracks that used to be started when hot coal cinders flew out the stack. Here we are in Wyoming, filling up the tender with oil.


Tourist Train Trips in CO-jiffy-lube.jpg
Jiffy Lube? Here, the crew uses an alemite gun to push lube into the bearings for the rods. Poor lubrication can burn up the bearings, leading to all sorts of trouble and downtime.


Tourist Train Trips in CO-power-steam-diesel.jpg
Another run-by on a great day.


For more info on the UP Steam Program, see: Union Pacific Steam Locomotive Shop (http://www.upsteam.com/index.html#index - broken link)

Last edited by Mike from back east; 11-15-2007 at 04:31 PM..
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:06 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,849,882 times
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For special steam trips the Union Pacific steam trips are hard to beat. But for regularly scheduled trains, my list of the top 3 is:

1. Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. If you want to feel what it was like to ride a passenger train through the mountains of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, say, 75 years ago, this is the trip to take. Trips originate out of Chama, New Mexico or Antonito, Colorado. ( The Official Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Web Site )

2. San Luis Rio Grande (Rio Grande Scenic Railroad). Colorado's "newest" tourist railroad--running from Alamosa to La Veta and return. (Rio Grande Scenic Railroad )

3. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Still a great trip and the best known, but more structured and crowded than the others.

Attached are three photos:

UP 3985 (the world's largest operating steam locomotive) with the Cheyenne Frontier Days Train at Cheyenne, Wyoming.

A Cumbres & Toltec locomotive crew at Cumbres Pass (10,015 feet), Colorado.

San Luis Rio Grande (Rio Grande Scenic RR) train approaching La Veta, Colorado, pulled by ex-Southern Pacific steam locomotive no. 1744.
Attached Thumbnails
Tourist Train Trips in CO-3985cdata-copy.jpg   Tourist Train Trips in CO-img_2203_cdata.jpg   Tourist Train Trips in CO-img_1853cdata.jpg  
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,447,315 times
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You guys mentioned all the great Steam excursions that came to mind for me (and you had some great photos!), but I didn't see the Royal Gorge train mentioned. Here's a link:
Welcome to the Royal Gorge Route Railroad!

I've never taken any of them, but have been lucky enough to have seen the Durango & Silverton and the Frontier Days trains in operation. One of these days, I'll get the chance to ride one (or more) of them.

Though it's not a tourist railroad, there is a railroad museum in Golden that looks pretty neat. I haven't yet been there, but I would like to visit next time I'm out there (possibly Christmas). Here's another link:
Railroad Museum - Golden, Colorado - trains, railroad history
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:57 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,849,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdavid93225 View Post
You guys mentioned all the great Steam excursions that came to mind for me (and you had some great photos!), but I didn't see the Royal Gorge train mentioned. Here's a link:
Welcome to the Royal Gorge Route Railroad!

I've never taken any of them, but have been lucky enough to have seen the Durango & Silverton and the Frontier Days trains in operation. One of these days, I'll get the chance to ride one (or more) of them.

Though it's not a tourist railroad, there is a railroad museum in Golden that looks pretty neat. I haven't yet been there, but I would like to visit next time I'm out there (possibly Christmas). Here's another link:
Railroad Museum - Golden, Colorado - trains, railroad history
I agree. The Colorado Railroad Museum is a great place to start a Colorado "train" vacation. I also like the Royal Gorge trip for its outstanding scenic value--the railroading part is sort of ho-hum. The dinner train on the CCRG is a good place to take a wife or date who is less enthusiastic about trains. You get a train ride, she gets to enjoy (and so do you) a very good dining experience.
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