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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Tennessee Pass line sees freight traffic — for one day NEWSWIRE

Tennessee Pass line sees freight traffic — for one day NEWSWIRE

By | February 26, 2019

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TNpassfreightJodyMoore
TNpassfreightJodyMoore
A pair of BNSF Railway units pull a train of some 130-plus stored coal hoppers from Spikebuck, Colo., about five miles west of Parkdale, Colo., where Royal Gorge Route tourist trains terminate.
Jody Moore
CANON CITY, Colo. — A piece of Rio Grande’s long-dormant Tennessee Pass route saw freight traffic on it again briefly Monday.

A pair of BNSF Railway units pulled a train of some 130-plus stored coal hoppers from Spikebuck, Colo., about five miles west of Parkdale, Colo., where Royal Gorge Route tourist trains terminate. The cars have been stored for years, and having been sold, were on their way to a new owner.

Rio Grande’s Tennessee Pass line has been out of service since 1997 following Union Pacific’s takeover of the combined Rio Grande and Southern Pacific systems. It was deemed surplus, given the Rio Grande’s mainline west of Denver and UP’s own original route across the Rockies at Sherman Hill, Wyo. The rails of Tennessee Pass are still in place for future use, and for a few moments yesterday, a short section felt the passage of steel wheels once more.

6 thoughts on “Tennessee Pass line sees freight traffic — for one day NEWSWIRE

  1. Those cars have been there for at least 11 years. Unless the hoppers I saw there 11 years ago are long gone and these were different ones. Always wondered if a rail-served transload might be possible up by Salida and also at Minturn.

  2. I passed by those rail cars on the parallel US 50 two summers ago and wondered why they were sitting on a dormant section of the line. This article answers that question. Also reminded me I have yet to ride the Royal Gorge Line.

  3. I’d bet it was interesting for the crew to be running over track that hasn’t seen tonnage for over 20 years.

  4. The trip through thecRoyal Gorge is truly spectacular , living up to all its fame and the Royal Gorge Route Railway provides an outstanding on-board experience. They have vista dome diner service, as well as less pricey options and plenty of open air spsace as well. A great ride with high-standard restaurant quality food. Go when you can!

  5. Memo to Warren Buffet: Why not purchase the Western Pacific and Denver & Rio Grande Western from Union Pacific and Play Train in 1:1 scale!

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