Monday, July 4, 2016

Royal Gorge train, Colorado

This 12-mile (20 km) line forms part of the Rio Grande's Tennessee Pass route west from Canon City via Leadville to Dotsero, but the route has been unused for freight since UP acquired Rio Grande in the mid-1990s. The scenic splendour of the Royal Gorge saw this part of it continue in use since 1999 for a sightseeing-heritage train operating out of Canon City.  The UP uses parts of the whole route to store unused freight cars.

The 1053 ft (321 metre) high suspension bridge for the road was built in 1929.
The Royal Gorge is a gorge of the Arkansas River.  (Taking the photo is Hayley Enoch of Trains magazine)

The feature known as the "Hanging Bridge" holds the track from above. It was built in 1879 along the north side where the gorge narrows to just 30 feet (9.1 metres) and the sheer rocks walls plunge into the river. Designed by Kansas engineer C. Shallor Smith and built by Santa Fe construction engineer A.A. Robinson, it consists of a 175-foot (53 m) plate girder suspended on one side under A-frame girders that span the river and are anchored to the rock walls.

An F7 and a steam loco lurking on the next track n the Canon City yard.
Official website

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