Photogenic Phantom. One of the two surviving Baldwin K-27 "Mudhens" rolls a consist of tanks and boxes westbound through Phantom Curve, just outside Osier, Colorado on a sunny, fall afternoon. Phantom is a great location for photographing the narrow gauge....provided that your train gets there at the proper time. The steep, rocky canyon walls and tall timber ensure that there are lots of shadows to contend with for much of the day. Fortunately, on this particular day, Conductor Alan Loomis put us there at just the right time for an afternoon shot.
Phantom Curve was apparently named by D&RG crews running night trains back in the very early days of the railroad. The darting shadows produced when the locomotive headlights struck the unique geology of this location, combined with the flange squeal from the sharp curve produced a rather haunting experience for tired crews on the long trip through the middle of nowhere.
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.