Taking it slow.... D&RGW Locomotive #478 slowly eases a late afternoon Silverton Mixed around the horseshoe curve, on the High Line in Rockwood, CO. Her engineer has her doing about 5 mph, showing the utmost respect for the potential perils that this place could inflict should there be a derailment out here. Just a few feet off the train's left side, the rock walls drop away several hundred feet to the bottom of the Animas River Canyon below. Note the presence of guard rails installed all along this stretch, to keep derailed wheels from wandering too far. Note also that the most perilous spot is just behind the flat car. Right there, there are about 2 feet of land mass from the end of the tie....and then nothing but crisp, clear Colorado AIR! For anyone standing on one of the platforms at this spot, it is difficult to see anything supporting the train....and it is spooky. Fall off the train, and.....well, you're going to go a very long way. Even once clear of this horseshoe curve, the train will maintain its slow order until it reaches Rockwood Station, just over half a mile ahead.
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.