Contrary to what one would think, this train, following the Animas River as it leaves the San Juan Mountains is going up hill. While the river is still making its downward cut to the ocean, the train hits an incline from Tacoma to Rockwood that allows it to escape the Animas River Gorge for its last few miles.
This piece of trackage carved in the winter of 1882-1882 was blasted from the sheer rock walls by men hanging from slings to plant the charges. Nearly one hundred and 40 years later, there are still steam locomotives clinging precariously to the same ledge that rises around 200 feet* above the river below.
Easing out onto the "Shelf" with its 5 mph speed limit, we find the ninety-five year old 482 pulling a expanded winter train, the length of which is a direct correlation to COVID-19 restrictions and 50% capacity requirements.
(Sorry folks, C.W. McCall may have embellished to you a bit, as nowhere is it "400 feet straight down" from track level to river)