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CZ into the Rockies

by Chris Guenzler

5/30/2007 I awoke and after getting dressed rode the Lounge Car to west of Fort Morgan to wait for breakfast which started a little bit after 6:00 AM. I was seated with Tom and Barny going to Denver and Chuck going to Sacramento. I enjoyed French Toast and sausage patties having a good time talking trains before we wyed and entered Denver Union Station. I detrained to meet Jonathon and Tom to show them Denver Union Station.

Amtrak Timetable in Denver Union Station.

Rio Grande Ski Train Timetable Board in Denver Union Station.

The Denver Union Station Waiting Room.

The street side view of Denver Union Station.

Travel by Train!

The California Zephyr at rest at Denver Union Station.

A station crew member cleaning the windshield during our layover at Denver. I returned to my room for Keith Emerson 'Hammer it Out" and read the USA Today. The California Zephyr left Denver on time and I went to the Lounge Car and sat with Tom and Jonathon. Our train got stabbed by a Union Pacific coal train at North Yard. Delay 1! The train then climbed through Arvada and Leyden before the climb would really start.

Approaching the Big Ten Curve. It is always a thrill to ride around the Big Ten Curve!

A look down from Clay at the Union Pacific coal train at Rocky.

Tunnel One across the valley.

Tunnel 1.

From Plain a look back down towards Denver.

The tunnel through some interesting rock formations.

I love rock formations.

The snow capped peaks of the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park as we came to a stop at Crescent for a 30 minute stop. Delay 2!

Another view as we were stopped waiting for a track gang to clear the tracks for our passage.

More interesting rock formations.

The old Rollins Pass railroad grade is now a road.

Approaching east Portal.

This is where the Rollins Pass line took off to climb up and over the Continental Divide. A minute later we entered the Moffat Tunnel for about fifteen minutes.

Tom Anderson enjoying the Moffat Tunnel.

At West Portal we exited to the Winter Park Ski Resort. In the siding here was an eastbound BNSF freight. The train followed Fraser Creek down to our next station stop of Fraser/Winter Park. West of here we took the siding at Tabernash and I got some new mileage.

Tabernash is where the Ski Train lays over during the day while its passengers ski the day away.

The view west as we continued through Tabernash Siding.

A look back from where we had come from!

The rear end of the Union Pacific coal train holding the mainline at Tabernash.

Another look back towards the Summit Range of the Rockies.

Fraser Creek is a tributary of the Colorado River.

A Park setting before Granby.

After our Granby Station stop we crossed the Colorado River for the first time. The California Zephyr will follow it for the next 238 miles into Utah.

One of the little canyons we passed through before we reached the bigger one starting in a few minutes.

Entering Byers Canyon.

Byers Canyon

We exited the canyon to this beautiful scene.

A very stunning scene on a fantastic day in central Colorado.

I ventured back to the rear door of the train to be in position for my next photographs. A few minutes later the California Zephyr entered Gore Canyon. Now enjoy the views of Gore Canyon.

That ends our run through Gore Canyon. At 12:35 PM they called us in for lunch and was seated with the Winstons and Eisuko from Japan.

Next we passed through Little Gore Canyon.

That was little Gore Canyon. I had the Angus Beef Burger and a Chocolate Bundt Cake for dessert. Lunch lasted through Bond and I headed to the rear door of the train again. We next entered Red Rock Canyon.

That was Red Rock Canyon as we closed in on Dotsero. From Dell to Range I relaxed in my room for the passing minutes before I returned to the rear of the train for the next round of pictures.

We passed under Interstate 70 and crossed the Eagle River.

Dotsero where the line from Pueblo once connected.

Click here for Glenwood and Dubuque Canyon as we continue west.