Northern Colorado, which varies in area with whom you ask, is part of the Colorado Front Range Urban Corridor. Despite this "urban" definition, the people and landscape of this strip between Cheyenne and Denver is a mix of semi-industrial, suburban, and commercial islands strung like pearls along the I-25, US 85, and US 287 lifelines linking the two cities, surrounded by vast agricultural ventures that epitomize rural, non-urban life. Any journey out east will tell you that urban isn't what they should call the Front Range piedmont. Coming out of Brighton as the 844 works its way north, the landscape shifts agrarian for the first but not the last time.
The best part--from a railfan's point of view--about the old Denver Pacific line is that, despite its history, it's not all that old. UP maintenance crews have kept this line in good shape, and the relatively level grade lets 844 pick up some speed on its way.
|Union Pacific 4-8-4 #844 paces down the rails through Brighton on a beautiful |
Saturday morning July 23, 2011 on her way to Cheyenne's Frontier Days in WY