2012-06-18

POTD - Vanishing Color: Summit Tunnel

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there were four western Class I railroads. Instead of yellow or orange locomotives, there were green ones, red ones, grey ones, blue ones and even a few left over from the previous mergers. It was a much more colorful west. Strangely, others who remembered further back bemoaned the lack of diverse colors even then. We don't know what we have until it's gone. This week's theme for Photo of the Day (POTD) is vanishing colors.

Monday's vanishing colors POTD is one from "Slideshow Bruce" Fingerhood titled "summit tunnel," Early afternoon sunshine highlights half the nose of the southbound unit, yielding a nice contrast between the left and right sides and also to the smoky confines from which the unit has just emerged. This is one of the better photographs from this now silent location. Perhaps the most recent loss of color, the UP-SP merger would shutter the Tennessee Pass route from Dotsero to just west of Canon City and cover Rio Grande gold and black EMDs and Southern Pacific gray and red GE locomotives with Armour yellow paint and patches.

summit tunnel
Southern Pacific locomotive 175, a GE-AC4400CW heads down from the summit of a
still-active Tennessee Pass in June 1996. UP would complete the merger in mere months
Photo: Bruce Fingerhood