Friday, September 19, 2014

POTD: Brawny Muscle At Mitchell On Tennessee Pass

Perhaps nowhere--at least not in the last 40 years--is the idea of railroading in Colorado more realized than Tennessee Pass. A former narrow gauge route surveyed as a way to reach the riches of Leadville's mines and supply them, punched through the summit with a tunnel bore and classic lopsided profile of 1.7% grade on one side and 3% on the other, Tennessee Pass runs right through the heart of the state and until the Union Pacific merger in 1996, served with distinction as the highest mainline in the nation.

Tennessee Pass at SP’s best
Photo of the Day: Mike Danneman
A whopping ten units on Tennessee Pass pull and shove their coal train up 3% grade at Mitchell, Colorado, September 5, 1995. With new AC4400CW and two manned helper sets, Mr. Danneman says, "This was Tennessee Pass at SP’s best!" It's hard to disagree, Mike.◊

PS: For those interested, Fred Frailey (one of the best) writes about the Long Autumn of Tennessee Pass in his blog at Trains magazine (2012).

No comments: