Having ridden the Rio Grande Zephyr only once from Denver to Glenwood Springs, the weekend of its demise, I am no expert on the experience, but I can say that my trip on the last run of the last remnant of the Silver Lady far exceeded the usual type of magic that a train trip always seems to conjure.
Was it riding behind Grande gold F9s that--like the stainless steel cars behind them--were the last of their kind? Was it passing through the amazingly scenic Glenwood Canyon that inspired the creation of the very Vista-Dome I was riding in, condensing all the majesty inside my 9 year-old brain? Was it something else, or all of it together? I do not know.
What I do know is that ever since that wild weather'd day in April 1983, I have never been able to find an experience that could rival such a fine ride aboard the Rio Grande Zephyr. Nearly two years prior to that day, photographer Chris Nuthall activated the shutter to capture this near-perfect, linear shot of the Zephyr in the canyon. What could be considered irony is that Mr. Nuthall was attempting to recreate a shot of the original California Zephyr. I think the RGZ looks just fine in her own right, don't you?◊