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Date: 03/04/06 20:28
The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: tolland

Tennessee Pass is a beautiful place and that's probably why some of us have difficulty putting it behind us:






Date: 03/04/06 20:30
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: tolland

I spent several weeks at Tennessee Pass in July of 1997. At that time, most of the power was either SP or UP.






Date: 03/04/06 20:32
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: tolland

The rugged confines of the Eagle River Canyon are scenic for sure:






Date: 03/04/06 20:33
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: tolland

At East Tennessee Pass, Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado, dominates the southern view:




Date: 03/04/06 20:36
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: tolland

A train with Taconite pellets hauls up to the tunnel and then down at Mitchell:






Date: 03/04/06 20:44
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: tolland

A view of the closing days of Tennessee Pass would have to include the 844 excursion on June 22, 1997, probably the finest excursion the elegant steamer ever made.






Date: 03/04/06 20:45
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: Grande-Fan

Bravo Jim!!
I would have loved too see Tennessee Pass in action.
Thanks for sharing those great photos!
Nathan Z.



Date: 03/04/06 20:50
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: AC4400CWGEVO

Hi Jim:

Those are great shots!!

Thanks!

Ac4400cwgevo



Date: 03/04/06 20:53
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: tolland

This plaque was on the south side of Tennessee Pass Tunnel, giving a historic point of reference:




Date: 03/04/06 20:59
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: tolland

Tennessee Pass could also be a nasty place in the winter. I made one trip down there in winter and took a few shots. Of course, those who ski are familiar with Ski Cooper at the top of the pass. I nearly got stuck in my 4 wheel drive Blazer getting down to the tunnel, and then no trains were running that day. It must have been February of 1997.






Date: 03/04/06 21:04
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: highgreengraphics

...The same ones who constructed the newer Bozeman Tunnel on NP, now MRL in Montana, the appearance of the tunnels are somewhat similar. I have often wondered if that "Winston" name had anything to do with "Winston Hill" east of Helena also on NP, now MRL. - - - - - JLH



Date: 03/04/06 21:12
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: xtra1188w

Thanx for these scenes Jim. It amazes me today that I was actually privileged to have gotten to live there for 7 years at Tennessee Pass, and for several more years at Malta and Leadville. It also flabbergasts me to think that I used to take that whole beautiful area for granted. It's too late now, but I regret not having settled in up there after I got out of the Navy in 1963. Of course back then better jobs and more good lookin girls were to be had in Texas.

Con



Date: 03/05/06 00:51
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: trainman502

As a matter of interest is the Plaque at the tunnel
still there today or where is it now.
Brian



Date: 03/05/06 06:54
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: tolland

trainman502 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As a matter of interest is the Plaque at the
> tunnel
> still there today or where is it now.

The last time I was at the tunnel, the plaque was gone. That was probably 1999. I always assumed that a railfan lifted it but I don't know for sure.



Date: 03/05/06 19:49
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: CimaScrambler

I will always cherish the memory of my one trip to Tennessee Pass in April 1994. I got there more or less by accident. Having the day off during a business trip to Denver, and having decided to spend it looking over South Park, I ended up in Buena Vista having lunch. I fully intended to drive back to Denver through South Park again, but as I walked out of the restaurant, a vehicle train was heading through town and up the canyon. So being the good foamer that I am, I gave chase, and ended up shooting photos at a bridge crossing the tracks that to this day I can't figure out where on the map it was. Then it was on up the canyon to Malta, Leadville, and eventually the top of the pass. By that time it was getting late, so I headed down the hill to Minturn, but just as I was about to crest the pass I saw a taconite train in the rear view mirror, so that turned into a chase (if you can call waiting around for a taconite train to catch up to you as it crawls down the 3% grade "a chase"). At Minturn, a quick "look over town before hitting the Interstate" turned into me watching as a mid-train helper set was inserted into a coal train, and of course I couldn't let that get away, so I chased it up the hill to Pando and Mitchell. The sun was down by the time they were cutting the mid-train helper out at Tennessee Pass siding, but I was there watching. Finally, I headed back down the hill to Minturn, and passed through a snow shower on Vail Pass, arriving back in my hotel in Denver just before 2AM. Going to work the next day at 6:30 was pretty hard, but all I had to do was close my eyes to see the sights of long heavy trains on Tennessee Pass in the spring snow. I carried that around with me for a long time.

Tennessee Pass, in my opinion, is the most awesome bit of rail anywhere. The scenery, the altitude, and the noble spirit of the Rio Grand running in the depths of the canyons, through the mountain parks, and over the high pass. It doesn't get any better than that.

Thanks for refreshing that memory. It is one of my all time favorites.

- Kit

Image 1) Eastbound manifest at Warren, if I have the name correct
Image 2) Eastbound coal train at Mitchell, taken during twilight by balancing the camera on the partly open window of my rental car. The negative is very thin and it took me several hours to get this much of an image out of it.

One of these days I'll have to find the boxes of slides from that trip . . .







Date: 03/06/06 08:24
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: hogantunnel

Like Cima, I too visited Tennessee only once in early autumn, 1994. I spent a night at the camping area at Camp Hale. It was a beautiful location and wonderful to listen to the trains across the highway all night. I am sorry I didn't make a return visit. Hindsight and all that...



Date: 03/06/06 09:18
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: GNR1938

Thanks for the sights. The third and fourth photo down from the top look almost like they were lifted out of a modelers scenery......great stuff.



Date: 03/06/06 11:14
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: eatontm

Took me awhile to discover this thread but now I have so thank you! Of particular interest to me is the 844 cruising down the main at Avon, CO.

TME

tolland Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A view of the closing days of Tennessee Pass would
> have to include the 844 excursion on June 22,
> 1997, probably the finest excursion the elegant
> steamer ever made.



Date: 03/06/06 11:25
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: tolland

eatontm Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Took me awhile to discover this thread but now I
> have so thank you! Of particular interest to me is
> the 844 cruising down the main at Avon, CO.
>
>

The light was wrong on this picture but I was fearful to cross to the opposite side of the tracks. As I recall, the Avon Police were monitoring this situation closely. I should have parked in the Burger King on the opposite side of the tracks, but oh well...

There were thousands of people chasing 844 that day after the Colorado Springs Gazette ran a full page with photos on the run.

Thanks for the comments, friends.



Date: 03/06/06 13:59
Re: The Incomparable beauty of Tennessee Pass
Author: eatontm

Well to the contrary if you had been on the south side of the tracks then you'd have the backside of Wal-Mart in you photo rather than the new apartments and some forested hills in the background. Now a 180-300mm on the southside of the tracks could've possibly compressed Vail's Game Creek Bowl to appear very close in the shot, not that it matters anymore. I had lunch at that Burger King yesterday and can verify that UP 844 is no longer there....

TME

tolland Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The light was wrong on this picture but I was
> fearful to cross to the opposite side of the
> tracks. As I recall, the Avon Police were
> monitoring this situation closely. I should have
> parked in the Burger King on the opposite side of
> the tracks, but oh well...



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