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Nostalgia & History > Snow in Denver

Date: 12/03/22 03:07
Snow in Denver
Author: santafe199

Not too surprising. Unless you grew up in a place where the end of March meant the trees were about to burst forth and new grass was just about to poke its first few cautious blades up through the soil. However, when you’re a mile high all bets are off... ;^)

Inclement weather references aside, there was a very good reason to be out shooting Kodachrome this day. The end of the Rock Island had arrived. The four units here in photographer Hol Wagner’s shot were no doubt part of the plan to round up all company cars & equipment for transport back east. Although there may be a discrepancy in dates, here is a paragraph borrowed from Wikipedia, with my own added parenthesis: “(Directed operator) Kansas City Terminal began the process of embargoing in-bound shipments in late February, and the final train battled three days of snow drifts to arrive in Denver on March 31, 1980. Cars and locomotives were gathered in 'ghost trains' that appeared on otherwise defunct Rock Island lines and accumulated at major terminals and shops and prepared for sale.” It would be interesting to see what the very last Rock Island train out of Denver looked like...

1. CRI&P 4313 is part of a large gathering of ‘bankrupt blue’ in Denver, CO on March 29, 1980. Ready to make their final trip back east?
Original Kodachrome slide by F Hol Wagner Jr, from the James W. Watson collection.

Thanks for looking back!
Lance Garrels
Remembering the late Jim Watson, aka ‘UP6900’

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/20/23 23:59 by santafe199.

Date: 12/03/22 03:54
Re: Snow in Denver
Author: dan

The last power to get to denver returned over the UP to make it home to Omaha other have said

Date: 12/03/22 05:44
Re: Snow in Denver
Author: train1275

Awesome !!!!

Date: 12/03/22 10:02
Re: Snow in Denver
Author: ironmtn

Terrific image, Lance. The very picture of High Plains winter railroading (and the Rock was really that kind of railroad east of Denver) at the end of a long, brutally cold and windy, drift-bustin' run.


Date: 12/03/22 11:05
Re: Snow in Denver
Author: rrpreservation

Excellent shot!!

It was said the Rock's line was too covered in snow to return on home rails, so as Dan mentioned, the last train left via UP.

Date: 12/03/22 20:06
Re: Snow in Denver
Author: texchief1

Like that shot, Lance!

RC Lundgren

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