Busiest route through the Rockies

Pertaining to all railroad subjects, past and present, in the American West, including California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, and The Dakotas. For specific railroad topics, please see the Fallen Flags and Active Railroads categories.

Moderator: Komachi

Busiest route through the Rockies

Postby CPSK » Mon May 26, 2014 9:06 pm

On a recent car trip through the rockies, I did not see a single train on the route through Moffat tunnel. Several years ago on a trip from Vail to Denver I saw only one trail - the Amtrak California Zephyr heading east. I think I also saw one freight train exiting the west portal of Moffat while skiing at Winter Park.
This makes me wonder where most of the traffic through the Rockies runs. From Denver west, do most freights head north to Cheyenne, then west? Looking at Google Earth, it looks like that line is double track, while through Moffat tunnel is only single track.

Thanks for your info

User avatar
Posts: 524
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:29 am

Re: Busiest route through the Rockies

Postby Backshophoss » Fri May 30, 2014 10:21 pm

Depending on the RR involved,cross US traffic may run across the BNSF Transconn to LA or
across the UP's "Overland route" to Roseville Ca.
The mostly "flat" route would be the UP/ex-SP route from El Paso to LA,
the most grades would be BNSF northern "transconn" Empire Builder route into Seattle.
Posts: 5414
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Busiest route through the Rockies

Postby Desertdweller » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:25 pm

I've traveled alongside this route (Dotsero west) several times already this year. There appears to be very little traffic at this time.

The Royal Gorge route is shut down, except for the tourist train operation Canon City to Parkdale, a local short line operation serving a quarry near Parkdale and connecting at Canon City, and a short coal unit train serving a powerplant just west of Canon City.

I don't get up on the Craig Branch, but I do see empty unit coal trains staged at Denver for movement up that line.

Traffic on the main line west of Dotsero seems to be limited to a daily local freight and the California Zephyr.

There may be more freight traffic, but I haven't seen it.

Posts: 639
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:28 pm

Return to Western Railfan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest