In the mid 50’s motive power on the Denver & Rio Grande Western consisted of a fascinating mixture of huge standard gauge steam engines, first generation diesels and narrow gauge steam engines…some built before the turn of the century. With his love of the steam engine, Irving E. August documented these glory days on the D&RGW in high quality 16mm color film. Mr. August donated these rare films to the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club and by special arrangement, WB Video is honored to make these unique images available to all.
In this program, you will experience the massive Standard Gauge 3600 2-8-8-2’s blasting up fabled Tennessee Pass, see workhorse F-9 diesel power assist 3600’s up to the Moffat Tunnel and witness the legendary California Zephyr with PA diesels.
Narrow Gauge operations include long two-engine gondola trains on the Monarch Branch with its unique switchback. K-27 #453, K-28 #473 and K-37 #497 are seen in the Durango yard and the “Silverton Mixed” leaves with 3 coaches, a caboose and business cars B-2 and B-7…still in Pullman Green paint. Near Montrose #318, a diminutive 2-8-0 hurries by with a freight and at Gunnison, #268 is just in from the last run on the Sapinero Branch. K-36 #487 plows through deep snow with a flanger-ore train from Gunnison to Crested Butte. Then you are on board the last train over Marshall Pass with #483 and #489.
Irv August narrates his own story of those wonderful days on the D&RGW.