The famous Tennessee Pass line is presented when it was a booming, though ill-fated, line. Steep 3% grades and trains with up to 40,000 bellowing horsepower are featured! We bring many types of coal, taconite, boxcar trains and much more. This video was created from a wealth of expeditions to capture video scenes by three video camera operators in the 1990s. All the seasons are featured in this video. We feature train ‘meets’ and some great high-speed pacing action that managed to elude the local highway patrol folks — luckily! From Pueblo’s Yards to Dotsero, Colorado, where the Moffat line is met, the coverage captures the beauty and multitude of challenges of this original and historic line. We outline the lines history, and its importance. Before its final demise when the UP finally gathered up the Rio Grande property. This video was shot with two cameras for most scenes — and in some scenes, three camera operators were used to cover all the exciting angles.
Learn the history of how the line was formed by the idealism of retired General Palmer and his rival battles with the fledgling Santa Fe Railway. You won’t have many lingering questions about the history and formation of this line built long before the more efficient “Moffat Line”. The Tennessee Pass line was the highest U.S. mainline at 10,000-ft. altitude – at least when it was still an active line. Soon after the UP bought the combined SP-Rio Grande line, this unusual and beautifully scenic line was shut down. The steep grades, and massive need for helpers, made it unattractive to UP’s way of running trains. But all those unpleasant issues were exactly what made Tennessee Pass so compelling to generations of railfans. Our many maps, generated expressly for this video, will keep you well informed.
To quote Trains magazine, “…it’s a great guide! See a smattering of GE and older EMDs as they struggle up the highest mainline in North America.”