Rio Grande: Crest of the Continent

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The Colorado Rockies have been home to some of the most dramatic railroad operations in America. Crest of the Continent is the first of a series of all-color books illustrating the Denver & Rio Grande Western as it traversed its home territory in Colorado and Utah. The early chapters of this initial volume follow the line south out of Denver along some of the original narrow-gauge alignment to Pueblo, Trinidad, and the San Luis Valley. Later chapters examine the rails as they wind through the Royal Gorge, over Tennessee Pass, on to Aspen and ultimately Grand Junction.

Originally built to serve the boom or bust mining communities scattered throughout the mountains, the Rio Grande found its long-term success in the transcontinental freight and passenger business, all the while surrounded by larger carriers intent on putting the road out of business. D&RGW's agile and innovative demeanor and its willingness to go the extra mile to provide excellent service made it a customer favorite in spite of the road's small size and limited line haul.

While some of the scenes in this volume could be reproduced given the right circumstances, many, like the Rio Grande itself, are gone forever. These 176 pages, however, are a celebration of how it was during the glory days of color photography along that most interesting of mountain railroads — the Rio Grande.


Chapter One

Chapter Two
Mile-High City — Denver

Chapter Three
The Joint Line — Denver to Pueblo

Chapter Four
Pueblo South — Pueblo to the San Luis Valley
The Creede and Antonito branches

Chapter Five
Through the Gorge — Pueblo to Salida
The Monarch Branch

Chapter Six
Tennessee Pass — Salida to Minturn
The Leadville Branch

Chapter Seven
The Western Slope — Minturn to Grand Junction
The Aspen Branch