Rio Grande in the 60's

On April 12, 1961 Yuri Alekseyevich Gargarin flew into space and circled the earth in the Vostok spaceship. Meanwhile, a time warp away in Colorado and New Mexico, Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad firemen were still shoveling coal into steam engines and trainmen were riding the tops of old wooden boxcars. Even before it became a preserved railway the DRGW narrow gauge was a living museum of railroad history, steam railroading in the space age.

This is a gallery of my photos taken between 1960 to 1970 along those Rio Grande narrow gauge lines between Alamosa and Durango, and the branches to Silverton and Farmington. Even though the images were captured during the beginnings of the "space age", in many respects they document railroading the way it used to be, even 100 years ago. The D&RGW narrow gauge was something of an island in time, largely bypassed by technological progress.

You can click the little arrow on the right above, and you will get the whole show in random order. Or you can click on the individual albums below and go the the little arrow on those pages and the images will be shown in geographic order from Alamosa west. Once the slide show has started you will have the option of going full screen, and the speed can be adjusted by moving your cursor to the lower righthand corner until an "options" dialogue box opens.

John West

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