DRGW Tennessee Pass Ski Touring

r_i_straw Feb 17, 2012

  1. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    This last week I have been skiing on the abandoned rail line over Tennessee Pass. I have a lot more shots taken with my regular camera but this one is from my mobile phone. I took it with Hemi in mind.
    [​IMG]
     
    HemiAdda2d likes this.
  2. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    In this shot you can see a rock/snow slide has covered the track. I found three places today where this happened. The top half of the tunnel entrance is visible right above the slide, between the signal lights.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'd suppose that signals, etc, are all pretty well vandalized by now?
     
  4. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    Oh, yeah. All shot to pieces. The broken lenses picked up and reflecte the sunlight and made them appear to be lighted.
     
  5. bravogjt

    bravogjt TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for sharing the photos! It is so sad to see this line in such bad shape.

    Ben
     
  6. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

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    The signal in the last picture looks like a high green, too bad it isn't a Grande Jordan with some tunnel motors kicking up snow behind them.
     
  7. fitz

    fitz TrainBoard Member

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    How did you get to ski there? I would have liked to join you for that. Haven't been on skis for a while but I always enjoyed it. No chair lifts there. Park somewhere and have someone pick you up further down the "Tennessee Pass slopes?" :tb-biggrin:
     
  8. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Deen Tunnel. Haven't seen much footage of it after the shutdown in 97. Thanks for sharing!
     
  9. CMStP&P

    CMStP&P TrainBoard Supporter

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    Beeing an Austrian I have to ask if you use your alpine or your nordic skis for that? I figure that going up the (for skiers) gentle railroad grade is not difficult, but that also means that you won`t be able to gain enough speed downhill for alpine skiing.
    Going down an untouched slope in foot-deep snow is the next best thing to beeing in heaven.

    have fun
    Michael
     
  10. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    I use Nordic or as some folks call them, cross country skies. Rail road grades are perfect, not too steep going up or down.
     
  11. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    Today, on the way back to Denver, I made a little trek on snow shoes to the west portal of the tunnel at the top of the pass. I took off the snow shoes and walked to the south portal. Lots of ice covering the track about half the way.
    2012-02-18_10-15-15_886.jpg 2012-02-18_10-11-26_907.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2012
  12. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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  13. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Russ, that's a dragging equipment detector. Not sure if the blue light illuminates when the detector is triggered (the circuit is cut).
     
  14. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    Thanks Jeremy, I could not find much by searching online. There was something about a blue light in conjunction with another signal indicating that the signal was for a parallel track where there was no room to put the mast right next to the track it was for. That did not seem to be the case here as there was only one track and no other signal.

    Here is a shot of the south portal of the Deen Tunnel above Camp Hale. Evidently this was a bottle neck when they double tracked the line because there was not enough room to put in another track along side the mountain at this point. That all became a mute point when they went back to single track and CTC in 1958. After dieselization they needed fewer helpers and single track with long sidings was less maintenance than double track. Must have been a headache keeping the line clear of rock slides.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. fitz

    fitz TrainBoard Member

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    Russell, what a neat adventure! I thoroughly enjoyed your album photos. The scaffolding on the tunnel portals--are they restoring them for tourism or some other reason I can't fathom?
     
  16. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    I believe that the ladders and walkways were just to allow access for maintenance of the roll up doors. I never knew why they had the doors there in the first place. Perhaps when the line was in operation, they were closed between trains in the winter to keep snow and ice from accumulating inside. When UP first closed the line the doors were down but a few years after, they somehow were opened, either by the railroad or vandals.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Jim,
    The scaffolding on Deen Tunnel is nothing more than a frame for rockslide detector fences. I'm sure all the wires are long gone.
     
  18. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Russ,
    This is what they look like without a foot of snow: (Tunnel 12, Moffat Route)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    There are a few wires left. This view shows the insulators on the polls and cross pieces where all the wires were attached on the uphill side and over the top.
    [​IMG]

    This shows what I believe is a long slide fence. It was still more or less in tact. It used a heavy mesh so it was a little more durable. It had springs in parallel with some electrical connectors. I figure that when a big rock hit the fence, the springs would stretch and unplug the connectors.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice photos, Russ. I saw you posted a ton more on RI, I hope you put them all here!
    In other news, that was some rotten weather there, some of the best for depicting a railroad in the worst conditions. Some of the best photos I have seen were taken in nasty weather like this.
     

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