Jason Lee Davis' RailFan Pages
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THE MOFFAT ROAD

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The Moffat Road extends from Denver, Colorado, westward into the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.  This former Denver and Rio Grande Western line is now under the ownership of the Union Pacific Railroad.   This is one of the most rugged mountian rail lines in the world and a favorite site for many railfans, myself included.  This is the modest beginning of my set of pages dedicated to this historic mileage of track which includes the famous Tunnel District and the 6.21 mile long Moffat Tunnel.  These pages will contain trackside images of the route.  For images of the Moffat Road taken from the rails, please visit the companion pages to this set, my Rio Grande Ski Train Excursion Pages.  Enjoy your visit... -Jason

You may click on the images for larger versions if you would like to see more detail.

jj042-05-TheMoffatRoad-s.jpg (13844 bytes) This sign showing a diagram of the "Hell Hill Route" is located along East Portal Road.  "Hell Hill" refers to the labor intensive route up devils backbone and over the Continental Divide prior to the completion of Moffat Tunnel in 1927.
photo July 1997
UP-001-BigTen-s.jpg (15013 bytes) August 29, 1998 This is the S curve as know as the "Big Ten" and "Little Ten" Curves, or many times as simply the "Big Ten" Curves.   It is so named because of it's tight 10 degree radius of curvature.  Visible in this picture are a string of hopper cars filled with dirt and permanently placed on the inside of the curve to act as a wind break.  Note:  A ten degree curve means that the centerline of the rails curves at a radius such that it is 10 feet off of a line tangent to the curve at 100 feet.
August 29, 1998
UP-002-BigTen-s.jpg (13707 bytes) August 29, 1998 Here, one train waits in the Rocky Siding at Mile Post (MP) 18, while another makes the ascent through the Big Ten and Little Ten Curves.
August 29, 1998
UP-003-BigTen-s.jpg (12905 bytes) August 29, 1998 The engines can be seen entering the upper curve while the end of the train is still visible on the lower curve.
August 29, 1998

UP-004-BigTen-s.jpg (14264 bytes) August 29, 1998

Here, the freight continues around the upper S of the "Big Ten."  The curves mark the first significant gain in elevation in the railroad's attact on the Rocky's.  The route gains over 4,000 feet in elevation in the 54 mile journey from Denver to the line's 9,239 ft. apex in Moffat Tunnel under the Continental Divide.
August 29, 1998
jj083-19s-UP7308-Pinecliff.jpg (13390 bytes) Westbound UP #7308 leading a consist of 8 engines into Cliff (Pinecliff, CO). It looked like an impressive lashup, however, only the first 3 units were on-line.
June 5, 1999
jj083-10s-Cliff.jpg (16817 bytes) "Y" switch at the west end of the Cliff siding at Pinecliff, CO.
June 5, 1999
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jj083-12s-SP328-Cliff.jpg (11630 bytes) SP #328 leading a westbound coal empty out of Cliff.
June 5, 1999
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jj083-14s-SP376-Cliff.jpg (12844 bytes) SP #376 and another SP unit following SP #328 as DPU's.
June 5, 1999
jj083-00s-UP6887.jpg (11304 bytes) UP #6887 leading an eastbound coal train along South Boulder Creek between Tolland and Rollinsville, CO.
June 5, 1999
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Page/Photographs 1997-2009 Jason Lee Davis

Other Highly Recommended Moffat Road Sites:
Kevin Morgan's ColoradoRailfan.com - Detailed Moffat Road and engine information by Kevin Morgan.
Paul D. Birkholz's Mountain West Rail - Photos and personal accounts of Colo. Railfanning
weclome back!
Jim Burrill's Colorado Rails Homepage - Great info about the Moffat Road and other area railroad action.
Jim Griffin's D&RGW Homepage - Photos and D&RGW equipment information.

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WebMaster: Jason Lee Davis | E-Mail: Jason.Davis@tamuc.edu
Last update: March 6, 2009