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  Trip Report: The Remains of East Rollins Pass - Chapter 1
  East Rollins, Part 1
Tolland to Spruce
  From: The Remains of East Rollins Pass Dates: Jul 30, 2003 Author: Nathan Holmes


Photo 1
A guide to East Rollins Pass and the photos seen here, superimposed onto aerial USGS photographs of the route. Note the grey arrows, indicating mileposts on the old line.
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Photo 2
An old Denver & Salt Lake plat map showing the three proposed tunnels through the hill, source unknown. This is a large photocopy I acquired years ago, and has no mention of its source. A similar, redrawn map of this (but not an exact duplicate - there are differences) appears on p.182 of Bollinger and Bauer's The Moffat Road, lending credibility to the idea that this correctly shows the proposed Main Range tunnels.
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Photo 3
What you're about to see is the 30 miles of sheer railway hell replaced by the six mile Moffat Tunnel in 1927. Fortunately, this westbound BNSF MDENSTO will be gliding under the Continental Divide at a comfortable 25 MPH.
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Photo 4
As we start climbing up the hill, we can see the MDENSTO sitting on the siding at East Portal. This was taken at approximately MP 50.5.
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Photo 5
Another look back on the East Portal valley from further up the line.
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Photo 6
Near MP 51.3, we encounter a draw that the D&SL previously bridged with a trestle. The bridge (trestle MP 51.24) is long gone, so the road now goes out and around.
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Photo 7
A loaded coal train cruises down through Tolland, as seen from high above near the former site of Ladora (MP52).
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Photo 8
Of note is the fact that the old wye at Tolland is clearly visible.
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Photo 9
Between Ladora / Dora (MP52) and MP54, the road takes a shortcut from the old railbed, due to the destruction of bridge 52.27 and the collapse of Tunnel 31. However, the old cut just beyond bridge 52.27 can be seen in the valley below.
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Photo 10
Looking back from the upper level (near MP55), the lower levels can be seen.
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Photo 11
This is the road/old railroad grade, as seen looking west from near MP55.
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Photo 12
The first of the interesting rock cuts on the line, as we curve from north to west to head in to East Antelope, a medium-sized siding near MP56.
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Photo 13
Past Antelope, we're once again headed west with the backbone of the Rockies just ahead.
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Photo 14
Headed west near where maps indicate Frantz would have been, near MP 58.
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Photo 15
The soutwest-most leg of the Spruce, CO, wye is visible here, and clearly missing a bridge.
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All the images here are Copyright 2002 Nathan D. Holmes, with the exception of the satellite image, courtesy the USGS and Terraserver, as well as the D&SL plat map showing the proposed tunnels (source unknown). (maverick@drgw.net)
Note this doesn't mean you can't use my images - In fact, I encourage people to use and enjoy them.
I'm placing them under the same license as RailARC images. Please feel free to copy, use, and distribute anything you find here, as long as I'm given credit for its creation.
All shots in this trip report were taken with a Canon EOS D30 with a Sigma 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 lens or a Canon 75-300mm f4-5.3 IS/USM.