RAILDATE 2023.09.15

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The Weekly Poser: Where is this?

This 1908 Railway Clearing House diagram shows a location served by four companies: Where is it?

Last week's Where is this?

This is the east portal of a long railroad tunnel in the western US. Security has been tightened since my visit (pre 9-11). Whilst running, I came off the trail and decided to have a look in. Despite hearing nothing, moments later I was dealing with a train barrelling towards me, which required some very speedy escape running. Where is it?

Answer: Union Pacific's Moffat Tunnel, Colorado. Congratulations are due to the following for their correct answers: Dave Goodyear, Andrew Treves, Peter Tisdale. Also, apologies to Paul Hopper and Richard Walker for being left off last week's congrats.

Crossing the Continental Divide in Colorado has always been a major challenge. David Moffat was the driving force behind the tortuous line over the Rollins Pass, with its 4% grades, completed around 1904. It was only ever intended as a temporary solution, and the 6.2 mile (10km) Moffat tunnel took over in 1926. The former route is now the "Switzerland Trail" - an outstanding mountain-bike/hiking trail.

We learned on a subsequent visit to Colorado how precarious the transport links still are. Heading for Aspen from Denver Airport after a 10-hour flight from the UK, we found the I-80 highway closed just west of Denver for planned work. We queued for about three hours to use the official detour on unmade gravel roads. There are no other roads and the tarmac alternative is a 500 mile detour. Local people who knew (we didn't) still chose the 3-hour queue.

Thanks to Mike Walker for his map


UK television listings with a transport theme for the next eight days

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©  Matthew Shaw 2023