Here the canyon is 1000 feet
deep with near vertical walls. The hanging bridge was built
in 1878 by the Santa Fe and inherited by the D&RG in 1880
after the “Treaty of Boston” gave the route to
the D&RG. It has been strengthened several times but retains
its original design to this day. The route was washed out on
numerois occasions over the years, even in recent times.
last D&RGW passenger train through the Gorge
was run in 1967. The Royal Gorge Route Railroad opened for
passenger traffic in 1999. It departs from Cañon
City (southwest of Colorado Springs) and is strictly a tourist
attraction on standard gauge, using ex Canadian VIA Rail passenger
cars still sporting their original CN roster numbers.
The train has a vintage diesel at both ends and, believe it or not, is controlled by Santa Fe RR CTC in Omaha. The ride is out and back in about 2 hours. You have to use your imagination a bit to visualize what this trip must have been like in the early days of the narrow gauge.