Rio Grande Royal Gorge: postcard photo, c. 1960


The caption of this Rio Grande-logoed post card–postmarked Salt Lake City (1960, I believe, though the date is hard to read) and with a 2-cent stamp on it–reads: “Colorado’s highest peak and second highest in the nation is Mt. Elbert–14,231 feet above sea level–which towers over the upper Arkansas Valley on Rio Grande’s Royal Gorge route through the Rockies.”

The train would be the Royal Gorge, which went south from Denver, through Colorado Springs and Pueblo, before turning northwest and passing through the Royal Gorge and then joining the Rio Grande mainline at Dotzero. From Dotzero it continued to Salt Lake City. This route made for a trip several hours longer than the direct overnight Prospector or the all-day ride between Denver and Salt Lake on the California Zephyr.

In this picture the Royal Gorge has a dome coach (second from last), diner-lounge, second coach, and sleeper.

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