Denver and Rio Grande
Who can resist this railroad and its beautiful trains!
A favorite of both employees and passengers, the Denver & Rio Grande’s train ‘PROSPECTOR’ traveled between Denver and Salt Lake City every night on the Moffat Line, with ‘comfort all the way’ as their slogan said.
The Prospector ran at night where the California Zephyr ran in the daytime. Nicknamed the ’overnight speedster’, it also made connections to Ogden and the Southern Pacific. A typical five car consist is shown in all of the D&RGW books, and we show that below.
Rio Grande’s train #1 & #2 the ROYAL GORGE took the Pueblo route and over Tennessee Pass. Beginning in 1950, the Royal Gorge ran with the Prospector west between Grand Junction and Salt Lake City.
In 1948 Rio Grande took over a portion of a Pullman car order made by the Chesapeake & Ohio. These twenty-eight cars helped fill the consists of the Royal Gorge and the Prospector with new streamlined cars of the time.
A typical consist of the Royal Gorge is also shown here. Of note, according to the D&RGW Historical and specifically Colorado Rail Annual No.33 by Herb Danneman & Mike Davis, the Royal Gorge did not get the new streamline 10/6 sleepers, only heavy-weight sleepers on the Royal Gorge.
RailSmith will bring cars in the ‘Grande Gold’ scheme and perhaps black & gold as well with enough interest. Their streamline cars were built by Pullman, but had some unique floor plans with both fluted and smooth sides. Our production will be classic versions of these cars or in some case a ‘stand in’ version until, with enough demand, we might produce prototype cars with those unique plans. We will be careful to create cars with accurate paint, for the pleasure of the Rio Grande fans! We cannot resist!
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