RGZ Gallery

Here are various photos of the Rio Grande Zephyr in action.  Like the California Zephyr before it, the westbound train was numbered 17 and the eastbound movement was number 18.

(A note about my photos: when the train was still operating I only owned a 110 Instamatic camera. As a result these images tend to be grainy and a bit blurry. Well, you can’t go back in time and re-shoot them!  There are also a few better-quality images mixed in here courtesy of friends. See especially Scott Deikman’s photos towards the bottom.)

RGZ-19811107-10 No. 17, rounding the Little 10 curve on 11/07/1981, as seen from the side passage on our dome car. Note that the usual diner SILVER BANQUET is missing; in its place is a former UP diner, No. 1116 (built by ACF).
1982_01 Westbound between Clay and Coal Creek sometime in early 1982. I wish I’d kept better records back then!
RGZ Plainview  (dla) No. 17 Westbound at Plainview, early 1982 (Dan Adams Photo).
Ski Train and RGZ Power RGZ Power -climbing towards Tunnel 1. (Confession: this is actually the Ski Train in March 1984. But one year prior to this shot, the RGZ’s head end would have looked exactly like this.)
RGZ-19811107-19 Entering the east portal of Moffat Tunnel, as seen from inside a dome. (11/07/1981)
RGZ_Byers In Byers Canyon (8/14/1982)– or possibly exiting Fraser Canyon.
RGZ-19811107b-07 In Gore Canyon on an overcast day (11/07/1981).
RGZ_Gore2 Gore Canyon on a clear, sunny day (8/14/1982).
RGZ-19811108_17 Train No. 18 arriving at Glenwood Springs station. (11/08/1981)
RGZ_BlueMtn Approaching Coal Creek, taken from the vestibule of SILVER SKY. (8/14/1982)
rgz_bronco2 SILVER BRONCO crossing the Coal Creek Canyon bridge. (Jan/Feb? 1983)
RGZ-19811107b-12 Rio Grande business car WILSON McCARTHY on the tail end of the RGZ, pulling out of Glenwood Springs on 11/7/1981.  This car was a frequent guest on the train.
1983_015 No. 17 at Coal Creek, crossing the bridge over Colo. 72 in early 1983.
RGZ_Dinner Inside SILVER BANQUET (8/14/1982).   (Honest, we really were having a good time!)
ww_rgz-830424 Overview of the train, on April 24, 1983, lined up at Grand Junction.  This is the last eastbound run.  Woody Woodward photo
SilverBronco In Retirement, SILVER BRONCO is seen at the Burnham shops in Denver, May 1984– slightly more than a year after the last run of the RGZ.
DRGW5771 RGZ 1982-11-25RGZ 1982-11-25 Coal Creek Two views on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 1982. Standing at the entrance of Coal Creek Canyon just down from Blue Mountain road.  These are more shots taken with my trusty 110 camera…

First shot, a couple of my family members wave as No. 17 motors past.

Second shot, the train is climbing the flank of the hogback just before ducking into Tunnel 1.

The following images were lent me by Scott Diekman, who shot them at Denver Union Station in May 1982.
SD_2station Union Station – trackside.
SD_5771 No. 5771, up close.
SD_Coupler Nice shot looking at the train and the depot hall beyond.  SILVER COLT on the left.
SD_Sky_lt Rear view of the train, featuring SILVER SKY.
SD_McCarthy Business car WILSON McCARTHY.
SD_McCrthy2 Pretty self-explanatory shot here.  That’s the western wing of the depot in the background.
SD_Mustang Dome chair car SILVER MUSTANG.
SD_Sky Aft Tail end of SILVER SKY.
SD_Sky_lt SILVER SKY, left flank.
SD_Sky_rt SILVER SKY, right flank. Those familiar with these cars will spot a late modification by the railroad: the marker light housings have been removed from each side.
SD_Zephyr Front view, showing the three F9’s and the steam generator car.

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