Sunday, January 12, 2020

Alpine Tunnel engine house video

I put together a video focusing on the Alpine Tunnel engine house including historical photos lined up with photos from our 2018 visit.  My favorite addition to the video is Dave Moore’s drone shots of the structure.

Ironically, I brought a drone with me on our trip, but due to the time constraints of getting our rental vehicle back, I didn’t have time to use it there.  However, I was glad to discover that Dave had done the very thing I set out to do, and much better as I was a newbie with a drone and would have been too afraid to fly it as high as he did.  Anyway, Dave graciously gave me permission to use his footage.  It was incredible work on his part and I hope to include more of his shots in subsequent videos.

When the Denver, South Park & Pacific built it’s daring route through Alpine Tunnel at over 11,000 feet, it knew its locomotives would need servicing facilities after the tremendous climb to reach the pass.  A stone engine house was built in 1881.  Inside was a water tank, turntable, inspection pit, and coaling platform.  The structure was destroyed in a fire in 1906 and never replaced.  Thanks to the efforts of many volunteers, particularly through The Passport in Time program, and the leadership of Ray Rossman of the National Forest Service, the remains of the engine house have been protected and stabilized.  Many, many others, such as Gene Candelaria, a stone mason, who did stabilization work on some of the walls in 2010, have also put their hands into this work.  New approach tracks, a restored tool shed, and a viewing platform have also been added.

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