Aspen History: Snowpiercer

Photo Credit: History Colorado

“The Midland train due here at 9:45 yesterday morning, came rumbling into the Aspen depot 12 hours late almost to the minute,” noted the Aspen Daily Chronicle on February 25, 1891. “The delay was occasioned by a very heavy fall of snow on the main line of the road. Passengers who arrived on the train say they were detained at Leadville ten hours, and did not leave there until the belated train from Salt Lake had made its way through on its way East. The great rotary snow plow of the Midland road has been brought into requisition, and behind it three powerful locomotives are hitched together to push it through the massive snow drifts. Such tremendous power would appear to be sufficient to plow the way through towering mountains of snow. They ran ahead of the passenger trains, then followed another engine performing an independent mission of its own. That is to clear the rails of ice and make still better a passage way for the engine which pulls its precious load of human freight. The Midland train out did not depart from the Aspen depot until 6 o’clock last evening, and no difficulty in making good time east was anticipated. It is likely, however, that the snow plows will have a steady job for some little time yet, whether the storm abates or not.” This image shows the Colorado Midland’s rotary snowplow clearing the tracks on Hagerman Pass, circa 1900. (Photo Credit: History Colorado)

Aspen Times Weekly

WineInk: The 2023 vintage

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