Denver & Rio Grande Western [Southern Pacific]
Colorado (Crater Loops)
June 11, 1996

One of the most fascinating pieces of engineering on the original Moffat Road line to Craig was known as the Crater Loops. In order to gain altitude in a restricted amount of real estate, the tracks looped around in what almost formed a figure eight as they climbed towards Toponas Summit. The Loops can be rather disorienting; the combination of the steep grade, the sharp curvature, and the uneven topography can create an effect such as that here, of virtually climbing into the sky. The grade crossing in the foreground is Conger Mesa Road.

This page posted 3/1/2019. Text and photo ©2019 Lamont Downs.