See vintage black and orange Rio Grande action and rare film of the RSD and “Alligator” ALCOs of the Utah Railway. Both the Rio Grande and the Utah Railway had a long history of hauling massive coal trains over the summit. These trains generally had helper sets of six or seven six-axle diesels to provide enough force to tackle the 2-percent grades and twisting curves. We bring all of this from many locations that often needed a good hike to reach.

We visit several coal load-out facilities as guests and learn quite a bit of how efforts are made to keep this business clean and safe. This is quite a contrast to the old days and how the industry is perceived.

The scenery is impressive. And it’s even more enjoyable to railfans, as this busy line has two main tracks -- and in some places, three tracks. Nothing could highlight the scenery like the passenger trains of the Rio Grande with their orange and silver F-units and glittering, domed, stainless-steel passenger equipment. 

Ride the Rio Grande Zephyr when the Rio Grande kept its passenger train while almost every other railroad threw their trains into the Amtrak nationwide system. See many stations, meets with freights and lots of Zephyr run-by action in the beautiful Wasatch Range. 

Learn the region’s history and the changes in the late 1990s. Heavy power, steep grades and massive helper sets were the rule. Watch Rio Grande, SP and finally UP power take over. Also, trackage-rights BNSF trains. 

We were fortunate to have been the guests of the Utah Railway and their facilities. Visit yards and shops and enjoy their new business of handling general freight. We show the rise of the Utah Railway to new heights.

To quote Model Railroad News magazine, “This is an interesting of images, and anyone who is a certified Rio Grande fan will want to watch it”.


  • Color film from M.A. 'Bo" Golson
  • Vintage Rio Grande and ALCos film
  • Ride the Rio Grande Zephyr with runby action
  • Comprehensive Rio Grande power guide
  • Rumbling helper power on fierce 2.4% grades