The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, served mainly as a transcontinental bridge line between Denver, Colorado, and Salt Lake City, Utah, with a motto of "Through the Rockies, not around them".
The Rio Grande was the epitome of mountain railroading, operating the highest mainline rail line in the United States, the over 10,240 ft Tennessee Pass in Colorado, and the famed routes through the Moffat Tunnel and the Royal Gorge.
Known for its independence, the D&RGW operated the last private longhaul passenger train in the United States, the Rio Grande Zephyr. (All photographs copyright Chris Nuthall)
Burns, Colorado, December 12, 1981 - Vista domes Silver Pony and Silver Sky trail the westbound Rio Grande Zephyr as it follows the horseshoe bends of the Colorado River at Dell, on the Dotsero cut off.
Helper, Utah, October 18, 1981 - With a skittering of snow on a relatively open area between Colton and Kyune, the #18 Denver-bound Rio Grande Zephyr still has the Price River Canyon in front of it on the way down from Solder Summit.
Pinecliff, Colorado, March 20, 1982 - With business car Wilson McCarthy trailing, #17 Rio Grande Zephyr is up to full load as it approaches Tunnel 29.
Glenwood Springs, Colorado, June 13, 1981 - Attempts to emulate the classic California Zephyr shot in Glenwood Canyon with the RGZ was always made difficult by the RGZ passing through the canyon seemingly earlier in the day to the CZ.
Glenwood Springs, Colorado, June 13, 1981 - Close to midday near the longest day of the year, the westbound Rio Grande Zephyr travels through the west switch at Range on the Dotsero cut off.
Burns, Colorado, December 12, 1981 - The Rio Grande Zephyr follows the Colorado River near Burns on the Dotsero cut-off on its westbound journey to Salt Lake City.
LINK: See more of Chris Nuthall's railroad pictures on RailPictures.Net