In part one of the tour of the Greeley Freight Station Museum, the Rio Grande zephyr reached the summit of Quartz Mountain. Now it’s ready to head downgrade on the other half of the railroad. Gerhart Mountain Snowshed keeps the track clear, which is important as this area is subject to very heavy snowfall. Here the F units approach the first of two warehouser log loadouts.
At Helpers Gap Bridge, Number 5771 is trailed by a Western Pacific freight. Firefighters work to keep the Rocky Point Trestle safe from the approaching flame. On the backside, near Gierhart Mountain the zephyr runs through Gierhart cut. Southern Pacific freight appears on the trestle and next the line continues on to Bly.
The line continues on the Lakeview peninsula and the Rio Grande zephyr is now on the Beatty trestle. Sycan Junction is home to a branch line that serves a log camp and a goldmine. The F unit stays on the main, and the steamer heads to the 500 log camp. Entering tunnel 13, the line enters one of the most photogenic spots on the railroad.
Meanwhile, back on the Sycan Branch, the steamer has made it to the 500 log camp. The diesels below are headed to Sycan Junction with a string of empty log cars. The zephyr is now working down the 1 ½% grade along the Chewaucan River, which it will cross several times. This is a great fishing spot, but it’s good to pause and watch the beautiful S curve action. Unit number 5771 goes by the 500 log camp with the logs and log loader in the background. Rio Grande Zephyr enters tunnel 12.
For more videos like this, watch more from Allen Keller’s Great Model Railroad series in the Model Railroad Academy archives.