The Thunder of Their Passing
Featuring nearly 500 outstanding color and black and white photographs, illustrations, and reproductions. Complete with detailed text, bibliography, and index. Robert Turner's beautiful and moving tribute to the Rio Grande's narrow gauge and the Cumbres & Toltec is his 14th book on western transportation history. A historian and photographer with an extensive professional background in museums, historic sites, and heritage restoration projects, he has been fascinated by the narrow gauge railroads of Colorado and New Mexico for more than 35 years. His many awards include the American Association for State and Local History's Award of Merit for the excellence of his books. His photographs and articles have appeared in a wide range of books, magazines, and exhibits. This stunning volume chronicles the story of one of the finest preserved steam railroads in North America, from its origins as the Denver & Rio Grande's San Juan Extension in the 1880s silver mining boom, to its present-day operations as the spectacular Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. The book spans more than 125 years of railroading in the beautiful aspen-covered high country of Colorado and New Mexico. The Thunder of Their Passing presents an insightful portrait of one of the last great steam railroads in America. Included are reminiscences of those who knew the railroad as employees, travelers, and residents. The meticulously researched text explores the history of the railroad, its impact on the region, the circumstances and struggles that led to its long life and eventual preservation, and the unique qualities that have endeared it to so many people. Winter operations, stock trains, snowplows, the classic San Juan passenger train, locomotives and special equipment, and the day-to-day operations of an old and sometimes cantankerous railroad all feature in this enduring tribute. The book's breathtaking gallery of photographs features work of some of the finest photographers to visit narrow gauge country. Included are photos by such masters as William Henry Jackson, Richard Kindig, Jim Shaughnessy, Richard Steinheimer, John Gruber, Steve Patterson, and many others. This is the story of a fascinating railroad that has captured the imagination of travelers for well over a century. 288 pages.