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Rail Recollection

Sidebar by Kirby Perschbacher

Transportation – July 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

My last train trip from my Grandparents’ Cain home in Climax to our home in Salida was when I was probably about ten and my brother Mike was eight. Grandma took us to the station at Malta and bought tickets for the trip to Salida. As we waited around with several other people for the train, I remember a man noting that the D&RGW wouldn’t continue to talk about closing the line if there were this many passengers every day. I recall there being about fifteen people in line.

Our Great Uncle Leonard was the conductor that day, so we were royalty. The best part was showing off the trout we had caught with Grandpa over on the Blue River. They were on ice in a little wooden suitcase that we had. It was only large enough for the fish, so I don’t know what its real function was, since the fish were brookies and probably no larger than 8 inches.

Uncle Leonard took us up to the Vista Dome for the part of the trip that must have gone through Brown’s Canyon. We spent most of our time there entertaining the other passengers with our fish and tales that were probably only important to us. The adults who were captives of the rails for far-off destinations were possibly already seasick from the trip through Glenwood Canyon, Tennessee Pass, and now another canyon that they didn’t realize was going to continue for nearly another hundred miles.

We detrained in Salida and Uncle Leonard helped us off and waited at the station with us till our folks came. I will cuss Phil Anschutz to the end of my days for tearing down the old depot.