Slide show to shine light on Midland RR
Redstone resident Martin Fiala will present “Daylight Through The Divide,” a show slides that traces the old Midland Railroad up the Frying Pan and through the historic Hagerman tunnel, at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at the Redstone Castle. The program is the last in this year’s Redstone Winter Series.
“Daylight Through the Divide” comes from the title of a book by Dan Abbott describing how James John Hagerman built the first standard-gauge railroad to cross the Rockies, in the late 1880s. It reached an altitude of 11,258 feet at the 2,061-foot-long Hagerman Tunnel, the highest standard-gauge track in the country at the time. Fiala will show slides of the most interesting sections of the grade passing through the magnificent scenery in the upper Frying Pan and above Turquoise Lake near Leadville. The chasm of Hell’s Gate is spectacular and the tunnel is eerie where ice today never melts. Included are slides of photographs of some of the old equipment and the all-too-frequent wrecks.
Fiala is a part-time CPA and a retired Exxon executive who has lived in 15 different countries and settled in Redstone because of its proximity to skiing. He is also an avid hiker, amateur astronomer and railroad history aficionado and is a founding member of the Western Colorado chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. His primary interest in railways is hiking the old grades and researching the history of the old lines. Sponsored by the Redstone Community Association and the Redstone Castle, the presentation is free and open to the public. Call 963-1389 for more information.
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