Bring Amtrak to Glenwood for Strawberry Days
This summer, Glenwood Springs will celebrate the 100th birthday of its adorable railroad depot. Passenger rail service and the depot will be the theme of this year’s Strawberry Days festival, June 18-20.
Meanwhile, Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the line running through Glenwood Springs, is planning work on another of its historic structures ” the Moffat Tunnel.
Running under the Continental Divide from Winter Park to Rollinsville, the 6.2-mile tunnel opened in 1928 after four years of work. It’s the keystone for the Denver to Salt Lake City line, making the route affordable and available year-round.
With a short construction season at 9,000 feet, Union Pacific says its crews will work off and on during the summer months. The tunnel work will require the Amtrak passenger rail service and freight trains to detour north through Wyoming, bypassing Glenwood Springs.
That’s going to put a severe crimp in the summer tourist trade for Glenwood Springs. It’s also going to hurt Amtrak, which sells a lot of California Zephyr tickets because of the scenery between Denver and Salt Lake City.
Union Pacific must keep the Moffat Tunnel operable, but the company should make the construction schedule as efficient as possible and keep the detour days to a minimum.
The Omaha-based railroad should also join with Glenwood Springs and Amtrak to celebrate another of its historic treasures, the Glenwood Springs depot.
It would be a shame to mark the depot’s centennial at Strawberry Days with no trains whistling through town, and no way for tourists to arrive here by rail.
Moffat Tunnel repairs must be planned so that Amtrak and freight trains can roll through Glenwood Springs through Strawberry Days.
Michael Bennett, publisher
Heather McGregor, editor
Dennis Webb, news editor
Sean Kelly, sports editor
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