Depot centennial back on track |

Depot centennial back on track

The Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak showed they care about Glenwood Springs and the history of railroading in planning four weeks of summer detours for the California Zephyr.

A detour schedule announced earlier this month neatly avoids Strawberry Days and the 4th of July, leaving the Zephyr free to roll in and out of town on those key summer holidays.

Union Pacific’s maintenance work on the tracks in and leading up to the Moffat Tunnel will require all Denver to Salt Lake City trains to be routed through Wyoming. The four week-long detours are set for June 8-15, June 23-30, July 8-15 and July 23-30.

Strawberry Days will be celebrated June 18-20, and this year’s theme is the celebration of the centennial of the Glenwood Springs railroad depot. It would have been a shame to have Amtrak passenger trains detoured to the Wyoming route during this event, or in the days immediately before and afterward.

This newspaper and leaders with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association said as much, and Union Pacific responded graciously. Their tracks will be open for our party, and we hope Amtrak and Union Pacific will send representatives to help celebrate this grand occasion.

It’s unfortunate to lose even a single day of passenger rail service in Glenwood Springs, and the maintenance work will add up to a full month. That’s going to hurt the city’s tourism economy.

But the detours are spread out over a two-month period, so most travelers who prefer rail should still be able to schedule trips to Glenwood Springs.

And most importantly, people here will be able to hear the whistles of passenger and freight trains throughout the Strawberry Days weekend, when we celebrate the depot and its rich meaning in the history of our community and valley.

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