When Snow Slides Closed the Canyon

When Snow Slides Closed the Canyon (HM29MJ)

Location: Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Garfield County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 32.796', W 107° 19.465'

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A blinding snowstorm reduced Engineer Hartenberg's vision as he guided the D & RGW passenger train No. 1 through Glenwood Canyon. It was 11:30 the night of February 1, 1899, as the train passed Shoshone headed for Glenwood Springs.

Suddenly, the engine's headlight revealed an avalanche covering the tracks. Shouting a warning to his fireman, Hartenberg quickly reversed the engine. Both men leaped from the train as it crashed into the mountain of snow, boulders and trees. Cars and engine telescoped into each other. Fortunately, none of the other crew or passengers was hurt.

At dawn, a wrecking train arrived at the scene to tackle the removal of the 200-foot-wide snow slide. At 9am a small slide covered the wrecking train. As a crew worked to uncover the wrecking train, an avalanche of enormous proportions roared down the canyon's slopes striking the crew, burying many, and sweeping three men into the Colorado River.

The crew immediately began the rescue of their fellow workers, and doctors Dean and Crook of Glenwood Springs came to assist the injured. However, three men did not survive the large slide.

It took a week of work to make the rails passable following the avalanche of 1899.

Beware the pine-trees' withered branch. Beware the awful

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Photo caption: Crews worked to clear the railway of avalanches in Glenwood Canyon. Some 26 rail coaches and Pullman cars containing about 250 people were sidetracked in Glenwood Springs for about a week.
HM NumberHM29MJ
Placed ByFrontier Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, July 21st, 2018 at 7:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13S E 300271 N 4380016
Decimal Degrees39.54660000, -107.32441667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 32.796', W 107° 19.465'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 32' 47.76" N, 107° 19' 27.9" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)970
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 802 Grand Ave, Glenwood Springs CO 81601, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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