Restoration in the Rockies

Few railroads have been the butt of so many jokes as the Denver & Rio Grande Western. Workers on the Rio Grande (pronounced rye-oh-grand), when ribbed by other railroaders about "that bankrupt hunk of rusty junk," had once had the dubious comeback: "Hell, man, we kill more people every year than you carry."

But the Rio Grande is no longer a dangerous derelict. Now one of the healthiest and safest of U.S. railroads, cockily straddling the Rockies from Denver and Pueblo to Salt Lake City, it ended a long haul back to respectability last week by chugging out of Federal...

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