Denver to Brush (CO)

Denver Union Station (MP 0.0) is currently a stub-end terminal, the tracks to the south having been truncated in the 1980s, oriented with its exit to the north-northeast, with the depot on the east-southeast side, and the platforms covered with umbrella sheds—two "island" platforms with two tracks each, out of a total of five tracks, with a service platform between the second and third tracks. Coors Field is to the east of the north end of the platforms. At the station throat, where there is a road bridge overhead, with a connecting bridge parallel to the line running northwest, tracks head northeast to the UP line to Cheyenne, north-northeast, still within Yard Limits, with a 10 mph speed limit, past I-25 bridges overhead, across the 23rd Street crossing and connection (MP 0.8) with the BNSF tracks connecting south to the "Joint Line", with a connector in the northeast quadrant of the crossing used in turning the California Zephyr, to the ex-CB&Q line to Omaha, and north to the onetime Denver & Salt Lake “Moffat Route”.

The ex-CB&Q line to Omaha heads northeast, with Two Main tracks, CTC, 30 mph speed limit from 23rd Street (now MP 541.5), across the South Platte River, past the 31st Street Yard (MP 541.2), on the northwest side of the line, where the line reduces to single track, CTC, across the river again, past a connector trailing in from the south from the former Rock Island line, a connector departing to the west to the former C&S yard, and a line heading north to the Denver Stockyards, crossing above the Denver Railway belt line and past the former location of a connector from the erstwhile Rock Island at 48th Avenue (MP 539.6) to the flat crossing with the UP Cheyenne line at UP Crossing (MP 537.3) and Sand Creek (MP 536.9), where the speed limit is 40 mph an industrial spur from refineries on the southeast side of the line trails in from the south.

Passing through an industrial area, the line passes a wye junction at Commerce City (MP 535.2), where the speed limit has risen to 70-60, with a line southeast into Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Ladora (MP 534.2), the 7,656 ft. siding at Irondale (MP 531.7), Derby, Eno (MP 529.5), the 7,613 ft. siding at Barr (MP 524.5), a detector at MP 521.9, the 7,191 ft. siding at Tonville (MP 518.5), the 6,146 ft. siding at Hudson (MP 513.0), and the spurs on the southeast side of the line at Rescar (MP 512.2) before turning east-southeast past Roy, northeast past the 7,101 ft. siding at Keenesburg, north-northeast past Tampa, where a branch from Sloan once trailed in from the south, and east past the 7,048 ft. siding at Roggen (MP 495.7).

The mountains of the Front Range are visible on the horizon for most of this route segment. (These mountains rise anywhere from 7,000 to 9,000 feet, directly from the high plains, which are themselves at an altitude between 5,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level, in this area.) this line is in northeastern Colorado, in the arid high-plains country, where night falls on eastbound Amtrak trains and dawn breaks (somewhat further east, in the summer) on westbound Amtrak trains, in great contrast from the lush agricultural countryside in western Illinois and eastern Iowa where the westbound Amtrak trains are at nightfall, and in central Iowa, where dawn breaks on eastbound Amtrak trains.

The line passes a detector at MP 494.1, the 7,133 ft. siding at Crest (MP 489.1), where the line turns east-northeast, the 6,954 ft. siding at Wiggins (MP 478.9), where the line turns just south of east and then east again, past a detector at MP 470.7, the 7,820 ft. siding at Bijou (MP 468.5), the 6,220 ft. siding at Fort Morgan (MP 464.3), where there is a passenger station, Excel (MP 463.0), Moseley (MP 462.1), Pawnee (MP 459.0), Pawnee Junction (MP 458.0), where a spur heads north to the Pawnee Power Plant on the South Platte River just to the north, a detector at MP 456.6, West Brush (MP 456.6), where the speed limit falls to 20 mph, Brush Center (MP 450.0), where there is a 7,112 ft. siding on the south side of the line and a 7,308 ft. siding on the north side, and the coal line to Sterling and Alliance turns away to the northeast while the passenger line continues east.