Orestod (Bond) to Winter Park

The junction between the present-day main line and the Craig line (original Denver & Salt Lake route, now a major coal originator) is at Bond (Orestod), MP 128.8, where the speed limit is 25 mph. The original "Moffat Route" line turns east, through the river valley, as it passes the 7,500 ft. siding on the north side, to East Bond (MP 127.0), with speed limit 25 mph on the single-track, CTC, line, jogging north and then turning north after passing State Bridge, where there is a modern concrete road bridge overhead and the remains of an older bridge at a lower level on its east side, still following the north bank of the Colorado River, past Intermediate Signals at MP 125.6/7, a detector at MP 125.0, and a grade crossing, northeast past the 4,560 ft. siding on the north side at Yarmony (MP 124.8-122.7), where the speed limit is 35-30, with a road along the south side of the river that is on the south side of the line, north, past Intermediate Signals at MP 121.5 and through an unnamed canyon, northeast, east, north past Intermediate Signals at MP 120.x, curvily northeast past the 8,540 ft. siding on the northwest side at Radium (MP 117.6, where the speed limit is 35 mph, to MP 116.1, where it is 30 mph), past a dirt road grade crossing within the siding, into Lower Gore Canyon, past 463 ft. Tunnel 42 (MP 115.8), on a ledge on the northwest side with a river below to the southeast, east-northeast and then north past Intermediate Signals at MP 114.5, 63 ft. Tunnel 40 (MP 113.8), 294 ft. Tunnel 39 (MP 113.5), out of lower Gore Canyon, a detector at MP 113.2, where the speed limit rises to 70-60, and northeast on a ledge on the northwest side above the river below to the southeast, past the 4,920 ft. siding on the west side at Azure (MP 111.7-110.8), into upper Gore Canyon, with speed limit 35 mph, past granite canyon walls, curving along with a road high on the east canyon wall, past 100 ft. Tunnel 38 (MP 110.0), walls no made of sandstone, Intermediate Signals at MP 109.6/7, high on a ledge on the west side above the river to the east, 134 ft. Tunnel 37 (MP 109.0), 229 ft. Tunnel 36 (MP 108.8), now granite canyon walls again, 157 ft. Tunnel 35 (MP 108.6), Intermediate Signals at MP 108.1, still on a ledge on the west side with the river below to the east, and the 6,730 ft. siding on the west side at Gore (MP 106.5, where the speed limit is 35 mph, to MP 105.1, where it is 70-60).

The line now turns just north of east, with the now broad river alongside to the south, just south of east past a dirt road grade crossing, the 5,990 ft. siding on the north side at Kremmling (MP 103.9), where the speed limit is 55 mph, to MP 102.6, where it is 70-60), east past the "yard" on the north side at Amax (MP 102.0), a road bridge overhead, Intermediate Signals near MP 100, and flat meadows across the valley floor, just north of east past a detector at MP 98.9, a bridge over a stream, a dirt track grade crossing, a dirt road grade crossing, and the 5,570 ft. siding at Troublesome (MP 98.5-97.3), east past a road bridge overhead, the line up on a ledge on the north side and a road at a lower level to the south, with the river beyond the road, then the road alongside to the south at the same level, and the 7,050 ft. siding on the south side, with extra track on the south side, at Flat (MP 93.7-92.3), south-southeast, with speed limit 60-50, past the road at a lower level to the south, with the river beyond the road, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, and Parshall, east past a detector at MP 90.3, a dirt track grade crossing, and Intermediate Signals near MP 88, curvily north, east, and north again, with the line on a ledge on the 'north' side near the bottom of the cliffs, with a road across the canyon, also on a ledge, the river alongside to the 'south', and speed limit 30-20, all through Byers Canyon, east-northeast past a dirt road grade crossing just west of the 7,830 ft. siding on the north side at Sulphur (MP 86.2-84.6), across the Colorado River for the last time, with the line now on the south side of the river and a road in between, past a road bridge overhead just west of the river crossing, Intermediate Signals at MP 84.1, Intermediate Signals at MP 81.3, a detector at MP 79.9, where the speed limit is 40 mph, and Willows, where the Colorado River comes in from the north. and southeast, across a tributary river, and then east-southeast, past a bridge over a stream, to the 4,830 ft. siding on the south side at Granby (MP 76.2-74.5), with a dirt road grade crossing within the siding, where there are  two sheds on the south side of extra track on the south side, fuel tanks, and an old section house (?) on the south side, across from the passenger station/depot on the north side, the US 40 road bridge overhead, and a dirt track grade crossing within the siding near the east end, and the speed limit is 70-60.

Then the line runs through a relatively wide valley, with the line on the north side, along the back side of Rocky Mountain National Park (with Long’s Peak and the other high mountains of the Continental Divide—through which the line will pass within the upcoming Moffat Tunnel) clearly visible to the north, past a former Intermediate Signal pole (with no head in November 2006), and the river on the south side in a narrow canyon, turning south, across that river, past a short stretch of slide fence on the south side, south-southeast  past a long slide fences on the south side all the way to 372 ft. Tunnel 34 (MP 69.1), a bridge over the river at the east end of the tunnel, the river alongside to the south, again, a bridge over the river, the 9,830 ft. siding at Tabernash (MP 67.1, with a dirt road grade crossing, a bridge over a small stream, and the US 40 bridge overhead near the east end, within the siding, where the speed limit is 30 mph, to MP 65.1, where it is 65 mph), where the siding curves away on a path southwest of the main line, having been replaced as an alignment by today's main line, a detector at MP 63.7, a grade crossing, a one-time spur on the south side (heading west),  a grade crossing, the 4,830 ft. siding on the south side at Fraser (MP 62.9-61.9), a passenger platform on the north side, with the depot across the street, the town on the north side, extra track on the south side, and a grade crossing within the siding, there is a lumber mill, and the speed limit falls to 30-25.

The line turns south, past a bridge over a road, Intermediate Signals at MP 60.5, and a grade crossing (Karen's Crossing), east, southeast, south past a grade crossing (Masques Road) and a detector at MP 58.8, and just east of south past the 7,110 ft. siding at Winter Park (MP 58.1-56.6), where the speed limit is 40 mph, to the ski area on the south side at Winter Park, where the line turns east and enters the 32,789 ft. Moffat Tunnel at the west portal (MP 56.4).

Denver to Winter Park

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 to the CB&Q line to Omaha, and north, still within Yard Limits, with a 10 mph speed limit, past I-25 bridges overhead, and the BNSF locomotive depot on the east side of the tracks, across the 23rd Street crossing (MP 0.7) with the BNSF tracks connecting south to the "Joint Line", with a connector in the northeast quadrant used in turning the California Zephyr trailing in at MP 0.8, a bridge over the South Platte River, and the crossing with the one-time Colorado & Southern (now BNSF) tracks at Prospect Street (MP 1.0), onto the onetime Denver & Salt Lake “Moffat Route” track, which heads north for a few miles, initially with Two Main Tracks (one of them the ex-C&S), CTC, and speed limit 30 mph,  past a BNSF yard on the east side of the line, two road bridges overhead, crossovers at Fox Junction, where the 2MT reduce to single track, CTC, Clear Creek Junction, where a C&S line once headed north-northeast, North Yard begins on the west side of the line (MP 3.0), and the speed limit rises to 45 mph, with a large grain elevator on the west side of the yard, dual road bridge overhead, and Utah Junction (MP 3.2), where there are connections with the former C&S line on the east side, North Yard ends, and the line turns due west, across the sloping plains towards the foot of the mountains.

The line passes Zuni, where that erstwhile C&S line came alongside to the south, crosses Clear Creek, passes Pecos (MP 4.1), where the speed limit is 40 mph, and there are briefly Three Main Tracks as the former C&S line re-emerges on the west side as far as C&S Junction (MP 4.8), where it edges away as a parallel track on the south side as the D&SL passes a bridge over a road, a bridge over a stream, and two grade crossings (first is at Lowell Avenue/Blvd), and turns west-northwest, reduces to single-track CTC, and the speed limit rises to 65-45, past a road bridge overhead, a small rail-served tank farm on the south side, Intermediate Signals, a grade crossing, a bridge over a road, with a bridge also on the track on the south side of the line, a road alongside to the southwest, a grade crossing, a detector at MP 5.5 and Arvada (MP 7.5), where the speed limit falls to 28-25 and the line starts to climb, with a road alongside to the southwest, turning with the line when it turns, a grade crossing, and the line turns north, past two grade crossings (Sterling Street and 73rd Avenue), and then northwest, past a bridge over drainage, MP 11, a north-south grade crossing (Spur Street), a bridge over drainage, and an east-west grade crossing, and then west past the 7,020 ft. siding on the north side at Leyden (MP 11.9-13.4), west-northwest to signals and a spur on the north side at Chem (MP 15.5), where it turns west again, on embankment and then in cutting, with the Rocky Flats Plant (US DoE, i.e. nuclear) to the north, past a road bridge overhead, and the 7,330 ft. siding on the south side, with extra track on the south side,  at Rocky (MP 17.4-19.0), where a spur on the north side trails in from that plant and a GWA (Idealite) Cement Plant and Quarry, followed by a dirt road grade crossing.

 As the mountains are reached, the speed limit falls to 25 mph, and the line swings left 180-degrees (two 90-degree turns, to the south at a location called "Little Ten Curve", and to the east), then right another 180-degrees (one turn, to the west), at a location called "Big Ten Curve", where there are retired hopper cars used as a windbreak on the inside of the curve, and finally another 90 degrees to the right (north), at a location called Fireclay, past a dirt road grade crossing, passing by the original approach a couple of hundred feet higher, at the 5,780 ft. siding at Clay (MP 20.6-21.6), and then past Coal Creek, a grade crossing (Pine Mountain Road), and a detector at MP 22.6. From that point, the next thirty miles are contour-hugging along the mountainside traversing along the edge of the Great Plains and through several dozen tunnels, turning west along South Boulder Creek into South Boulder Canyon to reach Moffat Tunnel.

The line turns west into a side valley, past a bridge over a road, northwest, west again, clockwise around to the east, north as it passes through 299 ft. Tunnel 1 (MP 23.4), past a slide fence on the west side north of the tunnel, the 6,530 ft. siding on the east side at Plain (MP 23.9-25.4), with a grade crossing within the siding, northwest to the former location of a detector at MP 25.0 and north past a slide fence on the west side at the north end of the siding, the former location of a detector  at MP 25.4, and into the "Tunnel District, through 516 ft. Tunnel 2 (MP 25.4), a slide fence on the west side at the south end of 369 ft. Tunnel 3 (MP 25.8), 174 ft. Tunnel 4 (MP 26.0), a slide fence on the west side at the north end of tunnel 4, 585 ft. Tunnel 5 (MP 26.1), 536 ft. Tunnel 6 (MP 26.4),  a slide fence on the west side at the north end of tunnel 6, 208 ft. Tunnel 7 (MP 26.6), a slide fence on the west side between tunnels 7 and 8, and 753 ft. Tunnel 8 (MP 26.9).

The line then leaves the Great Plains behind, turning from north to southwest into South Boulder Canyon, and passing through 1,572 ft. Tunnel 10 (MP 27.4), 238 ft. Tunnel 11 (MP 27.8), 429 ft. Tunnel 12 (MP 27.9), a slide fence on the south side at the east end of 312 ft. Tunnel 13 (MP 28.1), 434 ft. Tunnel 14 (MP 28.3), 427 ft. Tunnel 15 (MP 28.5) and 698 ft. Tunnel 16 (MP 28.7) as it twists and turns along the mountainside. The line turns south and makes a clockwise horseshoe back to the north, with a slide fence on the south/outer side around the horseshoe, turning northwest past a slide fence on the southwest side east of 1,730 ft. Tunnel 17 (MP 29.5), slide fences on both the north and south sides, west of tunnel 17, and 238 ft. Tunnel 18 (MP 30.0) and west-northwest past the 5,550 ft. siding on the north side at Crescent (MP 30.6-31.8), with a dirt road grade crossing (Cras Gan Road) west of MP 31, within the siding, and a dam visible to the northwest from the west end of the siding.

After a curve around to the southwest, on the north face of the hillside, the line passes slide fences on both the north and south sides east of 1,055 ft. Tunnel 19 (MP 32.1), turns west through 460 ft. Tunnel 20 (MP 32.5), a slide fence on the south side east of 667 ft. Tunnel 21 (MP 32.7), a slide fence on the south side between tunnels, and 180 ft. Tunnel 22 (MP 33.0), northwest through  1,622 ft. Tunnel 23 (MP 33.2), curvily west past Intermediate Signals at MP 33.5, slide fences on both sides, 812 ft. Tunnel 24 (MP 34.1), 639 ft. Tunnel 25 (MP 34.6) a slide fence on the south side, then a slide fence on the north side west of MP 35, and another slide fence on the north side leading into 295 ft. Tunnel 26 (MP 35.2), a slide fence on the south side at the west end of Tunnel 26, a bridge over a cascade, southwest past 643 ft. Tunnel 27 (MP 35.7), and a slide fence on the south side west of Tunnel 27, northwest, southwest, past a slide fence on the southeast side, north-northwest through 78 ft. Tunnel 29 (MP 36.4), past a slide fence on the southwest side west of Tunnel 29, west, and northwest past a grade crossing,  the 6,900 ft. siding at Cliff (MP 36.7-38.2), where the speed limit rises to 45-40, a road alongside to the north, and a bridge over a stream within the siding. 

The line turns southwest, past a grade crossing, south, southwest past a detector at MP 39.2 and a slide fence on the southwest side of the line, south, west past slide fences on both sides of the line to 257 ft. Tunnel 30 (MP 40.5), a slide fence on the north side of the line west of the tunnel, and then again for a longer distance, a road alongside to the north, and west-northwest to the 8,320 ft. siding on the south side at Rollins (MP 41.2, where there is a lake on the south side and the speed limit is 30 mph, with a bridge over a road at the west end of the siding, to MP 42.9, where it is 45-40 again). Many turns and 28 tunnels later, the line is through the “tunnel district” and down onto the floor of the canyon. There are still several miles to go to reach Moffat Tunnel, but the line is back to where cars (and animals other than Rocky Mountain Goats and Bighorn Sheep) can reach trackside. The scenery even adjacent to the line is now quite alpine in nature (as it should be, the line is now ~9000 feet above sea level).

 The line now heads almost due west along the floor of the canyon, on its north side, past Intermediate Signals at MP 44.x, a road "alongside" to the south, a slide fence on the north side east of MP 45, a dirt road grade crossing, the 5,660 ft. siding on the north side at Tolland  (MP 46.5-47.7), with a grade crossing within the siding, where the speed limit is 50-40, a detector at MP 48.0, and  a wye on the north side where the original line over Rollins Pass climbed the mountainside to the north, a turn north and then back west again, a dirt road alongside to the south, a detector at MP 48.8, and the 5,725 ft. siding on the north side at East Portal (MP 48.9, with a grade crossing within the siding, where the speed limit is 33-25, to MP 50.1, where it is 40 mph), before entering the 6.5 mile (32,789 ft.) long Moffat Tunnel to its west end at MP 56.4. The Moffat tunnel itself was built in the 1920s to replace tortuous switchbacks that went up to over 11,000 feet over Rollins Pass, and takes 20 minutes to traverse at the maximum allowable speed. The west end of the tunnel is in the ski area at Winter Park.