Classic Grand Junction Colorado Train Footage From 50 Years Ago
Vintage footage has surfaced showcasing trains passing through Grand Junction, Colorado. Take a trip back to the 1970s and see if you recognize some of these Western Colorado landmarks.
It's a little difficult to find one's bearings when viewing this film. Fortunately, a handful of Grand Junction landmarks make an appearance. Take a trip back to the 1970s with shots on this 8mm film.
Living In a Railroad Town Like Grand Junction, Colorado
There's nothing unusual about seeing trains in Grand Junction, Colorado. Then again, how often do you get to see film footage of trains in the 1970s? Back before camcorders, digital cameras and smartphones, we had film. Not everyone had access to it. With that, you don't often get to see footage from the 1970s of trains in motion.
You Can Date a Film By the Scenery
It's clearly wintertime in Grand Junction. You'll notice snow on the Grand Mesa in several shots.
You'll also notice the Valley Federal (now Alpine Bank) building in most shots. It's been around since 1973. While no exact date is given for the footage, it has to have been shot sometime after 1973, but not too long after.
Trying to Find the Perspective
You'll notice the photographer is standing above ground level. At one time there was a walkover at the west yards. I can only assume he or she was standing on that structure for many of the shots.
Interesting Thing to Note
Check out the video at 2:01. Look closely and you'll see a couple crossing the tracks as the train approaches. Take note of the leisurely manner in which they walk. It's as if they don't care about, or haven't noticed, the hundreds of tons of steel passing by.
The California Zephyr
Many people get a kick out of the California Zephyr. It really was something to see. As a child, I didn't realize the moniker referred to the train's route. I thought Zephyr referred to the type of train.
Might See a Familiar Face
The footage of the freight train at 2:01 caught my eye. My dad, Arlie Jordan, was an engineer for this railroad, the D&RGW, from the 1960s to the late 1990s. I have to wonder if that's him driving that train.
For a look at more Western Colorado trains, check out the video images from Robert Grant.