Tennessee Pass elevation 10,424 ft (3,177 m) is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado. The pass was named after Tennessee, the native state of a group of early prospectors. The D&RGW constructed a narrow gauge railroad over Tennessee Pass in 1881 as part of its extension to the Aspen area in order to beat the Colorado Midland’s standard gauge route to the rich mining area. In 1890, a new standard gauge line was built from Pueblo, to Grand Junction, and jointly with the Colorado Midland Railway, a tunnel was constructed about 200 ft (61 m) below the summit. In 1945, the old Tennessee Pass Tunnel was replaced by a newer tunnel. In recent times, the Rio Grande’s Tennessee Pass line was the highest active mainline railroad mountain pass in the United States. The line, now owned by the Union Pacific (UP), is currently out of use but the tracks remain in place.
Once the Moffat Tunnel and Dotsero Cutoff were constructed, the line through Tennessee Pass became a secondary route. The Moffat Tunnel route had a maximum grade of 2%. The west side of the Tennessee Pass route has grades up to 3%. However, the east side of the Tennessee Pass has a maximum grade of only 1.4%.
The Tennessee Pass (TPS04) map is originally dated 1913 is the revised version in 1947 shows the area near the summit of the pass with the new tunnel bore with the siding, section house still present on the east side of the tunnel. The map still shows old removed main line grade, and wye still shown on map.
Map Printing & Order Information
What does the .5 in the map name mean? The Tennessee Pass.5 (TPS04) map is the exact same map as TSP01 map but is scaled to 1″-200′ (vs. 1″=100′) which makes the TSP04 map half the size.The map will be printed on architectural grade paper with a wide-bed laser jet printer. The physical size of this map is 64″ x 18″. Keep in mind the details on the map will be proportionally smaller and may be more difficult to read.
All map orders are printed on-demand once your order has been received by the Society and processed by our large format printing partner. For that reason please allow up to 4 weeks for delivery.