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Construction on the Moffat Tunnel began in 1924. The first train ran through the tunnel in February 1928. The tunnel is just a little over 6.2 miles long and the highest elevation is inside the tunnel at 9,239 feet. The track over Rollins Pass was pulled up during the mid30s.
Train 197 plunges into the eastern end of the Moffat Tunnel on June 6, 1978. In 1927, D&SL contracted with GRS to install a ventilation door on the east end of the Moffat Tunnel. The door had canvas secured to a steel frame and was controlled by track circuits. The counterbalanced door weighed four tons and could be opened or shut in seven seconds. The door was shut while a train was in the tunnel and opened when the train was within 1,500 feet of the east end of the tunnel. The two fans could move a half million cubic feet of air a minute. Dampers directed the air in either direction through the tunnel. Special signals 500 feet on either side of the door were red when the door was closed and green when the door was open. The door and fans could be controlled manually. Disk 36