Back in the days of steam, it was not nearly as easy to change the direction of the power on a train as it is today. Steam power could not be run 'long hood forward'. Instead, if there was ever a need to change the direction of a steam engine, the only solution was to turn the engine around too. This was accomplished either with a turntable, or with a wye. Tabernash has a very unique wye structure setup. In the days of steam, helpers were based in Tabernash that could help trains up the steep grade to the Moffat Tunnel. The helpers would stay with the train to East Portal, where the helpers were cut and wyed and returned to Tabernash. At Tabernash, they would wye again and wait for their text train. This turned out to be extremely convenient, because today the Ski Train uses the wye at Tabernash to turn around while skiers are busy at Winter Park. The train will (typically) enter on the main (the red track in the map), back into the wye (the gray track), back out onto the siding (the blue track) and then continue east back to Fraser or Winter Park. Anytime a train must wait at Tabernash for any length of time (or if it must be tied down), it will hold on the main, rather than the siding. This is due to the public grade crossing located in the middle of the siding. To avoid blocking this crossing, trains hold on the main.
Questions or Comments? Email the Webmaster