Rio Grande Southern RR - Route Summary (2)

Below, in tabular form, is a summary of the route of the Rio Grande Southern, which ran from Ridgway to Durango in Colorado. Each milepost is listed, along with elevation, towns, bridges, sidings, spurs, branches, and anything else that seems interesting. Special thanks to W. George Cook for the many sawmill references in this list, and to some of those who helped him compile them - Mallory Ferrell, Gordon Chappell, and Bob Richardson.

Like the rest of this website, this summary is a work-in-progress. Suggestions welcome. Patience recommended. So sit back, cozy up to the window, and don't lean too far out when we round the curves.

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Notes on the links:   Where possible, I've included additional links - including maps from the RGS Interactive Map site, detail links from the Narrow Gauge Circle, bridge & water tank links from the RGS Tech page, photo links from the Denver Library (which has many more photos than I've linked here), additional detail, map and photo links from others as well. Ft. Lewis College in Durango also has many photos available online. So many folks have helped provide information for this site - I'm sure I'll miss thanking someone. In addition to the websites above, David Dye has posted a number of interactive maps w/photos from his hikes in the northern areas.

GhostDepot.com used to have many photo links and maps, which I previously referenced here, But apparently that site is gone; the source DVD however is still available.

Have more links? Email me at

Google map   Full Map   Map3     Profile     Additional station info
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66.2 8737' Rico

Dave's map & photos

NGC pg

(interactive map)

Google Map

X66 Depot, frame, 71'x20'
      Photos:   p1   p2   p3   s end   s end2   n end   n end from rear   detail1   detail2   detail3  

Pro Patria:
    Pro-Patria:   p1   p2  

Ted Klavern took a number of photos in 1973, of various remains:
    Depot remains:   p1
    Engine House:   p1   p2  
    Tank:   p1   p2   p3   p4  
    Boxcar sheds:   p1   p2   p3   p4  
    Pro-Patria:   p1  
    Mystery item:   p1  

Jerry Halbert took a number of photos in 1975, of various remaining bits of the area.
    Depot remains:   p1  
    Tank:   p1  
    Shop remains:   p1   p2  

Section house - foreman, frame   Section house - laborer, frame, 20'x32'   (station grnds pic)

B&B outfit cars / section house(s?) (including 2 D&RG flat-top baggage cars; Jerry Albers notes that they were from the same era as the baggage car at Vance (which is now at CRRM), also 2 D&RG boxcar bodies?
The 2 baggage cars at Rico, in later years, were in bad shape but restorable. The outfit cars were complete, except for trucks. Jerry had arranged to remove them w/ the Rico Argentine Mining Co, which was "cleaning up" the area, and they gave him 30 days. But, just a week later, the cars had been crushed and burned. Jerry did rescue some rail from the Rico enginehouse remains (although some had been stolen). The Mining Co was about to destroy the water tower, but Jerry convinced them to leave it intact if he fenced it (which he did). So close...

Lorne Noyes posted a number of Rico yard photos from about this time, including the (then) still-standing outfit cars.

Yardmaster's office (D&RG rpo body originally)
Tool house, frame, 10'x16'
Track scale, 44', 45 ton (later removed, siding used to store bridge timbers)
Coaling station, 8-pocket, 3 aux bins, s of town   (p1   p2   p3   )

Sandhouse, frame, 14'x33'

RR photos:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   p8   p9   p10   p11   faceN-1   faceN-2   facingS   looking SE   stub1   stub2  
Town photos:   overview   above   p1   p2-from S   warehouse?  
North of Rico:   p1?   p2?  
Last ore train, Nov 17, 1951:   p1   p2   p3  

Siding, ?-car (just n of Rico)
Double-ended spur, ?-car (just n of Rico)   (p1   p2 )
      (St. Louis Mine, Rico Power Plant, Pro Patria mill, track scale)

2 yard sidings, approx 24-car and 28-car   (p1   n-end1   n-end2   n-end3   n-end4   s-end1   s-end2   )
      The yard today, south of the tank: looking N   looking S  

Scale siding, approx 16-car
Depot station siding, approx 28-car

3-stall enginehouse spurs (n), approx 13-car, 12-car, 15-car
      Brick, 6 stalls, 60'x125'
      Photos:   3-way stub, looking S p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   interior   int2   int3   int4   s-end1   s-end2   e-side  
                    n-end2   n-end3   near1   near2  

3 spurs near enginehouse (n), approx 7-car, 6-car, 12-car   (pic)

Spur, 10-car (Stockyard, 1 pen, sheep)   (p1   p2   p3   )

Wye, stem ---' (original, near original enginehouse, and used during construction)
Wye, stem ---' (second, w of main between yard & coaling st, incl 2 bridges of dolores river)
      (destroyed in floods of 1911)
Wye, stem 389' (3rd)   (photos:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5 )
        (1st wye was near original enginehouse,
        2nd was west of main between yard and coaling chute,
        3rd was east of main just north of 2nd's position)

Coaling chute & spur, approx 13-car (just s of Rico)   (look N, from top   look N, near bottom   )

Water tank (city fed)   ( p1   p2   p3   p4   facing N   look S   look S2   look S3   remains   looking N   Dave's pics )

Atlantic mine (nearby):  
        Mario photos (2004):   p1   p2   p3   p4  
Rgs v5, p335
Rgs v6, p229
Sun v2, p85
Bridge 67-AS, --' long, -' high (dolores river)
(supported one leg of 2nd wye, west of main between yard and coaling chutes)
(destroyed by flood of 1911)
Rgs v6, p235
Bridge 67-ASS, --' long, -' high (dolores river)
(supported one leg of 2nd wye, west of main between yard and coaling chutes)
(destroyed by flood of 1911)
Rgs v6, p235
67.? Bridge 68-A, 157' long, 8' high (dolores river)
(pile trestle)

Photos?   p1   p2  
Rgs v6, p236/258
67.? Bridge 68-B, 32' long, 8' high (dolores river)
(pile trestle, later filled in)
Rgs v6, p236/260
? Swan Spur Spur, 3-car Sun v2, p85
69.8 Grade runs close beside the dolores river in a narrow, fairly steep canyon, passing thru a high rock cut and sharply curving to follow the river. There was little room here for the grade, and moving it higher would've required extensive bridge and rock work - deemed too expensive in the initial race to connect Durango and Rico in 1891. The railroad paid dearly as this section was prone to severe flooding and had many washouts. Budgets to add rock ballast and riprap rock to protect the grade never came, and the line between Rico and Dolores was usually build (and re-built, and re-built again) with just dirt and mud. Even cinder ballast was unavailable. Rgs v6, 274/283
70.? Bridge 71-A, 226' long, 9' high (dolores river)
(Montelores trestle)
(crossed river at 45deg angle, and was particulary prone to wash-outs and flood damage, like this: pic)
Rgs v6, p236/280
70.19 8454' Montelores X70 Photos:   p1   p2   p3   near   n2   n3   n4   n5  
Scrapping photos:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   near?   n2   n3  

Spur, 22-car (later 10-car, then 2-car-washed out; 5-car spur installed 10-6-1942)
Rgs v6, p236/287
Sun v2, p91
70.? Bridge 71-B, 16' long, 8' high (dolores river) Rgs v6, p292
71.4 Bridge 72-A, 163' long, 8' high (dolores river)
(pile trestle)
Rgs v6, p294
71.51 Bridge 72-B, 157' long, 8' high (dolores river)
(pile trestle)

Photos: p1?
Rgs v6, p295
71.70 Garbareno Sawmill - Garbareno brothers

Spur, 2-car (later replaced by longer spur for bridge & building cars)
Rgs v6, p236
Sun v2, p91
71.? Bridge 72-C, 141' long, 8' high (old dolores river channel)
(pile trestle)
Rgs v6, p296
72.3 Parkers Sawmill - Enyart & Parker - c1899 to c1902 W. George Cook
73.? Bridge 74-A, 105' long, 9' high (dolores river)
(pile trestle, filled in when river channel was changed)
Rgs v6, p297
73.? Bridge 74-B, 163' long, 11' high (dolores river)
(filled in when river channel was changed)
Rgs v6, p300
74.52 8185' Kings X75 Named for the King family, local cattle ranchers

Section house - foreman, frame, 18'x28'
Secton house - laborer (boxcar body)
Tool house, frame, 10'x10'

Photos:   p1   p2?   bridge1   bridge2  

Siding, 21-car
Rgs v6, p237
Sun v2, p91
74.53 Sawmill - Enyart & Parker - c1900 to c1901 W. George Cook
74.5? Bridge 75-A, 128' long, 9' high (dolores river)

Dave's details: Dave's Bridge pg
Rgs v6, p301
74.? Bridge 75-B, 94' long, -' high (dolores river)
(pile trestle)
Rgs v6, p237
75.? Bridge 76-A, 125' long, 9' high (dolores river)
(pile trestle)
Rgs v6, p305
75.94 8095' Rio Lado X76 Section house
Bunk house (car-body)
Former site of Rio Lado Lodge, now the Circle K Ranch

Photos:   p1   p2  

Michael Talcott, who has driven much of the roadbed and grew up near Durango writes: "This looks to me to be the Ophir Canyon just as the Telluride branch is pproching the bridge across the creek: i.e. Goose 4 has already passed through the Ilium switch on it's way up to Telluride. The Roadbed is pretty level while it's in the valley here; it drops well below the grade of the 3.5% going up to Ophir then kicks up the full 4% after it crosses the bridge and gets over to the side of the hill. Looks very much like this area: there was a Christian picnic/Camping area that we used to go to down there which may still be extant, which is what is called Ilium, these days. The photo is, oh about 1/2 mile or more up from the Ilium switch."
Rgs v6, p305
Sun v2, p91
77.1? Bridge 78-A, 158' long, 10' high   (pic,   Washout 8-9-49?)
(dolores river)
(pile trestle)
Many of the low bridges in this area, including 78-A, did not have guard rails
Rgs v6, p317
77.7? Bridge 78-B, 127' long, 10' high (dolores river)
(pile trestle)

Photos:   p1  
Rgs v6, p318
78.00 Priest Gulch Also called Priest Gulch Tank, or just 'Tank'
Priest Gulch Campground and RV Park, and Priest Gulch Ranch Camp exist here today

Photos:   Water tank   (gravity fed)   (p1   p2   p3   p4   p6 )
Rgs v6, p237/320
Sun v2, p91
80.17 7861' Bear Creek X80 Photos:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5  

Toward Stoner (incl a derailment on 8-8-51):   p1   p2   p3   p4 -derailed   p5 -derailed  

Stockpens, 2 pens (cattle, 1200' n of the siding)
Siding, 16-car
Rgs v6, p337
Sun v2, p91
Tie camp - Woodruff & Huntley - c1902 W. George Cook
Sawmill - Millard & Carter - 4/1912 to c1916
82 Ditchfield W. George Cook
83.50 Red Rock X83 The final spike connecting the north and south portions of the RGS during construction, was driven just south of here, during a raging snowstorm on Dec 20, 1891.

Photos - nearby:   p1  

Passenger shelter, frame, 10'x20', cinder platform

Short spur (stone, vegetables)
Rgs v6, p241
Rgs v6, p356
Sun v2, p91
Sawmill - George Ditchfield - c1895 to c1902
Spur (n), 10-car (5-car later)
W. George Cook
83.6 (Red Rock?)
Log shipping - George Ditchfield - c1904 to c1907
Spur, ?-car
W. George Cook
83.? Rock Quarry Spur, 5-car Rgs v6, p241
Sun v2, p91
83.? Bridge 84-A, 48' long, 11' high (Red Rock Creek)
(Red Rock trestle, originally a pile trestle)
Rgs v6, p241
85.86 7562' Muldoon X86 Photos:   near1   p2   p3   p4   p5   near  
Scrapping photos (near washout):   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   p8  
            p10   p11   p12   p13   p14   p15   p16   p17  

Cattle-loading chute
Siding, 30-car (10-car later)
Sun v2, p91
W. George Cook
Sawmill - A.A. Rust - c1889 to 5/1896 W. George Cook
87.38 Stoner Creek X87 Section house - foreman, frame, 26'x30'   (pic)
Section house - laborer, frame, 18'x28'
Tool house, frame, 10'x20'

Photos:   p1   p2   p3   tank,sec-hse   near1   near2   near3 -cattle guard   near4   above   washout near   wash2   south1   south2   south3   south4   south5  

Spur, 4-car (none by 1928)

Water tank   (gravity fed)   (p1   p2 )
Sun v2, p91
87.4? Bridge 88-A, 64' long, 9' high (Stoner Creek) Rgs v6, p391
88.0 Sawmill - Carter - 7/1915 to ? W. George Cook
88.? Bridge 89-A, 203' long, 9' high (dolores river)
(open-deck pile trestle)
(originally a 48' Pony Truss w/pile trestles on either side, 49' on south, 95' on north)

Rotary Plow 02 dropped thru the northern truss on 2-2-1914, w/minor injuries:   p1   p2

Friends pic
Rgs v6, p241
90.18 7361' Raymond X90 Photos:   near1   n2   n3   n4   n5  

Siding, 34-car (hay, from local ranches)
Rgs v6, p241
Sun v2, p91
91.? Bridge 92-A, 284' long, 11' high (dolores river)
(two 64' Pony Truss trestles, with a 156' pile trestle on south approach)
(originally a 64' Pony Truss w/pile trestles on either side, 16' on south, 144' on north)
Rgs v6, p243/426
92.? Nothing of note on the RGS, but today is a subdivision known as Twin Spruce Rgs v6, p425
93.2 Line Camp Rgs v6, p429
96.26 7152' Stapleton X96 Photos:   p1   p2   near1   n2   n3  

Siding, 30-car
Rgs v6, p435
Sun v2, p91
97.2 Hogg

Siding, 10-car (runarounds)
Spur (s connection) - 10 cars in 1906? - off the runaround track (sawmill)
Sawmill - O'Bannon-Ditchfield Lumber Co - c1901 to 8/1/1902
W. George Cook
Sawmill - Dolores Lumber & Supply Co - 8/1/1902 to mid 1915
97.? Bridge 98-A, 63' long, 9' high (side creek)
(pile trestle)
Rgs v6, p442
97.82 Rust
Jct - A.A. Rust Lumber RR to Bean Canyon - 1902 to 1906
A.A. Rust Lumber - 1902 to 1909

Spur (n), 3-car
Crossing, 240' branch leading to Rust Logging RR (removed 11-1908)
The logging railroad climbed two steep switchback to the mesa above

Likely photo of where the mill spur was, or close to it:   p1  
W. George Cook
Ssj p388
Spur (lumber)
Rust Lumber & Merchandise Co - 1909 to 1915
100.3 Rust
Rust Lumber Co (moved from Muldoon) - 1899 to 1902
Spur (n), 14-car (lumber)
W. George Cook
Sawmill - Chris Hoppe - 1897 to 2/14/1903
Spur (sawmill)
99.? Bridge 100-A, 79' long, -' high
(open-deck frame trestle, later filled in)
Rgs v6, p243
101.? Bridge 102-A, 29' long, -' high (water-seepage bed)
(pile trestle)
Rgs v6, p243
102.34 6957' Dolores

(interactive map)

NGC pg

Google Map
Dave's map & photos
X102 Depot, frame   ( p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7  
          front   rear   rear2   s end   )

Current photos (replica depot):
        Mario (2004): p1   p2   p3  
        RailsProject (2006): p1   p2   p3   p4   p4  

Freight house, frame, 24'x96'   (pic )
Stockpens, 5 pens (single- & double-deck cars)   (p1   p2   near1   near2 )

Section house - foreman, frame, 18'x28'   (p1   )
2 section houses - laborers (boxcar bodies)   (pic )
Tool house, frame, 10'x16'   (p1   p2   p3 )

Videos:   There's some nice footage of Goose #3 at the end of this short video from 1935, discovered by Chris Weiser and highlighted by the Ridgway Museum's newsletter from Jan 2015. Toward the end, there's a nice shot of the Goose pulling into the Dolores depot: video  
Photos:   overview   view2   view3   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   p8   p9   p10  
                p11   p12   p13   p14   p15   p16  
                mail truck   near   near2   near3   near4   near5   near6 near7
                north1   north2  

Town photos (past):   Main St -RGS park / depot grnds on left  

Town photos (current):   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   p8   p9   p10   p11  

Spur, 20-car (stockpens)
Sidings & other track (128-car total)   ( 3-way pic   stub2   stub3   stub4   20 at 3way1   20 at 3way2   Warehouse   N end?   N end2?   )

Servicing tracks (for loading coal into tenders, from gondolas), next to the depot:   ( p1 )

Wye, stem 176'   (p1   RGS truck! )
(the Dolores Star reported on 10-13-1905 that the RGS had begun work to move the wye from it's location in the residential part of town to an area near the river being used as a ball field).

Water tank (city fed)   (pic )
Sun v2, p91
Sawmill (team loading) - A.A. Rust Lumber Co - 5/14/1896 to 1909 W. George Cook
Team loading - Rust Lumber & Merchandise Co - 1909 to after 1930
Branch to McPhee begins just sourth of Dolores
~3.5 miles to McPhee, ~43 miles to end-of-track
(No engineering drawwings exist, so MPs are approximate)
Construction started in March, 1924. Rail as 40lb and 45lb on 'main', with some 30lb for sidings and yards.

I have a couple of pics of the grade (from Jun '07); at dusk (sorry!):   pics
Rgs v7, p224-8
McPhee br
6820' Bridge, ---' long, -' high (dolores river)
(just off branch main, on track leading into McPhee)
Rgs v7, p223
McPhee br
6820' McPhee (tentatively named "Ventura" intially)
Photos:   p1   p2  

Spur, ?-car (box plant)
Siding along yard, ending in wye
Mill drying yard (4 yard tracks, 3 thru, 1 stub)
Spur, ?-car (planing mill / sorting platform)
2 Spurs, ?-car (lumber warehouse)
Siding, ?-car
Spur, ?-car (timber dock)
Spur, ?-car (water tower / 5-stack power plant)
Siding, ?-car
Spur, ?-car (mill pond skidway)
Spur, ?-car (enginehouse / machine shop)
Spur, ?-car (storage warehouse)
2 Spurs, ?-car (loading dock)
Wye leading into town, stem ?
Wye / yard lead, stem ?
Rgs v7, p223
McPhee br
7040' Bean Canyon Trestle, ---' long, -' high
9 deg curve
Rgs v7, p224
McPhee br
7320' Horse Camp Log chute
Water tank
Rgs v7, p224
McPhee br
Trestle, 150' long, 25' high
(gully below Railroad Reservoir)
Rgs v7, p229
McPhee br
7960' Turkey Creek Trestle, --' long, -' high
(Turkey Creek)
14 deg curve
Rgs v7, p252
McPhee br
~8000' Rock Creek Trestle, 496' long, 65' high
7 deg curve
(Rock Creek)
Rgs v7, p224
McPhee br
8040' Coal Mine Wye Wye, feeding a .75 mi spur to the company coal mine Rgs v7, p253
McPhee br
~8000' Beaver Camp Langston spur
Water tank nearby, at about +24.25
Rgs v7, p224
McPhee br
7920' The Crossover Rgs v7, p224
McPhee br
End-of-track Rgs v7, p224
102.? Bridge 103-A, 169' long, -' high
(two 64' Howe Truss spans on pilings, center concrete pier)
(possibly replaced c1915)

Brandon (Amarillo TX) writes: "As a kid I remember fishing off the pilings but the bridge was long gone. It was about 2 blocks west of the 4th St Bridge. Or across from the the old Sewer pond (New Park). Even today (c2007) you can look at aerial pictures of Lost Canyon, Dolores Canyon Jct you can see the rail bed leading to the river bed.
Rgs v8, p14,79
103.36 6955' Lost Canyon X103 Photos:   p1   p2   p3   p4  

Siding, 36-car
Sun v2, p91
108.5 Lost Canyon (or possibly Smalley)
Sawmill - R.O. Smalley - 5/1917 to c1920
Spur, 6-car (sawmill)
W. George Cook
109.00 Smalley X109 Spur, 1-car Sun v2, p97
Sawmill - R.O. Smalley - 7/12/1917 W. George Cook
? McKinley Siding, 3-car Sun v2, p97
111.5+ Lost Canyon Creek Sawmill - W.E. & N.C. Carver - c1892 to 9/1902 W. George Cook
111.65 7358' Glencoe X112 Post office originally known as Arloa
From 10-24-1887 thru 5-4-1891, it was called Morgan

Jct - Montezuma Lumber RR - 1906 to 1914
Logging line climbed 3 switchbacks to the mesa, and extended to 25 mi by 1913. The line used 6 different locomotives (not necessarily at the same time), and sometimes used RGS crews & locos as well. An enginehouse existed to service the lumber railroad. RGS's locomotive #23 was tried by the company at some point, but didn't work well and was returned (I assume back to the RGS).

Stockpens, 2 pens
Section house - foreman, frame, 24'x37'
Section house - laborer, frame, 18'x28'
Tool house, frame, 10'x15'   (pic)

Photos:   overview   p1   p2   p3  

Siding and spur(s), 25-car total
Wye, stem 113'
Ssj p392
Sun v2, p97
W. George Cook
Sawmill - Montezuma Lumber Co - 9/2/1902 to 4/1915 W. George Cook
Ssj p393
112.75 Barnes Sawmill - Barnes & Co - 1892 to c1902 W. George Cook
113.50 Soulen X113 Spur, 10-car
Sun v2, p97
113.54 Sawmill - George Soulen - 7/8/1916 to 1918; 1928 to c1930 W. George Cook
113.7 Field Sawmill - Moore-Field Lumber Co / MLCo - 8/1/1901 to c1902 W. George Cook
Sawmill - Turkey Creek Lumber Co - 11/22/1913 to 1934
115.55 7652' Millwood X116 Photos:   p1   p2   p3   near1   near2   near3   near4   near5   near6   near7  

Scrapping train near Millwood, 11-6-1952:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   p8  

Siding, 36-car
Sun v2, p97
Sawmill - A. Hayes - 4/1907 to 1907; 1911 W. George Cook
Sawmill - Millwood Lumber Co - c1916 to c1926
116.27 Graden Sawmill - T.C. Gradens Merchandise Co - c1890 to c1892 W. George Cook
Sawmill - Mancos Lumber Co - c1892 to 6/1898
Sawmill - Stubbs & Jakway Lumber Co - 6/1898 to 6/3/1903
Sawmill - Montezuma Lumber Co - 6/3/1903 to fall 1903; 1911
117.65 Bell Sawmill - J.N. Bell - c1907 W. Geoge Cook
118.90 Long Spur, 4-car Sun v2, p97
Sawmill - C.E. Herr - 1898 to 1903 W. Geoge Cook
Sawmill - George Long - c1910 to c1912
FF RR Cherry Creek Sawmill - Cherry Creek Lumber Co - c1906 to c1911 W. Geoge Cook
119 near Bauer Lake
Nearby photos: pic-MP 120.5  
John Maxwell
122.50 7008' Mancos

NGC pg
Google Map
X123 Depot, frame   (p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   front   f2   door   end1   end2 )
Stockpens, 5 pens (single- and double-deck cars)
Section house - foreman, frame, 25'x37'
Section house - laborer, frame, 18'x28'
Tool house, frame, 10'x24'   ( p1   p2 )

Photos:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   p8   p9   p10  
                near1   near2   near3   near4   near5   near6   near7   last-train   last2   scrapping  

Sidings and spurs, 55-car total

Wye, stem 335'   Leo Croonenberghs photo - 1930s? w/#20:   p1

Water tank (city fed)   (p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   p8 )
Sun v2, p97
Sawmill - Mancos Lumber Co - c1892 W. George Cook
Sawmill - Heibler & Co / Heibler & Buck - c1901 to c1912
? Sawmill - Lost Canyon Lumber Co - 12/24/1901 to ?
124.57 Buckley X124 Spur, 5-car (disconnected 1911) Sun v2, p97
Sawmill - Heibler & Hamlin Manuf. Co - c1893 to 4/22/1898 W. George Cook
Sawmill - Montezuma Lumber Co - 4/22/1898 to 11/10/1902
Sawmill - The Montezuma Lumber Co - 11/10/1902 to c1915
125.31 7314' Menefee X125 Photos:   p1   p2   p3   p4   bridge  

Spur, 16-car
Sun v2, p97
Sawmill - Heibler & Hamlin Manuf. Co - c1893 to c1895 W. George Cook
Sawmill - Buckley & Weston Lumber Co - c1897 to 4/22/1898
Sawmill - Montezuma Lumber Co - 4/22/1898 to 11/10/1902
Sawmill - The Montezuma Lumber Co - 11/10/1902 to 1912
127.4 Gradens Sawmill - T.C. Gradens Merchendise Co - 1890 to 1892 W. George Cook
129.26 7774' Brayton X129 Photos:   pic

Siding, 10-car
Sun v2, p97
Sawmill - Stubbs & Jakway Co - c1891 to 1893 W. George Cook
130.61 7915' East Mancos X131 2 section houses - laborer (boxcar bodies)
Tool house (boxcar body)

Photos:   pic  
Photo of tank remains:   NGC pic

Water tank   (gravity fed)   (pic   Dave's pics )

Dave Grandt writes (11/08) that East Mancos didn't have a section house per se, only three (1923) or four (after 1931) carbodies used for bunk houses. The Ex-RPO was Structure #4, the other carbodies were numbered 5.7 and 8, the tank was #6.
Sun v2, p97
132.88 8135' Grady X133 (or Mesa)
Photos:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   p8   p9   p10  
Scrapping:   Overview   Crum_handcar   Crum2   Crum3   near1   near2  

Siding, 18-car   ( p1   p2   p3 )
Sun v2, p97
Sawmill - Gibson Lumber Co - c1907 to 1909 W. George Cook
Sawmill - J.E. Craig - 1912, 1914
136.46 8220' Kane X136 (formerly Dix)
Section house - laborer, frame, 12'x16'
2 section houses - laborer (boxcar bodies)
Tool house, frame, 8'x12'

Siding, 17-car
Sun v2, p97
136.6 Sawmill - Mancos Lumber (Stubbs & Jakway) - c1894 to c1896 W. George Cook
Sawmill - H.M. Davis - c1917
137.3 Starvation
X137 Sawmill - J.B. (Doc) Moore - c1907 to c1909 Sun v2, p97
W. George Cook
138.80 Sponsel X139 Spur, 6-car Sun v2, p105
141.35 8600' Cima X141 Photos:   p1   p2   p3   near1   near2   approach1   approach2   approach3  

Siding, 16-car
Sun v2, p105
141.9 85--' May Day X142 Beginning of 3.78% May Day branch, which was built in 1906 and abandoned in 1926. Here's a picture of Leo Croonenbergs, that is thought to have been taken at this location, in 1914. Ssj
Sun v2, p105
Crum, p95
W. George Cook
May D br
8600' (branch was 1.97 miles)
Mine (gold) - May Day
Spur, 13-car (mine)
Sun v2, p105
145.? Bridge 146-A, ? long, 18' high (La Plata River)
(Bridge was a bit north of the Hesperus depot)

Photos (looking west): p1   p2   p3  
Rgs v9, p144
145.51 8125' Hesperus NGC pg X145 Depot/freight house - frame, 20'x37' (burned May 4, 1940)
Stockpens, 3 pens (single- and double-deck cars)
Section house - foreman, frame, 25'x37'   ( pic )
Section house - laborer, frame, 18'x28' Tool house, frame, 10'x22'

    General:   p1

    p1 - looking N; spur to Porter mine at left; passing siding at Hesperus begins on right.
    p2 - looking S; spur to Porter on right; RGS main on left.
    p3 - looking N; coal-loading siding on left, just N of Hesperus at MP 145; it's
            Oct 8, 1951 and RGS #20 is still wearing her Ticket to Tomahawk paint.
    p4 - looking N; just a little south of p3.
    p5 - switching the 10-car livestock spur; caboose is on main.
    p6       p7       p7a       p8 - north of Hesperus, 1941.     p9 - near a cattle guard, south of Hesperus, 1941.     p10 - west of Porter, 1941.

    p11 - looking N; ex-coach 255 is the new 'depot', parked on the old spur to Porter.
    p12 - same angle, closer view; here's a close-up of 255
    p13   p14  

    Overview of Hesperus in 2001:

    School house (Jerry Halbert, in 1975): p1

    Wreck of #40 on 9-21-1943:   p1   p2  

    Scrapping train, 9-11-1952:   p1   p2   p3  
    Nearly the end - more scrapping w/Goose #6, 6-16-1953:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6  

Water tank   (gravity fed)   (photos: p1   p2   )

Coal-loading spur (s), ???-car
Livestock spur (s), approx 10-car
Other sidings and spurs, 254-car total

Mine (Porter Fuel Co)   ( pic   other pics )
Sun v2, p105
Rgs v9, p130ff.
145.? Bridge 145-ASS, 40' long, 6-' high (La Plata River)
(This bridge was on the spur to the Porter Coal mine, and was a bit west of Hesperus proper)
Rgs v9, p156
145.? Bridge 146-B, --' long, --' high (irrigation ditch)
(Bridge was just north of the Hesperus depot)

Photos:   p1?
Rgs v9, p156
146.80 8125' Ute Jct X147 Beginning of the steep, 1.87 mi branch to the Ute coal mine
Coaling chute, 8-pocket (original, burned July 7, 1922) Coaling chute, 2-pocket (replacement)

Photos:   coal chute   chute2   Ute Mt   Mt2   Mt3 Dave's pics
Old roadbed (of branch?): roadbed1   roadbed2  

Sidings & spurs, 73-car total
Wye, stem 224'   (stub_pic)
Sun v2, p105
Ute br
Branch was 1.87 miles long; constructed 1892; abandoned prior to 1909.

Scale track
50' turntable
Siding (run around)
3 sidings (coal tipples)
3 spors (empties storage)

Mine (coal) - Ute
Rgs v9, p144
148.8 Ft. Lewis X149 Passenger shelter, 11'x16' Sun v2, p105
150.50 Denby X150 Spur, 3-car Sun v2, p105
154.15 7267' Pine Ridge X154 Photos:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   p8   near1   near2   near3  

Last train to Dolores, 12-19-1951:   last1   last2  

Scrap train, 9-11-1952, between Porter - Pine Ridge:   near1   near2   near3  

Jerry Halbert (recent):   ROW looking toward Porter   Cattle guard on ROW  

Siding, 30-car
Sun v2, p105
156.? Bridge 157-A, 48' long, 11' high (Wildcat Creek) Rgs v9, p256
156.? Bridge 157-B, 48' long, 15' high (Wildcat Creek) Rgs v9, p259
156.? Bridge 157-C, 48' long, 15' high (Wildcat Creek) Rgs v9, p260
156.? Bridge 157-D, 48' long, 10' high (Wildcat Creek) Rgs v9, p262
156.? Bridge 157-E, 48' long, 10' high (Wildcat Creek) Rgs v9, p264
156.? Bridge 157-F, 48' long, 9' high (Wildcat Creek)

Photos:   p1?  
Rgs v9, p280
157.02 7024' Porter X157 The Porter Coal Company at this location was destroyed by fire (due to arson) in 1910, and the yards serving it were dismantled in 1912 (Rgs v9, p271).

Photos:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   near1   near2   near3   near4   near5   west of   above  

Wildcat canyon:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5  
Wildcat canyon - last freight into Dolores on 12-19-51:   p1  

Near the end, 12-17-1951 - between Porter and Franklin jct?   p1   p2  

Last train to Dolores, 12-19-1951 - between Hesperus and Franklin jct?   p1  

Scrapping train, 9-11-1952:   pic1  

Section house, frame, 28'x32'
Section house - laborer, frame, 18'x28'
Tool house, frame, 10'x16'
Water tank (? fed)
(removed between 1910 and 1919)

Siding, 41-car   ( west end )
Wye, stem 96'
Sun v2, p105
Sawmill - W.R. Bowman - c1902 W. George Cook
157.? Bridge 158-A, 48' long, 14' high (Wildcat Creek)

Photos:   p1  
Rgs v9, p292
157.? Bridge 158-B, 96' long, 15' high (Wildcat Creek)

Photos:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6  
Rgs v9, p284
157.? Bridge 158-C, 288' long, 18' high (Wildcat Creek)

(later filled in)
Rgs v9, p297
159.3 6800' Franklin Jct

Dave's map & photos
X159 Branch was 4.7 miles long; constructed 1901; abandoned Dec 1926.

This branch was built by the Boston Coal and Fuel Company in 1901, to serve a large coal mine at Perins Peak (which was local landmark, and visible from downtown Durango). RGS #35 was purchased for the new line and renumbered #1. The line was leased back to the RGS in Dec 1906, and operated until abandonment in Dec 1926.

Photos:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   mine1   mine2   near spur  
Nearby:   p6   p7   p8   p9   p10   p11   p12   p13   p14   p15   p16?  

Jerry Halbert took a number of photos in 1975, of various remaining bits of the area.
    Coal Chute: p1  
    Jct switch: p1   p2  
    Scales: p1  
    Yard: p1  

Section house - laborer (boxcar body)
Section house - laborer (boxcar body w/lean-to)
Tool house, frame, 10'x12'
Scale track (near junction to Triangle Coal Co)
Water tank (smaller, only 12' diameter, 12' high)
Pump house, frame, 14'x16'
Ssj, p137-138
Sun v2, p105
Tom Casper
159.? Bridge 160-A, 352' long, 54' high (Lightner Creek)

Photos (before rebuild):   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   p8   p9   p10   p10  
Photos (after rebuild):   scrap-train   p2   p3   p3   p4   p5  
Photos (nearby):   just north?  
Rgs v9, p313
Calumet br
7720' Perins Peak BB-5 Track scale, 42', 60 ton
Mine (coal) - Perins Peak
Various yard tracks
Wye (loop)
Sun v2, p106
Tom Casper
160.47 Bell X160 (also Brickyard)
Photo - either at 160.2, or maybe near Stoner / Rust Sawmill spur:   p1  

Spur (s), 8-car (in 1911)
Sun v2, p106
161.? Bridge 161-A, --' long, -' high (Lightner creek)

Photos:   p1   p2   p3? w/2nd #25  
? ? West Durango (Miller's Temporary terminal)
Photos:   p1   p2   p3  
Scrap track in 1938:   p1   RGS #3  

Goose barn

? tracks

How 'bout a snow slide partially over a bridge - where? when? p1  

And a rockslide in winter - where? when? p1  

Sun v2, p106
161.53 6520' (Connection w/the D&RG)

Photos: NG memories site
Sun v2, p106
162.60 6520' Durango

NGC pg

(interactive map)

Google Map
(track plan -1937)
Photos:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   p8   p9   p10  
      p11   p12   Flanger 01   flanger2   near_bridge  

Yard:   Looking N   S end  

Just downgrade of the yard:   p1   p2  
Leaving Durango:   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   tank_train  

Callboard -Oct 1965:   pic1  

Arriving at Durango:   pic1  
Nearby Goose advertisement:   pic1  
West of Durango:   p1   p2  

Last freight to Dolores on 12-19-51:   p1   p2  

Scrapping train (arriving?) 9-11-52:   p1  

Engine #42 in 1953 (the very end):   p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6  

Structure photos (see below also, for shots from the 60s and 70s):
    Depot   (photos: p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   Dec-1960   Dec-1961   )
    Freight depot   (pic1   )
    Coaling tower   (p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   p8   p9   p10   )
    Sandhouse   (pic1   pic3-1957   p4   p5   p6   p7   )
    Car Shop  (interior   outside   )
    Roundhouse   (p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   p7   p8   )
    Turntable   (p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   nearby   )

    Water tank (city water fed?)   ( p1   p2   p3   p4   p5   p6   Jan-1960   1960   )

Town photos:   overview   n of depot   coaling dock  

Nearby stockyards -Oct 1962:   p1  

Weidemann sawmill -Aug 1967:   p1   p2  

John West took a couple photos in the 60s:
    Looking north: 1965   Sep-1965   Aug-1967   May-1968   1968  
    RGS approach: p1   Jan-1960  

Hart Corbett took a number of photos in July 1960, of various structures and bits in the yard.

Jerry Halbert took a number of photos in 1975, of various remaining bits of the yard.
    Ashpit foundations: p1   p2  
    Carshop: side  
    Depot: p1  
    Ice House: p1  
    Roundhouse area: front   sign   storage tracks  
    Sandhouse: p1   p2   p3  

Here's some additional information about the large smelter across the river from Durango, whose tailing were radioactive in later days. These tailings were later removed to Bodo Canyon in the mid-1980s; this map shows both locations.
Sawmill - Sunset Lumber Co - 4/10/1909 to ? W. George Cook

© Steven Haworth 2023. All rights reserved