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Nostalgia & History > Antonito, Colorado

Date: 06/25/08 04:53
Antonito, Colorado
Author: flynn

Drew1946 in the posting, “Late Wednesday Afternoon, #315 heading for Osier,” on Steam and Excursion has a nice picture. In the posting Drew1946 writes, “The train has reached the first major trestle after leaving Antonito and a photo stop was staged there. I know this location MUST have a name, but whatever it is, I don't know it.” In a reply to drew1946’s posting drgwAZ1986 writes, “Ferguson's (Hangman) Trestle.”

I thought I would try to find out more about this trestle. I did a Keyword search on the Denver Public Library digital photo web site, http://history.denverlibrary.org , for Ferguson’s Hangman Trestle, Ferguson’s Trestle, and Railroad Ferguson and got 0 photos. I did a Keyword search for Ferguson and got 49 photos but none of them were related to the railroad or to a trestle.

I did a Google search for Ferguson’s Trestle and got a number of web sites. Below are web addresses for four of the results. [If when you click on any web address below and it does not work do a Google search for Ferguson’s Trestle and find the web site in the results.]


“Westward To Osier

This section covers the eastern portion of the line from the small cattle town of Antonito to Osier, the midpoint of the line. Antonito (MP 280.70) is a small company town of the former Denver and Rio Grande Railway, now Union Pacific. Here, the car shop, balloon loop, water tank, and other relics of the C&TS reside. The water tank was brought in from Lava (MP 291.55) after the original water tank at Antonito burned in 1971. For a time firetrucks had to refuel the K-27, 36, and 37 locomotives that provide the motive power for the train. Most of the facilities were made by the Cumbres & Toltec, as the original rail yard, wye, and station were not sold to the states of Colorado and New Mexico.

Shortly leaving the station, the train heads straight for 3 miles, until coming into some hills. Shortly afterwards, the train crosses Ferguson's Trestle (MP 285.87), made famous when a man by the same name was hung from a locomotive on the bridge. It was featured in the 1988 TV movie “Where the Hell's That Gold?” starring Willie Nelson and Delta Burke. The bridge burned and traffic was halted for a week while the C&TS rebuilt the trestle.”




I did a Keyword search on the Denver Public Library digital photo web site for Railroad Antonito, Colorado and got 84 photos. Seven of these photos are below.

Picture 1 below, is DPL photo OP-8269. “Title: D&RGW train (Narrow Gauge), engine number 473, engine type 2-8-2 and engine number 478, engine type 2-8-2. Summary: Deadhead passenger; 14 cars, rear view of engine. Photographed: leaving Antonito, Colo., June 1, 1964. Creator: Otto C. Perry.”

Picture 2 below, is DPL photo OP-8373. “Title: D&RGW train (Narrow Gauge), engine number 476, engine type 2-8-2. Summary: Rocky Mountain Railroad Club excursion; 11 cars. Photographed: at Antonito, Colo., May 29, 1959. Creator: Otto C. Perry.”

Picture 3 below, is DPL photo RR-1844. “Title: D&RGW flanger train leaving Antonito, Colo. (2-8-2's) 487, 491 caboose 0584. Summary: Denver and Rio Grande Western locomotives 487 and 491 (2-8-2's) pull caboose 0584, section cars, and a flanger car near Antonito (Conejos County), Colorado. Shows snow, utility poles, and a sign: ‘End of Standard Gauge.’ Date: February 20, 1956. Creator: Robert W. Richardson.”

Picture 4 below, is DPL photo Z-6196. “Title: Antonito, N.M., Rocky Mountain Railroad Club excursion. Summary: Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Company locomotive 499 vents smoke in Antonito (Conejos County), Colorado; a water tower and shop building flank the tracks. The locomotive has a wedge plow. Date: (May 1955). Creator: John Krause.”

Picture 5 below, is DPL photo RR-1004. “Title: D & R G W R P O car of ‘San Juan’ Antonito 119, CC Rollins in doorway. Summary: C. C. Rollins looks from Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad car 110, in Antonito, Conejos County, Colorado. Date: January 30, 1951. Creator: Robert W. Richardson.”

Picture 6 below, is DPL photo RR-2028. “Title: D&RGW. Summary: View of Texas Company oil tank cars on Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad tracks on a bridge in Antonito (Conejos County), Colorado. Tank cars read ‘TCX’ and are numbered 77, 70 and 76. Tank car 70 has a double dome. Shows the shadow of the photographer on a gravel covered slope. Date: December 9, 1948. Creator: Robert W. Richardson.”

Picture 7 below, is DPL photo X-6623. “Title: Antonito where the Santa Fe Branch went to the left and Durango Branch to the right. Summary: Denver And Rio Grande Western passenger train pauses at the Antonito station, Conejos County, Colorado. Scene includes stone depot with hipped roof and passengers and conductor on sidewalk. The last car is the ‘Champa.’ Date: (between 1935 and 1945). Source: Gift of C. Bancroft.”

In the Mountail Mail, http://www.themountainmail.com , June 24, 2008, there was a picture of a group of Ride the Rockies bicyclists on Cottonwood Pass.

Picture 8 below, “A group of Ride the Rockies bicyclists makes its way eastbound over 12,126-foot Cottonwood Pass Friday [June 20, 2008] during the second to last day of the 435-mile Colorado tour. More than 2,000 cyclists stayed Friday night in Buena Vista where various clubs and organizations assisted with their stay. Saturday [June 21, 2008] was the last leg of the tour as cyclists pedaled from Buena Vista to Breckenridge. Photo by Norm Dorn.”

I know there is no railroad over Cottonwood Pass but I thought I would do a search on the Denver Public Library web site for Railroad Cottonwood Pass and see what happens. I got two photos. The text to the photos have the words railroad cottonwood and pass but not in that order. One of the photos is below.

Picture 9 below, is DPL photo GB-6531. “Title: Ruby Canyon. Summary: Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad tracks in Ruby Canyon, Utah or Colorado, pass over a bridge between sandstone cliffs, cottonwood trees, and the Colorado River. Date: (between 1922 and 1930?). Creator: George Lytle Beam 1868-1935. Collection: James Ozment collection of George Beam photographs.”

Date: 06/25/08 04:55
Re: Antonito, Colorado
Author: flynn

Pictures 4, 5, and 6.

Date: 06/25/08 04:57
Re: Antonito, Colorado
Author: flynn

Pictures 7, 8, and 9.

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