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Nostalgia & History > Colorado and Northwestern Railway


Date: 12/10/08 05:07
Colorado and Northwestern Railway
Author: flynn

http://www.coloradohistory.org/chs_library/research_coll_files/Finding_Aids/MSS798.htm

“The Colorado and Northwestern Railway Company was chartered in 1897. In 1904 the railroad was sold under foreclosure to the Colorado and Northwestern Railroad Company which had been formed to operate the railway. In 1909 the railroad was again sold under foreclosure to become the Denver, Boulder and Western.”

http://home.comcast.net/~dlgrr/index.htm

[As I understand it the D&L Garden Railroad is a model railroad modeled after the Colorado and Northwestern Railway. The History web page of this web site has a history of the Colorado Northwestern Railway. The D&L must come from the first names of the builders of the model railroad, Del and Linda Tapparo.]

“History. The D&L railroad started life in 1883 as the Greeley, Salt Lake & Pacific Railroad. The GSL&P was a three foot narrow gauge railroad established to serve the gold mines between Boulder and Sunset Colorado. In the spring of 1894, the GSL&P was destroyed by flooding in Boulder Creek. In 1898, it was rebuilt on higher ground as the Colorado and Northwestern Railway (C&N or C&NW) running again from Boulder to Sunset, but expanding on to Ward. The C&N had great plans to shorten the route from Sunset to Ward by boring a tunnel under the Dew Drop and Columbia Veins for a nearly straight shot to Ward. This would shorten the trip to 3 miles instead of 12.8 miles. However, in 1909 the C&N became the Denver, Boulder and Western (DB&W) expanding from Sunset to Eldora, with new branches from Boulder to Fort Collins and Boulder to Denver over Colorado and Southern (C&S) right-of-way. The tunnel was not to be. More tungsten was now being hauled than gold. The DB&W ran primarily 2-8-0 Consolidations (No.s 30,31,32,33), built by Brooks Locomotive Works on 56 pound per yard rail. The C&N also had a Shay (No. 25), a Climax (No. 2), and a 2-6-0 Mogul (No. 1). By 1919, new roads for automobiles and trucks had been constructed in the canyons. Mines were failing and there was stiff competition from the nearby Moffat Railroad. The DB&W was forced out of business and the entire line was sold for parts in 1920.”

This web site has at the bottom of the History web page a link to a nice map of the Colorado and Northwestern Railway. If you click on the map you can enlarge it.

http://home.comcast.net/~dlgrr/history/CNWMAP.gif

One of the towns on the Colorado and Northwestern Railway is Ward, Colorado.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward,_Colorado

I did a Keyword search on the Denver Public Library digital photo web site, http://history.denverlibrary.org , for Ward, Colorado and got 12 photos. Six of these photos are below.

Picture 1 below, is DPL photo X-14030. “Title: Ward, Colorado. Summary: Four men and two women (one of the women holds a baby) stand in front of the train depot on the tracks of the Colorado & Northwestern Railroad at Ward, Boulder County, Colorado. Railroad boxcars are on the tracks next to them. Painted on sides of boxcars: ‘Colorado & North Western.’ Date: (between 1895 and 1900?). Source: Stobie Collection.”

Picture 2 below, is DPL photo MCC-238. “Title: Four Mile Cañon on the Colo. & N.W. Ry. Summary: Three elevations of Colorado and Northwestern Railway narrow gauge track on both sides of Fourmile Canyon, Colorado, and along Fourmile creek (main line to Sunset, Colorado, marked by three trestles); train on right bound for Ward and train on left bound for Eldora; spectacular scenery along the line led to nickname of Switzerland's Trail. Date: (between 1898 and 1909). Creator: Louis Charles McClure 1867-1957.” Notes: Title and signature hand-lettered on glass plate; title states Denver, Boulder and Western Railway. Title hand-lettered on photoprint states Colorado and Northwestern Railway.”

Picture 3 below, is DPL photo MCC-231. “Title: Parting of the ways, Ward and Eldora Grades from Sunset, Colo., Colo. & N.W. Ry. Summary: Sunset, Colorado, with Colorado and Northwestern Railway depot; train crossing over Eldora trestle; Eldora branch climbs mountain on right; mixed train on left descending grade from Ward; wooden frame residences, buildings and structures; five elevations of narrow gauge track; short siding near wooden water tank with two gondolas, one filled with coal for emergency use. Date: (between 1898 and 1909). Creator: Louis Charles McClure 1867-1957.”

Picture 4 below, is DPL photo X-20876. “Title: Picnic at Ward, excursion train in background. Summary: Anne Hopkins and Weze Hopkins pose on a ledge near Ward (Boulder County), Colorado. Denver, Boulder and Western Railroad cars are nearby. Date: (between 1900 and 1910). Source: Mrs. Bryant (Shirley) McFadden.”

Picture 5 below, is DPL photo X-14025. “Title: Taken from Ward Hill, looking S.W. Ward, Colo. Summary: Three horse-drawn wagons filled with coal are lined up next to the railroad tracks of the Denver, Boulder & Western Railroad in Ward, Boulder County, Colorado. Two men are in the drivers' seats of the wagons, and one stands on the ground with a shovel. Railroad cars are on the tracks of the railroad. Signs: ‘Colorado & Northern’ and ‘C & N 1018.’ Date: (between 1900 and 1910?). Collection: Wolle estate 1977.”

Picture 6 below, is DPL photo X-14024. “Title: Ward, Colo., see rr station middle right. Summary: View overlooking the mining town of Ward, Boulder County, Colorado. Shows Denver, Boulder & Western Railroad station, tracks and viaduct, mines, and tailings on hillside above town. Date: 1915?. Source: John Buchanan.”

I did a Keyword search on the DPL digital photo web site for Colorado and Northwestern Railroad and got 308 photos. [Perhaps I should have done a Keyword search for Colorado and Northern Railway, 316 photos.] Most of the photos from this Keyword search were for the Denver, Northwestern and Pacific Railroad [later Denver and Salt Lake Railroad].

Below are 6 of the photos from the Colorado and Northwestern Railroad Keyword search.

Picture 7 below, is DPL photo MCC-237A. “Title: Looking down Four Mile Canõn, D. B. & W. RY. Summary: View into Fourmile Canyon from edge of Colorado and Northwestern Railway narrow gauge railroad tracks, Boulder County, Colorado; a train smokes along Fourmile Creek, another is on a distant slope. Date: (between 1898 and 1909). Creator: Louis Charles McClure 1867-1957”

Picture 8 below, is DPL photo MCC-232. “Title: Mt. Audubon from Four Mile Cañon, Colo. & N.W. Ry. Summary: Colorado and Northwestern Railway (later became Denver, Boulder & Western) one-car passenger train going up Four Mile Canyon, Colorado; narrow gauge track cut in canyon wall; dirt road paralleling opposite side of Fourmile creek; snowy Mount Audubon (elevation 12,223 feet) center background; mine dump tailings center; Railway employee standing behind car. Date: (between 1898 and 1909). Creator: Louis Charles McClure 1867-1957”

Picture 9 below, is DPL photo MCC-321. “Title: James Peak from near Glacier Lake on the Colo. & N.W. Ry. Summary: View across forested canyon with Colorado and Northwestern Railway's narrow gauge track cut through ridge at right; James Peak (elevation 13,294 feet) in far distant background. Date: (between 1898 and 1909). Creator: Louis Charles McClure 1867-1957”

Picture 10 below, is DPL photo MCC-323. “Title: Pavilion, Glacier Lake, Colo. & Northwestern Ry. photo. Summary: View of the edge of Glacier Lake and wooden frame picnic pavilion with canvas tent attached; shows the Colorado and Northwestern Railway narrow gauge rails either under repair or construction and the branch line to Eldora, Colorado. The building and dark clouds are reflected in the water. Date: (between 1898 and 1909). Creator: Louis Charles McClure 1867-1957.”

Picture 11 below, is DPL photo MCC-322. “Title: Mt. Audubon and Arapahoe Peak from Picnic Rocks, Glacier Lake. Summary: Colorado and Northwestern Railway's narrow gauge track and spur to Glacier Lake on Eldora line; Mt. Audubon (elevation 12,223 feet) and Arapahoe Peaks (elevation 13,502 and 13,397 feet) in distant background; shows wooden frame residence, wooden frame picnic shelter or pavilion with canvas tents, and track winding through trees to highest point, Pinnacle, on Eldora branch. Glacier Lake is unseen to right of big canvas tent. Date: (between 1898 and 1909). Creator: Louis Charles McClure 1867-1957.”

Picture 12 below, is DPL photo CHS-B1547. “Title: Denver River Front Park. Summary: View of shacks and tents in a field next to the Northwestern Terminal Company railyard, between 16th (Sixteenth) and 19th (Nineteenth) Streets in Denver, Colorado. Shows mill and smokestack, sign reads: ‘Cresent Floor Mills, Elevator A, Pride of Colorado Flour.’ Date: (between 1893 and 1900?). Creator: Harry H. Buckwalter.”

There is a nice picture on the following web site.

http://www.rare-maps.com/historicPhoto_detail.cfm?type=photos&rid=1038&CFID=230&CFTOKEN=80462456








Date: 12/10/08 05:13
Re: Colorado and Northwestern Railway
Author: flynn

Pictures 4, 5, and 6.








Date: 12/10/08 05:15
Re: Colorado and Northwestern Railway
Author: flynn

Pictures 7, 8, and 9.








Date: 12/10/08 05:18
Re: Colorado and Northwestern Railway
Author: flynn

Pictures 10, 11, 12.








Date: 12/10/08 12:50
Re: Colorado and Northwestern Railway
Author: notarb

Wow, talk about mountai railroading! Look at the size of the rock used for ballast in photo #7.



Date: 12/10/08 12:50
Re: Colorado and Northwestern Railway
Author: notarb

Wow, talk about mountain railroading! Look at the size of the rock used for ballast in photo #7.
Okay notarb's two left hands strike again!



Date: 12/10/08 20:37
Re: Colorado and Northwestern Railway
Author: raildog

Good Golly, the depot in shot #1 in Ward, CO is apparently still standing. Even more amazing - there is a Google street view of it - it could be business or a private residence. You can place yourself almost where the photographer stood more than a century ago.

Thanks for the excellent research and historical notes in this series, Flynn!



Date: 12/10/08 21:16
Re: Colorado and Northwestern Railway
Author: RoyS

That RR was called "The Switzerland Trail of America". Very good book by Forest Crossen (1978) in my library tells the whole story.Quite a little RR!



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