D&RG Grape Creek Branch History

Grape Creek Branch Facts
From: Canon City, CO
To: Westcliffe, CO
Miles: Unk
Built: 1881 (NG)
Abdn: 1890

The Grape Creek Branch was a narrow gauge line between Canon City, CO, and Westcliffe, CO. The route was built in the great expansion of the D&RG immediately following the victory over the AT&SF in building through the Royal Gorge. Westcliffe promised a small silver mining business, plus provided iron ore coming from "Iron Mountain" that flowed down to CF&I in Pueblo. Unfortunately, the line was built along Grape Creek, which was very prone to flooding. The line was wiped out and rebuilt in 1884, but another flood in 1889 did it in for good. The route was abandoned in 1890.

Ten years later, the Rio Grande again reached Westcliffe via a new standard gauge alignment from Texas Creek (on the Royal Gorge Route). See the Westcliffe Branch for more details.

See pictures from what remains of the D&RGW in Westcliffe, CO, today here.

Grape Creek Branch Map

The map line is not exact, as Grape Creek Canyon is narrow and prone to erosive flash floods. Thus, little evidence remains of the line's location at many points, and guesses have been made (most likely wrong).

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  Last modified on February 23, 2008, at 10:28 PM
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