Narrow Gauge Network

The Rio Grande started as a narrow gauge railroad, and even after the core lines had been converted to standard gauge, maintained an extensive three foot network throughout the mountains of southern and central Colorado. These are the routes that formed the narrow gauge system and never were converted to standard gauge.

For a more complete listing of Rio Grande lines - particularly those that started as narrow gauge and were later converted into the standard gauge system, see this page.

Note: The following is obviously incomplete. I'm working hard to get all of the lines listed and, hopefully, at least a brief history filled in on each.

Royal Gorge Route - Pueblo-Salida
Royal Gorge RoutePueblo, COSalida, CO1872 (NG)1888 (3R)
1911 (SG)
* Chandler Creek BrFlorence, COChandler, CO1881 (NG)1905 (SG)1944
* Coal BranchFlorence, COCoal Banks, CO1872 (NG)1887 (3R)
1911 (SG)
* Grape Creek BranchCanon City, COWestcliff, CO1881 (NG) --- 1890
* Monarch BranchPoncha Jct, COMonarch, CO1881 (NG) 1956 (SG) 1982
* Oak Creek BranchFlorence, COCoal Mines1881 (NG) 1890 (SG) 1905
See more of the Royal Gorge routes in the Standard Gauge section
Marshall Pass Route - Salida, CO - Gunnison, CO
Marshall PassSalida, COGunnison, CO?1881 (NG) --- 1955
* Baldwin BranchGunnison, CO?Baldwin, CO1882 (NG) 1911
to D&RG
* Crested Butte Br.Gunnison, COAnthracite, CO
Floresta, CO
1881 (NG)
--- 1955
* Kubler BranchCastleton, COKubler Mine1911 (NG) 1911
to D&RG
* Monarch BranchPoncha Jct, COMonarch, CO1881 (NG) 1956 (SG) 1982
* Pitkin BranchParlin, COQuartz, CO1881 (NG) 1911
to D&RG
Black Canyon Route - Gunnison, CO - Montrose, CO
Black CanyonGunnison, CO?Montrose, CO?1882 (NG) --- 1949-52
* Aberdeen BranchAberdeen Jct, COAberdeen, CO1889 (NG) --- 1904
* Lake City BranchLake Junction, COLake City, CO1889 (NG) --- 1933
Western Gunnison - Montrose, CO - Grand Junction, CO
West Gunnison MainMontrose, COGrand Jct, CO1882 (NG)1906 (SG) ---
* North Fork BranchDelta, COSomerset, CO1902 (NG)1906 (SG) ---
* Ouray BranchMontrose, COOuray, CO1887 (NG) 1953 (SG) 1953-
Tennessee Pass Route - Salida-Glenwood Springs
Tennessee Pass RouteSalida, COGrand Jct, CO1880-
1889 (NG)
1890(SG) ---
* Aspen BranchGlnwd Sprgs, COAspen, CO1887 (NG)1890 (SG)2006
* Calumet BranchHecla Jct, COCalumet, CO1881 (NG) 1908 (SG) 1923
* Leadville BranchMalta, COLeadville, CO
Leadville Jct, CO
1880 (NG)1888 (3R)
1940 (SG)
** Blue River BranchLeadville, CODillon, CO1881-2 (NG)---1924
** California Gulch BranchLeadville, COOro, CO1883 (NG)1890 (3R)1941
** Chrysolite ExtensionChrysolite Jct, COIbex, CO1898 (NG)1913 (3R)
1917 (SG)
** Fryer Hill BranchChrysolite Jct, COFryer Hill1881 (NG)1917 (SG)1944
** Graham Park BranchGraham Park Jct, COWolftone Mine1900 (SG)1913 (SG)1941
See more of the Tennessee Pass branches in the Standard Gauge section
San Luis Valley - Alamosa, CO, and Surrounding Area
Valley LineMears Jct, COAlamosa, CO1890 (NG) 1930 (3R) 1951-59
* Crestone BranchCrestone Jct, COCottonwood, CO1901 (NG) --- 1929
* Orient BranchVilla Grove, COOrient, CO1891 (NG) --- 1942
La Veta PassCuchara Jct, COAlamosa, CO1876 (NG) 1899 (SG) ---
* Placer SpurWagon Cr Jct, COGrayback Mine1881 (NG) --- 1904
Creede BranchAlamosa, COCreede, CO1881 (NG) 1900 (3R)
1902 (SG)
Antonito BranchAlamosa, COAntonito, CO1880 (NG) 1901 (3R)
1970 (SG)
See more of the San Luis Valley routes in the Standard Gauge section
The Chili Line - Antonito, CO - Santa Fe, NM
Chili LineAntonito, COSanta Fe, NM1880-86 NG --- 1942
* La Madera BranchCaliente, NMLa Madera, NM >1889 (NG) --- 1932
San Juan Extension - Antonito, CO - Durango, CO
Main LineAntonito, CODurango, CO1881 (NG) --- 1970
* Pagosa BranchPagosa Jct, CO?Pagosa Sprgs, CO1899 (NG) --- 1936
* Farmington BranchCarbon Jct, COFarmington, NM1905 (SG)1923 (NG) 1970
* Silverton BranchDurango, COSilverton, CO1882 (NG) --- ---
Questions/corrections/comments welcome - email me
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  Last modified on November 02, 2011, at 07:32 PM
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