Farmington Branch Facts
From: Carbon Jct, CO
To: Farmington, NM
The Farmington Branch of the D&RG/D&RGW ran 47.1 miles south from Carbon Junction, CO, (a bit south of the Durango, CO, yards) to Farmington, NM, generally following the Animas River. The route was finished in 1905, well after the rest of the San Juan Extension.
The odd thing about this branch was that it was built to standard gauge. At that point in the Rio Grande's history, some expected that the San Juan Extension would eventually be converted to standard gauge. It was partially true - surveys had been conducted to do just that. However, it was also apparently a scare tactic to keep the SP and AT&SF from building long branches up into the rich mining and ranching region. The presence, or at least the threat of the presence of a standard gauge railway made such expansions less lucrative. In 1923, when the threat of such branch incursion was nearly gone and it was clear that the San Juan Extension would never join the core standard gauge network, the line was converted back to narrow gauge.
In a surprising turn of events, it would be this lightly-served branch that would save the
line west of Antonito for a few more decades. In the 1950s, an oil and gas boom around the Farmington region brought heavy traffic - largely drilling equipment and pipe loads - over the route for about a decade. By the mid-1960s, this too had ended, and the last freight moved over the line in August of 1968. By 1971, the entire line from Chama to Durango to Farmington had been removed by the scrappers.
Farmington Branch Timetable
|Carbon Jct, CO||G||Connection to D&RGW San Juan Extension|
|Posta|| || |
|Cedar Hill|| || |
|Inca|| || |
|Flora Vista|| || |
|Farmington, NM||WYD - Yard|| |
|1905-1922||D&RG/D&RGW Fourth Division Timetables as Farmington Branch|
|1923-19??||D&RGW Alamosa Division ETT, Subdivision 12-B|
|19??-1953||Changed to D&RGW Alamosa Division, Subdivision 12-A|
|1953-1961||Moved to D&RGW Pueblo Division, Subdivision 12-A in ETT 163 (11-Jan-1953)|
|1953-1961||Moved to D&RGW Colorado Division, Subdivision 12-A in ETT 1A (16-Apr-1961)|
|19-Apr-1970||D&RGW Colorado Division ETT 8 was last issued with Sub 12-A|