Antonito, CO

Antonito, CO, is a small town the in the southern San Luis Valley, located where the San Juan Extension and Santa Fe Branch (Chili Line) forked off from the Alamosa-Antonito line.

Narrow Gauge in Antonito Today

Today, Antonito forms the eastern terminus of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, extending westward over 64 miles of the narrow gauge San Juan Extension.

Nearly all of the trackage and structures east of the Highway 285 grade crossing were constructed after the abandonment of the San Juan Extension to meet the need of the C&TS to have a yard and servicing facility on this end of the line. The National Register of Historic Places application states that most of the C&TS narrow gauge Antonito yard trackage was constructed in 1977. The dual gauge (three rail) track on display was salvaged from the Alamosa, CO, yard and reconstructed here by the Friends?.

The original 1880s depot still stands at Antonito - a small, cut stone structure made of rhyolite, located inside the north end of the standard gauge wye. It was abandoned in 1971, as it was no longer needed by the Rio Grande, and unsuitable for use by the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic, due to its placement on the still-active standard gauge Antonito Branch.

The current depot used by the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic was constructed new in 1977, inspired by the style of a standard D&RGW wooden depot.

The water tank in the Antonito is also not the original Antonito tank. The current tank was moved from La Jara, CO?, to Antonito in 1973, when the original Antonito tank was moved to Lava, NM. (The original Lava tank burned in 1973 due to a discarded cigarette.) Both the original and replacement Antonito tanks were 50,000 gallon units of the standard D&RGW design.

Maps and Photos

Photos of Antonito, CO

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  Last modified on October 24, 2007, at 10:28 AM
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