Elk Park, CO

Elk Park is a wide spot in the Animas River canyon located at milepost 490.5 on the Silverton Branch of the San Juan Extension.

Its most notable feature is a wye, built in 1884 to allow northbound trains to turn back when the canyons between Elk Park and Silverton, CO were blocked by winter avalanches. The tail end of the wye was a stub switch with a harp switch stand - the last one in use on the Colorado narrow gauge. It was removed during 1973. Doris Osterwald notes in "Cinders & Smoke" that Elk Park also once hosted stock pens for loading and unloading stock trains.

Just south of Elk Park are the Animas River bridges at milepost 489.9. The original bridge, built in 1884, still stands, but is no longer used. It was replaced in 1964 due to the weakened piers no longer being able to safely support a train. Today the branch crosses the river on a more modern deck girder bridge.

Today, Elk Park is a flag stop on the Durango & Silverton narrow gauge.

Maps and Photos

Photos from Elk Park

Categories: Locations

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  Last modified on January 15, 2012, at 04:26 PM
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