D&RG / D&RGW Farmington Branch History

Farmington Branch Facts
From: Carbon Jct, CO
To: Farmington, NM
Miles: 47.1
Built: 1905
Abdnd: 1970

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.

D&RG / D&RGW Farmington Branch Operations
Farmington Branch Timetable Information

Farmington Branch Timetable

449.1Carbon Jct, COGConnection to D&RGW San Juan Extension
471.7Cedar Hill  
487.5Flora Vista  
495.2Farmington, NMWYD - Yard 

Timetable History

1905-1922D&RG/D&RGW Fourth Division Timetables as Farmington Branch
1923-19??D&RGW Alamosa Division ETT, Subdivision 12-B
19??-1953Changed to D&RGW Alamosa Division, Subdivision 12-A
1953-1961Moved to D&RGW Pueblo Division, Subdivision 12-A in ETT 163 (11-Jan-1953)
1953-1961Moved to D&RGW Colorado Division, Subdivision 12-A in ETT 1A (16-Apr-1961)
19-Apr-1970D&RGW Colorado Division ETT 8 was last issued with Sub 12-A
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  Last modified on February 05, 2009, at 10:09 PM
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