Osier, CO History

Osier, CO, was originally a construction camp on the D&RGW's San Juan Extension, located at milepost 318.4 and an elevation of 9635 feet above sea level. Eventually, it had a 1700 ft. siding, a depot, a section house complex, a rudimentary engine service facility with a coaling dock?, water tank?, and turntable?, and a stock loading point for the surrounding high grasslands.

The turntable was a 50 ft unit, installed inside a 60 ft. diameter wooden shed to protect it from snowfall, and was installed in 1888. It was located beyond the coal dock at the end of that spur. While the coal dock and spur exist today, the turntable was removed on or before 1927.

Most of the structures at Osier survived until today. The depot, the section house, the stock pens?, the coaling dock?, and the water tank? continue to exist. All but the coaling dock have been restored and are in good shape. The water tank is the original 50,000 gallon unit installed on the site in 1880, whereas the rest of the buildings were built around 1881. The bunk house?, originally located behind and to the north of the section house, did not survive, and neither did the tool shed to the south of the depot.

Osier in the Modern Era

Today, Osier is probably best known for its role as the mid-day cafeteria on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. The building was constructed by the railroad in 1989, and the food service contract is currently held by Stephen Flowers' Osier Kitchen.

(Personal note: Osier Kitchen has done wonderful things with the food service on the C&TS. Lunch is absolutely excellent now, unlike the infamous and not-so-tasty cold white box lunches from the past.)

The balloon loop, located to the southwest of historic Osier, is also a recent addition. It was installed in 1993 to allow for turning a Chama-Osier-Chama train.

Maps and Photos

Photos of Osier, CO

Categories: Locations

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  Last modified on July 05, 2011, at 04:10 PM
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