Placer Spur Facts
The original narrow gauge La Veta Pass mainline had a spur on the west side that broke away to the northeast near Russell. This route, called either the Placer Spur or Grayback Branch ran up to a CF&I iron ore mine and then terminated at the Grayback gold mine. The branch was constructed in 1881, about four years after the original mainline, and survived the abandonment of the original narrow gauge line to which it connected. The entire branch, including the short section of narrow gauge main back to the new alignment below Russell, was sold to the Trinchera Estate Railroad in 1904. There is some dispute as to whether or not it was ever actually used, but it was torn up somewhere between 1908 and 1917.