Russell, CO, was a small town on the Denver & Rio Grande's original narrow gauge La Veta Pass route. The town was first reached in 1877, and soon was the junction between the narrow gauge mainline and the Placer Spur (aka the Grayback Branch) to a nearby CF&I iron ore mine.
The town lost significance in 1899, when the new standard gauge La Veta Pass route bypassed it to the south. By 1901, the narrow gauge rails had been removed from the pass itself, but the rails remained through Russell to reach the mine. The Placer Spur and remnant of the old narrow gauge main was sold to the Trinchera Estate Railroad in 1904, and survived at least until 1908.
The town's section house continues to stand to this day, though severely dilapidated.
Maps and Photos
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