Salida was at the convergence of the Marshall Pass line, the Royal Gorge Route, the Tennessee Pass line, and the Monarch Branch. It was also the site of one of the Grande's major steam repair shops, and did much of the heavy work on the narrow gauge engines before the Valley Line was torn up.
The Barrel Transfer
Halfway between Salida and Cleora was the station of Barrel, CO, location of the Barrel Transfer. This was a unique rotary dumper that transloaded bulk materials (initially coal from near Gunnison, but then flux rock from Monarch) from narrow gauge to standard gauge cars for continued shipment on to CF&I at Pueblo. The Barrel Transfer operated from 1921 through 1956-1957. More details are available on the barrel transfer page, but since it's often lumped in with Salida, I felt it was worth mentioning here.
The original Salida depot was a stone structure built around 1880 with the arrival of the D&RG's original narrow gauge line. It lasted until 1941, when it was replaced.
The second Salida depot - done in a unique (at least to the Rio Grande) art deco style - was built in 1941 and torn down on Wednesday, 23 Jan 1985.1
Maps and Photos
1 "Trails Among the Columbine, 1991/1992" p304 ⇑