Arboles, CO

Arboles, CO, is a small town on the Rio Grande's San Juan Extension. Rails first reached the site on 8-Jul-1881.

The Arboles Tender Tank

At some point, the Arboles water tank was replaced with one constructed from the old tender of D&RGW standard gauge Class M-75 4-8-2 #1600. This was done before the 1961-1962 line relocation, and the tender tank was moved as part of the relocation effort.

Navajo Dam and Reservoir Construction

In 1961, construction began on the Navajo Dam. The earthen structure, located about eighteen miles southwest of Arboles in northwestern New Mexico, would impound the waters of the San Juan, Piedra, and Pine Rivers, creating a lake with a maximum surface area of roughly 15,000 acres. The reservoir is used for water storage and flood control rather than power generation, and is the primary storage basin for the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project.

Part of the area to be flooded included the original townsite of Arboles, along with approximately 4 miles of the Rio Grande's San Juan Extension between mileposts 398.65 and 405.87.

The narrow gauge main was relocated to the north side of the reservoir, parallel to the relocated road. The primary relocation started on the east end at milepost 398.65, and ended on the west at old milepost 405.87. The west end then became milepost 409.75, reflecting the greater length of the relocated line. Construction of the relocated line started in 1961 and was officially placed in service on 13-Sep-1962.

The milepost at old MP 406 / new MP 410 reportedly had both numbers on it.

Maps and Photos

(None - yet)

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  Last modified on October 30, 2007, at 04:27 PM
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