Gato / Pagosa Junction, CO

Gato, CO, was a small town in southern Colorado located at milepost 390.4 of the narrow gauge San Juan Extension. Until the branch's abandonment and removal in 1936, it was also where the Pagosa Branch met up with the mainline.

Starting in about 1960, Gato was where Chama-based helpers would tie on to heavy westbounds for the trip up the hill to Falfa, CO?.1

Narrow Gauge in Gato Today

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe owns the land around Gato, and would not permit the contractor to remove any of the material during abandonment and removal of the San Juan Extension in 1970. Thus, a small amount of track (about 1000 feet), a through-truss bridge, a water tank and associated stone pumphouse, and a gondola filled with brand new ties were left at Gato.

The Utes have demonstrated no desire at all to see any of it preserved (and, by some accounts, an active discouragement of such), and consequently what's left today is in a sad state of disrepair. As an example, the water tank, having received no maintenance since abandonment, finally succumbed to the elements in late summer 2006. While the base still stands, the tank itself collapsed.

The ties were eventually retrieved by D&RGW section crews and hauled to Durango for use on the Silverton Branch, and today DRGW gondola 536 sits empty on the siding.

Maps and Photos

Photos of Gato / Pagosa Junction, CO


1 Post by John West on the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum: "Helpers west of Chama", 22-Jul-2007 1202h

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  Last modified on November 17, 2007, at 09:32 PM
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