All Aboard for Alamosa!
Colorado's first home railroad was begun in 1871. William J. Palmer, Civil War veteran and founder of the Denver and Rio Grande, felt that transportation was the key to success in this new, undeveloped land.
"Narrow gauge" railroad was a new concept but it was one that worked for mountain travel. Tracks were laid fewer than four feet apart so the narrower trains could negotiate tighter curves. On this railroad, they were built with a three foot span.
By 1890 Alamosa was a "junction town" and an important railroad hub, with Denver and Rio Grande track radiating from it in four directions.
Trains arrived daily bringing passengers and supplies to Alamosa and leaving with ore, lumber, livestock and produce. As the town grew and the valley developed, Alamosa became the largest and most important town in southern Colorado.
The railroad depot, now moved to a more central location, currently houses the Alamosa Chamber of Commerce and the Narrow Gauge Museum.
Erected by Great Sand Dunes Loop.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Environment
Location. 37° 28.173′ N, 105° 51.735′ W. Marker is in Alamosa, Colorado, in Alamosa County. Marker is at the intersection of Denver Avenue/Broadway Avenue (U.S. 160) and 4th Street, on the left when traveling north on Denver Avenue/Broadway Avenue. Marker is at the southern edge of Cole Park, adjacent to the Alamosa Municipal Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 Hunt Avenue, Alamosa CO 81101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Denver & Rio Grande Western Locomotive No. 169 (here, next to this marker); Alamosa (within shouting distance of this marker); Adams State College (within shouting distance of this marker); Alamosa County (within shouting distance of this marker); First Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Emperius Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); American National Bank Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Alamosa Depot (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alamosa.
Also see . . .
1. Remembering the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad (Classic Trains, 2019). (Submitted on November 26, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Alamosa County. "Colorado Encyclopedia" entry (Submitted on January 11, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 26, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 55 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 26, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.