As we start off our fifth day of our vacation I stop at a gas station in Monte Vista and I am shocked to see a train station where one should not be. See, the Monte Vista depot is gone yet it looks to be right there where it once was. Well, after some research, I had to laugh. See, in 1953 Bob Richardson and Carl Helfin built a replica of the Rio Grande Southern’s Mancos depot for the Narrow Gauge Museum & Motel south of Alamosa. That depot is also very similar to the one that was once here in Monte Vista. When Bob moved the Narrow Gauge Museum to Golden in 1958, the building remained at the Narrow Gauge Motel. Sometime later, it was moved to Cole Park in Alamosa and was used as their County Chamber of Commerce building. The city of Alamosa since decided to do an expansion of the municipal buildings at Cole Park and the depot building was in the way. SLRG purchased the building for use in Monte Vista. Here is a historic photo postcard of the original Monte Vista Depots (Freight & Passenger) along with the photo I took of depot that now stands here today.
I will also get shots of RAMPART RANGE CORPORATION RRBX #2095
and of AMERICAN RAILCAR LEASING, INC. SHPX #203212 tankers
Next stop is Del Norte, CO where we track down the D&RGW Depot
Also here in town is Denver and Rio Grande Western Caboose #0580
As we head into South Fork for our next two historic structures we spot a Railfan opportunity and stop for a few photos. We find Santa Fe Passenger Car #36, a diesel engine labeled White Satin / Brighten with what looks to be NO-1, and a old Seaboard Coast Line Passenger Car now labeled PPCX #6401.
Across from them is our first historic structure we were searching for; the South Fork D&RGW Water Tank.
Our other historic structure we had on our search list was the D&RGW Depot of South Fork, CO
Today this is also used as a tourist line but they are closed so we will make plans to return here someday. But, that didn’t stop me from taking a few photos include one of the Hy-Rail truck of the new D&RG Railway labeled the Wagon Wheel Gap Route ( South Fork / Creede )
Not a bad start to our day!